An Electro Swing Sample Platter

 

Europeans looking in on this post are probably laughing at how behind-the-times the topic is, but living in the United States – a country so in love with its musical output that it will only embrace half of Britain’s musical export and a quarter of the musical export of our neighbor to the north, Canada – and being someone who doesn’t often warm up to electronic and dance music, being introduced to electro swing was a whole new thing for me. And I’m going to guess it’s a brand new thing for most of you reading this.

The discovery, for me, came by way of the video game-obsessive male who shares my apartment – i.e., my 18-year-old son. As a video game-obsessive, his musical intake centers mostly on – wait for it – music from video games. And he discovered his first electro swing artist via a fan-made video of Team Fortress 2 character, the Spy. The background music in the video was from Austrian DJ Parov Stelar, who spruces up old swing samples with effects and beats.

“Catgroove” – Parov Stelar

 

Through a dance music-savvy friend, my son then fell for French group Caravan Palace. Reflecting influence from Django Reinhardt to Lionel Hampton to Daft Punk, Caravan Palace mix swing samples with a full band that includes guitar, drums, violin, clarinet, marimba, and more.

“Clash” – Caravan Palace

 

When I started digging in to electro swing, after hearing a handful of the Parov Stelar and Caravan Palace tunes a number of times, I found that electro swing is a massive, many-tentacled beast. For instance, this great band called Movits! who hail from Sweden. They mix swing-heavy beats with hip hop. Hearing Swedish rap produces a little cognitive dissonance on first listen, but, damn, if it doesn’t work.

“Fel Del Av Gården” – Movits!

 

Then there’s the British duo the Correspondents who back up their swing with an almost ’80s-reminiscent Brit dance pop sensibility. Singer Mr. Bruce lures you in with his flamboyant sensuality, then they tear into your brain with mercilessly enjoyable hooks.

“What’s Happened to Soho?” – The Correspondents

 

For more discoveries, you can check out electro swing hubs like Swing Rebellion and Scratchy Tunes.

 

Parov Stelar Official Website

Caravan Palace Official Website

Movits! Official Website

The Correspondents Official Website

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