Technique: Swindle – ‘Long Live The Jazz’

13.06.13

Long Live The Jazz (Intro)

Swindle: Although this is one of the first tracks on the album it was one of the final additions in the writing process. After coming home from our last Butterz party at Cable I used the audio from my set to build this track around a sample I took from the crowd. I then invited a friend of my Dad, Paul Batik, to play a trumpet solo which he totally smashed and I guess this track sums up what I’m trying to say with ‘Long Live The Jazz’. This wouldn’t exist without the experience of that party.

Forest Funk

Swindle: I built this track using my Fender Stratocaster guitar, Roland JP8000 keyboard and a glass of brandy! Again, this is an example my experiences of playing shows aiding my music because this was written on the morning of another party as I needed something new to play. This became a single on Deep Medi and one of the first steps in deciding to record an album with the label. I gotta shout out Quest who played this track to Mala in the first place!

Ignition feat. Nadia Suliman & Footsie

Swindle: The chorus from Ignition came from a song I wrote with previously with Nadia Suliman. Sometimes great songs can get wasted just because of timing or whatever, so I used it to build something new. I hooked up the bass on the JP8000, Footsie recorded his vocals remotely after I asked my Twitter followers which MC I should work with and it all happened pretty quickly. This became a single and one of my first tracks to be playlisted so it was important to include this on my album as it changed my situation so much, after this my music started traveling a lot further.

Kick It feat. The Milk

Swindle: This track was really fun to make. The collaboration with The Milk was born out of me doing a remix for their single on Sony and I was like “I love this voice” and Rick was like “I love that remix” so we hooked up a session. It was a super hot day and we recorded this in my basement and just jammed out. The guys bought some nice guitars down which I throw straight into the Apogee Ensemble and we just recorded several takes until we had something to anchor off but most of the ideas were laid down in a day.

“I decided to make myself a ring tone and I made most of the music from phone samples and my iPhone clicks – just some fun! The track ended up too long to use as a ringtone but made a great skit!” – Swindle

Pledge Allegiance

Swindle: The vocals in the intro are Baby Sol and Joel Culpepper combined and I love mixing different voice textures, guess its a Parliament thing! I made this the first day I got my talk box, of course the first thing I said on it was “Long Live The Jazz”. I always wanted one and, for a change, most of the synths in this are software. If I remember correctly u-he Diva is a super powerful soft synth, the flutes and other relish bits are from Kontakt except the guitar which I played on a 12-string Fender Stratocaster, sent it to Mala straight away and this really helped me make sense of how my album was gonna play through.

Phone Me

Swindle: This started as a bit of a joke really. I’m into old skits especially from old G-Funk albums and wanted to include something different. I decided to make myself a ring tone and I made most of the music from phone samples and my iPhone clicks – just some fun! The track ended up too long to use as a ringtone but made a great skit!

Running Cold feat. Terri Walker

Swindle: I used mostly the Virus KB on this for the chords and bass greed again – a bit of an obvious guitar. I made a 8-bar loop beforehand and Terri Walker (who is the bee’s knees) came to me to record it. Just so happened to be on a day I was breaking up with my girl at the time and that was the vibe! It’s quite an honest song really, possibly my favourite from the album. Actually can not wait to work with Terri again!

Start Me Up

Swindle: The first track I built on my new Maschine, hence the name. Roland keyboard got my bass going, the brass is Kontakt and the violin is real. I was trying to go for some smooth James Bond style brass on the intro.

“I wrote this on Valentine’s Day and sent it to who I was dating at the time – sounds cheesier than it is.” – Swindle

Keep Me Warm

Swindle: I wrote this on Valentine’s Day and sent it to who I was dating at the time – sounds cheesier than it is. So, yeah, more talk box. This was the last track I added to the album, literally just before it went to master. I felt like I had to put it on there for the honesty, a lot of these tracks were written because of events on my life which has been moving pretty fast. Another ex, another song :/. I played guitar on this but reversed it and put it on the end as an outro.

Last Minute Boogie

Swindle: The bongo courtesy of Ollie who I met through playing in the Mala In Cuba show. I sent him a vibe and he turned it into a booooogie – more Rolands, more old vocal shot samples, all squashed through an Audient Sumo summing mixer.

It Was Nothing feat. Sam Frank

Swindle: Sam Frank has to be one of my favourite collaborators; he is incredibly knowledgeable and we decided we should do something way off expectations. I had been listening to Etta James’s At Last and Sam Cook’s A Change Is Gonna Come and loved the texture of the orchestra, double bass, brush kits and a good song. Being 2012 it only seemed right to make that double bass an 808, this was one of the more difficult tracks to mix, so hard to get something right that you not sure how it should sound. Vinyl crackle and a killer piano solo from Sam were the finishing touches.

“This was one of those tunes made in the middle of the night and forgotten about. I came back to it the next day like ‘rah… how’d I make that?!’” – Swindle

When I Fly Out

Swindle: So, I’ve finished the album but it doesn’t feel closed. I was listening to The Fugees album ‘The Score’, Kanye West’s ‘College Dropout’, and A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Midnight Marauders’ and knew I had to write a new outro. Additional vocals are Baby Sol and Joel Culpepper again. I took more samples from the recording of the Butterz party. Preditah (who’s been playing bass guitar for years) was hassled for a day and we did it over Skype as I did with drums and played my PSM, smashed up amens and breakbeat fun. I guess in most part I built this track out of parts of other tracks that didn’t make the album, which in a weird way made more sense to close the album with than what I had before.

Do The Jazz

Swindle: This was one of those tunes made in the middle of the night and forgotten about. I came back to it the next day like “rah… how’d I make that?!” I know I used my djembe and clapped at the mic for the percussion hook – always loved doo-wop and scat. I found a cool patch in a Korg keyboard, I think, and the guitar is real. I called it Do The Jazz because it just felt right, still amazes me how people far and wide get in with the claps when I play out.

‘Long Live The Jazz’ is out via Deep Medi on June 16, you can catch Swindle playing his first solo live set supported by Roni Size, Silkie, Quest Terror Danjah and more at Fire this Friday – full details and tickets here.