Started in 1993 using the name Language Lab, then as Swayzak from around 1997 onwards with their unmistakable deep, uplifting and curious feel.
Early albums Snowboarding In Argentina and Himawari between 1998–2000, focused on dubby, spacy and highly rewarding music, very much cherished, and momentous achievements in the history of house, techno and deep minimal. It is still hard to define exactly what kind of genre of music they were.
Their Groovetech.com Radio sets between 2000–2002 (played to 1st generation internet radio listeners) and compilation Groovetechnology v1.3 in 2002, plus their collaborations on the album THX – Experiments In Synchronicity in 2002, were influential in the spread of progressive deep minimal and deep minimal.
Swayzak were some of the 1st musicians to play, promote and make a niche strain of deep minimal, that could be described as ‘1st wave 2000-era progressive deep minimal’ from 1999–2003, that came mainly from San Francisco, Canada, North America, Iceland, Germany and the United Kingdom. Their release 020100 (Swayzak Mix) by Swayzak vs. Theorem in 2002, is a precise example of this strain and time, and their 240 Volts record label released and focused on this genre of music.
Albums Dirty Dancing, Loops From The Bergerie and Some Other Country between 2002–2007 have a focus on rawness, electro and vocals, still with their deep, rough, hybrid and competent groove-based feel.
Their Re: Serieculture album released in 2009, builds upon the 2000-era deep minimal music they made and played, with elements of microhouse, synth-pop and experimental soundscapes.
In their early live performances between 1997–2001, they played using large hardware samplers. Their music from this time is probably best described as original works of ‘uptempo dub house’ and was roughly related to the house and techno, being played in San Francisco and the West Coast of America, in the late 1990s.
From around 2003 onwards, they used software on laptops, working off each other and improvising in real-time, often with no rehearsal, just feeling, grooving and variating. That was more dub, variation and jam-session focused.
From around 2007 onwards, they utilised a live singer and live musicians using instruments, being more weighty, emotional, with echoes of 1980s synth-pop.
DJ’ed and performed live in the world’s most amazing clubs. Played at Fabric in London in 1999 when it started, all the way through until about 2012. Selected others are: Berlin Lounge (Brisbane), Brancaleone (Rome), Cielo Club (New York), Consolidated Works (Seattle), D-Edge (São Paulo), Indigo (Istanbul), Lotus Sound Lounge (Vancouver), Rex Club (Paris), Smartbar (Chicago), Tresor (Berlin), Unit (Tokyo), Watergate (Berlin). Also festivals: Astropolis Festival (Nantes), Benicàssim (Spain), Dour (Belgium), Glastonbury (United Kingdom), Stammheim Phönix (Kassel), Tape Festival (Mexico). A boat party in Saarbrücken (Germany), fashion shows, and even a week-long party in a loft in Montreal (Canada).
Their DJ sets and mixes use a wide-range of musical genres such as: deep minimal, progressive deep minimal, glitch, house, dub house, techno, electro, synth-pop, reggae, spoken word, poetry and world music. The sets they do live on internet radio stations, as apposed to requested mixes, are especially a strength, where they have a habit of letting themselves go, with their distinct atmosphere and character. Their Groovetech.com Radio and Hoxton FM sets, are clear examples.
Many remixes and collaborations with singers, poets, live musicians using instruments, leading connected industry musicians and dubplate mastering specialists worldwide. Have run live events, music training workshops from time-to-time, and integrate art and installations into their musical performances.
James retired from Swayzak in 2009, but in 2022 there is news of possible collaborations in the future with David again, as the original Swayzak duo.
Between 2009 to the present day, they have restored, remastered and rereleased much of their past and unheard material. In 2023 they rereleased their 1998 album Snowboarding In Argentina, as a 25th anniversary edition, also available as a 3 vinyl LP.
In 2012, David released the album s_w_z_k, further exploring deep minimal organic music.
As of 2021, David has started to do more music in the area of soundscapes and experimental electronic music using the name The Eightsome Reel. James is involved the Coriolis Sounds record label and continues to make and perform electronic music.
Embracing basses, crunchy groove technicians, mongrel wranglers, tidal dub waves, Rasta eagles, mature words of advice, techy zones, genreless currents, feminine flourishes, groove tyrants, rough affairs, variation optimisers… welcome to the Swayzak Corporation…