Several weeks ago, while working, I was listening to Gangsta Blues from Slumdog Millionaire. The brilliant song that it is, I looped it over and over until I was tired of it and wanted something more. So I looked for more hip hop songs, but then the lyrics got distracting. So I looked for instrumentals, listened to J Dilla’s Donuts and Apollo Brown’s Clouds among others. I realized I liked the ones with the jazz samples most. So I went looking for more.
Enter Electro Swing
A relatively lesser known genre of music, it’s exactly what you think it is. Old school upbeat swing paired with electro drums, synth and bass. It’s sure to make you groove with it’s catchy tunes and drum beats fit for any dance floor.
If you like jazz and swing music, but don’t want to feel too old either, (just like me), electro swing is your guy. Whether you wanna dance to it, play it in the background as you paint or cook, or just wanna revisit the old days with a touch of the modern, electro swing is perfect.
There’s quite a few artists out there that produce good electro swing. I have just begun listening to Caravan Palace and Parov Stelar.
Caravan Palace is an out and out band including vocals, guitar, clarinet, electronics and percussion. With so many players on the team, it’s no surprise that their music is heavier on the swing side and the electro drums and bass acts as a backdrop for their songs. If you would like to check out this kind of music, I recommend starting off with their debut album Caravan Palace which is just full of catchy and dance-able songs.
Lookout especially for Dragons, Starscat, Suzy, Brotherswing and Bambous. They happen to be my favorites.
Parov Stelar, considered by many as one of the pioneers of electro swing is a solo artist although he has several live shows with a band. His work strikes the sweet spot between electro and swing. Unlike Caravan Palace, he collaborates with several other artists. That, along with the variety he shows with every song is what I think gives him the artistic edge over Caravan Palace. He hardly has any songs that would be fitting for a dance floor, but his work definitely has a long shelf life.
I have just started listening to this genre and I’m sure I will be your years to come. It’s funny how I started out looking for something completely different and stumbled upon this brilliant art form.
Check out some electro swing songs and let us know what you think about it.
Have you ever stumbled upon something and then immediately taken a liking to it?
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