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,


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...  

Parov Stelar
Grant Lazlo
Wolfie Razzmatazz
Swing Republic

Best Electro Swing VJ In 2012...

Doc Terry
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

Best Electro Swing DJ LIVE ACT In 2012

Wolfie Razzamatazz
Sound Nomaden

Best Electro Swing PRODUCER In 2012

Jamie Berry

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
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


Chris Tofu
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.