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Cyclonic Steel by KJ Sawka (2007)

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"SAWKA'S CYCLONIC STEEL - Man or machine? That's the question that listeners, show-goers, and critics ask themselves about Kevin Sawka since the Seattle drummer started experimenting with drum 'n bass styles in the late '90s. The upcoming release of Cyclonic Steel on Dual disc -a new CD format that is a cd on one side and a DVD on the other- demonstrates through both audio and video the superhuman quality of his performances and production.

Cyclonic Steel is a study in what electronic music has the potential to be, particularly with Sawka's adeptness with acoustic sounds, jazz, and rock techniques. Sawka's music isn't your typical drum'n'bass affair; instead, the listener is presented with a sweaty, rhythmic expedition into realms situated between contemporary breakbeat, intense drum'n'bass, and new glitch, inspired by the work of Dieselboy, Amon Tobin, and others.

Straight from the top, "Brotherhood of the Drum" shows off Sawka's ability to organically produce beats with his own two hands and feet despite sounding so meticulous and perfected. On "Cosmos," Sawka remixes the vocals of Christa Wells into a gorgeous ebb and flow alongside his trademark drumming in true broken beat fashion. "Montreal," the album's first video single -an incredible dark-fairy-tale-style-animation directed by Clay Lipsky- takes us on a 7.5 minute musical journey through rapturous and spacey synth arpeggios over more delicate electro-beats. Experience more versatility on bombastic dance tracks like "Get It On" or the sexy, funky, whirling dervish "Glitch Funk."

Sawka claims Cyclonic Steel is a different beast than that of his mesmerizing live show, which is captured in many Seattle venues on the DVD. "The live show is for a crazy experience of live dance music." After seeing Sawka perform live, music writer James Kirchmer exclaimed that Sawka "attacked his kit with a frenetic precision so impressive I speculated that he'd once been replaced by a drum machine, and had spent all the years since working out an elaborate revenge."

KJ Sawka's live performances are so memorable largely because of the unique extravagance of Kevin Sawka's drum kit. Between 3 snares, 2 kick drums (acoustic, electronic), a few cymbals and saw blades, Electribe sampler, SPD-20 drum pad, Korg Kaoss pad, and a loop station, he also employs custom MIDI drumlights that react to his complex dance beats, as well as specialized visuals, pulled from in-the-drumset surveillance cameras (!).

Kevin Sawka didn't invent the drum kit. He didn't invent jungle beats, and he didn't invent drum 'n bass. But by pairing these elements with his innovative approach to creating and performing, he just might be inventing something newer, more intricate, and downright eye-opening." -2007 by unknown


Tracks: #electronica #dnb #techno #newage

  1. Brotherhood of the Drum Feat Blake Lewis
  2. Cosmos (Craze Mix)
  3. Montreal
  4. Globalize This
  5. Move On
  6. WTO
  7. Glitch Funk
  8. Cotton Club
  9. Battle At Victory
  10. Get It On
  11. Press Machine
  12. Click Pop




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