Swayzak - Loops From The Bergerie

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  • Swayzak are a British duo comprised of David "Brun" Brown and James Taylor who produce minimal dub techno laden with vocals. The group are now into their fourth album, "Loops From the Bergerie", the title being a play on Serge Gainsbourg's 60s soundtrack to the movie "Les Loups dans la Bergerie". The Bergerie is the name of a country house near Montpellier which was converted into a studio and its influence played a big part in the creation of the album. Rather than creating the album on a laptop, Swayzak replaced it with analog equipment from the 70s and 80s. Percussionist Francesco Brini incorporated live instruments into the sound as well. The opener Keep It Coming embraces an 80's retro feel utilising a disco guitar lick and features Brun on vocals. Another Way continues more of the same 80s feel featuring old skool electro style handclaps, a catchy synth hook and this time features Richard Davis (a signee to Swayzak's 240 Volt label) on vocals. My House has a dubby feel to it with drum beats featuring dub influenced effects using lots of echos and delays. Richard Davis features again on vocals and sings atop a melodic bassline and plenty of techy stabs. Snowblind has a retro 70s feel, sounding like a techno take on the Doors sound featuring a bluesy piano riff, pounding bass that hits on every downbeat and plenty of retro percussion to give it that classic feel. 8080 features a shuffling beat heavy on percussive elements, massive bass line, acid stabs, the second phase features hard hitting bass drums and a rich percussive break which continues for the duration of the tune. Finally the album closes out with the dark and downtempo tones of The Long Night. A long electronic sweep introduces the tune before a Massive Attack style drum beat kicks in accompanied by a melodic bass riff. Lush spoken words vocals for both tunes are taken care of by Mathilde Mallen. Not being much of a techno fan, it was a surprise to hear this album - deep, dark tones accompanied by techno's tough four to the floor kick drum beats and vocals thrown in on top. The live instrumentation gives the album a nice warm and organic feel, whilst the vocalists add another dimension to the music.