Get to know Giant Swan, the duo with riotous live sets and releases that match - Features - Mixmag

Get to know Giant Swan, the duo with riotous live sets and releases that match

Industrial techno meets punk in the Bristol-based artists' music

  • Words: Charlie Case | Photo: Lua Ribeira
  • 17 October 2018

A Giant Swan show is heavy and direct; there’s a physicality you won’t find at most live techno shows. The duo throw themselves behind every synth squeal, crashing snare and vocal wail with an energy often echoed by its audience. “We’re about what techno used to be about: losing yourself, not worrying about the snobby elements of dance music,” says Harry. “We’re trying to bring the fun back into it.”

Bristol-based best friends Robin Stewart and Harry Wright, both 26, create improvised, hour-long sessions that play out more like a DJ set than a ‘live band’ gig, the pair always prepared to change direction if “no-one’s feeling it”. And they’ve wheeled their eyebrow-raising set-up of Marshall amps, guitar pedals and synths into clubs like London’s Corsica Studios, Milan’s Macao, Tresor and Berghain’s Säule floor in Berlin to devastating effect.

Harry and Robin met while skate-boarding, aged 11, and began making music in experimental rock four-piece The Naturals shortly afterwards. In 2010 they started playing as a duo on the side, using the equipment they already had lying around with the band. This side-project slowly evolved into the rugged techno Giant Swan, who today draw influence as much from post-hardcore band The Blood Brothers as they do Surgeon & Regis’ ‘British Murder Boys’.

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