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About Swamp Children

Swamp Children have a role as one of the more obscure groups on the U.K.'s legendary Factory Records, but in part that's because of their subsequent history -- after one album, they changed their name to Kalima, releasing many more records in later years. The original band itself coalesced in early 1980; a sextet consisting of singer Ann Quigley, sax/bass player Tony Quigley, keyboardist/bassist Ceri Evans, guitarist John Kirkham, sax player Cliff Saffer, and drummer Martin Moscrop, the latter also pulling double duty in A Certain Ratio. Aiming for a blend of funk, jazz, and bossa nova, the group played often enough for Factory to take a chance on them, resulting in their first single "Little Voices" in October 1981. Factory Benelux released the follow-up, "Taste What's Rhythm," early the following year, while word about the band started to get around to the incipient acid jazz scene in the U.K. via a network of sympathetic DJs and writers. The group's one album, So Hot, originally recorded for Factory Benelux but later given a U.K. release on Factory itself following the intercession of Manchester legend Rob Gretton, was recorded in a ten-day session in August 1982, a low-key but strongly appealing collection of songs in the band's own particular style of fused influences. Deciding to make a slight break with their past, in name if not in terms of style -- apparently the young members didn't quite see themselves as children anymore! -- led to the transformation into Kalima shortly thereafter. ~ Ned Raggett