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Swayzak – Rout De La Slack

Minimalism in electronic music is a mixed bag—either it’s highly compelling or it’s utterly boring. It must grip with tension swells, and not drip in dull monotony. Swayzak manages to tip toe the line and stay just interesting enough to keep from falling into the abyss of rousing monotony.

The UK duo of James Taylor and David Brown should be noted for keeping their brand of minimalist house and ambient techno sounding fresh. While Swayzak isn’t so easily classified, Route De La Slack is a testament to such claims.


The first CD in the double-disc set is a presentation of distinctive remixes ranging in mood from the serene remix “Acoustiques Paralleles” by Quark to the dark techno remix “Human” by Slam. “Devil of Rotations” is a collaborative effort between Swayzak and Theorem representing their micro house side, while the remix “People of the Book” by Systemwide displays Swayzak’s dub house leanings.

The second disc contains Swayzak rarities of previously unreleased material from 1994 to 2005 that further complicates pinning any definitive labels on the duo. The synth-driven darkness of 2000’s “Grace’s State” is a clear example of Swayzak’s abilities to blend various elements (deep/dub/techno) together seamlessly. “Saints” from 1996 is more of the same hard-to-categorize music as is the supremely catchy number “I Love Lassie” from 1994. Pair those with the minimalist Detroit-styled techno of “Wavemail,” the upbeat “Lokal” and the electro/house of “Mike Up Your Mind” and Swayzak has it all relatively covered.

Route De La Slack can be seen as an effort to bridge many styles together without sounding too much like any one in particular. Aside from their obvious minimalist school of thought, Swayzak should be commended for doing what too many others in the densely populated world of electronica don’t do—stress originality.


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