Monday, 26 November 2012

Electro-swing Awards - Update - Voting is now open


Ladies and Gentlemen of the Electro-swing world,

I humbly beg of you, exercise your democratic right and vote in the 2012 Electro-swing Awards. You can vote by following this link!

Lots of love,

Jack

Monday, 19 November 2012

Electro-swing awards 2012 - nominations are in.

At 10:45 this morning I received and email I had been looking forward to for a week or so. It contained the names of those producers, DJs, bands, parties and blogs nominated in this year's Electro-Swing awards.

To my great delight and surprise, this blog has been nominated in the 'Best Blog' category. I cannot begin to say how proud of this I am, given that the page has only been running for a few months, and the fact that this year the nominations were made by people directly involved in the electro-swing world - DJs, other bloggers, producers and so on - who ever wins in the end, to be acknowledged by the industry is a great feeling and honour- thanks to all who voted for me.

There will be a public vote starting next Monday (26th November, my birthday!), so I will need your votes! Please follow this link to the Facebook page for the awards and join the event so that you can vote! 

Below is the full list of nominees and categories for the awards.

Best Electro Swing DJ Producer In 2012...  

Bart&Baker
Parov Stelar
Grant Lazlo
Wolfie Razzmatazz
Swing Republic
Minimatic

Best Electro Swing VJ In 2012...

Doc Terry
Kormac
Nick Hollywood

Best Electro Swing Band In 2012

Caravan Palace
Parov Stelar
Electric Swing Circus

Best Electro Swing SOLO LIVE ACT In 2012..

Alice Francis
Cab Canavaral
MSP

Best Electro Swing DJ LIVE ACT In 2012

Wolfie Razzamatazz
Kiwistar
Sound Nomaden

Best Electro Swing PRODUCER In 2012

Skeewiff
Jamie Berry
Lazlo

Best Electro Swing ALBUM In 2012

Parov Stelar - "The Princess " 
Caravan Palace - "Panic"
Skeewiff - "Electro Swing & Gospel Breaks"

Best Electro Swing REMIX JOB In 2012...

Alice Francis - "Shoot him down" (Parov Stelar remix)
Swing Republic - "Crazy in love" (C@t in the h@ remix)
Peggy Lee - "Fever" (Stavroz remix)

Best Electro Swing BLOG In 2012

electro-swing.com
Swing Rebellion
Sunday Swing
Jack the Cad

Best Electro Swing RADIO SHOW In 2012

Electro Swing Revolution
Freshly Squeezed
Bart&Baker Happy Hour

Best Electro Swing MIXTAPE In 2012

Wolfie Razzmatazz - "Whomp Concerto"
Tony Maroni - "Summerswing"
Madame Summit - "Elephant Swinging"

Best Electro Swing COMPILATION In 2012

Electro Swing V
Electro Swing revolution 3

Best LABEL for Electro Swing Music In 2012

Freshly Squeezed
Chin Chin
Etage Noir

Best Electro Swing PARTY In 2012...

Electro Swing Club London
Cirque de la Nuit
It's a Swing thing
Electro Swing Berlin

Best Electro Swing Graphic or Design Job In 2012

Caravan Palace Panic Album
Electro Swing Club Flyers
Cirque de la Nuit flyers

Best Electro Swing SOLO HOPE FOR 2012

Kid Kasino
Vassili Gemini
MSP

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION to ELECTROSWING Music

Chris Tofu
Bart&Baker
Nick Hollywood

There are some really interesting nominations here. I am very pleased to see Skeewiff getting support in the best producer and album categories, and that C@ in the H@, Vassili Gemini, Wolfie Razzamatazz and the Electric Swing Circus are all in the running for awards. Most pleasing of all is that Chris Tofu is up for the Outstanding Contribution award, given his recent trip to hospital for serious brain surgery. Surprising omissions from the list, in my view at any rate, are Swingrowers, Captain Flatcap and Odjbox. 

It would be great if you would all cast your votes next week. Here is the link again!


Vote JACK!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Ever onward



Since the end of the festival season the electro-swing world could have patted itself on the back and congratulated itself on a job well done. But instead there has been an all pervading buzz of activity and anticipation. There have been album and EP releases, successful European tours and broken bones.Let us start with the music.



A short while ago Italy’s Swingrowers released their debut album “Pronounced Swing Grow’ers”. It is, in my view, a triumph, and a great example of the genre: cheerful, fast-paced and Loredanna’s voice continues to make my spine tingle. The opening track “Senza Ciatu” sets the tone, with a strong bass driving the beat and a very pleasing drop. There is the real sense that the album was made to party to – the track titles give a hint: ‘Crazy People’, ‘Craziness’,‘L’Ubriaco’ (Italian for ‘The Drunk’). At times the party takes a turn for the sultry, particularly in ‘Hot Shiver’ and ‘At Least I Live’. ‘Minor Swing’ is a reworking of the Django Reinhart classic, and Bidibambumbey is just the right combination of dark and light, with a very Amy Winehouse feel about the vocal. The publicity from the label Freshly Squeezed suggested that this is one of six truly great electro-swing albums, and I am inclined to agree. The whole flows seamlessly yet there is enough variety to keep things interesting. There are a few of the album tracks below:



Long-time favourite of this blog C@ in the H@ has been busy again, releasing his ‘Gangsta Swing EP’ - a 3 track offernig on new label Ragtime Records - a couple of weeks ago. This delivers big spoonfuls of chunky bass and breaks and he makes use of his not inconsiderable turntablism skills to good effect. I also highly recommend his mix for Swing Rebellion.



Another EP is out today, from Vassili Gemini. It is called ‘Stuck in a Bar’ and features the voice of Mad’zelle. Vassili specialises in a sort of classic swing house that puts me in mind of early 90s house, makes one instantly smile. The EP includes remixes by C@ in the H@ (him again), KiwistarSabatA and The Swing Bot




As Jamko of Swing Rebellion mentioned in his excellent new music roundup the other day, Dutty Moonshine, the kings of swinghop, have been touring with their EP Rauchestra Volume 1. The tour comes to an end soon with Captain Flatcap supporting them. Why not check out this new tune from Dutty Moonshine – it’s called ‘Stomp Rocket’, which sums it up rather well. When you have done that you should listen to Captain Flatcap’s remix of Get Busy, below.



I should also mention a great new EP from the McMash Clan: Swing Break features the voice of Kate Mullins, who was in the Puppini Sisters. Those who have listened to modern vintage music for a while will know the name. Those of you who are more recent converts, the Puppini Sisters were one of the first acts to sing in an a capella vintage style, with versions of ‘Walk like and Egyptian’ and ‘Crazy in Love’ long before even Swing Republic’s. Their success has given rise to several other vocal groups, like Elle and the Pocket Belles (see below for more on them). As you will hear, this track has been getting some support from some fairly major players in the music industry. Below the track in question is an unspeakably filthy mix from the McMash boys that is making my morning that much better.





We can expect new music very soon from Birmingham’s Electric Swing Circus, who have not only found the time to do a tour of Europe but have also recorded an album funded entirely by their fans. Impressive stuff.I also want to share some of the other big tracks I have come across in recent Soundcloud trawls. It may not be the freshest, but these tracks were all new to me and made me grin.


DJ Tomahawk brings us this remix of Smokey Joe and the Kid's "Smokey Joe's Cafe".



Grant Lazlo, one of the most creative and original producers out there at the moment has brought us this inventive remix:



Circoswing, an act with much in common with Slamboree, bring us this scary little number:


Finally, one of the most hotly anticipated albums in electro-swing history is finally here. “Midnight Calling” by Swing Republic was released on Monday and I finally got ‘round to having a listen today. Released on Freshly Squeezed, this album is rather more eclectic in feel than the Swingrowers offering from earlier this year. Where the Italians played around with the beats, Swing Republic have been experimenting with genres: “I Dream of You” has a distinctly latin feel to it, while Mama skanks to a gentle reggae vibe, reminding me somewhat of Fat Freddie’s Drop and to a lesser extent, Molotov Jukebox. Most of the tracks, however, are ‘electro-swing’ in the classic sense, though they take a more song-like structure than those of many others, with a verse/chorus/verse rather than build/break composition. The title track, “Midnight Calling” has hints of gypsy-swing to it. Particular favourites of mine are “High Hat” - a tasty, bassy, sassy tune with a very sexy brass section – and “On the Rooftop” possesses a bounce that puts a smile on one’s face immediately. New singer, Karina Kappel, made her debut on Crazy in Love (featured on this blog a few months ago) and her voice, made for jazz, is a great addition. It seems that the formula of finding a great producer and teaming them up with a proper jazz singer is working well for Nick Hollywood. Here is the album minimix:




On to the events. Naturally it goes without saying that the big date in the diary for the next few weeks is Caravan Palace, supported by Swingrowers, live at KOKO. If you don’t have your ticket yet then there is no hope for you – it sold out months ago. There are a number of other great gigs taking place in the next couple of months though, so  don’t panic.


At the Electro Swing Club @ the Bookclub on the 17th November you can see the powerhouse that is the Electro Swing Circus  (tipped to be the 'next Caravan Palace'), along with other big names like Jon Bongly and Don Johnson.


Next is the 5th Birthday of Green Queen Music being held in Dalston on Sat 24th November, with DJs Dr. Cat, Pony Montana, John Bingly Bongly and Malaka.


Then on December 30th at Ginglik in ShepherdsBush we have Swingkick. This will include sets from the aforementioned Elle and the Pocket Belles, Kitten and the Hip (who I hear may be signing to Freshly Squeezed too - another producer-female-vocalist combo there), MustDash, the mighty Odjbox, plus hostess DJ Shefitza. I am fairly sure to be at this one as it is the weekend after my birthday... Here is a fantastic remix of Elle and the Pocket Belles' "Get Down Tonight" by Sound Nomaden.







There is a bit of a hiatus up until Christmas, but come New Year, there will probably be only the one place to be in London if you like Electro-swing, and that is White Mink. With performances from Odjbox, DJ Dodgy Style, Pony Montana and Electric Swing Circus, it is set to be a blinder. Last year’s party was amazing, so this year promises much – lots to live up to! I hear that this will be the last White Mink at the Bedroom Bar before they move to a new venue in 2013… an interesting prospect.In other news, if you have been wondering what happened to the Correspondents, the answer is that sadly Mr. Bruce broke his foot. As he explains in this video, he is well on the road to recovery, and that they have been recording an album – HUZZAH! This means that they will be gigging before Christmas, and Mr. Bruce will be thrashing about on stage once more.

That’s about it for now, but follow me on twittersoundcloud and facebook to find out what I am listening to between blog posts.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Electro-Blues

I note that recently Mr. Hollywood from Freshly Squeezed has started an Electro-blues group on Soundcloud, presumably in response to the increasing numbers of great tracks being made in this sub-genre. Two names that really stand out are Ecklecticmick and m i X e n d o r p - I hereby bring you the former's full electro-blues set. I think it makes great Sunday listening... What do you think? If you like it, Mick has kindly made it all available for download...
Jack

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

C2C live in London

Long term readers of the blog will know that one of my favourite acts are the French DJ turntablism crew C2C - see the post 'Scratch and Swing' for my original thoughts on them and a video of their winning 2005 world DMC set.

Following the success of their EP 'Down the Road', they have just released an album, available on itunes now, called Tetra. The album owes as much to the crew's classic hip-hop, cut-scratch-and-paste style as it does to 'swing' but there are lots of swingy breaks and bluesy brass. Below is an album sampler - get the whole thing here:

To promote the album the boys are going on tour, and are coming to the UK for the first time in a while. They will be playing at The Garage in Highbury on 2nd October at 7pm. For a hint of what to expect, check out this video of them playing live in Paris earlier this year.


For more info on the gig, and to get tickets, point your internet engine in this direction

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Sam and the Womp - you heard them here first!

It's official - electro-swing has hit the big time. On Sunday evening it was confirmed that Sam and the Womp's single 'Bom Bom' (also featured on the Barcardi advert at the moment) is the UK's new official number one single, having deposed Rita Ora from the top spot.



Those of you who have been reading this blog since the beginning will remember that I included them in the post on Bands a few months ago. I don't want to brag tooo much, but yes, you heard it them here first, ladies and gents!

Sam and the Womp are not what one might call typical of the electro-swing scene, and they would probably not class themselves as such - indeed I seem to recall that on their old Soundcloud page they described their style as Jewish-Gypsy Dub, whatever that might mean. The sound, as you probably know by now, is one of unbridled fun - brash brass and, of course, big wompy noises, and that is enough for me to claim them for my preferred genre. I can not verify this, but I am told that Sam (of the Womp) used to play with Molotov Jukebox... can anyone confirm this?! You can certainly hear that they have the same influences, especially in the trumpets...


I see this as a very important moment in the progress of the genre to the mainstream... yes, I know that there was that Gramaphondzie song a few years ago, but that was what I might call commercial house with some swing, but these guys start from the balkan end of things, which to my mind is a significant difference. I feel that the sudden and unexpected popularity of 'Bom Bom' is a symptom of the growing popularity of electro-swing in the wider public, thanks, no doubt to the massive festival presence this summer from people like Caravan Palace, Madam Electrifie's Discoteque and the Swingrowers. A friend who was at Boomtown Fair said the electro-swing stages and tents were rocking, and I have seen it suggested that royal bum-flasher Prince Harry and his toothy cousin Eugenie were seen dancing to the Electric Swing Circus at WOMAD...

Once again, I should acknowledge that the Fabulous Miss Fox has once again shown remarkable prescience: she was the first to recommend the Correspondents to me, and  Molotov Jukebox and Sam and the Womp. Her knowledge of unsigned bands is remarkable, and comes from a love of live music - without her, you would not be reading this blog!

Lots of Love

Jack

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Busy, busy (lazy, lazy)

It has been a busy few weeks for me - big changes at work (boring); my splendid girlfriend, who in these pages will be known as Tinkerbell, finished her degree and moved to London (I dragged a suitcase bigger than me across most of West London); I organised and captained a cricket match (we lost), and at the same weekend introduced Tinkerbell to my parents for the first time (We are all off to Italy together next month, so was a big deal); and I have been to the races at Royal Ascot, taking advantage of a Royal Enclosure pass to have a lovely 'posh' [hate that word] day out.

So it may surprise you to know that in amongst all of this I have also managed to find time to get a couple of lovely bits together for the blog.


I had intended to post a review of the Parov Stelar gig, and the subsequent after-party. I am not going to for these reasons: 1 - words would not do it justice, 2. I danced so hard and sweated so much that by the end of the gig my shirt was as damp as if I had been swimming. Suffice to say that Koko is a great venue, and that if Caravan Palace are anything like as good when they play there on November 21st 2012 (5 days before my birthday, in case you are interested) then we have a lot to look forward to. In case you didn't make it to the gig (where were you?!) here is a clip:




There is plenty more between now and then - soonest, the birth of another new electro-swing night in London. This one in my manor - Shepherds Bush. The event is called Swingkick @ Ginglik and takes place this coming Saturday 30th June. Last Friday I went to meet the promoter Tanya at the venue as she was setting up for her monthly Balkan Beats night Balkankan. We had a really interesting chat about the scene, and how she ended up setting up Swingkick.


As one might expect, her love for the music came out of this night - there is plenty of cross-over between the two genres, but you don't need me to tell you that. Having been born in Dalmatia in Croatia, she has moved backwards and forwards between London and the continent for 20 years, and from the way she speaks I get the impression that Balkan music forms a very important part of her identity. She arrived at electro-swing in a very similar manner to me - surfing Soundcloud (I love that phrase) and YouTube.


She is certainly passionate about the music - like so many promoters her nights are labours of love rather than money-spinners: Tanya works a day job too. She told me that she runs the nights all by herself, and with the sole aim to bring the music she and her guest DJs play to as many people as possible.


With this in mind, Swingkick will be a more relaxed night than many of the others around town - there is no dress code in order to make the night a little more accessible to new-comers. The performers will be Tanya herself, under her alias DJ Shefitza; a swingstep/dubstep/breaks duo called MustDash from the West Country, who's back2back style is quite unlike any other in the scene that I have come across; DJ Jackiweb, a purveyor of funky, breaky swing; and, perhaps most excitingly, the Swingrowers performing with a new live band.





The Swingrowers are a growing presence on the scene - recently signed to Freshly Squeezed and fresh from warming the crowd up at Koko for Parov Stelar, so for this reason, I though you lot would like the chance to find out a bit more about them. By the miracles of modern communications technology (email), I was able to conduct a wee interview with the gorgeous and talented singer Loredana Grimaudo. Rather weirdly, my questions were in English, her answers in Italian, and I have subsequently translated them (I knew my Italian degree would be useful one day), so apologies if it is a little clunky in places - here is the interview:




The Swingrowers supported Parov Stelar a couple of weeks ago - what was it like to share a stage with the man many consider the godfather of electroswing?


It was great occasion and a real honour!!! We were really excited and nervous before going out on stage. Koko in London is a great venue. Just going in is enough to feel catapulted into a different era. It was packed with people enjoying our music. Parov Stelar and his band were exceptional! Massive stage presence from all of the band. The singer was extraordinary, a real animal on stage and a really gritty voice. Seeing them play and thinking that we had shared a stage with them made us really proud of ourselves.


That performance was a live show with a band and singer, whereas in the past the Swingrowers have mostly done DJ sets - does this represent a change of direction, or is it a case of adding another string to the bow?

It certainly is a change of direction! The project was born with the idea of two people (Roberto Costa and Loredana Grimaudo) to collaborate to try to achieve something innovative musically in our own country. We never thought that we could ever set foot on the stages of the best clubs in Europe. Now that the project is really coming together, we feel the need to create a proper band. First for the impact that is has on stage, which is certainly better, and then because going on stage without live instruments makes us feel strange, like we are missing something.

Tell us a little about the band members?

Roberto Costa aka Pisk and Loredana had met working on a previous project. Pisk is one of the most active producers on the Palermo electronic music scene, in the dnb genre. With his previous project, “Pisk & Moe” he had taken part in lots of local festivals. Recently he won a contest for best remix.

Loredana has always loved to sing, but has never had a singing lesson. Currently she is also the singer fr the Orchestra Popolare Rosa Parks, a big band very much influenced by Sicilian traditions.


The last arrival is Alessio Costagliola, the manouche guitarist, who in Palermo tours the area with his gypsy/jazz ensemble Zanga Zanga.


And finally the manager Giulio Castronovo who is to all effects part of the project. Thanks you him the Swingrowers have managed to leave the confines of their own country, which offers too little, and invade Europe in just a few months!!


Are you performing at any festivals this summer?

This summer we have already played at Meadowlands in Brighton. On 19th July we are playing at Secret Garden Party!

You recently signed to Freshly Squeezed - how did that come about?

We were lucky! In the right place at the right time. It was an evening when we played at the Book Club in London – our first gig outside Italy, and Chris Tofu noticed us and told his good friend Nick Hollywood about us. We sent a demo and after a few months we signed a contract.

There are new electro-swing nights popping up all over London at the moment - what do you think is behind this?

Electro-swing is really becoming fashionable now! Its a fresh music, and you can’t help but dance to it. The people have also associated it with retro fashion and like to wear the styles of another era. Electro-swing evenings are a real journey back in time.

A lot of electro-swing comes out of Europe - do you see a difference in the music made on the continent when compared to that that originates in the UK?

The many styles of electro-swing are very diverse. But we don’t think this is a fact linked to geography, its down to the individual artist. Each electro-swing band has its own different style from the others independent of their origins. Of course the place you grew up in will influence you in lots of choices, for example out ‘Sicilianness’ and the fact that we have strong ties to our origins has led us to make a track in Sicilian dialect “Senza Ciatu”. In general though, we would say that music from the UK is more ‘’bouncy’’.

 How does the London electro-swing scene compare to the Italian one?

The difference is enormous. As you said before, London is full of electroswing nights. Italy isn’t. This breath of fresh air has not yet arrived with us. Only in the north is is beginning to pick up a bit, one is beginning to hear people talking more often about electro-swing parties. In Sicily we organise them ourselves. We have just had the second edition of our electro-swing party, with juggling acts, burlesque, live music from great musicians from Palermo and obviously the Swingrowers.

What can we expect from you guys on the 30th at Swingkick at Ginglik?

We are ready! We are pumped! We will entertain you with our ‘strange’ English. But above all you can expect lots of grit and energy on stage. The crowd will like that!

Here is a taster of what to expect from them:




So, all in all, it looks like it should be a good night. I have not had a good thrash on the dancefloor since Parov, so I am very excited. I am currently finalising the details of a Swingkick related competition - watch this space - follow the blog so that you receive an update when I have the details!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Recognition for White Mink


The guys at White Mink and Freshly Squeezed must be patting themselves on the back this week after Mixmag  named their London nights at the Bedroom Bar the second best night out in the country. This comes just a fortnight before the sold out Parov Stellar gig that they are hosting at Koko on the 31st May, and their Jubilee Weekend event in Shoreditch on the 2nd and their appearance at Meadowlands Festival - pretty perfect timing . And about right too - interestingly they are as much taken by the immersive aspect of the event as I was. 


I suggested to the label boss/ promoter/ DJ Nick Hollywood that this was rather a coup for him and his team and he replied "Mixmag is without doubt one of the most respected dance music magazines in the world. To be named by them as one of the best 3 parties - not just in the UK - but in the world (because they are very much focussed on Ibiza right now) - really says a lot about the phenomenal growth of electro swing as the most important new music genre on the dance scene... And no, it has nothing to do with the amount of alcohol we plied them with when they came down to the club on several successive nights in a row!".

For me this is further evidence that electro-swing is here to stay and is not a mere flash in the pan. I also saw a something on The Correspondents' Facebook wall about them heading to Radio 1... yet more grist to the electro-swing mill. No doubt this summer will see the electro-swing stages at the festivals becoming among the more popular. I can hardly think of a better genre for festival goers - big beats, cheerful tunes and smiling faces!


I cannot begin to describe how excited I am about the prospect of Parov coming to London, and even more so now that the location and line-up of the afterparty have been announced - Purple Turtle in Camden will play host to DJs Jon Bingly Bongly, the legendary DJ Chris Tofu and DJ Dr Cat on the decks, with the promise of 'friends and special guests' - I wonder who...
The full details can be seen here.

The Austrian and his band will be performing tracks from the new album 'The Princess'. This is one of them.



With just a day in between for recovery (cutting it fine, I can tell you), the Jack the Cad team will be sallying forth once more, to the White Mink event mentioned above. That event will see the excellent Sound Assembly playing a live set: the four piece produce sexy, seductive and slightly scary vintage tunes set to some grubby grubby dance beats.

Sound Assembly presents ....Nu Skool Swing (FREE download at www.soundassembly.co.uk/loveme) by soundassembly

Other acts will include the usual troupe of magicians and dancers, plus mash-up maestro Scott Cairo, DJ Tallulah Goodtimes (the side project of House veteran SophieDJ) and my personal favourite, a GlitchSwing set from DJ Razzamatazz. 

Here is a little sample of what to expect from Tallulah:

Tallulah'sother4minutemix by tallulahgoodtimes


And a little something from Woolfie Razzmatazz, and blunt instrument is quite right!
  Blunt Instrument Vs. The Four Lads - Constantinople Train (Razzmatazz Mix) **DOWNLOAD LINK INSIDE** by Wolfie Razzmatazz

The Jubilee Weekend promises to be a big one, but stand by for information about the events happening between now and then.

Jack

Thursday, 17 May 2012

New music update

There has been something of a spate of great free downloadable music landing on the doormat here at Cad Towers over the last couple of days. Being rather busy with the day job I at the moment I am just going to share them here for you all.


First, Kiwistar, that channel-hopping, gig hungry producer/DJ has very kindly offered us all a nice 90-minute mix of some of the finest electro-swing out there. The mix includes the excellent French turntablists C2C's new track 'Down the Road', a rather jolly 'Inspector Gadget' remix, Kormac's 'Wash my Hands' and some really grubby stuff towards the end - Huzzah for swingstep! If you like this, Kiwistar has several gigs over the Jubilee Weekend, including one at the Islington Metalworks on 1st June, and, I believe, at White Mink at Meadowlands on 2nd.


UPDATE - those of you who follow me on Facebook will have seen that Kiwistar is not playing at Meadowlands.  


Kiwistar's Spring Swing 2012 Mixtape Free Download by Kiwistar


Next is a clean version of another Jeeves and Wooster mash-up, this time with a couple of US mainstream rappers I have never heard of. As you may know, I love the original television show and have blogged a different remix of the theme before - this one is, I think, better - the lyric and the beat fit so perfectly - really great mash-up electro-swing.


DJ Jeeves & MC Wooster Quik Get Down (DJ Dodgy-Style Mash-Up Edit) by Barely Legit


Finally, I would never forgive myself if I didn't warn you all that this is the last day (17th May) that you can download the excellent Electro Swing and Gospel Breaks set from Skeewiff. ever since my original post about them they have been played at least once a day. Get it while you still can! Skeewiff - Electro Swing & Gospel Breaks (D/L enabled until 18/5/12) by Skeewiff 


 Lots of love,


Jack

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Swing House via Baz Madej

Baz Madej of Nysa Speakeasy has just posted some work by this chap to my Facebook and I liked it, so I thought I would share it with all of you too. Some nice Swing House from DJ Mibor for you all. Enjoy.


DJ Mibor - Cosmic Messenger (Original Mix) by DJ Mibor 


I should also point out that Baz's Nysa night is this weekend, Friday 27th April. Sadly as I am off on cricket tour for a few days I will not be attending, but it looks like they are planning a bit of a DJ battle: 

"The next Nysa Speakeasy is on Friday 27th April and this time we’re mixing it up even more and will have a battle on our hands. With Dj’s playing Funk, soul, Electro-Swing and Commercial, the more people dancing to each Djs set, the more that Dj gets to play his genre. So if you want a night of Electro-Swing, you need to rally the masses and get them signed up so the commercial crowd don’t own the dance floor. All we want to do is to throw a great party. So let the games begin and the party start!" 


Above taken from the Nysa Facebook page. 


If you want to support Baz and his electro-swing, get along and burn up that dancefloor! 


Jack

Electro Swing Club - London

It is to my great shame that I had never been to this event, even though it is the longest running in London - the timing has always been a bit of an issue - the third Saturday of each month is quite some distance from payday and funds always seem to be a bit low. This month was different as it was the Hon Rumple Fuddly's birthday, so a group of us trooped over from West London to Liverpool Street and thence to The Book Club on Great Eastern Street.

Clearly the length of time that this event has been running has worked in its favour, as when we approached we were rather surprised to find a huge queue. Using a certain amount of chicanery we were able to bypass this and get out of the rain pretty quickly.

The venue, which covers two floors, is pretty big, but there were a lot of people there. The ground floor, which has lots of seating, played host to Aunty Maureen's Silent Disco, which looked like it was drawing lots of Shoreditch locals. Downstairs was the main dancefloor, where DJs Globalution, Woolfie, and Kitten and the Hip played some great tunes.


We decided that we would rather be downstairs, but there was not a lot of seating. A little exploration revealed a small room at the back, so we piled in there, only to be told that it was a private party. Happily, Ruth, the guest of honour at that party, graciously allowed us to take a table as a base of operations - thanks to her we achieved our second blag of the night.

From this auspicious start things just got better. The DJs surpassed themselves time and again. The real climax of the evening for me was the final set from DJ Woolfie. His swingstep and swing-hop set completely blew my mind. One track in particular, a remix of Dead Prez's "Hip Hop" was so pleasing that I had to go and ask him what it was - it turned out to be the first track on this little mix from DJ Twister.
  Swing Session Vol. 1 (preview) available now at JunoDownload by Dj Twister

All in all I think it was probably the best electro-swing night I have been to. The main dance floor had just enough space for some vigourous dancing, without being empty, and the people were extremely friendly. I love to see other people really getting into the music, so it was especially nice to be able to share a couple of dances with complete strangers - a sign, I feel, of the friendliness of the crowd.

In the absence of any pictures from the night, I offer you instead this rather lovely little mix from Woolfie. The title says it all really. Note that the whole mix is available for download from Soundcloud.

Wolfie - Razzmatazz Whomp Concerto no.5 by Wolfie Razzmatazz

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Correspondents to close for Mumford and Sons

I understand that the Correspondents are to close the show for a couple of one day festivals in Galway and Huddersfield, arranged by folk-pop outfit Mumford and Sons. This will be quite an unusual gig for Mr Bruce and Mr. Chuckles I should expect - I wonder what the crowd will make of them. Still, is should bring electro-swing to some new ears. More details can be found at the event's website


Love


Jack.

The Dancee Dancee pt.II

This was shared on Facebook last night by White Mink and I absolutely love it. Not only is it a fabulous new song from Caravan Palace that I have not heard  before, but the dancing is so much fun - a great little routine, with a fantastic flourish at the end - very impressive to pull something like that off, and to sing immediately after such an energetic performance. The very same post seems to suggest that they might come to the UK quite soon... exciting stuff... check this one out too... looks like a great gig! 


love


Jack

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Dancee Dancee

As I have mentioned in one of the club night reviews, one of the things I love about electro-swing is the dancing. It differs from normal club music as the swinging beat removes some of the aggression, while the partner dance style of Lindy Hop and similar dances translates really well to a modern setting, as well as opening the doors of possibility for meeting people and making friends. While I have had a couple of lindy lessons a couple of years ago, I mostly make it all up as I go along. 

I have just come across this handy instructional video from 1944 which not only explains the origins of some of the steps and might even provide some inspiration for some of you - I particularly like the Hesitation Shorty George. Complete with comedy vintage voiceover, this is a real gem. 

I would also like to post this video, which I found ages ago and return to occasionally as I think it a wonderful piece of choreography, excellently executed.



And finally, here is the king of the swingers, the man who started this whole journey for me, and who all my female friends drool over. Perhaps the best dancer to have ever donned spandex and a pair of two-tone shoes, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. Bruce of the Correspondents:



In this second video you can't quite make out his feet, but you do get a taste of his remarkable MC skills and the now legendary treadmill dance.


Lots of Love,

Jack

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Bands

Most of my posts this far have focussed on DJs and producers, but I think it is important to recognise some of the live acts out there, some which are firmly electro-swing, others which paddle in the shallows. Having already spoken before about the Electric Swing Circus I shall mention them here and then move on.

The first band to mention is Caravan Palace. The video below was perhaps the second or third electro-swing clip I ever saw.

The band consists of six members, with the delightful Sonia Fernandez Velasco on vocals. Reportedly they formed when three of the band members were asked to record the soundtrack to a silent porn movie, which might explain the seedy sound they produce. This Paris based electro-swing and gypsy jazz outfit have been stalwarts of the scene for several years, - it is rare to attend an electro-swing night and not hear one of their tracks.

From Paris we head east to Austria and a brief word about Parov Stellar and his band. The news that he would be gracing the Koko stage at the end of May was extremely welcome as he has never played a live gig in the UK, despite his popularity in Europe. Sadly, if you have not got a ticket yet you will just have to watch this video and wait for my report as tickets sold out in a matter of days.



Back to London now, to mention Molotov Jukebox. These guys played at my office Christmas party back in Feb (long story) and really got the crowd going. Their music includes influences from afrobeat to flamenco to balkan swing to dubstep. With brash brass, violin, accordion and the gorgeous Natalia's sexy delivery they had, until recently avoided a genre label, but the style has recently been referred to as 'gyp-step', which leads nicely into the last group...



Sam and the Womp an 8-piece band fronted by the eponymous Sam, formed in 2009 and play a style that owes a great deal to dubstep, balkan brass and Ska, or as he so eloquently puts it "Gypsy-dubstep-in-your-face trumpet madness". These guys really love to rave, and their live shows are really quite bonkers - if you get the chance you must see them. They have performed at Secret Garden Party and have womped crowds at venues as diverse as The Notting Hill Arts Club and the BBC London jazz Festival. They have produced this handy instructional video on how to Womp properly. You didn't know you had been doing it wrong, did you?



Lots of love,

Jack

Friday, 13 April 2012

And another thing...

This is a crazy little mixtape from Kiwistar - prepare yourself for a wild ride!




Kiwistar - Minitape for Glade Festival - Vaudeville Rave Stage Contest by Kiwistar 






 Jack

Swing Rebellion

It has been a busy few days for this blog, so it is perhaps a good thing that I will be heading out to the country this weekend to indulge my other passion in life, cricket. 




Before doing so I would like to take the opportunity to  welcome the good people behind another new site to the online world of electro-swing - in their own words www.swingrebellion.com is "a platform for electro-swing enthusiasts" and contains info on events, artists and the electro-swing lifestyle. Some of the names will be familiar to readers of this blog - Jamko, The Electric Swing Circus's Mr Tophat and Mme Electrifie. You may even see the occasional contribution from Jack himself.


There is also a mixcloud podcast available to listen to - check it out!


Welcome, chaps!


Jack




Swingstep from Senor Zazou

Just came across this on Soundcloud and I think it utterly splendid. I love it when I find something really grubby!

->Scrape Swing<- Senor ZAzou!!!!Mash Up (Sweet Life Society VS Ozma VS Sub Focus VS Counterstrike) by SeƱor ZazoO





Enjoy!


Love,


Jack



Thursday, 12 April 2012

More electro-gospel and the like


Following the previous post, the chaps behind the final video contacted me via Facebook to let me know that they have remixed a load more gospel tracks. I like "Don't Rock the Boat" best.


 

The Evolution of Swing

I am sure that I do not need to inform the educated, informed and intelligent readers of this blog of the origins of 'popular music' and the role played therein by things like slave songs, spirituals and so on. We all know how these songs developed into the blues, bluegrass, jazz and eventually swing, then rock n'roll and finally gave rise to hip hop, r'n'b and all the diverse genres we are familiar with today.

One of the things that I love about electro-swing is that it is such a clear continuation of this tradition. In addition, the remix culture fits Jazz (I use this as an umbrella term) beautifully - we are all used to the idea of different performers giving us their own versions of the 'jazz standards', and now the DJs and producers can do the same.

All of this leads me to the point: I thought it would be fun show the three stages of the process using a song known variously as "Go Down Moses" or "Way Down in Egypt Land". As might be expected, I came across the most modern iteration first, and then worked backwards in time to end up with the spiritual version. 

In this first track, by the Golden Gate Quartet, is a beautiful harmonised version sung a capella in a barbershop style. Although I am not a religious person, it gives me goosebumps to listen to. Also, keep an ear out for the guy singing bass - what a warm sound. If you want to hear an astonishingly bassy rendition, search for it on Spotify - I had no idea the human voice could get so low. Anyway, enough of my rambling. Here is the track (apologies for the none-too-exciting video - it was the only one I could find)

The Golden Gate  Quartet were founded in 1934 and have continued with a variety of line-ups until the present day. 

The next version of this song is by one of the most instantly recognisable voices in the jazz genre - Louis Armstrong. Again, the spiritual quality of the song comes through, with some gorgeous harmonies, but this time with a walking pace blues sound. 


Finally, the last version is electro-swing. It is a remix of the version you have just heard .This is a great example as it shows how the original melancholy sound can be immediately altered - it is perhaps not the finest electro-swing tune in the world, but I love the other two versions so much that I love to hear it. I also adore the video for its dancing bears and the chap dancing at 0:50.  Enjoy!


Oh, and one, no, two more things. C2C, from the previous post, have produced an homage to Satchmo: 


If you want to know what it sounds like when you go straight from gospel to dance music, listen to this, and for a fun game try singing 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' in the breaks.


Lots of love,

Jack