Electro Swing

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Intro

A style of music that takes some of its influence from vintage Swing, and combines that with the contemporary production styles that are more commonly found within Electronic Dance Music, (the 'electro' part of the name).

This could include House, Hip Hop, Electro, Synthpop or other predominantly computer-produced beats and styles, it may also grab any other contemporary influences, for example, scratching, it could also create these styles with an all-live band.

Electro Swing often incorporates loops, samples or melodies that deliberately reference a sound-palette (to the inclusion therefore of the dance moves and fashions) from the Classic Swing, Jazz and Big Band. Generally these Swing, Jazz and Big Band soundscapes date back to the early 1930s/late 1940s and would include the likes of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton and Benny Goodman among many others.

The genre is also connected with a revival of interest in Swing dances like the Lindy hop and Charleston, the popularity of Neo-Burlesque and the resurgence in an appreciation of vintage/retro fashion and culture in mainstream society as well as, the appreciation for retro musical styles.

Some artists

Some more successful examples of this genre, would be the ones who can keep a dance-floor alive, with a sound that is more readily accessible to the modern ear but that also retains the feeling of live brass and the energetic excitement of the early Swing recordings. The better known artists would include; Parov Stelar and Caravan Palace while one-off international hits include 'Why Don't You Do Right?' by Gramophonedzie or 'We No Speak Americano' by Yolanda Be Cool Vs DCUP.

In addition to individual artists and one-off hits, Electro Swing is a genre whose growth has largely been fuelled by a series of European compilation albums which have drawn together otherwise disparate works by a variety of producers. These include the British 'White Mink : Black Cotton' series described by Mixmag as "Electro Swing's first landmark moment" and France's 'Electro Swing' series. In the United States, parties such as San Francisco's 'Trapeze' have showcased the genre's burgeoning international artists.

Last FM seem to have a good List of Electro Swing artists.

Some background

During the mid '90s there was a succession of Hip Hop style records that sampled vintage Swing.

A number of these records were one-off novelties and would not at the time have been described as "Electro Swing".

A lot of these records started to add new elements to the world of music, one of the most distressing phrases around this time was 'Nu-Jazz'.

In 2005 Parov Stelar, who had been experimenting with this 'Nu-Jazz' style released the first of a series of Electro Swing records on his own label Etage Noir label. This was developed and built on by artists like G-Swing, Waldeck and Caravan Palace.

In 2009 the first compilation albums of this music began to appear and 'define' the genre. Most notably "Electro Swing" from Wagram in France and "White Mink: Black Cotton (Electro Swing versus Speakeasy Jazz)" from Freshly Squeezed Music in England, the later described as "Electro Swing's first landmark moment" by Mixmag.

Early Clubs

In November 2009 the world's first Electro Swing club was created in London by Chris Tofu (Continental Drifts) and Nick Hollywood (Freshly Squeezed Music) to launch the "White Mink : Black Cotton" compilation series.) "Yes this really is a new genre and an interesting one, for once" said London's Time Out (company) of the club in early 2010.

The London club was swiftly followed by the launch of a "White Mink" club in Brighton which opened the Brighton Festival Fringe in April 2010. Both the Electro Swing club and White Mink went on to program stages annually at the Glastonbury Festival (Shangri-La and Dance Village Pussy Parlure), The Big Chill, Paradise Gardens, The Secret Garden Party, Bestival's Club Dada and many more showcasing artists like Caravan Palace, Parov Stelar, G-Swing, Dutty Moonshine, Swingrowers, The Correspondents, and Movits!. The two clubs proved influential launching a raft of similar club nights around the world.