Rob Swift - The Architect

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The Architect not only is Rob Swift's best work, it's a remarkable achievement of musicianship.

If there still exists the argument deriding the merits of the turntable as a legitimate musical instrument, Rob Swift's latest offering just might put it to bed for good.

The Architect, Rob's first solo studio album since 2005's War Games, places the Jackson Heights, Queens, native and his gifted hands center stage as he eschews features (one emcee - Breez Evahflowin' - complements two tracks) for thorough solo cut compositions with palpable substance. It's a carefully constructed LP that dispenses with the novelty of songs built from scratch by a deejay and simply spotlights the creativity of a musician.


The Architect also is a departure from the conceptual War Games and Ill Insanity's (Rob, DJ Precision, DJ Total Eclipse, Dashah) Ground Xero. There's a tangible classical music influence here, with the former X-ecutioner at once playing the role of conductor and orchestra. It might sound ambitious, but it works. Breez breaks it down on "Principio": The art form elevated/ the next level of turntablism and innovators.

Two songs anchor The Architect: "Rabia" and "Lower Level." Both are deconstructed into three movements, and both boast the maturity and texture of a symphony. Again - ambitious, but rewarding. On "Rabia," soaring strings are met with frenetic percussion for an invigorating opening movement; those drums are later minced by Rob, as are the violins and eery organs. "Lower Level" begins with cut-and-sewn phrases from the inimitable Chuck D over a bed of dank, dusty drums; listen to the guitar as it's double-time scratched and transformed.

Horns take the lead on the second movement, with Kool Keith telling us "As the record just turns, you learn, plus burn." Cascading keys and plodding drums take you out on the last movement.

"Sound the Horn," with its "Rocket in the Pocket" break foundation, and the combative anthem (M.O.P. phrases and all) "Spartacus" are just two more in a series of stellar tracks. Breez Evahflowin rounds it out on "Ultimo," and you feel like you've come full circle, like you're ready to get up from your seat in the theater, eager to discuss the Hitchcock film you've just listened to.

The Architect not only is Rob Swift's best work, it's a remarkable achievement of musicianship.

18 Comments

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  • Matt77

    Sick as hell, i didn't know Rob Swift before hearing this and this joint makes me download all his album.

  • sam23

    dope...all of it... 'spartacus' is immense, as well as all the 'movement' pieces.. really quite different and fresh.. buy it

  • sfa

    mayb gud if u an old man and u like old man boring rap

  • LAfine

    http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/artist_videos/659615?sel_song_id=3407393&autoplay=1

  • DIlawar

    One of the best releases of the year.

  • Really?

    ***YAWN*** Boring.

  • phraynkh

    real hip hop is back and its wonderful

  • joeyknowsnothing

    i fucking love this shit. havent gotten this pumped from a dj album since i heard since i left you by the avalanches

  • Rob Swift

    Please do try! I NEED ALL THE SUPPORT I CAN GET! Rob

  • sty

    I remember in like grade 7 i started listening to soulful fruit non-stop, i think it was like 5 years after its stones throw release. it sounded fresh, as if it had been released that year, and it was the record that essentially birthed my utmost appreciation and love for the dj. with that said, this album is the shit. it brought me back to those days in jr. high with the big ass headphones, ignoring everyone. simultaneously, it defied my expectations and took the formula further than i could have imagined. so dope.

    • Rob Swift

      It definitely started with Soulful Fruit! Since then I've always tried my best to make timeless music. Be it a mix CD or album. Thanks for the kind words!

  • soma79

    rob swift is the man! this is an amazing record. pick it up ASAP!

  • Rob Swift

    Michael, WOW! Dude, thank you for helping me exposing the album. I really appreciate your write up homey. Not because you liked it, but because it's obvious you took time to really study and understand what I attempted to do on The Architect. Blessings to you! Rob