Since their formation in 2003, Portland experimental pop duo, Swallows have taken an interest in collaborating with other creative individuals as well as using postmodern techniques to create their unique sound.
[While attempting to abandon all pretensions, Wikipedia sums up postmodern music quite nice: "It favors eclecticism in musical form and musical genre, and often combines characteristics from different genres, or employs jump-cut sectionalization"].
In Swallows own terminology, these post-modern musical attitudes meant working with lyricists and visual artists to help express their ideas and themes while creating community between all party's artistic visions. Swallows has also used postmodern theory in creating non-traditional covers of their favorite tunes (ie. a bluesy garage rock version of Olivia Newton John's hit, "Physical").
After their sophomore EP, Cloud Machines (Church Of Girl Records, 2007), Swallows decided to extend their enchantment with creating postmodern music by embracing remix culture. Through Myspace, Swallows' guitarist/singer, Em Brownlowe, sought out remixers and electro programmers interested in musical collaboration. The responsive parties were issued the raw tracks of Cloud Machines to transform Swallows' rock n roll sound into dance music or progressive remixes.
The result is an impressive collection entitled Loud Machines, an adjusted name of Swallows previous work, Cloud Machines. The name also refers to the instruments and tools the remixers used - electronic machines - to rework Swallows' sound.
While some of the remixers employ a plethora of the original tracking, most abandon all similarities of Swallows' original work by creating their own instrumentation for the vocals to soar above. These new mixes range in mood and genre - some are poppy and dance worthy while others are sullen and dissonant.
The artwork of Loud Machines was created by Michelle Suzanne whom has a talent for transforming photographs into graphic depictions of the subject using the Illustrator design program. The photograph used for this image was originally taken by photographer, Julia Laxer, for the press shoot of Cloud Machines in spring of 2007. It was Swallows' hope this design process would parallel the remixing concept of the album to convert Laxer's photograph into a cartoon.
Loud Machines will release on August 31st, 2008 in correspondence to Swallows 5 year bandiversary. For this collection, Swallows has chosen to self release a limited run of discs in conjunction with Em Brownlowe's archival music project, Outsider Music. The band will also host a donation-based digital download version to reach a larger audience and cut back on CD production costs by sharing music with the online music community.
released August 24, 2008
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