Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Electric Empire Escapade at Brixton Electric - 30/11/13 - PREVIEW

This weekend sees the Electric Empire Escapade return to London's party scene. Serendipitously, the event falls just a few days after my birthday - which, apropos of nothing, is today, by the way - so I intend to be there in my gladrags, with bells on.

Wait, my gladrags don't have bells on.

Sod it, you know what I mean.

Anyway, the last EEE event I attended was some time ago (checking my records, I see that it was in February), and it is still in contention for the best party I have attended all year. However, it seems that the forthcoming event, at Brixton Electric could well steal the honours. February's event saw The Correspondents, Odjbox, McMash Clan, DJ Dodgy-style, and a host of other top names take to the stage. If anything, the line up for this weekend is even better. I bought my tickets just yesterday, so there are still some going - get in there quick though - you don't want to miss this gig.

Here are a few selected highlights from the line up:

Too Many Ts

Since they first came to my attention about 18 months ago these two south London rapping-type fellows have enjoyed a pretty rapid rise. This summer saw them warming up the Bestival stage for the mighty, nay, legendary Wu-Tang Clan, for heaven's sake. Their performance at EEE this weekend is part of their 'Beats We Wish We Had' tour, and this is one of the tracks from the EP of the same name.

Krafty Kuts

All together now: Trick tricka trick tricka trick tricka trick technology! Krafty Kuts is one of the most respected DJs in any form of electronic music. I fondly (yet vaguely) remember raving on the speakers to one of his sets at some festival or other a few years ago. His longtime running-mate A-skills will be perfoming at EEE as well, so here they are together:


Odjbox has been describes as the "DJ's DJ", and is responsible for some of the biggest and dirtiest electroswing out there. The Canadian ghetto funk/electro-blues/electroswing producer Defunk cites his work as a major influence, and he has rocked crowds at festivals and club nights across the UK this summer. This is one of his better known works - in my view a classic of the electroswing genre, if it is possible for something to become a classic in a couple of years.

DJ Dodgy-style

What more can I say about this guy? I have written in praise of his live sets and soundcloud mixes that I am beginning to sound like one of his tasty scratches. At Boomtown his blend of hip-hop, drum n bass, swing and breaks made the Ballroom bounce. He has an ear for a banging mashup, as this little balkan-flavoured ditty demonstrates.

Madame Electrifie's Discotech

The gorgous and wonderful Madame Electrifie returns to EEE following a storming summer at festivals around the country, including her own tent at Boomtown. As is her wont she is bringing with her some of the finest exponents of the electroswing sound in the country. She throws one hell of a party, so room 2 should be just as banging as the main room. Here is a little sample of what she got up to at Boomtown Fair to whet your appetite.


One of the people providing the tunes in room 2 will be the ever-splendid DonJohnston. He too made a bit of a stir at Boomtown with his sidekick and vocalist Leo Wood. Recently they have released the 'September' EP on Freshly Squeezed. It sounds a little like this:

HEADLINERS: Big Gigantic

This duo are new to me, but a little light OnesTube browsing has lead me to believe that they put on one heck of a show. As the blurb for EEE puts it:

Consisting of live saxophone, drums and production, this pairing put on a show like none other! Known for their high-energy live performances, their shows combine the improvisational dynamics of jam bands and jazz with DJ-style production - bass tones, synthesizers. Be the first to see the delights of Big Gigantic in this country, they've already taken over America, now its time for world domination!!
Don't take my word for it though - check out their remix of that song about being a bit strapped for cash and make your own mind up.

So there you have it - just a few of the amazing artists who you can catch this Saturday (30th November 2013) at Brixton Electric, all for under £20 per person. Get your tickets sharpish before they all go! Insert finger here to do so.

Did I mention that it's my birthday? Good. I'll see you at the bar on Saturday. Mine's a Gin and Tonic, ta.


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Electric Swing Circus announce remix competition

As you may know, I am a big fan of the Electric Swing Circus. This is even more the case since I caught them live for the first time at Boomtown this summer. Not only did they blow the roof off the Ballroom tent (which was both packed and bouncing), but they are a really nice bunch. I spent much of the rest of the evening chatting with Chandra, the pianist and drummer, and exploring the rest of the festival.

Tom from the band contacted me recently to let me know about a remix competition they have launched. These competitions are always full of interest, and it is fascinating to see what happens when different producers and DJs get their hands on other peoples' music. The track they have put up for remixes is called 'Bella Belle' - the video is below - it is a bit of a stomper, so this could be a fun competition. The winner will be selected by the band and released on Ragtime Records with the next ESC EP, so it is well worth having a crack.

For full details, have a look at the website and have a read.

London Remixed Festival - 23rd November

Continental Drifts & Global Local the producers of the most rocking festival stages across the globe are back, joining forces once again with their long stand-ing musical partners Movimientos, Two for Joy (Magpie’s Nest), Wormfood, Blue Lotus, Kazum, White Mink, Electro Swing Club, Focus Organization , Freshly Squeezed Music for the return of LONDON REMIXED FESTIVAL 2013.

From the powerhouses behind Glastonbury's legendary Shangri-La stage, via rocking tents at Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Boomtown, Wilderness, Lovebox and Kendal Calling, they bring you the festival after-party of all after-parties.

Following on from last year's successful festival debut, LRF welcomes performances from the world’s best live remixing talent to the capital, showcasing a beautiful array of styles and cultures from around the world.

Expect remixed sounds from ghetto funk, drum and bass, reggae, anarchic hoedown, Latin breaks, brass band hip hop, electro-Afro music, Balkan beats, blues remix, electro swing, tropical bass, Ethiopian dub, DMC scratch masters + more. London Remixed Festival is a celebra-tion of the best emerging musical talent and genres.

This one ticket, multi venue city festival will offer the creativity, fun and madness, complete with buzzing atmosphere & music… but without the mud, rain or hassle of camping! Village Underground, the Bedroom Bar, Rich Mix, and new to the team Strongroom will host a live musical cocktail of Global London, remixed for the 21st Century.

The guys behind this include the Swingrower's manager Giulio Castronovo and festival legend Chris Tofu. Tofu ran the amazing Ballroom stage at Boomtown, so if this is half as good as that it should be a banger. The venues are some of my favourites in London, and with access to all 7 with one ticket, there is really no excuse for not attending. There will be plenty of electroswing, a smattering of electro-blues and a load of other wierd and wonderful mashup/remix genres being played - get along there and fill your ears with musical joy.

Here is a list of some of the performers you can see.

DJ Chris Tofu (White Mink)

DJ Kobayashi (Gypsy Hill)

Subculture Sounds

DJ Tim Whelan (Transglobal Underground)

DJ Ashley Slater

DJ Malaka (Rumpus)

DJ Eclecktic Mick (Electro Blues)

Electro Manouche (Live)

DJ Jon Bongly (Electro Swing Club)

Ghetto Funk All Stars

DJ Dolphin Boy (Bagpipe Rave)

Kaptin Is Dead

BASS6 (Beatbox Collective)

Dutty Moonshine's All Hallows' Eve Party, feat. JFB

I have been silent for some time now, owing to lots of stuff going on in my life, but there is lots of exciting news in the electro-swing world, so I thought it was about time I got on with updating the blog and spreading the world.

A couple of days ago Mike from Dutty Moonshine contacted me via VisageTome to ask me to plug a night that they have launched in Camden. It is a weekly affair, and is usually free entry. The night is called Big Beat Tuesdays and takes place at Purple Turtle every Tuesday. The music policy is quite specific - I quote the Dutties themselves:

"Music policy is good music basically.

Mostly anything goes but there'll be a lot of Ghetto Funk, Electro Swing, Big Beat, Breaks, Hip Hop with plenty of doses of Fidget, Trap, Glitch-Hop, DnB etc

Our banned list of music is;
- No commercial pap
- None of the hardcores (happy, gabba etc)
- None of the trances
- No garage for pussies (we like the rude kind)
- Nothing euphoric
Get the idea?"

They have had a couple of events so far, but Tuesday 29th sees them hosting a special Halloween event. In honour of that fact they have enlisted the services of scratch maestro JFB, 2 time world DMC champion. Here he is doing his thing on a track with Dutty Moonshine called 'Move Ya', which is exactly what he will do on Tuesday evening.

He will be ably supported by the likes of Jimi Needles, famous for his wide ranging bootlegs, a AV set from DVJ Madam, and, of course, the Moonshine boys themselves.

For all the details, to go to the Facebook page.

It just so happens that I have a work drinks that evening, so will probably be putting in an appearance - come and say 'what ho'.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Jack's Top Tracks - Boomtown Special

Boomtown is a pretty epic festival, and happens to take place just outside my home town of Winchester. This year, as there was last year, there is a huge electroswing presence, with several stages and tents hosting the cream of the world's antique beat producers, DJs, bands and whatnot. I was pretty disappointed not to make it last year, so am thrilled to be going along this time around. This edition of Jack's Top Tracks is to give everyone a little taster of what to expect, and to make those not attending jealous.

PS. I will give a cuddle/kiss to anyone who successfully identifies me as Jack the Cad while I am there! (See the About page for some clues!)

Dutty Moonshine
The ‘bad boys of electro-swing’, Dutty Moonshine are a DJ/producer duo with a reputation for hard drinking, dirty basslines and putting on a hell of a  show. Catch them at Madame Electrifie’s Laundry Service and The Ballroom. Here they are with the legendary Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer.

The brainchild of Mike Freear, Slamboree incorporates DJ/producers, live instrumentalists, circus performers and a healthy dollop  of  onstage  madness fired by balkan rave, gypsy swing, electro, drum’n’bass and  breaks. Catch them on the Town Centre Stage.

Parov Stelar Band
Parov was a pioneer of the genre, fusing jazz age samples with chuncky house beats before anyone had even heard of electroswing. He and his band have been touring hard over the last couple of years, including several sell-out UK shows. Town Centre Stage.

Hailing from Sicily, the Swingrowers are Pisk (DJ/producer), Loredanna (vocals) and Alessio (manouche guitar). Between them they have had audiences jumping, jiving and swinging on both sides of the Atlantic. See them in the Ballroom in Mayfair Avenue.

DJ Jon Bongly
Percussionist, DJ of many genres and all round top-bloke, Jon Bongly is a regular on the London electroswing scene, playing at a variety of events all over the capital. He will be perfroming in the Ballroom in Mayfair Avenue - a home away from home.

Molotov Jukebox
Fronted by Natalia Tena, star of Game of Thrones and the Harry Potter films, Molotov Jukebox play a brand of gypsy-infused dance music that they call gypstep. With bags of onstage energy and a habit of getting audiences all hot and bothered. Catch them onstage in the Ballroom.

DJ Dodgystyle
The master of mashup electroswing, DJ Dodgystyle has residencies at Exeter’s Cabaret Voltaire and London’s Electric Empire. He brings vintage samples and breakbeats, effortlessly blending, chopping, scratching and mixing with skill enough to make your feet itch. He is playing in The Ballroom.

Electric Swing Circus
The Electric Swing Circus are a Birmingham-based live electroswing band. They are also the brains behind Brum’s Hot Club de Swing nights and the hugely successful Swingamajig festival. They have just released their debut album (review on p.). Don’t miss them play in The Ballroom.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Album Review - The Electric Swing Circus - 'Electric Swing Circus'

Following months of trails and previews Electric Swing Circus have finally released their first album. 
The album has been hotly anticipated by all of us in the electroswing community, and many of us helped to fund the recording. So, what of the final results?

Certainly the response from their live audiences seems to have been positive. There are, however, those who have their doubts. One respected DJ and  founding father of the electroswing movement recently said to me that the ESC “don’t really swing”. I have had the album now for a couple of months and having listened to it a few times, and am not quite sure what he meant. True, on occasion they do drift towards rock, in particular in the track Bella Belle, but this is because of the vocals rather than the beat.

Speaking of the vocals, Laura’s powerful voice compliemnts the smoother tones of Eleanor’s perfectly, and despite the occasional hints of rock, generally they maintain the sort of smooth, sophisticated, sexy sound that one associates with the great jazz age singers. Meanwhile Tom’s guitar playing is both precise and really does swing. But the really joy, as with a lot of electroswing, comes from the basslines - provided by double-bass - and the brass - provided by well chosen samples.

Electroswing at its least interesting can be somewhat formulaic. ESC avoid this pitfall by taking the listener on a world tour. ‘Swingamajig’ feels faintly Carribean; ‘Valentine’, with lyrics in French and accordion is disinctly Parisian; ‘Melliflous’, which lives up to its name, and Harvey transport us to a gypsy carnival, meanwhile the drum’n’bass banger ‘Little Phatty’ (exclusivel first play on www.jackthecad.blogspot.com) drops us in the middle of the jungle, so to speak.

The album also features tracks that have been hard to miss over the last year or so. The Penniless Optimist was released earlier this year on the same label, Ragtime Records, with remixes from C@ in the H@ and Vassili Gemini. We have also been able to see an early version of ‘Everybody Wants to be a Cat’ on YouTube for quite some time. It must be said that the newer version is far more polished. On that note, as a part of the promotion of the new LP they shot and released a video for 'Valentine', which is rather excellent.

‘Minnie the Moocher’ is one of my favourite original swing tunes, specifically the version from ‘The Blues Brtothers’, performed by Cab Calloway, so when I first listened to ‘Minnie’ ESC’s take on that classic I was both intersted and nervous. I admit, also, that I was not instantly taken with it, but it probably represents the most daring and innovative of the tracks. As I have heard it more often it has gradually crept up on me and I have come to admire it. The choppy use of samples and the high tempo make it very reminiscant of the beats Mr. Chuckles produces for festival favourites The Correspondents. I have written about the evolution of swing over the years, and the phenomena of jazz and blues standards. With this track I feel that ESC are plaiyng a part in the history of swing, nodding in the direction of history while innovating like billy-oh at the same time.

Interestingly, there are a couple of quieter, guitar and voice tracks, featuring no electro whatsoever - it will be interesting to see if anyone remixes, ‘Harvey’ in particular.

Now,some electroswing tunes have the emphasis on the swing, others on the electro. Now, this maybe  because I love a thumping, fist-pumping, driving dance tune, but in my opinion the strongest tracks on this album are the ones where there is the electro takes the lead. ‘Little Phatty’ is infectious, The lazer-like noodling on ‘Ruby’ is hypnotic to the extent that when the pounding bass kicks all you can do is grin. ‘Big ‘Ol Bite’ is a swing-hop gem with a catchy  sample and some very pleasing scratching.

Perhaps this is what that DJ/promoter was talking about when he said that they don’t swing. Far be it from me to disagree with a man who has done more for the electroswing scene than almost anyone else, I do anyway. Swing may not be the Electric Swing Circus’s strongest suit, but they swing none the less. The fact is that their electro is better, but the standard of both is high, so it is rather like saying that one vintage Champagne is better than another - they are both champagne, so stop complaining and get drinking. Or dancing. Or both. Know what I mean?

If you do not know what I mean, which on reflection  is entirey possible, let me make myself clear: Download this album. They worked hard making this album innovative and varied, and it has paid off.

If you don't believe me, check out this here minimix.

‘Electric Swing Circus’ is out now on Ragtime Records

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Jack's Top Tracks - Electric Swing Circus EXCLUSIVE FIRST PLAY

As if hosting what looks to have been a barnstorming success  of a festival last weekend (I am talking about Swingamajig, in case you didn't realise!), The Electric Swing Circus have also just announced that they are releasing their album tomorrow. In a statement on Facebook they said.

We have a release date! Our debut album is out this Thursday May 9th at 18:00!!! We are very excited, and literally can't wait to show you guys.

They have already made one track from the album available for free download, which you can find here. However, as if that was not enough to whet your appetite, I am proud to announce that I can share another of their album tracks. For the (albeit brief) period of time between me publishing this post and the release of the album, this will be the only place on the interweb where you can find this song, or get a further taster of what the album has in store. So without further ado, I give you "Little Phatty" a growling jungle inspired, high tempo thumper.

Brand Spanking New

Electric Swing Circus - Little Phatty

I have been fortunate enough to hear the album already, and can say with some certainty that it delivers. There are tracks that will be familiar to readers of this blog, plus lots of great new material. I particularly like the variety - the album goes from the bouncing, joyousness of the early tracks through a reflective, almost melencholy middle through the intenseness of the track I have just shared, and back out the other side, closing with 'Summer Swing', which sounds a lot like something Skeewiff would have made - it has all the hallmarks of a festival anthem.

I have not yet had a chance to allow the album to fully sink in yet, but my initial feelings are that the guys can slap themselves on the back, and that those who funded them will not regret having done so.


Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Jack's Top Tracks - May 1 2013 - Swingamajig Special

Do you have enough electro-swing in your life? I didn't think so. Isn't it a good thing that I am here with a big bottle of the latest tunes to keep your musical glass brim full with bubbly, banging beats. This week sees the worlds' first ever electro-swing festival take place in Birmingham. In honour of that fact, this week's selection is from acts and artists performing there. Tickets are still available, so have a look at their website for more info.


The Correspondents - What's Happened to Soho

With the Correspondents headlining the whole beano, where else can I begin but with the astonishing Mr. Bruce and Mr. Chuckles. This is the video to their 2011 single 'What's Happened to Soho', which quickly became something of an anthem. If you don't know it, watch the video, learn the words and expect to shout them back at Mr. Bruce as he thrashes his way about the stage.


DJ Switch - High Definition episode 

Anthony Culverwell aka DJ Switch aka Tony 'Three Times' has taken turntablism to another level. He has won the world DMC championship, you guessed it, three times. He was the first DJ to play at the BBC proms, performing in Gabriel Prokofiev's 'Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra'This is a video I have posted before, in which  he cuts, chops and generally plays around with a classic from Mr. Scruff.


Dutty Moonshine feat. Charlie D

As far as I am concerned these Dutty Moonshine are the embodiment of the electroswing ethos - they have a genuine love of big, dirty electro which they blend with great samples and proper understanding of what makes a great set. That may be why they are headlining at Swingamajig. They have so much energy behind the decks. Made last summer, this track features MC Charlie D. Not your run of the mill MC, Charlie has recently been performing a show called 'The Stories of Shakey P', which looks at the works of Shakespeare through the medium of rap. He often MCs for Dutty Moonshine when they play out live, so fingers crossed you will get to hear him live. He also has a dashed excellent jacket.


C@ in the H@ - Sneakin' About

The cat with the big bass sound is back with this aptly titled track which features on the new 'Speakeasy Electro Swing' compilation. This track makes use of a sample that will be familiar to anyone who has listened to White Mink albums, with a healthy dose of wub. Wub wib wob. Ahem. Have a listen and you will understand.


Electric Swing Circus - Everybody Wants to be a Cat

Electro-swing owes a great deal to Disney for some great jazz-age tracks that everyone knows. Electro-swing also owes a great deal to the boys and girls from the ESC as they are the masterminds of Swingamajig. The brains behind the festival have also got a new album ready, which they will be presenting to the public this weekend, which is one of the most exciting things I can think of at the moment.

That's it, that's your lot. Bugger off now, there's a good chap/lassie - I have some important Gin and Tonics to drink in the sunshine. I won't be at Swingamajig, so if you are going and fancy penning a review for me, please get in touch!

Tally Ho!


Friday, 26 April 2013

Jack's Top Tracks - April 26 2013 - the best electroswing on the web

I have been a bit rubbish with this lately. Those of you following my Twitter and Facebook may have seen a lot of stuff about a restaurant - my new job is doing the marketing and such for them, and we had the press launch this week, hence the radio silence on the electro-swing front. It has been a bit frustrating, as there has been so much new music being released that I wanted to share with you all but couldn't. Anyway, I am back in the game now, with some more freshly baked electro-swing goodies for you all to try.


Swing Republic - High Hat

I am starting this week off with a video from Swing Republic. Their album 'Midnight Calling' came out back in November and I thought that this track was one of the better ones. This is the official video, built using old clips - personally I find this kind of video rather annoying, but I suppose they do have a pleasing surreality.


Dutty Moonshine - Takin' it back

What is this Dutty Moonshine of which you speak? The Dutty Moonshine boys are busy little electro-swing bods, famed for their ability to make thunderously banging tunes. With this tune, released for free download on Soundcloud, they have created what may be their best work to date. With spadefuls of energy, cheeky brass, exuberant synths and a bouncing rhythm, this is everything electro-swing should be.


Too Many Ts - 1992

Now, this may not be electro-swing as such, but these guys are big supporters of the scene and can often be seen doing their MC thing to swinging beats courtesy of DJ Savage Henry. This is their latest single, and it is the subject of a remix competition with Ghettofunk. This track was produced by that giant of the electro-swing world, the one and only Odjbox. To describe the beat as 'funk' is to miss a splendid opportunity to use the term 'funking heavy', while the rhymes are delivered with customary vim by Leon Rhymes and Standaloft. Make way for 'the UK's answer to the Beastie Boys'.


Skeewiff - Jizz Rag

This disgustingly titled toe-tapper comes from a new compilation from the guys behind several of North America's biggest electro-swing nights. Speakeasy Electro-Swing is 21 tunes from some of the best producers and artists on both sides of the pond, including C@ in the H@, Grant Lazlo, Incontrol and Defunk. It is available for free download over here. This track, as the name suggests, is a ragtime given a good, hard Wiffing.


C2C - Happy (Grant Lazlo's remix)

It may have come to your attention that the French DMC champions C2C have been running a remix competion for their track 'Happy'. They have had so many entries that they had to change the rules. Happily, there is an electro-swing act currently at the top of the heap - Smokey Joe and the Kid. This is Grant Lazlo's entry. I simply could not decide which version to put up, so in the end I left the decision of a pretty little thing I know. She made a good choice. This has all the joy of the original, and plenty of those sharp scratches that are a feature of C2C's style, with a healthy dose of Lazlo's customary oomphy house to rev it up a bit. Go and vote for your favourite here. NB. If you are really, really keen that one track win, remember you can vote once per day, so keep going back and supporting your favourite.

Well, that's it. Barring disasters (w*rk) I will be back with another selection of the finest electro-swing I can find. Also, don't forget to keep checking back, as I have a few more interesting posts lined up, and one project in the pipe-line that could be extremely exciting indeed.


Jack the Cad

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Lifestyle - Sharps Barbers - Windmill Street, London

This post heralds the arrival of a new section of the blog - a section about businesses and events associated with electro-swing, but not of it, namely clothing, drinks etc. This one deals with the bristly issue of barbering.

I was invited to the launch of Sharp's Barbers new flagship store in Windmill Street last week. As those who have met me know, I am extremely attached to my 'tache. However, I have never been professionally barbed (is that the right verb), so I was keen to find out more about these guys, who are keen to promote the idea that 'Maintenance Matters'.

They are trying to offer a service aimed directly at gentlemen, an alternative to feeling awkward in Tony&Guy or the 'what can I do you for' brigade and their electric clippers. The shop has a pleasing retro feel, with vintage barber's chairs and a table tennis table in the waiting area - gone are the days of leafing through ragged copies of Esquire magazine!

Although at the launch we were served proper drinks (the G&Ts I had may have played a small part in my leaving my laptop on the tube later that evening), they will be serving high quality, barista-style coffee and will even have a pop-up food event later next month.

"Enough!" I hear you cry. "Did you let them near your 'tache?" In the end, and to my great satisfaction, the barber and I decided that it didn't need any work, and that my nail-scissor trimming of the lip-hedge had been accurate enough, despite the shakiness of my hands in the mornings. That said, the barber in question (Andy, I think his name was), did give me a fantastic haircut - he really listened to what I asked for, and then gave me some tips as to how to achieve the same effect.

Some bounder getting a haircut

My one moment of concern was when he suggested the use of a hairdryer to 'add volume'. Quite apart from not being prepared to be someone who worries about whether their hair has volume (this is a musical term, no?), hairdryers are very noisy and I tend to be a bit fragile before about three in the afternoon.

Their price list is very reasonable. If you just want your facial topiary straightened out (perhaps you are due in front of the magistrate for pinching a policeman's helmet, or have to meet the mother of that heiress you met last weekend) it will cost you a mere £16.50 - pennies for avoiding ten days without the option or the withering glance of a protective parent. I strongly recommend trying them out.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

SwinGrowers take the Rebel Colonies by storm

For the last few weeks the SwinGrowers have been touring the USA and Canada. Despite lots of travelling and plenty of gigs, they took the time out to have a chat with me. I have been interested to see how long it would take for electro-swing to really take off in the States, especially given the rise of EDM (ptui!) and the debates it has provoked both in the States and in the wider dance music world. The reception these guys get should provide a good barometer or litmus test. [Jack the Cad - bringing you not one but two clich├ęd metaphors to choose from] 

For those who don't know them the SwinGrowers are an Italian outfit, consisting of DJ/producer Roberto Pisk, vocalist Loredana, and manouche guitarist Alessio. They hail from Sicily, but have been touring hard. Their album "Pronounced Swing Grow'ers" came out last year and was one of my top 5 releases of the year.

The tour has seen them drop in on Speakeasy Electro Swing Montreal, the longest running electro-swing night in North America, and other venues in San Francisco, New York and a host of other glamourous places.The first thing I wanted to know was how they have been getting on in the land which gave us swing music in the first place. "Everything is going great!" they tell me enthusiastically. They say they have been shown fantastic hospitality, great support from the promoters and a lot of pampering. Montreal has been the highlight so far: " There is a big electro-swing crowd there, and the whole audience was there to see the SwinGrowers. In any case, the cities where we have been have all been great because each one is different from the other and because they are all completely different from home. Here, everything is a surprise." 

North Americans, in the eyes of lots of Europeans, have taken a while to really appreciate dance music, so I wanted to know how audiences have reacted to their sound. Happily, it seems they have been well received. "We have had nothing but  positive reactions! At the end of every show people we get loads of compliments. There are parts in the show where people go crazy: when Pisk sings with the vocoder, or during Alessio's solos, or when Loredana gets the audience dancing." They must have done something right as their New York show sold out.

And how do the crowds across the water compare to those in the UK? Favourably, it would seem: "The U.S. audience is giving us lots of feedback. It is an interactive audience that receives and then gives it back. If we wanted to compare the U.S. and the UK crowds, we can say that they are very similar! Both warm and active. The only difference perhaps is that in the UK we are always inside of Europe, so we can say that we are "at home", whereas in the U.S. and CANADA we are on the other side of the ocean, so people are really excited to find the Italians on stage!"

We can see what they are talking about in this fantastically cool little video of Lore doing her thing in Tompkins Square Park in the NYC.

At the time of writing they have two gigs left in North America: Toronto on Friday 26th April and 27th April in Detroit. Having said that, they also promise further dates to be added, so keep an eye on their Facebook page if you are in that part of the world. 

One thing I forgot to ask them... when will you be back in the UK guys?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Preview - Swingamajig - Birmingham - 5th May 2013 - electro swing festival

The Electric Swing Circus may well be the hardest working act in the electro-swing scene. Not only have they recently recorded an album (funded by their fans), organised their own regular and hugely successful Birmingham-based club night "Hot Club de Swing" and set up a record label (at least, Tom is one half of Ragtime Records), but they have also organised what must be the world's first electro-swing festival - Swingamajig. The event will take place on 5th May, from 2pm. The whole thing will stagger to a close at 5am the following morning.

The line up reads like a who's who of electroswing. I mean, just look at this poster: 

The festival will be centered around Spotlight Bar in Digbeth. There will be two outdoor stages, and a further indoor 'speakeasy'. As one might expect, there will also be a variety of stalls and associated festival-stuff like circus performers and what-not. 

Other people involved are the guys from Nottingham's Jitterbug nights, and Madame Electrifie's Discotech, which might go some way to explaining the strength of the line-up. I understand that there are still tickets left. Go to www.swingamajig.co.uk for more details.

If you still haven't decided to go, have a look at this here video.

If nothing else, the event should provide electro-swing fans a great taste of what is to come at Boomtown this summer, and the Electric Swing Circus a great warm up gig for their appearance at Glastonbury.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Jack's Top Tracks - March 27 2013 - the best electroswing on the web

Fear not, readers! I am alive and well. I apologise for the lateness of this week's installment of Jack's Top Tracks. Been a bit preoccupied with a lot of other stuff, but I am back and ready to fill your ears with some lovely electroswing goodness.


Bakini - Company B-Boy (Starring the Andrews Sisters)

In the absence of any scantily clad young ladies I bring you visual delights of a different time. This was originally released back in 2003, but a chappy named Grant Bernard (what a great name), an electroswing DJ from Toronto who also goes by  The Great Grantsby, has made this very fine video for it. He has also made a few videos for Skeewiff. Subscribe to his YouTube channel here.


The After Hours Quintet - Red Dust (Swing n Bass Reprise)

In their own words the After Hours Quintet are 'all beardy blokes', so have only provided a Soundcloud clip rather than a video. The 5 piece are the house band at Speakeasy Leeds and, it turns out, live on the same road as the Jenova Collective, who I featured last week. This is a new tune from them, and I rather like it.


DJ Yoda - Cheesecake (Louis Armstrong)

DJ Yoda might be the most famous turntablist DJ in the world. I certainly can't do him justice in this short space. I had his How to cut and Paste Volumes 1-3 when I was at school. Here is a track sampling Louis Armstrong singing about cheesecake. Like that pudding, this tune is simple yet satisfying.


I Monster - The Blue Wrath

For some reason I feel like ending on a cheery note this week, and this track just popped into my head a few moments ago. I used to listen to it at work and it always made me feel quite chipper. I think it has something to do with the way that it ends - a bit like an old cockney pub song. Enjoy!

So, that's your lot for this week. I will be heading out to SwingStep @ Ginglik on Friday night. Jamie Berry is DJing and there are a few live acts on so it should be a good one. If you are going, come and say 'what ho'.

Happy Easter.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Photo Diary: The Swing Dig' with Elle and the Pocket Belles

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be invited along to see the delectable Elle and the Pocket Belles performing at "The Swing Dig", supported by DJ Fred Balkayou. Elle and the girls performed with their Big Band, and put on a typically polished performance. 

The venue, The Nursery, is in a railway arch near Southwark and was packed to bursting. The place is a sort of multi-purpose space and the whole event had a pleasingly home-made feel to it. In place of a cloakroom there was a clothes rail, while in the absence of an entry stamp the chap on the door drew a unicorn on the back of my hand. 

It was particularly nice to bump into DJ Shefitza, the lady behind SwingStep, an electro-swing night  in Shepherd's Bush.

Below are a few of the pictures from the event, some taken by me, and others by Neil Gordon, to whom I am very grateful. (NB - Neil's are the ones that look professional)

News: Get fit with electro-swing DJ Tallulah Goodtimes

There is, I am told, something called 'getting fit'. I have heard about this, and apparently it involves lots of sweat and Lycra, and frankly the whole thing sounds ghastly. One particular kind of 'exercise' that has been in vogue recently is 'Zumba', which from my research on You Tube, I gather to be a cross between aerobics and generic Latin dancing. There is great deal of arse-wiggling and hip-thrusting; the whole thing looks very undignified.

Happily there is a far more civilized alternative. Sophie Tott, aka DJ Tallulah Goodtimes, is a trained fitness instructor with a passion for electro-swing. It was only a matter of time before the two parts of her life coincided. Her innovation is 'SwingMeFit'. The concept is similar to that of Zumba, but instead of pseudo-latin beats Sophie treats the people who come to her class to the finest electro-swing tunes she can get her hands on.

Sophie (aka Tallulah Goodtimes) leads a class at Hazelstock Festival 2012
To find out more I spoke to one of the participants in Sophie's classes. Hana, Managing Director of a marketing company, has been attending SwingMeFit classes for around three months. A keen jogger (I don't pretend to know what this means), she was looking for an indoor alternative for the winter months. On the recommendation of a friend she gave the classes a go and has only missed a couple of classes since then.

“It is different and fun,” she tells me. “The music and the people are really uplifting. You can turn up in a foul mood, after a rubbish day at the office and 10 minutes in you feel 100 times better. The moves are quite straight forward, it is great cardio exercise and brilliant for toning. We laugh a lot too. I look forward to it all week.”

She enjoys the classes so much that she too has been spreading the word. At least two of her friends have come to a class on her recommendation, including someone who traveled all the way to Suffolk (which is where Sophie is based).

As well as helping Hana to keep in shape, the classes have introduced her to the joys of electro-swing. Although she had not heard the style before she is now downloading her favourite tunes at home. Sadly it doesn't look like she will be seen on a dance floor near you any time soon: “I'm trying to be good – get fit, lose some weight. If I went to a gig I'd HAVE to drink beer and get chips on the way home,” she says. “Old habits die hard!”

One thing is for sure, however. Swing Me Fit is a great success for Hana. “It has pizzazz in abundance, its non-judgmental and has a real feel-good factor,” she says.

As I have intimated above, I am something of a stranger to exercise, but if the sweat that poured off me at Parov Stellar's gig last year is any indication, SwingMeFit must be very effective. I understand that things like jogging and going to the gym can be something of a chore – the answer? Swingin' beats, of course.

If you want to find out about Sophie's classes, you can do so by visiting her website. At present the classes only take place in Suffolk, but it can only be a matter of time before other parts of the country catch on.

Opinion: Why swing dancers shouldn't hate electro-swing

As a part of my ongoing project to move this website forward and explore new ground, below is the first in a what I am thinking of as an 'irregular series of long-form articles'. It is slightly longer than you might be used to reading on the internet, but I think your 21st century attention-spans will just about to be able to stay with me to the end. Do let me know if you enjoyed the piece, or if you hated it. Do you agree with what I say or am I talking through my (extremely elegant) hat?

Back in November an American fellow called Morgan Day published a blog post about electro-swing on his site www.ickeroo.blogspot.com. The piece was called Why Swing Dancers Love and Hate Electro Swing. Morgan is a keen swing dancer in the traditional ‘Lindy Hop’ sense , and while he does have some good things to say about electro-swing, he also displays a lack of understanding about the nature of modern dance music, the purpose of electro-swing and a certain ignorance (not his fault) of the different sub-genres. As something of an evangelist for the genre, I feel it is my duty to write a rebuttal of Mr. Day’s piece.

Mr. Day’s first gripe is that “Most of it is actually kind of boring”. He goes on to write that “so many songs keep the same monotonous house beat throughout the entire song, with just some horn or vocal samples thrown in.” This is one of the most common fallacies levelled at electro-swing. Anyone who says this is mistaken – they are not listening to electro-swing. What they are listening to is called ‘House’.

Electro-swing in its current manifestation originated in continental Europe (France and Austria). In those countries house and techno dominate the dance music scene, so by default these were the first styles to make an impact. However, sub-genres such as swing-hop and swing ‘n’ bass quickly began to emerge, especially once the genre made its way across the English Channel and reached UK ears. Here in the UK the vintage scene has been growing for more than a decade (The Chap magazine, one of the driving forces, celebrated its 10th birthday in 2009, and Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer had been making ‘Chap-Hop’ for several years by the then).

Since then the diversity has increased markedly to include swing-step, ghetto swing and a host of other forms. In actual fact the shared roots of swing and hip-hop (and all subsequent hip-hop spin-offs like breakbeat, drum ‘n’ bass etc.) make them far better bedfellows than swing and house ever will be.

I fear that Mr. Day doesn't know that much about dance music (EDM, as the Yankees call it). If he did know a little more some of his other criticisms of electro-swing would fall by the wayside. He complains about “60-minute non-stop mixes” and asks “You know its OK to have breaks between songs, right?”

Wrong, Morgan, my old mucker. Those mixes are just that – mixes. They are used by DJs to showcase their skills to promoters who might book them, and to give people a chance to see what that DJ’s live sets are like. It is important to understand that a DJ set is an entity in itself – entire and whole and perfect, so to speak - like a film. To ask where the track breaks are is like asking why there is not 5 seconds of black between shots in a movie. A DJ set has a structure: a beginning, a middle and an end. Wikipedia (the fount of all wisdom) tells us “Night club attendees began to enjoy the abilities of DJs in how well they could keep the crowd dancing and the groove going.” It hardly takes a genius-level intellect to see that a few seconds of silence would severely disrupt the groove.

In an article for the dance music website www.littlewhiteearbuds.com Luis-Manuel Garcia has written a fascinating piece on the nature of the relationship between dance music and time. In that article he points out that in actual fact 60 minutes is quite a short set for a dance music DJ, and that “…with only an hour to work with DJs simply couldn't shape their sets into long arcs or undulating sine-waves of affect; instead, they felt pressured to deploy all of their most heavy-hitting, dance floor-filling, “killer” tracks all at once, without a break. Every DJ played as if it were peak-hour and, after a few of these in a row, the crowd was likely to get exhausted.”

An understanding of the way dance music works (and, dare I say it, a realisation that aint just plain ol’ swing any more) would help Mr. Day to avoid these mistakes and to enjoy electro-swing more. I don’t know which DJs he has been listening to, but if they were any good they will have had the build-drop/sine-wave structure that is described above. It is this super-structure (along with the increase in sub-genres) that provides the changes in tempo that he craves.

Another of Morgan’s gripes is that the dancing doesn't look that great. In so saying he is making the mistake of assuming that he is at a swing night. Of course, he is at an electro-swing night. The whole purpose of electro-swing is to transpose elements of swing to a modern dance music setting. NOT to move a swing class or social dance into a night club.

He also says that he finds that the music lacks the “breaks, stops and hits” that dancers (by which he means ‘swing dancers’, ‘Lindy Hoppers’ etc.) like to use to build their dance around. Again, he is approaching this from the wrong direction. To my ear, which is perhaps more attuned to the nuances of dance music, there are lots of little musical phrases that allow for fun dancing. Perhaps they are not in the places that Mr. Day would expect them to be, but they are there, I can assure him. In my opinion there are few who construct sets better than DJ Dodgy-Style, so here is one of his extremely fine mixes to illustrate my point.

The piece that Morgan has written is not deliberately unfair, I am just not quite sure what his point is. If it is ‘electro-swing is not swing, so I don’t like it as much’ then he is, of course, entitled to that view. I would suggest, however, that this is a strange stand to take. Electro-swing is intended to enhance, renew and reinvigorate swing - it is a celebration of the music. It is far more accessible to those for whom partner dancing might be intimidating, and, despite the synths, wobbles and big beats, most electro-swing nights stay true to the original ethos of the music – unpretentious, indiscriminate fun. What electro-swing is not intended for is for swing dancers to build routines around (at least, not often). Some of it may be suitable for Lindy, some may not. When it isn't head to the bar, go for a ciggy, or just lose yourself in the music and dance like no one is looking. Like this guy.

Mr. Day closes his article by acknowledging the role that electro-swing can play in introducing new people to the vintage sound, He expresses the hope that electro-swing continues to grow in popularity, and that the artists “continue to hone their craft with inspiration from jazz”. “Only time will tell,” he writes, “whether this style of music will remain with a niche audience or reach pop status.” My view is that the style is already here to stay, and that there is a wealth of great music that I think he would like – I can even make some recommendations for him, if he fancies.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Jack's Top Tracks - March 18 2013 - the best electroswing on the web

Another Monday. Already. I know. Hateful, what? If, like me, you need some swinging beats to help you through the rest of the week then you have come to the right place. As advertised, I have spent hours sifting through the whole of the interwebs to bring you the finest electro-swing on the planet. Tally Ho!


Broken Hearts DJs - Count Those Freaks

These ladies are well known to listeners of Jazz FM thanks to their show 'Peppermint Candy'. Their website describes them as 'turntable goddesses', which seems fair. They are Amber and Nisha, and though I am buggered if I know which is which, both of them appear to be a perfect fit for what seems to have become something of a shrine to sexy swing ladies. (It is very hard to avoid innuendos about swingers sometimes.) These ladies will be taking their show on the road this summer as they team up with White Mink at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival.


Dutty Moonshine - Ed Keene - Lindy Hop (Dutty Moonshine remix)

These guys are going from strength to strength - they are currently on tour witjh Defunk, are launching a new night in Oxford called 'Dutty Moonshine and friends', have recently announced a number of impressive festival performances, and to cap it all off have just made a remix of the Frohlocker classic 'Hipbrass'. The track below is slightly older, as the free download one is only a snippet on Soundcloud. Nonetheless, this d'n'b remix of Ed Keene's 'Lindy Hop' should get your feet moving while you wait for the download to complete (get the free track here)..


The Jenova Collective - Lady Gaga vs. Caro Emerald - Bad Romance (Jenova Collective Remix)

Ra Ra Ooh La La.

Ahem. Sorry about that. I just love how silly electro-swing can get. This might be a tad too poppy for my usual tastes, but nonetheless I include it here as it is undeniably fun.


Rory Hoy vs. Kitten and the Hip - Who's Gonna Pay for That?

Rory Hoy, independent producer of house, big beat and what have you, who, coincidentally also won that remix competition for Swing Republic's Crazy In Love last year, has teamed up with Ash and Scarlett from Kitten and the Hip to make this big bad banger. Horns, wobbles, bass... lovely stuff. Who's gonna pay for it? You will, if you've any sense.


Kid Kasino - Swingin' on Nuthin'

To round things off this week here comes some smooth yet growly ghetto swing from the legendary Kid Kasino. One of the things I like most about his work is the respect he shows for the tunes he samples. I get the feeling that he is a real swing/jazz/blues fan, which is why his remixes are so effective. He doesn't impose his style on the original , but manages to coax and persuade the sound so that it becomes his own. A great way to end the round up.

Whoops, there it is. Another week's worth of nutritious electroswing goodies for you. Directions for use: Take one aurally after meals. If symptoms persist, repeat dosage until a) feeling better or b) dead. If symptoms persist after this, you are a vampire and nothing we can do will help.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Jack's Top Tracks - March 11 2013 - the best electroswing on the web

Phew, what a day. First morning at a new job, so I have been ever so slightly stressed out today. Perhaps your Monday was tough too? If so, here is this week's selection of tasty electro-swing goodness to help you relax. If you don't need help relaxing (you lucky blighter), just enjoy the music. That's an order.


Elle and the Pocket Belles

That's right - this week you get 5 lovelies to listen to and gawp at. You there! Stop drooling.
I have selected this video for you this week because I was at a great night on Friday at which these girls were headlining. Performing with their Big Band they always put on a great show. A special nod to Li'l Kimberley, who tells me she is the cute one of the group. I, however, suspect that this is a front to lull unsuspecting and totally respectable gentlemen like myself into indiscretions and louche behaviour. You can keep up to date with their activities via their home page, Facebook or Twitter.


Kiril Dzajkovski - Jungle Shadow - Live at Exit 08

You thought I had gone soft didn't you? Well, this will put your mind at ease. This crazy little video is from a few years back - I came across it when researching an academic piece on the Balkan Beat scene last week. It sounds ever such a lot like Pendulum bought a trumpet. Get your listening apparatus around these five minutes of brassy Balkan bonkers-ness and I guarantee you happiness will result.


Pique-aboo - Spanky

Stockings! Bottoms! Spanking! Swing! I think I died and went to heaven. Pique-aboo are a Cape Town-based duo consisting of  Talya (vocals) and Helena (drums) - just came across these girls last week, but didn't have space for them in the selection, so here they are this week. What do you think of the song?


donJohnson and Leo Wood - I need swing (ft. Myles, Declan and Nicko B)

Who likes bass? Do you like bass? I like bass, so I like this. donJohnson, one of the guys behind the legendary Cabaret Voltaire (Exeter and Bournmouth), has made this wubby, dubsteppy, bluesy number and it quite simply rocks.


Defunk - I Put A Spell On You (ft. Sam Klass & Vindaloo)

I think Mr. Defunk must have put a spell on me. When was the last time he wasn't included in the selection? How is it that he keeps producing such stonking tracks? This one makes me feel like James Bond. Actually, I am far more suave, not to mention disreputable (I mean really, how come he still hasn't done the dirty with Moneypenny?) Have a listen - I defy you not to pump your fists with the bassy, choppy synths.

So that's it for another week. It has been really hard to choose between tracks this week, and there is a whole load of great music around at the moment. Keep your eyes on the Facebook and Twitter feeds the latest updates. As always if you are a DJ, producer or a band, do send me your latest tunes and you never know, I may just plug them here for you. Everyone else, do please share your thoughts on this week's selection this week. What did you like? What didn't you like? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Jack's Top Tracks - March 04 2013 - the best electroswing on the web

My word doesn't Monday come around quickly? And you know what Monday means. That's right, five more stompin', swingin' tunes for you to wiggle your bottom to as you cook your supper. Aren't you lucky?


Alice Francis - St James Ballroom

I like to start each of these round-ups with a video, so that you have something nice to look at on a Monday. It has to be said that Ms. Francis here is very nice to look at. More importantly, she makes some great electroswing. Hailing from Germany, this young lady and her band are extremely popular on the continent but are rarely seen here in the UK. I have chosen to include her in this week's selection - first, as she will be shortly releasing a single with the legendaty Grant Lazlo, and secondly because she will be supporting Caravan Palace at the Shepherds Bush Empire in May. Find out more about her and check out more of her music on her website.


Jamie Berry - Frankie Valli vs. De Contrabande - Eyes off You (Jamie Berry Mashup)

I had wanted to include this one in last week's selection, and was hoping I might be able to share the full track with you. Jamie kindly sent me the full version but I am too technologically incompetent to work out how to share it with you. Any road, I think this might be the funniest build and drop I have heard for ages. Enjoy.


Smokey Joe and the Kid - Trippin' (feat. Puppetmasterz)

The French swing-hoppers Smokey Joe and the Kid are releasing an EP in March. It will be called 'Nasty Tricks', and if their previous efforts and this bass-laden track is anything to go by it should be a banger!


DJ Twister - Ray Charles - Hit the Road Jack (DJ Twister edit)

I am seriously thinking about making this a kind of theme tune for the blog. The interweb is awash with remixes of this track, and most of them make me want to chew my own ears off, but this is an exception. Twister is a Polish DJ who describes himself as a Vinyl Cat on his Soundcloud profile. Sadly, his website is in Polish, and I can't make sense of it. Let's allow the track to do the talking, what?


Defunk - Retro Baby EP

This wee video was released a little while ago to promote the Canadian bass monster's EP release. It is a little mix of the tracks featured on the EP and gives a pretty good idea of the kind of retro-infused glitch-dubstep-wompathons that have made him a respected figure in the electro-swing scene. I include his work here as has just arrived in the UK for a tour. Get down to Barrio East in Shoreditch on Thursday 7th March to see him play out alongside Dutty Moonshine.

So, that's it for seven more days - hopefully that should satisfy your need for fresh swingin' beats. As always, if you think there is a tune I should include in the next edition of Jack's Top Tracks, get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.



Friday, 1 March 2013

Video - Electric Empire Escapade

I promised you a video, didn't I? Well, after much fiddling and many hours of editing, here it is. I hope you enjoy this little audio/visual montage of the evening that I and the rest of the Jack the Cad team had at Electric Empire Escapade. It was a fantastic night, with some banging performances and a great crowd - highlights for me were Dutty Moonshine's set upstairs in Madame Electrifie's Discotech, and catching The Killer Dillers with their live Sax - what a great addition to a DJ set that is. Anyway, here it is!

The whole thing was shot on mobile phones and edited using Windows Live Movie Maker, so I apologise for the shaky camerawork. I am sure it leaves a great deal to be desired, so if anyone has any comments about the technical/stylistic aspects please do pass them on!

It may interest you to know that the Electric Empire crew are back at their original home The Amersham Arms, tomorrow night (Saturday 2/3/13) with DJ sets from the mighty Slamboree, the king of vintage mash-up DJ Dodgy-Style and regular guest J-Twy, plus a performance from Kitten and the Hip.

You can also catch Dutty Moonshine next Thursday (7/3/13) alongside Canadian Ghetto Funk monster Defunk at a new night called 'Shake Ya Bootleg' at Shoreditch's Barrio East.

Finally, I would like to say 'sorry' to the guys who were standing behind me while I filmed The Correspondents' opening number - I hope you enjoyed the rest of the show without me blocking your view!

Don't forget that I will be posting another Jack's top Tracks on Monday, and some more exciting and interesting content over the next few weeks and months.


Jack and the team

Monday, 25 February 2013

Jack's Top Tracks - Feb 25 2013 - the best electroswing on the web

Welcome to the second edition of Jack's Top Tracks. Did you have a good weekend? The end of last week was the blog's first birthday, so watch out for my little celebratory video, coming soon. This will be the first of several multimedia, 21st century offerings that will be coming your way in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, let's get on with this week's selection, shall we?


Dimie Cat - La Voiture

Now, following last week's post featuring Kitten and the Hip,  some of you might be thinking that I just have a thing about girls in shorts, but I can assure you that I am selecting this video from French singer Dimie Cat for its happly little bassline, comedy brass section, and the general jollity of the whole thing. Oh, all right, for the shorts as well. This is a video of a track taken from her second album Zig Zag, which is out now and available to buy from her website.

Kinda Newish

C2C - TV intervew and demo

Staying in France, here is an interview and demo from C2C. Sadly it is in French. If you do happen to speak the lingo, it is rather in interesting little piece. If you don't I feel sure you will get the gist. I have featured C2C on this blog so many times, but I continue to find their work fascinating and intoxicating.


Extra Medium - 'Tamtam - Little Girl (Extra Medium remix)

Just came across this fella as I was on the train back to London. I know very little about him, save that he is based in Bournemouth and makes electro-swing. This track is his latest offering on Soundcloud. I love the piano, and the laid-back roll of the beats. The wobbles towards the end are pretty tasty too. Is it me, or does the singer (Tamtam) sound quite a lot like Adele?


Lamuzguele - Claque des Doigts

I have been meaning to mention these guys for ages, but never seem to get 'round to it. Yet another French outfit, these guys come from Grenoble, and are about to embark on a European Tour. This video has been released in order to promote said jaunt. They are spending quite some time here in the UK, so be sure to catch them. I think of them as France's answer to the Electric Swing Circus. There's even a fella with goggles on his topper.


Dr Cat - The Real Tuesday Weld - 'Me and Mr. Wolf' (Dr. Cat Remix

The Real Tuesday Weld were pioneers of the antique beat, and are famous across London's cabaret scene. This remix of their work by Dr. Cat is taken from the new compilation album brought to us by Green Queen Music, the label that he runs with DJ Pony [Montana]. The compilation also includes new material from Swingrowers, Kiwistar and favourites like Skeewiff, Odjbox and Grant Lazlo. The compilation is available to buy on 3rd March.

So, that wraps it up for another week. I am always interested in what you think of my selection. Get in touch! Likewise, if you are a producer or band, send me your stuff and I might include it next week.



Monday, 18 February 2013

Jack's Top Tracks - Feb 18 2013 - the best electroswing on the web

Welcome to the first ever edition of Jack's Top Tracks. The concept is pretty straight forward: each Monday I will be posting 5 tracks. They may be new releases, or old tracks I have only just come across, or tracks that have liked for ages and have just rediscovered.

This week I am bringing just such a selection, with some old, some new, and a favourite from the past.


Kitten and the Hip - Shut up and Dance

The much anticipated new single from Brighton-based duo Kitten and the Hip (aka Scarlett Quinn and Ashley Slater) was released last week, and its a real earworm. It burrowed into my subconscious and I have been singing it in my head ever since. The release is accompanied by the video below. I may have mentioned in the past that Scarlett is rather easy on the eye too...

The track is available to purchase from beatport, along with remixes by Tavo, James Copeland, The Hip and  Dom Meakins. Kitten and the Hip are performing at Electric Empire on 2nd March at the Amersham Arms, New Cross.


Jem Stone - The Jem Stone Express

Another of last week's new releases was from Jem Stone, one of the creative forces behind Finger Lickin' Records. You might have come across his track 'The Gasworks Gang', which was featured on the compilation 'White Mink: Black Cotton Vol.2. This tune is laid back, funky and chilled out - a great one to chase away those Monday afternoon blues.

The track is available for free download from Soundcloud.All aboard the Jem Stone Express!


Ecklecticmick - Boogie Children

Amid the hype surrounding the recent Electric Empire Escapade in Peckham, you could be forgiven for having failed to notice that the same weekend saw the launch of White Mink's latest London event, an electro-blues night at the Bedroom Bar in Shoreditch. Ecklecticmick, one of the most prolific producers I can think of, is, in my opinion, also the best producer of this sub-genre. This stomping track has all the elements that make him so - haunting vocals, great breaks and exquisitely chosen samples. Hats of to Mick!

Boogie Children is available to purchase on Freshly Squeezed's compilation 'Electro Blues Vol. 1'.


Bobby C Sound TV - Jelly Belly

Thanks must go to my buddy Actuarius (he designed my natty new logo for me) for pointing me towards this chap. It seems Bobby C Sound TV is rather highly respected (Krafty Kuts called him 'the master of funky breaks), and has shared the stage with some big names in the States. He has made a bit of ghetto funk, and this is one of the tracks from the imaginatively named 'Ghetto Funk EP', released a year or so ago. What do you think?

This track, along with the rest of the EP (worth checking out), is available to download from Soundcloud.


K-Theory & Frost Raven - 18th Century Gangsta

I just love this track, but had not heard it for months and months until it dropped into a long mix I was listening to on my phone. I can't remember who had made the mix - either Incontrol or DJ Dodgy-Style. Whoever it was - thank you for reminding me of it. I had to scroll through nearly 400 'likes' on Soundcloud before I found it. Enjoy!

You can buy this track from here.

And that concludes the first ever installment of Jack's Top Tracks. I hope you enjoyed the music - if you did, or if you didn't, let me know by commenting below or contacting me via Facebook or Twitter!

If you are a DJ/Producer/Band and you have a track you would like me to consider for this part of the blog, please send an email to georgecmbrowne@gmail.com.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Them's fightin' words - Dutty Moonshine and The McMash Clan square off.

With just a few days to go before their DJ battle at Electric Empire, Dutty Moonshine and The McMash Clan have been engaged in a war of words on Twitter and Facebook. Like heavyweight boxers exchanging verbal barbs at the weigh-in, the boys have been taunting each other over social media. The slanging match, which I believe to be good natured, began on Thursday 31st, when the DM boys made the following update on their Facebook account: 

Dutty Moonshine · 3,007 like this
January 31 at 2:45pm · 
Oh no Furley's setting up in the studio while Mike gets distracted by the internet, I think "shudder" he wants to practise for the battle with The McMash Clan

A short while later this was followed up by the Tweet exchange below, which then prompted the conversation you will see below. Jamko and DJ Switch stuck an oar in and gave the shit a stir too. 

As I say, I think this is good natured banter, with a smattering of gamesmanship thrown in. Are the McMash boys really that confident? Are Dutty Moonshine that scared? We shall see on Friday night. If you want to find out for yourself, I understand that there are a very limited number of tickets available for the event, which will take place this Friday at the Bussey Building in Peckham. Get there early is my advice. I don't think the battle is due to take place until later on in the evening (early in the morning), but the line-up includes C@ in the H@, Too Mant Ts, DJ Dodgy-Style, Odjbox and the mighty Correspondents, who will be launching their new single 'Well Measured Vice', so waiting for the battle shouldn't be too much of a hardship.

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  • DJ Switch ‏@djswitchbeatz31 Jan

  • The video above shows you what to expect from Mr. Bruce and Chuckles... crazy MC skillls, banging beats and one hell of a show. See you on Friday boys and girls. TTFN Jack