Released last Tuesday, The Architect by DJ/producer Rob Swift (X-Men, X-Ecutioners, Ill Insanity) has been selling well at Amoeba Music. At the San Francisco store it charted at number three last week on the latest Top Five Chart. Put out by Mike Patton on his Ipecac Recordings, The Architect is the latest in a string of solo releases from the prolific turntable artist, who for this latest release constructed and modeled the album like a classical music composition.
In fact, The Architect is an ambitious project, even for an artist like Swift, who has made a career out of pushing the envelope with his innovative turntable-as-instrument recordings. The Architect, which he dedicated to his former X-Ecutioners band-mate Roc Raida, who died last year, is an excellent recording that raises the bar on turntablist/scratch albums.
I recently caught up with Rob Swift to ask him about the new album and how it came into being. "In June of 2008 I was in my bathroom shaving and my girlfriend, her name is Tess, walked into the bathroom and was like, 'I want you to listen to something. So she set up her iPod and little speakers and played a piece by Chopin for me. I forget what piece it was but I remember being blown away and been really touched and moved by this music I was listening to," he recalled. "So I finished shaving and came out of the bathroom and I was like, Tess you gotta play me more of that music. What is it? And she started to explain to me about classical music. And the funny thing is that all of us have been exposed to classical music at one time or another, whether in a movie or at Macy's in an elevator, or if you're watching commercials. So as much exposure as I have had to the genre of classical music, I don't think my mind and my heart was ready to accept it. But for some reason on that day in my bathroom, my heart was ready to embrace this genre."