All of John Swing's records are variations on a style: raw, thumping, analog house. His best ones, though, are a perfection of it. Everything he puts out on Relative (the label he runs with his brother, EMG) is worth hearing, but some of it has been truly exceptional, especially Relative 003, Relative 007 and The Live Experience, to name a few. His latest is Dusty Dancing, and as you can probably tell from the name, it's more or less what he's always done. But he's never done it much better than this.
"Dirty Disco" and "Re Funked" pull together all of Swing's favorite ingredients: sandy hi-hats, white-hot snares, warbly disco samples and skipping, overdriven kick drums. Both tracks are bright, funky and, when that greasy low-end rolls in, pretty massive. The B-side takes a slightly different tack. "Madman Groove" trades the grainy sound for something more crisp, pairing a bouncy, garage-style beat with a thick, rolling bassline. A series of samples float in out of nowhere—first a pitched up vocal ("talkin' 'bout your troubles—, talkin' 'bout your troubles—") and then a smooth, ascending synth melody. Both feel somehow unexpected when they arrive—something that could perhaps be chalked up to Swing's "live" approach to production.
A B2 through and through, "Raw Twist" borrows from EMG's more sinister sound palette. This one offsets a queasy loop of shakers and upright bass with the urgent hi-hats these guys do so well, forming a murky and aggressive bit of house noir. It keeps pace with the rest of the EP, while proving there's more to Swing than straight-up party vibes.
TracklistA1 Dirty Disco
A2 Re Funked
B1 Madman Groove
B2 Raw Twist