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Artist Feature: Rob Swire | The New Philadelphia
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Artist Feature: Rob Swire

Published on January 29th, 2012

There are a few artists out there in the world that just seem to be unstoppable. Two of my personal favorites are Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, of the ever evolving entity known as The Mars Volta, and Steven Wilson, the brains behind UK prog rock outfit Porcupine Tree. My third favorite however, needs to take the spotlight today because less than 48 hours ago, he again, blew my mind by this time turning out to be one half of Knife Party, whose tracks have recently been making waves among the masses. If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about Rob Swire.

To some of you, this is old news. To others, he’s of foreign nature. To the junglists, well, I’m sure you all have your opinions. But how many people actually know how far down the robbit hole goes? I’m sorry, that was a terrible pun. And also, I’m going to show you.

Rob Swire was born in Perth, Australia, and is most likely the offspring of a Subwoofer and Jesus. He graduated college in 1999 where he met Gareth McGrillen, who would end up being his longtime partner in crime. Together they formed a heavy metal band with Karl Thomas aka Shock One called Xygen, whose lyrics would eventually resurface years later in the title track of Pendulum’s first album.

Xygen – Lycaeum

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Over the next few years, Rob would continue to produce bands and eventually took on the name Anscenic. He also produced his own work, including a collaboration with Hardcore DJ Max Veritech, aka Animal Intelligence, called “Fat American Bitchcore”. It was also in this time when the duo of Swire and McGrillen would discover their love for drum and bass.

Rob Swire & Animal Intelligence – Fat American Bitchcore

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Rob Swire – Electrodes on the Skull

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In 2002, the two would team up with established DJ Paul ‘El Hornet’ Harding and create Pendulum. Tracks like “Vault” and “Trail of Sevens” would prepare audiences for 2005′s release of their first full length album Hold Your Colour, which sold a quarter million copes in the UK. The next year, Pendulum joined the ranks of live acts such as London Elektricity and Roni Size’s Reprazent and evolved into a full rock band with McGrillen back on bass and Swire at the helm, providing vocals and playing a midi guitar called the Ztar. This sound would be the foundation for their second release In Silico, in early 2008.

Pendulum – Hold Your Colour

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Pendulum – Showdown

The band would begin to tour all over the world, even occasionally playing the same night in two locations as both a live band and DJ (Harding). In 2009, Rob Swire would also record vocals for Deadmau5‘s breakthrough track “Ghosts n’ Stuff” and Rihanna‘s “Rude Boy”, the latter of which he also helped write. In 2010, Pendulum would release its third and most eccentric album yet, Immersion, which covered styles from heavy metal to dubstep and featured artists such as Liam Howlett and In Flames.

Pendulum – Watercolour

In early 2011, as Pendulum receded into the mist from whence it came, Swire and McGrillen created Knife Party, a project they wanted to leave unassociated with Pendulum, and I’m not just mentioning that to justify my own rather late reaction time on the topic. Or maybe I am. May 21 2011 their remix of Swedish House Mafia‘s “Save the World” played as Zane Lowe‘s “Hottest Record in the World” and the party was on. 7 months later, their EP 100% No Modern Talking debuted for free on their facebook and soundcloud and made every producer in the world smirk, weather they’ll admit it or not.

Knife Party – Fire Hive

Knife Part – Tourniquet

After completing a track with Swedish House Mafia entitled “Antidote”, Knife Party is an established certified pure resource for hard hitting EDM, and Rob Swire will continue to solidify his place in musical history and be a name a name to look to for for boundary-bridging and bass bumping beats.

Knife Party vs Swedish House Mafia – Andidote

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