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Nicolas Repac

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The phrase swing meets electronics no doubt dredges up sour recollections of Jive Bunny and Lou Begas Mambo …5. The idea can work magnificently, however, and the evidence is Swing-Swing, the sample-based solo outing by Frances Nicolas Repac. Hes known foremost as Arthur Hs ace guitarist, though hes loath to associate himself primarily with that instrument.

At 20, Repac dreamed of becoming the worlds greatest jazz guitarist, but soon realized that wouldnt pan out. For a decade, Repac let his six-string gather dust and focused on electronic production, until an offhand remark in the studio by Monsieur H got him noodling on a guitar again, and with renewed vigour. I no longer tried to be a guitarist, says Repac. I was simply playing music. It permitted me to open my spiritI would never be a virtuoso, so I could develop other things, imaginary things.

That imagination is in full swing on Swing-Swing. The tunes are at times playful and comic, at others tough, dark and very film noir. Some are little lower-case moments, others big, bold and brassy. And they draw on the many years and permutations that what might be called swing went through. What I like about this work is that I can make pieces cohabitate, a piece from the 20s with another from the 50s, or the 40s or 60s. It takes the machines into a somewhat poetic realm, because it allows meetings between people who would never have met.

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