On last year’s Long Live the Jazz, South London DJ and producer Swindle seemed to aim for the same lofty goal Daft Punk attempted with their Grammy-winning album Random Access Memories: instilling humanity in computer-driven music.
Jazz, Swindle’s full-length debut on celebrated electronic label Deep Medi, carries a pulse that leaves no doubt there’s a heart beating behind the thoughtful instrumentation and propulsive rhythms blasting from your speakers. Whether it’s the sentimental strings of “Start Me Up,” the sunny synths of album highlight “Ignition” or the fascinating build that drives closer “Do the Jazz,” it’s clear he and his unique brand of dubstep live for more than just the drop.
Swindle arrives at Back Bar Friday night supported by a host of local DJs with an ear toward the same sound, among them W1sh One, Monique Coquilla, Quixslvr and MarkPLSTK.
“Everything that album does is something I’ve been trying to say for ages, but I couldn’t find the right way to say it,” he told Australian site The Ripe. With a plethora of influences on display, the album presents an artist who aims for the future without dismissing the sounds of yesteryear.
Though first inspired by West Coast hip-hop, he admits in an interview with On the Buttons that his father led him to the funk and jazz samples that inspired the ’90s G-Funk sound. From there, he fell in love with the work of Herbie Hancock, Roy Ayers and, in particular, George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic.
Swindle’s tracks look to merge today’s EDM sonics with the undeniable funk bounce that still gets crowds to their feet. Sabotage Times may have described his sound perfectly when they proclaimed he is “taking what artists like George Clinton did in the past and re-appropriating it for the 21st century.”
In an age when DJs and producers continue to be dismissed by some simply as button pushers, Swindle’s musicality shines through. While dubstep may now be a punchline for some, his work on Long Live the Jazz shows there’s still inspiration to be found in the genre.
Fri, Mar 28, 9pm-2am
Swindle w/ W1sh One, Monique Coquilla, Quixslvr, MarkPLSTK
418 S. Market St, San Jose