Deep Medi is a label known for deep and serious releases of “real” dubstep, its artists releasing EPs exploring texture and sonics with razor precision. Swindle is almost a polar opposite to these sort of acts, and this could represent a turn for Deep Medi in becoming a multi-dimensional bass music label in the tradition of Hyperdub (hinted at previously by Silkie, but more instrumental).
So how can Swindle be an opposite to serious dubstep and still be regarded as “legit”? Well, he’s the most efficient jazz/funk hybrid ever to evolve out of dubstep, and his music is sheer, undulterated fun! Mala hinted at possibilities with Mala in Cuba, but this guy brings the fiesta to life. This is his second LP after releases on Butterz and Planet Mu.
Long Live The Jazz is heavy in sampled jazz instrumentalism from trumpets to bass guitars to double basses to saxaphones, and includes the sublime voices of Nadia Suliman and authentic grime MCing from the likes of Newham General’s Footsie in tracks like ‘Ignition’. It still keeps those old steppin’ wobbles in tracks like ‘Forest Funk’ and ‘Pledge Allegience’, except infused with happy neon synths that will have all dancers grinning away at empty air.
Stakes are upped even further in ‘Kick It’, which does precisely that, clanging hard through reverberating jazz organ, rhythmic off-beat wobs and whip-cracking snares, whilst The Milk provides strong lyrical backing for you to steer your swerve on to.
After an interlude of phone sampling fun in ‘Phone Me’, Long Live The Jazz kicks back into break-ya-neck head bomp with the anthem ‘Running Cold’ led by soulstress Terri Walker smouldering the steady boom-crack and synth blare. This is driven on with the defiant, double-bass twanging ‘Start Me Up’, through the soulful, semi-cheesy ‘Keep Me Warm’ (complete with talk box), and stepping the swaggering ‘Last Minute Boogie’, which is familiar shuffling Swindle territory with added bongo samples.
Refrain ‘It Was Nothing’ is vintage yet contemporary with its vinyl crackles and inspired from Etta James and Sam Cook, with its lyricism from Sam Frank, and is perfect in execution from trumpet samples to piano solo finale. “When I Fly’ provides a more dancable progression of this refrain in its similarity of harmony, and is a cute outro with added vocals from Baby Sol and Joel Culpepper. ‘Do The Jazz’ is a familiar track for single purchasers and is pure Swindle, from its live-sounding drums and accompanying bass-twanging and korgs scatting away with the oh-so-infectious hand clapping.
I can say without exaggeration that Swindle is the funkiest act to ever rear its head over bass music. If someone groans about dubstep to you, take them to see this guy. Electronic music really is looking up.
9.5 out of a possible 10 Haarp Strings.