Route de la Slack
One of my favorite electronic duos of the last decade has been Swayzak. My first exposure to them was 2000's Himawari, a superb set of electronica that had all the right moves - dub, reggae, downtempo, glitch, micro house and techno all get a piece of the action. There are songs, with vocals by Benjamin Zephaniah and Kirsty Hawkshaw. The music was icy cool and creative and hooky. They followed that up with Dirty Dancing in 2002 where they went full tilt at synthpop and electroclash, with guests like .Adult. In 2004 they returned to the mostly instrumental style of their earlier works with Loops From The Bergerie. Last month brought us Route de la Slack. It is 2CDs - disc one is a sampling of the remixes they've done for the likes of Señor Coconut, Slam, Quark and a few others. Disc two is rarites and previously unreleased music dating back to '94. The title is a dig at themselves and their work ethic - they haven't been the most prolific of musicians over the last 10 years. It's always interesting to hear an established musical act apply itself to someone else's music, so from disc one enjoy this fantastic glitchpop treatment of Tahiti 80's Changes (Swayzak Darkfarmer Remix). These guys remind me a a bit of fellow Frenchmen Phoenix - blue eyed soul with a slight accent and some gorgeous hooks. This remix is just bumpin'. From the disc of rarities comes a very nice bit of slightly foreboding downtempo from 1994, I Love Lassie. A deep breakbeat and some inspired vocal snippets make this one a killer.