Sunday, 20 January 2013

sound of the crowd (fund)

greetings all from a snow covered london , been a while since i did the blog thing but here goes ( i try not to rant )
after some consideration i have decided to go forward with a idea for the new swayzak album , its been a long soul searching journey but i think now i have found a possible way . the reason its hard is i dont want to give a record label 80% of the meagre income anymore hunter thompson says "pimps and thieves" . this is the main reason there has been little swayzak output since 2007 . (end of rant)

in 2011 my long time partner james taylor decided to call it a day , for whatever reason (possibly me) sad but what we started as a fun thing in 1997 became somewhat a monster , fall outs , money problems and distance all became issues . He now works alone as lugano fell, his new album is really interesting and as far away from dance music as you can get , the antithesis of the club culture , but club culture is not where set ourselves to be , we just ended up there ! we were never djs at the start , personally i really enjoy djing now but back then it was hard work :( as you may have heard !

in 2012 a reinvention s_w_z_k still the same but heavier designed for the dark clubs we had been inhabiting of recent tresor visits . james and i started but as he quit i had no idea what to do where to go so a nice chap at phonica mr vangelis gave it a listen and said it would be good for ostgut ton the cool berlin label of berghain , but as i am too shy to approach them , so i approached a contact now at tresor paulo who is in the process of revitalizing the label . the album i found hard to finish and asked my great friend mr paul richard davis to become involved and share the spoils .after recording the majority in london we spent a few days in his berlin hideout to finish the album and then walked down the canal to dubplates to master . 4 hours later it was done and we were very happy with the results! our handful of live shows tresor , fabric , red gallery ,propaganda have all been pretty amazing so we will continue this in 2013 but the gigs are few and far between and it seems the demand is still s_w_a_y_z_a_k . i have since taken a job in a bike shop to keep myself sane :) from pumping house to pumping tyres......

at the end of 2012 i read about this crowdfunding thing ,one of those cool american ideas, sounds cool looks cool etc. and now as 2013 begins the idea of crowdfunding a new album seems to me like a wonderful idea , a great way forward , but how much can we raise , should we raise , is this musical begging ? you fund the music and we put our heart and soul into the production . do you want another swayzak album ? does it sound a good deal ?

only a idea thus far and if you follow facebook/swayzak you will see me intermittently posting rants and raves about music . we are never sure of our popularity but with near 15,000 likes and back in the myspace days 25,000 friends it seems we have a reasonable following to make this happen ?

so the funding idea :
new album vinyl / cd / digital
short promotional video
(possible) photobook 1997 - 2010 photos on the road (35mm film only)

the returns to investors :
small investment = digital download album
next investment = cd album
next = vinyl album autographed
next = teeshirt / sweatshirt + album
next = photobook + teeshirt + album
next = gig guest lists + teeshirt + album
next = remix / song writing / production course + all the above
largest investment = private gig / house / club /+ all the above

something like this based on your investment , seems good ? as the investment goes up you will get a more ellaborate package delivered to your door .

minimal investment: 1 euro max 1000 euro (i have some rich friends somewhere)

production will be done by myself (mr d brown) and mr r davis , will be in home studios in london and berlin , some input in bologna (francesco brini long time collaborator) we will be looking to work fast as possible and cost efficient , but not sparing on the quality of the music , it must come from the heart and go to the head !
main costs will be small equipment budget / mastering costs and manufacturing costs , if we get other vocalists involved payment to them , but am not sure if we will get any ........

in ?

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

whats in a name

its been several quiet years on the blog, in the studio and on the road . but now another blog within a frickin week ? well i wanted to explain the S_W_Z_K thing . as many of you know our james has left the building and to be quite frank we are a bit bored with the swayzak moniker . this new S_W_Z_K ting originates from a gig myself and richard davis did in warsaw about a year ago . the flyer was simply SWZK and it looked great ! so for a new project by myself and with contributions from mr davis it seemed the right thing to do . I noted our polish connection continues :) however the truth of the meaning of swayzak in polish is not "union" though it was a nice idea and one RA used to have a little dig . why the need for the dig ?

swayzak as i recall originates from a doped out trip to cornwall and the small malibu surf community that perish in the english channel and its sewage waste that drifts by their boards , whilst waiting on a 6inch swell ! james and i somehow were re-enacting the legendary film "point break" with keanu and yes you guessed it patrick swayzee rest his soul ! whoever actually caught the wave with the boogie board was the swayzak .......

so there u go !

essdoubbleuzedkay as i prefer it to sound rather than swizzik , or the italian swiyzaak is here to stay and expect more to come , the music is a little more serious as is the artwork , the live show i hope will be the crowning glory with the first shows lined up for tresor berlin 9th june and redgallery london on 16th june ! the idea is the record / cd / digital is a advert for the live and not the other way round . the live show indeed will be different and the tracks will evolve as they should ...myself and mr davis will be at the controls , he suggested on stage boiler suits (pete townshend) too , but am not sure i prefer 1980s (terry hall) style rude boy with braces but that could look a bit facist . anyway i like the idea of a stage costume but judging by the artwork and the comments maybe it should be captain caveman !

expect deep throbbing techno something that they used to call IDM in the old days , more to come

Monday, 23 April 2012

the work continues

Well its been a long and quietish journey of recent , sorry for the lack of info but finally new album is ready and mastered , coming on the world famous tresor label outta berlin and this record has a real berlin flavour !

The origins of this record began with a conversation james and myself (brun) had in a macdonalds eatery somewhere in east berlin one saturday night before playing at tresor . things were not going so well , we had low bookings , our zest for recording had diminished and pockets were empty . We thought long and hard what to do and by the time the main course had been microwaved , the idea was upon us . WE WILL DO NO MORE ALBUMS and release nothing , only work on live performance . this was before we had even drank any beer !!!
Anyway the idea soon fell by the wayside , sadly in this day and age one must plug the shit out of ones work with dj charts on every corner, mixes on every blog, podcasts on every ipod etc etc something that i find less than appealing . So making no music although quite a interesting approach was probably not the best way to get some gigs and pay the rent . One must reiterate the money is not the be all but it helps keeps the baliffs at bay and feed the flock. so the next idea was to make a album based on our rather off the cuff live performances (which were fewer and fewer) and so it began .

In a cold and rather sad montpellier winter , between visits to the flea markets and ice cream we churned out several loops from our live sets and morphed them into some high energy tuneage . after some days i left the scene and headed back to london town where i began the process of turning these loops into bigger heavier faster type thing ,running them thru my collection of delays , reverbs , eqs and valve compressors til finally i had some powerful chunks of audio . then i put them aside thinking they were rubbish.

In the meantime james had had enough , working with me or working on house music maybe both , but it has been hard to work when we are in two different cities , and two different systems of music making . he quit - maybe to help me get on or to get on with his own "lugano fell" project , perhaps a bit of both whatever the reason we are still friends and still talk which is more than most musical partners do :)and good luck to him !

Then by chance using the wonders of the internet i sent a link of the tracks to a friend from "greta cottage workshop" underground hipster label , he liked them a lot so my chin perked up and i set about looking for a label . i knew the music was wrong for our old label k7 (they dont understand me) and oddly one of their ex employees had just started working for tresor A+R . that was it i sent he liked and the project shifted into second gear . no other label was contacted by me in the making of this . One has a feeling about a project , and tresor seemed to be kick starting the label and the club was starting to be a regular gig for us , each time it got better and better !

In the meantime my father james brown died , oddly on september 11th and that set me back quite a bit , but made me more determined to complete as he always said i was no good :( The track "end of the line old boy" are his words to me in the hospital ......very sad days indeed .

I took the still loops for a holiday in bologna and stayed with my good mate francesco brini , we had a free hour one day and ran the loops thru some quality kit in his studio , there i was able to witness the power of the tracks in their fullness and i was actually blown away ! they were massive .....Upon my return i played some of the bits to vangelis @ phonica - lovely chap who suggested i sent them to "ostgut" the label of panoramabar that oh so cool place at 7am . but in the end i didnt bother and was happy i stuck to tresor . what sealed the deal was the last trip to tresor the main man dimitri hegemann came down for dinner and was really great to chat with him about the history of the club and the fall of the iron curtain .

I set about turning the loops into tracks and the tracks into order , and struggled a bit with finalising them , i sent a few to my old chum sir richard davis and asked him to sprinkle his magic - but this time no vocals only music ! his contribution was massive to me and we spent a few days in neukolln eq'ing and working on one last tune to complete the album . The next day , after a coffee we walked down the canal and mastered at the legendary "dubplates and mastering" with CGB , a truly awesome engineer . He turned it up so loud we got a complaint from hardwax - the techno store downstairs :) what better compliment could you have !

and so it comes after montpellier , london, bologna and berlin - S_W_Z_K is a departure from swayzak of old but gives more of a flavour of the live works to come and the desire to get heavier rather than mellow with age .......the live shows will be all about the energy and a sonic assault on your senses , throbbing gristle watch out !

Thursday, 30 June 2011

the end is nigh bob 9.2

no it really is swayzak as of sometime recently is no longer a prolific production powerhouse james has decided to call it a day !
in order for sanity , family and an easier life ( all just reasons ) , mr james darkfarmer taylor aka lugano fell has decided enough is enough and at the end of the day its a game of two halfs or 4 quarters . its a bit dangerous allowing me to write on here with no lunch and a double latte but we had the discussion and decided the best way forward was to do it alone , both of us . no ill feelings no malice just end of the line .....

swayzak recordings will continue and 240 volts label is actually back up and running but we are really not going to be a duo ever again . no more mental gigs , no more 3 star hotels with 11am check outs after playing at 5am . no more copious amounts of cash (well that went long ago) no more airport hell weekenders, or wasted punters dribbling in your ear after playing for 3 hours .
its been a interesting journey since 1993 we began making tunes in the bedrooms of london w10 . from meagre beginnings to the massive stages of benicassim, glastonbury and more . the nights in tokyo, istanbul , rome , barcelona , paris , new york ,and of course berlin (where we first played in 1999 WMF club) many many great nights .......

our style was 100% improvised live and we found this often worked better than rehearsing , although sometimes rehearsal might have been better but on the whole - the gigs were fun cos they were random try getting that now with the stale electronic hipsters on hype . all you need is a headband and a cool name !

james will continue with the drone texture noise lugano fell project , and a family business which seems to have taken off rather well .
david aka brun - the moody one shall endevour to release , one final claw on the curtain of hope .the music shall not die without a fight . swayzak shall fight on albeit as a one man band / dj /multi media event /anything for $$$ just not a beatport chart !
also playing occasionally with mr R davis when the moment arises ...

available for weddings , barmitzvahs , funerals (quite a few bookings so far) under 50's disco nights and bingo on acid . call now for a quote 1 - 800 swayzak

thanks james for all the good old days / nights across the globe ! and thanks to our 28 followers

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

blood suckers from the planet zog

greetings followers of the blog keep on following one day we will have something new and interesting to write about but at the moment frankly not much to say ! probably at the end of one's tether (good word that) with the online music biz . now its only tales of sorrow from me :

what with little work and little chance to release its a frustrating time in the underground ! i seem to have gotten into a mess with former friends who dont seem to acknowledge the good things that have been done for them by us , as well as the good things they did for us which i do acknowledge wholeheartedly . some people seem to think its their god given right to feel they have been responsible for the mild success known as swayzak . it has happened two or three times now and frankly i am a bit puzzled ? funny what grade F celebrity dj fame does ! as i see it we did it all ourselves with some help along the way that was handsomely rewarded , many of those who helped think nothing of it but I seem to have fallen out with more people in the music business than i did at school , and the funny thing is they were all so called friends . this business is cruel and unusual , some twists and turns and you are saying goodbye to a friend .

we stuck our neck out for other people and got them involved , releasing their music much of it did not make any returns and would not have been classed a "sound investment" . many of these musicians would not have left their bedrooms and indeed some still have not ......
i personally invested my own money on several projects that are yet to see a return yet i am seen as a user not as a investor ?
but by chance today i find who is my finest friend with a phone call offering to tidy my ageing fathers garden in his spare time . a true friend who is not in the blood sucking music industry , so a gift for him , though he was the drummer in our first band he saw through the crap ! thanks man made my day you know who you are :)

Monday, 25 October 2010

live and dj in Omsk


Just a quick note to say im very happy to be heading east this weekend for a DJ and maybe little live set in Omsk Russia

SATURDAY 30 - James Swayzak Live and DJ at ZANZIBAR _ OMSK RUSSIA

Come and say hello if you around that way


Thursday, 2 September 2010

hand printed editions 25 /100

i get my shit together and deliver to you (the fans) the first 25 (blue industrial) of these lovely hand printed swayzak vs greta cottage records . 180 grams of vinyl loveliness packed in lined paper sleeves , lovingly hand printed by yes me in my living quarters and not some kids in china !
in these days of austerity (well here in the uk anyway) , we are going back to the roots of the music , and something - the first art i did since i was around 15 ! not that long ago :)

an enjoyable process so far , apart from the rsi it makes light of the linear digital files uploaded distributed and forgotten . this is art and music in one , though the music is art ,is the art music ? already top seller thru phonica records london . the music speaks for itself and the art - well make up your mind , and make it quick please !
originally a 300 copy record 200 for the dj stores and 100 for you ....

4 editions of 25 . so get the blue or next will be green / brown / black
buy all four if you wish ?
comes in a 450g polythene sleeve to protect the genius work .
cost £6.99 plus shipping
uk - £3.50
eu - 4.50
USA - £7.00
japan - £7.00
rest - £7.00
email me for customer satisfaction

next up will be fashion and there is a limited teeshirt to come . see photo !