Swayzak, the partnership of James Taylor and David Brown, are back with their fifth album. Some Other Country is a deeper, more expressive take on the progressive, dub-y techno that has found its way into the sets and collections of those such as Sasha and Digweed. Away from the comparably cheap and easy thrills of the minimal and electro sounds of late, the duo craft aural landscapes, gently layering sounds and textures with gradual transitions. More lyrical tracks such as "No Sad Goodbyes, with Richard Davis, and both "Quiet Life and "Smile and Receive, featuring Berlin producer/DJ Cassy on vocals, are mostly reflective and melancholy, and the instrumentation is in keeping with those themes. However, it is the purely instrumental tracks that are most curious of all, exploring their musical depth and creative potential. The echoing, cavernous world of "So Cheap, the lush strings and ever-so-slight break of "Distress and Calling, and the painstakingly detailed construction of instrumentation on "Claktronic are just some of the finer points that make this some of their best work.
What music are you listening to lately and how does it influence you?
James Taylor: I dont DJ, so the house and techno scenes dont really have a lot of influence at all on the music. I listen to a lot of styles but of course, theres still a lot of reggae and dub in my collection, and I enjoy classical music too.
How do you and David work together nowadays being so far apart?
Weve always done a lot of the production independently; its interesting to see some of the ideas and ways to take the tracks that you wouldnt have thought of yourself, and you can bounce off each others interpretations. Sometimes the tracks end up being mostly just me or sometimes they could be 95 percent David.
Youve worked with some singers repeatedly over the years. How do you decide with whom to work?
Way back we had a problem working with someone where lawyers and money became issues. Since then weve just collaborated with people we have a strong personal relationship with, often that have been introduced by friends. Its important that they are into Swayzak and doing it for the right reasons. We let them have a free rein to contribute to the music in their own way, so I usually dont have a clue when people ask me what the lyrics mean. (!K7)