Rob Swift - The Architect

Album Review by Ali Maloney | 02 Mar 2010
Album title: The Architect
Artist: Rob Swift
Label: Ipecac
Release date: 22 Mar

It often seems that the further hip-hop progresses, the more it sounds like industrial music from 20-odd years ago, albeit with an impeccable groove. Ex-X-Ecutioner turntablist Rob Swift ruins needle after needle to find out “what would composers like Chopin and Bach do if scratching existed back in their time?” I’m not sure The Architect approximates anything like that, but it is certainly a heady cocktail of atmospheres, textures, routines, genre-smashing, looping and mashing and goes a long way to (again) qualify the turntable as a valid compositional tool.

Drawing upon good ol’ electro funk, organ runs, knuckle-dragging acappellas, creepy cinematic horror ambience, bad ass horns, stabbing strings, chamber ensemble drones and all manner of found sounds and noises, The Architect literally builds its way up from those components via scratching, layering and manipulation to create a perfect balance between out’n’out boom-bap swagger and moments of tense terror. [Ali Maloney]