Back in 1998 British tech-house duo Swayzak—James Taylor and Davis Brown—issued their deep, moody and dubby 1998 debut, Snowboarding in Argentina. The full-length put the pair on the map and still stands as one of the best and most memorable albums of the ’90s. In 2009, we asked Dave Brown to reflect on the duo’s seminal album.
Snowboarding in Argentina was ahead of its time. What inspired the album?
Dave Brown: Basic Channel, Model 500, Jovonn, Jah Shaka, On-U-Sound, DJ Premier, minimal equipment, delay pedals. I’m not sure if it really was ahead of its time, but we will take that. We really had little idea of its potential; we were not confident or pushy and let the music speak.
How much was your recording budget?
£0. It was all done at home or blagged in a mate’s studio. I used to work at Tower Records and swapped CD promos for blank DATs and floppies, often hawking goods to survive was our only income for a while until things started going well. Oddly, we have still to be paid for the original release and reissuing ourselves is kind of an exorcism.
What inspires your music?
To avoid real jobs, plus the basic thrill of playing our own shit loud at weekends and being paid for it.
What can people expect from Swayzak in 2009?
We’re trying to arrange some special live shows, plus rereleasing our 240 Volts label catalogue digitally. There’s the Lugano Fell side project from James and, most importantly, we’re making a new Swayzak album, doing a remix for M-inus Records, and would love to do another compilation.
Did you ever get to snowboard in Argentina?
Not yet. We’re still dreaming about it.