Monday, 10 July 2017

Does your garage have a swing in it?

Swing n Bass maestro, film maker and Jack the Cad contributor Fizzy Gilespie, aka Max Golfar*, has made something a little bit different. We're all about showcasing the really interesting stuff, the innovative and the new, so this is a bit of a no-brainer.

Fizzy: This mix has been a project of mine I’ve been putting together for quite some time now. This is probably the longest I have spent on a mixtape before. The hardest part of it was finding the tunes - this is probably the most obscure and niche side of the Vintage Remix spectrum, even more so than Swing Drum’n’Bass.

I was initially turned on to this sound by the Catjam boys, so a big shoutout has to go them. Without those guys, I would not have discovered this sound. Dutty Moonshine & Extra Medium are also pushing this sound, so I implore you all to go and check these guys out. These are the people really trying to expand the scene into a new and unique sound. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the mix, it ain’t your typical Swing mixtape! ;-)

*Which is your favourite pic of Max? I think we might have to make the one in the Soundcloud embed his official byline pic...[Ed.]

Jack: Just thought I'd jump in here and say a couple of words. When I asked for volunteers to help with contributing to this blog I made it clear to those replying that journalistic integrity was paramount - this would not simply be a  chance for people to push their own music or events - and that if they wanted to have their stuff mentioned they'd need to find an editorial argument to make it fit.

With this in mind, let me say that when Max sent me this mix I immediately suggested he do a little commentary about it, and that was down to merit, not favouritism.

In a scene that is flooded with identi-kit sound, and lots of people making fairly insipid music that's neither rooted in a particular musical tradition or place (think of all that euro-house-swing) it is refreshing that there's a sound that is not only unlike anything that went before (beyond the vintage feels) but that is also undeniably British.

Garage's first incarnation came during my teenage years and it has, like dubstep and other uniquely British forms of dance and urban music, had a profound and lasting impact on global music scenes. Lots of Garage was terrible - I'm looking at you Daniel Bedingfield - but its so full of energy that the great stuff was sure to be picked up again. In the last year or so it has definitely enjoyed something of a resurgance.

Now Essex-based badboys CatJam have started playing around with it it and seems that they've claimed this little corner of the vintage remix world as their own in the same way that MistaTrick and C@ in the H@ have done with the swing'n'bass sound. Certainly their new EP Songs To Make You Purr lays down a strong marker, making use of instantly recognisable vintage remix and electro-swing samples and garage trops they've made something really interesting. With the addition of the likes of Hypeman Sage - garage MC and Dutty Moonshine vocalist - and Offbeat - Bristol's chief swinghopper - on mic duties you've got what can only be described as a proper party-starting release. It seems unlikely that the release of this EP coincided with Max making the mix: before then he'd have struggled to find enough tunes!

There's something about the rough-and-ready, unglam sound that is garage that fits really well with the vintage sound - not so much a musical pairing that works (though it does), but a pairing of attitudes, and both Max and the CatJam boys have exploited this brilliantly. Enjoy.

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