One to watch: Giant Swan

One to watch: Giant Swan. Progressive club music is Bristol’s latest export, and this duo work the dancefloor perfectly

Bristol has long held a reputation as one of the UK’s more formidable musical cities – from 1970s post-punk pioneers the Pop Group to the 90s trip-hop of Massive Attack. In recent years, forward-thinking artists such as Batu and his Timedance label, as well as producers Hodge & Facta, have been perfecting an incisive gut-punch of a techno sound with regular DIY parties in the city.

And now comes electronic duo Giant Swan. Robin Stewart and Harry Wright met as skateboarding 11-year-olds, and formed guitar band the Naturals, immersing themselves in Bristol’s local indie scene. Later, formative trips to London clubs such as Corsica Studiosturned them on to the hedonism of the dancefloor, and they soon began to experiment with analogue setups, exchanging instruments for electronics.

Renowned for their shirtless, intensely energetic live performances, Giant Swan’s eponymous debut album plays like the distilled essence of their onstage act, featuring distortion, manipulated vocals and an ever-present, tub-thumping bass. It’s music that implies chaos but is carefully engineered to engender an effervescent freedom in its listeners. As Stewart said in an interview: “This is why we started doing it: because it’s fun.” Long may it continue.

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