Former X-Ecutioners member and current Peeping Tom member, Rob Swift returns with his twelfth studio album, The Architect.
Swift’s innovative turntablism has made him an innovator in the field, regarded among such visionaries as The Avalanches and Kid Koala. On The Architect, Swift continues to push the boundaries of hip hop. Only two tracks contain vocals. “Principo” and “Ultimo” both feature Breez Evahflown. The tracks represent perhaps the most traditionally “hip hop” tracks on the album. The rest of the album is a mixture of symphonic turntablism and Herbie Hancock-esque electro-funk.
The major aspects of the album are “Rabia” and “Lower Level”. The tracks are written like symphonies in three parts. Each part is its own track, but the parts blend together to form one cohesive track. The tracks include scratching recordings of violins and horns to form its own unique texture. The tracks clearly span over musical boundaries from classical to hip hop to something perhaps even more visionary.
The album is one of the most compelling listens I have had in a while. With that said, it’s hard to predict how much relistenability it will have. The album is interesting but its not extremely catchy. I suppose it has more in common with classical music than hip hop in that sense. If you’re someone who can put on the same Rossini symphony every week and enjoy it, than The Architect maybe the right kind of album for you. If you’re someone just interested in the skill it takes to produce these sounds, it might be a one-and-done deal. Either way, it is worth at least one listen.