Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Jack the Cad's Halloween

The Christmas Lights are up on Oxford St. and that can only mean one thing - it's Halloween! It's one of the most popular nights of the year for a party, and whether you are heading out on the town or throwing a house party, I have all the tunes and information you are going to need to make sure that your weekend is a real scream (see what I did there?).

First, let's cover the parties you can go to.

Top of the list must be Carousel. Their now legendary themed events always have a mystical, magical atmosphere, though glitter and unicorns are more the order things than werewolves and fake blood. To give things a darker feel for Halloween this event is subtitled "The Rocky Horror Ride". The other important thing to note is that this is not so much a club night as a mini urban festival, running from Friday October 31st until the small hours of Sunday 2nd November. In addition to the DJ skills of Birmingham's foremost swinging scratch perverts Mr Switch (who has just bagged his 4th, yes 4th, world DMC title) and C@ in the H@, you can catch the mash-up monster who goes by the name of DJ Jimi Needles and the sounds of Elle and the Pocketbelles collaborator Mista Trick, and Dirty Honkers.  Carousel are famed for the immerse nature of their parties so expect plenty of bizarre perfomers, burlesque and circus acts. The dress code is, unsurprisingly, Rocky Horror, so get out your suspender belt and stockings, lever yourself into your corsets and get ready for a night of twisted transexual titillation and, naturally, great tunes. Tickets are available here: www.carouselparty.co.uk

Next up is The Feast of the Dead at Passing Clouds Dalston on 31st October. Running from 7pm, through the witching hour and on until 4am, they promise a night of spooky goings on, walkabout theatricals, circus performers, glitter and, of course, a tasty helping of swing and gypsy beats. The UK's premier electro-swing live act  Electric Swing Circus top the bill, with support from The Old Hat Jazz Band, Big Swing Soundsystem and DJ Sacha Dieu. I especially recommend catching Big Swing Soundsystem, who feature Kaptin is Dead, music programmer at Boomtown Fair. It's also worth noting that Sacha Dieu is responsible for one of the most played Vintage Remix sets on Soundcloud, with 223740 plays at the time of writing. The dresscode, somewhat confusingly is, "Tim Burton designs a pagan Samhain production of Jack the Ripper with a touch of Day of the Dead."
223740 playsI am sending one of my minions along with camera and notebook, so make sure you come back and check out her review after the event - you may even see your phizzog in these august pages, if she deems your costume suitably horrific. Tickets are available on the door but get down early to avoid the queues.

If you don't happen to live in Londontown, the pick of the events is undoubtedly Madame Electrifie's Bizarre Safari, taking place at the Charles Bradlaugh in Northampton on Saturday 1st. Madame Electrifie is one of my favourite people in the whole Vintage Remix world, and she throws great parties. This one's fancy dress theme is, obviously, Safari/Animals, and there will be plenty of animal/jungle themed tracks. In addition to the eponymous Electrifie you can catch the UKs hottest hip-hop duo Too Many Ts who are currently touring their new record and have supported the likes of Wu Tang Clan and De La Soul (yup, really) - highly recommended. There will also be a DJ set from Back to Basskicks resident F-block who will be rocking things with his own blend of breakbeat, reggae, swing, drum ‘n’ bass and hip-hop. If you feel inspired by the flow of Too Many T's you can take them on at their own game by signing up for Hip-Hop Karaoke.

If, on the other hand, you feel like throwing a house party, Jack the Cad is here to help. Often such shindigs end up with the very worst of the house's music collection on the soundsystem, or with a battle between fans of different genres changing the track halfway through. In an act of selfless public service I have curated some of the best Halloween themed mixes and tunes so that you can concentrate on the important business of drinking and generally being stupid. Stick them on the speakers and watch the party unfold. Happily two of the chaps playing at Carousel have produced promo mixes, so you can recreate the atmosphere in the comfort of your own home. Let's start with them:

C@ in the H@ - Rocky Horror Ride

This mix has a great tracklist, staring strong with DJ Shaddow's legendary tune 'Organ Donor' then working its way through some Rock Horror samples and some great Vintage Remix tracks. Slightly less bassy than the C@'s  usual offerings, but chock full of humour, horror and hedonistic beats - an early evening party starter.

Mista Trick - Rocky Horror Promo Mix

Mista Trick takes us on a rocky ride through some of the best swing'n'bass known to man with this 45 minute, high-tempo mix. There's plenty of supernatural flavours in there - a good one for when things start to warm up a bit.

Slamboree - Arcadia Firestarter Mix

Slamboree always defy definititon - their own tag 'Pyro Circus Rave Massive' seems to do a pretty good job, and they have called this mix's genre 'Raveogeddon'. This is a recording of their set on the now legendary Arcadia stage at this year's Boomtown Fair. You may think that a festival set is not really appropriate for Halloween, but when you take into consideration that Arcadia is a giant robotic metal fire-breathing spider it makes more sense. My speaker is currently struggling a bit with the bass, so keep this one for the small hours when it will cause the neighbours most grief.

Also worth mentioning is this excellent new EP from Kid Kasino. 'Trick or Treat' is a spooky four track offering produced with Kid's typical verve. The standout track is undoubtedly "I Wanna be Evil" which has such a great groove that I have listened to it at least four times since starting this paragraph and keep getting distracted by dancing away from my keyboard.

If this ain't enough for you, have a look at this post from a few weeks ago: 10 Soundcloud Mixes you should download RIGHT NOW

Monday, 13 October 2014

Swingamajig 2014 - belated video!

I have just been having a bit of a digital clear-out, sifting through all those files which seem to be clogging up my difference engine (it is practically steam-driven and makes very worrying noises when starting up) and have just come across this video which I made of my time at Swingamajig. I must have made the video and then forgotten to post it. Better late than never, I present it to you now.

In case you are not in the know, Swingamajig is one of the only festivals in the world dedicated to the Vintage Remix sound. Organised by Ragtime Records and the Electric Swing Circus, the Birmingham-based one-day festival has completed its second year and goes from strength to strength.

The line-up featured some of the biggest names in the scene, plus a wide variety of side-shows, swing dance classes and demonstrations, and although my memories are a little hazy, I had a thoroughly excellent time. It was all a bit of a marathon, as I had traveled up from London on the Saturday morning, partied all afternoon and evening, right through to dawn before catching the first train back to London. If you are reading this Mr. Branson, I apologise for dribbling on your train's seats.

Anyway, enough of my waffling - here's the video.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

10 Soundcloud Mixes You Should Download RIGHT NOW

Vintage Remix is dance music, and is intended to be enjoyed to in a nightclub/festival setting. Somehow hearing individual tracks in a playlist is unsatisfying. The word 'remix' is the important one here. In these days of big-name DJs being paid huge sums for soulless (pre-recorded?) sets, it is nice that VR  has a strong connection with the traditions skills of the DJ. Don't misunderstand - I'm not about to start banging on about CDJs vs vinyl - I'm going to sing the praises of the download-and-keep DJ mix.

The most treasured music in my collection, the first tracks copied onto a new phone/tablet, are the many hour-long mixes that can be found on the Soundcloud pages of most Vintage Remix artists. The DJ mix is more than simply a bunch of songs hastily jammed together with no thought. Although the main aim of the mix is to showcase the DJ's abilities to potential clients, the amount of care and attention that goes into them makes them something akin to a concept album. This is how Madame Electrifie puts it: 

I like to make sure a mix is going to be something a bit special when I release them, rather than just recording everything I do.  I like each mix I put out to be a bit of an occasion. I’ve tended to work in series, working around a theme for each series I do.For instance the Carnival of Chaos series I did was based around an event I was doing. I did three very contrasting mixes, one hip hop orientated, one house, and one breaks/dnb- I wanted to do something that represented the range of styles I played and how many genres the whole electro swing scene had touched. It was actually really hard to create three completely different sets in one go – but for me these three mixes are a good snapshot of the whole scene at that moment in time.

Generally I’ll start with a theme idea and go from there, for me that’s the whole challenge. Anyone can bang out their top 10 tracks at a standard tempo, my mixes are where I really push myself. For my Glitching the Blues mix, I spent weeks hunting out suitable tracks and the whole thing was a right bitch to put together if I’m honest. I wouldn’t try some of those mixes live, they required some serious queue point planning, but again, for me that’s where the challenge is. Just beat matching is pretty basic!

I generally always have 3 or 4 mixes in planning, so when I go record shopping I find things that fit into the different series, The After Hours Series, The Funky Shit Series, etc. I’ll normally also create artwork or do a photoshoot for each series too, (I work in photography and design by day) so they become complete little projects. Like an album or EP I guess, it’s a really nice way of approaching them.

The good thing about working this way is that I can adapt loads when I’m playing live, and bring the tricks I discovered into my performances. It makes me be on top of my game technically, and means I’m always pushing myself. I’m a bit of a geek/show off when it comes to nailing a complicated mix, so without this approach I might not be so cocky!

So it was with great sadness that I learned that Soundcloud have started to enforce copyright law and take down any track the record companies request. Combined with the fact that they will now be playing adverts, I fear for the safety of these works of art.

I have selected some of my favourite mixes to show you here, but do check out the actual pages of the artists and check out their other mixes. A great mix has a structure, carefully selected tunes, might have a few judicious mash-ups and hand-picked samples - these are my favourites. Take my advice - go and download all of these before its too late.

1. Madame Electrifie - The Bearcat Mixes Vol.2 "Glitching the Blues"

Sadly Mme. E has already fallen foul of the Soundcloud fun-police, and has asked me not to link to her Soundcloud directly. You can stream all of her mixes from her own website but if you sneak in quietly, you can still download it from her SC page... This one is in for the excellent track selection - that Pretty Lights 'Jolene' remix and the preceding Woohoo Review tune - it's a great 'just got in from the club and my feet hurt' mix.

2. DJ Dodgy-Style - The Electric Empire Promo Mix

This one is in simply for the spectacular Renegade Master mash. But even without that, it is upbeat, fast-paced and great for when you need to get some where quickly: get the headphones in and get walking. Don't listen to it on the bus or the train as people will think you are odd - I find it impossible to listen to without sniggering at the sheer brilliance of Dodgy-Style's juxtapositons. "Good mood in a box" says one of the comments on Soundcloud, and that's about right. There are lots of other mixes up on his page, if I could, I'd include them all here. get over there and fill your boots!

3. Grant Lazlo @ Fusion Festival 2014

We don't get to see Mr. Lazlo perform in the UK very often, but he is the man behind some of the best Vintage Remix tracks out there (check out his remix of Swing Republic's High Hat, available on the Freshly Sqeezed Soundcloud page) so it is great that he chose to upload this lengthy set. Filled with rolling, driving basslines it is great to listen to in the kitchen. Just don't start dancing about with a knife in your hand.

4. DJ Eliazar - Vintage Bliss and Bass

This mix clocks in at nearly 2 hours, and from the opening track, All in Together by Chap-hop superstar Professor Elemental, it does exactly what it says on the tin - blissful, sunny beats ideally suited to lazy Sunday mornings.

5. Mortisville - Highly Swung series

I was lucky enough to spend lots of time hanging out with Mr. Mortisville at Boomtown 2013 - I helped him choose his outfit for the evening (gold lamé leggings, wife-beater, spangly visor), he shared his supplies of beer and rizlas with me. It was special. A proponent of the deeper, techier side of electroswing, he has created a series of three mixes which have a kind of mesmeric quality to them. This is the third and final mix of the set, but do make sure you check out all the other stuff on his Soundcloud.

6. C@ in the H@ - Box of Tricks

Like all felines, the C@ in the H@ loves a good scratch. To prevent him from damaging the furniture someone clever gave  him some decks and he's never looked back. This mix has been up for a while now, and though it is only 20 minutes long it delivers a healthy dose of big tunes. This is another one to make you look like an idiot on the bus. Repeat after me: "I must not play the air-turntables in public. I must not play the air-turntables in public... 

7. Don Mescal - Reggae got Swing

I'm not often lost for words, but I find it really quite hard to put into words just how fantastic this mix is. In many ways it exemplifies what I was on about before, in that the set has a specific theme, and that a great deal of crate-digging, thought and care has gone into the selection and mixing. It is an exploration of the links, similarities and differences between reggae/dub and swing. Taking you from low-tempo skank of Prince Fatty right through to the ska-madness of Gentlemen's Dub Club. Beats, Brass and Bass - what more can you ask for?

8  Dutty Moonshine - Kicked out of the Club

I expect you were thinking "Where's the Dutty?" So was I. Answer: here it is. This mix, in typical Dutty style, is a big middle finger to certain players in the Vintage Remix world who suggested that the DM chaps were moving away from the sound and into the mainstream. Keen to refute that suggestion, they produced this. As you might expect, it is full to bursting with big tunes, plus the Spice Girls.

9. Captain Flatcap - Squelchy Silliness Minimix

Some of you may have read the interview I did with the Captain Flatcap chaps a little while ago. What you may not realise is that the Captain hosts a weekly radio show called That Swing Thing on Kane FM, and that as well as being a flutist, guitarist and producer, he is also a pretty sick DJ. He tends to favour the ghetto-funkier end of the spectrum and definitely loves a good wobble and squelch.

10. The McMash Clan - Filthy Swingers Set

The last selection in this little run down is from the McMash Clan. These are the guys behind the enormous Swing Break ft. Kate Mullins from the Puppini Sisters, and the rest of this is in the same vein. Not only is is an hour of massive tunes,, but since McMash are not really a Vintage Remix act, it contains a huge variety of music and some really interesting selections and some cool takes on some of the classics of the genre.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

GUEST BLOG - DJR's Boomtown Report

Owing to my pal Benjamin deciding to get married on the same weekend as Boomtown  Fair I was unable to attend this year's jamboree. This was a sad state of affairs, since Boomtown is just a few miles from the my family's country seat, has the best Vintage Remix line-up of any festival in the world, and is one heck of a party. Fear not, dear reader - Ben has been chastised.

BUT, I would never leave you wondering what went down at an event like Boomtown, so I went on the hunt for a correspondent to give you all the lowdown.. Happily, DJR of the Free Breaks Blog stepped up to the plate. Without further wittering from me, here is what he had to say about the weekend.

Hey hey swingers and swingettes! Jack The Cad couldn’t make this year’s Boomtown festival and since I wouldn’t shut up about it he asked me to write a report of some of the goings on. In case you’re wondering who I am, some of you will know me from my own ‘Electro Swing Roundup’ over at Free Breaks Blog. For those who don’t, I’m DJR and I try to keep an eye on all the latest music in the scene. If you’re a DJ looking for fresh music, or just keen to hear the latest tunes check out my posts on the 1st of the month (or thereabouts!)at http://freebreaksblog.com/category/music/electro-swing/.

So. What was Boomtown 2014 like then? Well it’s a hard festival to sum up. They focus less on having lots of superstar names in favour of having an incredible strength and depth with every single small and medium size act they can find from a diverse range of styles, including swing, reggae, roots, ska, punk, and pretty much the whole spectrum of dance music (apart from mainstream house), and they seem to find a home for every single band in the country that has lots of members. Brass section? String section? 'Orchestra', 'Collective' or 'Ensemble' in your name? Yep you’re in. They also have a legendary attention to detail which means that the site looks incredible. In truth I can’t even start to describe it, so best watch this instead:

From a swing point of view they always have an incredible line-up, in no small part due to Town's Sherrif Kaptin (solo DJ and part of the Big Swing Soundsystem) who ensured that they continued to have the hottest line-up of vintage artists of any event in the country. Last year’s festival was triumphantly completed by Pavor Stelar, so this year they had to pull all their strings and ensure that they could match the line-up again; and match it they did, recruiting amongst (many) others Dunklebunt and the Secret Swing Society, Tape Five, Algorhythmik, and pretty much all the stars of the UK based swing scene. Here’s the promo mix they put together in advance:

I’d like to say that I managed to see all of these, however Boomtown is one of those festivals where due to the sheer number of stages (over 70 fully programmed stages for four days) you seem to spend lots of time missing everything you planned to see and discovering other incredible stuff instead. Therefore I’ll just talk about what I saw.

The main stage for vintage mayhem at Boom is the Ballroom stage which once again looked incredible. Over the weekend it was graced by a veritable who’s who of the swing world, plus circus performers, (if you’ve never seen them search 'hoop hooligans' online!) , burlesque beauties, and all sorts of vintage reprobates.

In musical terms my highlights were: 

Elle & the Pocket Belles who seem to be going from strength to strength since adding Mistatrick to their lineup. This means that they can choose between doing a classic swing style show, and doing a electro swing show where Mistatrick adds beats and bass. This is what they played in the Ballroom and it went down really well on the Saturday afternoon. Sadly there's no footage from their Boomtown performances, but here's a video of them shot at Glasto this year.

The Big Swing Soundsystem rocked it late on Saturday night, giving Kaptin a chance to relax from festival duties while Hypeman Sage did what it says on the tin and hyped the crowd. 
The Electric Swing Circus always go down a storm and this they did again, particularly with a great set in the town square early on Saturday, including The C@ In The H@ on FX and scratching duties.

Other acts worth mentioning are the Chicken Brothers who seem very at home on the big stage now; Chris Tofu who is always in his element at any festival both performing front of house, and backstage controlling the multitude of bands and ensuring that the show went on; Smokey Joe & The Kidd with their great live and VJ show; and Madame Electrife who followed last year's Chinese Laundry with a new General Store Venue in the Wild West district.

The weather did make the festival. It was a little challenging at times, particularly on the Friday night when it did turn nasty, creating a lot of mud to contend with (on a very hilly site!) however, apart from one small glitch, the Ballroom, being indoors was a brilliant respite from the elements.

Alex’s Last Gigs With Dutty Moonshine

For myself and many other swing fans, one of the most important, 'can’t miss' moments of the weekend was Alex Furley's last gig with Dutty Moonshine.

As was reported in this blog (check here if you missed it: http://jackthecad.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/alex-leaves-dutty-moonshine.html ), Alex has decided to move on from Dutty Moonshine and focus on other projects both within music and his career. So how would they sign off with their time with him? Well to start with, newest member of the group Danny managed to get himself locked out of the site after returning after the 10pm curfew when everyone had to be inside the site. This was sad for him, but maybe appropriate for Mike and Furley that they signed him off as they started – together.

So with a packed Ballroom stage at 3am on Friday night, Mike and Furley tore into their customary swing & bass set for about 20minutes before Mike handed over the controls fully to Alex and let him do what he wanted. I think even Alex wasn’t quite sure what he was going to play, because he tore into a set of big bass heavy hip-hop classics, mixed unpredictably and at a furious pace. There was no swing in sight, however Furley clearly enjoyed having the freedom and it went down really well with an excitable crowd. Then finally to sign it off, Mike called Furley to the front of the stage, and well, this happened...

Athough this was treated as Alex’s proper last gig, in actual fact it was the day after when, all three of them this time(!), played a much lower key set at Charlie Brown's across from the Ballroom (a spectacular speakeasy populated with gangsters and molls in brilliantly rendered style).

The post-script to this farewell is that following on from this gig, I actually managed to catch Dutty Moonshine play a week later in Birmingham. This time they had a much smaller crowd, however Danny and Mike will clearly have fun together because they showed they are still masters at rocking any venue big or small. Danny’s clearly enjoyed the ride so far although he is going to have some work keeping up with Mike’s infamous partying! Still they did get to be put on the side of a building.

While I’ve got the chance, there’s one more slot I can talk about. 24 hours after the Dutties' big sendoff, I had the privilege of playing the Ballroom stage to close the Saturday night lineup. Following on from the ever reliable C@ In The H@ who had the crowd rocking to his bass heavy shenanigans, I had a great set, enjoying the chance to play quite heavy for once and dropping in plenty of bangers transitioning from hip-hop tempo right up to drum & bass including a healthy dose of swing, soul & funk and rock & roll. If you fancy checking it out have a listen to this:

That’s it. I hope I’ve whetted your appetite, and I’ve barely even mentioned everything else that went on... the best reggae stage in the country, the mighty Arcadia (if you don’t know – check Youtube) and so many other stages also featuring the cream of their particular scene. In fact, don’t bother listening to me just see me on the dance-floor next year!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Alex leaves Dutty Moonshine!

Yesterday Alex from Dutty Moonshine contacted me to say that the boys would be making a big announcement. He was looking for a platform, and I was happy to provide one for him. Here is what he has to say:

"So as you may or may not already know, fairly soon I will no longer be a member of Dutty Moonshine. My last time performing will be at Boomtown Fair on August 8th. This hasn’t come out of the blue at all and everybody involved is super cool and supportive of the decision. The following paragraphs explain why I’m leaving, why I’ve had such an unforgettable experience and why the future for Dutty Moonshine is brighter than ever.

It’s impossible for me to summarise my whole experience here and I also don’t want to turn this into a memoir. Myself and Mike started the act properly in February of 2010 in Reading and we’re basically just seeing what the hell would happen. The Electroswing scene was just kicking off properly and we got swept onto the bandwagon pretty early on I’d say. I was essentially a bit of a newbie to it all (big up to Bar Iguana in Reading where it all started!). Very quickly we got sets here and there and soon began to gigging over the country, because we were working a dirty electroswing sound that was just beginning to flourish. We actually played Glastonbury that very year which was completely insane to me. My eyes were opened so to speak. I started producing music too which has been a journey in itself and I’m a lot better now than when I started! And then each year intensified progressively - We played internationally, played bigger shows, supported bigger artists and made a good name for ourselves. For some reason it worked out pretty well. Looking at the gigs we’re playing now and the following we’ve built makes me feel super duper proud. In 2010 I honestly couldn’t have imagined playing some of the nights that we have. And 4 years later - here we are.

The whole experience has made me a more confident person and has shaped who I am today. It’s been an adventure from start to finish. And honestly the sheer volume of hilarious memories brings the biggest smile to my face. I’ve laughed so hard with Mike on the road at points I probably thought I was gonna poop myself and that’s only the stuff i can remember. We’ve been in some outrageous situations before and every now and then another memory will come back to me and I’ll have to spit out my tea or something. I gotta give an official thanks here to Mike. For being a fantastic friend and work colleague. It’s been a true pleasure working with such a dynamic, intelligent and hilarious person. We’ve achieved so much in the last few years together. It’s been fucking crazy! Dutty Moonshine is changing but we’ve got equally mad times ahead still. Mike, 100% respect to you dude and genuine thanks. *brohug*

So the actual reason I’m leaving the boy band is to do with a mixture of things. There’s not one single motivation, more just it’s definitely-the-right-time kind of feeling. I’m now working a graphic design job to save up money - I’m planning on moving to America in 2015. I wanna take a new road in life and sometimes wrapping something up completely is the best way to begin something else. So big movements in the pipeline for me hopefully. I also feel like I’ve done what I can with the act. Near the end of last year I was feeling slightly fidgety and felt like I need to do something else - whether that meant leaving or not I wasn’t sure. I think my steam ran out a bit and that’s not fair or productive for the act itself. By the beginning of 2014 I knew what I wanted and sadly that involved moving on from DM.
However I will still be djing and producing! I'm going to explore some new sounds under a new pseudonym with a different style. I am still in love with the scene and I have some awesome tracks lined up for a solo project. I haven’t chosen a new name yet so any ideas welcome! (honestly I really can’t pick one). So keep your eyes and ears open in the future my new stuff!

So what does this mean for Dutty Moonshine? Well, Mike and Danny are going to continue pushing the name and taking it to new places. I know Mike has some exciting big plans (which I can’t get into here) and the act will only get bigger and better. Danny joined us at the beginning of the year and has smashed it so far. Myself and Danny wrote the Rum Runners LP together and he’s already adding new flavours to the DM sound and spicing up the personality of the act. Currently DM is in one of the best positions it’s ever been in and it’s still climbing. With Danny taking on production and Mike continuing to drive the act forward, I have no doubt that DM will become bigger and badder than ever. I look forward to seeing where the boys will be a year, or two years, from now. You should too!

LASTLY, and extremely IMPORTANTLY - I need to thank everybody who has supported what I've done in the last 4 years. And what Dutty Moonshine has done. Friends and strangers, anybody who has turned up to a gig before dug the set. To those who we've got drunk with or who we shared a laugh with. To those we’ve partied with at festivals! To those who booked us, believed in use or lent us a hand at any point. To our peers in the scene and all the fantastically talented Djs and bands we now know as friends. To all the genuine fans (never saw that coming!) who love our sound. To those who believed in us, to those that have given us any kind of support. To anybody we’ve met on the way. Believe me I remember and cherish so many moments of the past and am genuinely grateful for the relationships I have built with some of you. Obviously there’s way too many to name here. honestly I’ll remember some of the times I’ve had as a Dutty for the rest of my life. It’s been MENTAL and you’re all bloody fantastic :)

So that’s all I gotta say you filthy animals.
Thanks if you’ve managed to read all of this. I hope it wasn’t boring.
I’ll see you all soon

Big love x
Alex Furley

So there it is - sad news, but exciting nonetheless, with the promise of a new Dutty Moonshine sound and new projects from Alex. I am sure all Jack the Cad readers will wish him all the best with his new ventures. Here's to the good times and the music! For the sake of the memories, here's a little reminder of what they boys look like in full pomp.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

MUSIC REVIEW: Dutty Moonshine - Rum Runners LP

Since Dutty Moonshine have just done three sets in the legendary Shangri-La at Glastonbury, I thought now might be an opportune moment to review their latest release.

Dutty Moonshine's brew is always a unique take on the vintage remix sound, using only the finest ingredients and the freshest cuts, a far cry from the some of the more generic electro-swing out there. Their DJ sets are prohibition-inspired cocktails of their own tried and tested, crate-aged Moonshine mixed with bootlegs and mash-ups of their own devising, and sprinkled with their own secret blend of beats. With a new member on-board in the shape of former DnB and Dubstep producer Danny Wav, they have been hidden away in the woods cooking up their latest brew, distilling 100% pure joy into their latest release "Rum Runners LP".
It is no secret that I love the energy that the Dutties put into all that they do, from Mike's onstage antics to their high-octane take on vintage remix. However, it is also no secret that I have, in fact, NO MUSICAL KNOWLEDGE, TALENT OR SKILL WHAT SO EVER, so I have decided to ask my chum Chris, an accomplished blues guitarist and dance music producer to give us a more informed opinion. Here is what he had to say:
"Dutty Moonshine. Now there’s a name we’re going to hear a lot of in the future, if they continue to produce high quality tracks such as those that are complied together on the Rum Runners L.P.

From the offset keeping your feet still is very hard to manage. This is simply down to the rousing, building bass lines, expertly mixed into grimy techno-esque beats and the addition of stabbing synths. With this is mind “Bang Bang Boom” particularly hits you, stirring up memories of all night parties and pounding beats that welcome in the morning sun. As the L.P. progresses this is a characteristic that never drops. The clever vocal, and musical samples are expertly mixed, ensuring that the party vibe long continues. Don’t think and wonder, “what shall I put on next?” Put on Rum Runners and enjoy this musical treat!"

So there you have it - the view of a proper musician type.

By no means a generic, house-based electro-swing release, Rum Runners LP sees the Moonshiners join forces with several collaborators, including Kitten and the Hip on '"Showbiz", the garage MC Hypeman Sage on "Moonshine Hype", and Mica Millar on "Bang Bang Boom", a track which, for reasons I can't quite fathom, puts me in mind of Groove Armada.

The stand-out track on the LP is another collaboration, "Nano's Revenge", ft. Nano Sigo, whose scatting is twisted and stretched and bent into shape around a beat driven by blaring horns and pounding drum kicks. Catchy and glitchy, its a proper, jump-up electroswing tune.

All round, this release could have been a real let-down, but true to form Dutty Moonshine have produced 9 top-notch tunes that make your head nod and your toes tap. Full of beans and a little bit silly, this is a must-have album. Go and download it now!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Captain Flatcap - Exclusive interview and free music download

Since its Friday, and I know many of you will be reminiscing about last weekend's Bank Holiday, I thought you might need cheering up. I myself have only just fully recovered from the after effects of Swingamajig, where I had a thoroughly splendid time. My remedy is sure to get you back in the party spirit, and is guaranteed to make you smile - not only do I have a nice little interview with Captain Flatcap for you, but I also have some EXCLUSIVE FREE MUSIC ahead of the release of their Debut EP 'Bonklet'. Don't say I'm not good to you.

Jack the Cad: Right then chaps, lets start with you all introducing yourselves.

Chris Rotherham: Hello! I'm Chris the Captain! I play flute and guitar.

Tom Rotherham: I'm Tom, Chris's younger brother - guitarist and trumpeter, and co-producer.

Gareth Roberts: And I'm Gareth, the "box whacker"

Jack the Cad: Box-whacker! Nice.

Chris: Yes, I think 'Box Whacker' is the official term. But for those of you not down with the lingo, this means he plays the cajon and various other percussion.

Jack the Cad:  And for those who don't already know, explain what Captain Flatcap is, in all its glorious forms.

Tom: Multi-genre electronic dance music, with influences of swing, ska, funk, folk and anything and everything - both the live band and the DJ Chris Rotherham.

Chris: Yeah, the live band has so many genres intertwined I wouldn't know where to begin, nor say we are even a specific genre.

Chris: But when I do DJ sets its usually "electro swing" and "ghetto funk", in all their various forms.

Tom: We toyed around for a while trying to come up with a catchy made-up genre name but gave up when we realised it was impossible to accurately reflect what we do in under 4 words. I think my favourite suggestion was 'squelchadelic'

Chris: Filth-folk was my favorite suggestion, but we're not really folky at all

Tom: Yeah, we just have flute.

Chris: Haha... Squeltchadelic swing skankin ska stomp...

Jack the Cad: Ok, I see the problem! I saw that one or more of you had a gig in Clapham last night - how was that?

Chris: Yeah, I did a DJ set in Clapham last night put on by 'Wonderland Festival', was a really good night, decent crowd, good vibes. Tested 2 of the 4 tracks on our forthcoming EP out on them... Not meaning to blow my own flute here, but they went down pretty well!

Tom: There's been a lack of live gigs recently 'cause i'm off being a uni wanker in Huddersfield - we'll be doing a lot more in the summer, watch out for that!

Chris: Yup, gunna get out giggin' caps back on!

Jack the Cad: Ok, so Chris you mentioned your new ep. "Bonklet"...  good name!

Chris: You reckon? Cheers! We were gonna call it "Skank N Stomp" but discovered there's already some event called that

Tom: 'Bonklet' was originally thought of by Dutty Moonshine, who started off the first track. Not sure what it refers too but I like to think of it as the sound the bass riff makes.

Chris: Yeah I can hear that now you mention it!

Jack the Cad: "Bonklet" is at least as good a name. The ep. Has a couple of collabs on it - who were you working with and how did they come about?

Chris: Well we'd been meaning to write a track properly with Dutty Moonshine for a while cos we'd only remixed a track by them in the past, although we did feature on a track on their last EP with flute and guitar. "Real thing", that's the name of the track.

Tom: Well we've been meaning to collaborate with Dutty Moonshine for a while - they were a massive influence on us when we first started getting into electro-swing before Captain Flatcap even existed. I guess we've got a fairly similar and they're such lovely chaps so it seemed natural.

Chris Rotherham: Yeah, to be honest when we first started working with them it was pretty surreal.

Jack the Cad: Surreal how?

Chris Rotherham: Well just a few months previously I thought of them as a really big deal... I still do. I just didn't even think writing a tune with them would happen! But yeah just cos of their position in the electro swing world, it was a bit of a dream come true. They're fairly normal people really...faaaaairly.

Jack the Cad: Hang on... I've met them too, remember!

Chris: Hahaha! Oh yeah. Anyway, Kitten and the Hip have been wanting to do a collab with us since we remixed their track a year or so ago "Shut up and dance".

Tom: Yeah, that track went down really well, so we've got something with a fairly similar for the EP.

Jack the Cad: So, do you feel like you guys are starting to make waves in the scene now as well?

Chris: I think we're making waves in various scenes, it's been hard to get any where in the "Electro Swing" world, purely because we don't play just electro-swing.

Tom: Yeah for sure, i'd say we have a pretty wide spectrum of people in our audience.

Chris: Yeh, I guess the newest to that is the ghetto funk audience, we're making more and more 100-110bpm tracks now (this free track "Alien Jazz") for one!

Jack the Cad: So what do you make of suggestions that the term 'electro-swing' is too specific a term for what the scene has morphed into in the last couple of years?

Chris: I'd say that's spot on. Electro-swing only really fits the really swingy, electro, housey, tracks, when really there are so many sub-genres. Hip-hop, glitch-hop, drum'n'bass, dubstep, etc etc. Even trap [Chris makes a face]. ...I joke.

Jack the Cad: Hahah. Just wait for gabber-swing?

Chris: Oh good grief! It's probably already a thing.

Tom: Anyone who makes gabber-swing should be shot. But I've come to think that there's two types of 'electro-swing' these days - there's pure electro-swing which literally makes swing music electronic, and a newer scene which simply seems to be multi-genre EDM music.

Chris: Gazz any comment?... "THE TRACKS THAT GO WUB ARE THE BEST!"?

Gareth: Haha Chris you know me too well! I think there is a tendency to pigeon hole anything with a swing sample and a beat as electro- swing whereas the genre has grown and developed so much further over the last few years.

Jack the Cad: I think we had better change track lest we disappear down a genre-busting black hole!... You've got a little exclusive freebie for Jack the Cad readers, I believe...

Chris: Yes indeed! I guess influences on this one are glitch-hop and trip-hop really, with a bit of swing in there too, and some Monty Python samples for good measure!

Tom: It's very silly.

Chris Rotherham: Yes, silly silly silly! I had it on the back burner for a while needing to be finished, pretty much been working on it solidly for the last few days. I'm awful at finishing tracks before starting new ones...

Jack the Cad: Excellent - we like them silly. And I can break out the Ministry of Silly Walks on the dancefloor.

Chris: Yes!!!

Tom: Hahaha I'd love to see a dance floor of people doing that.

Jack the Cad: Make it happen! Where are you gigging in the next little while?

Chris Rotherham: Oh god, I'm gonna have to refer to my list... we've got a few small ones here and there, Southampton, Chichester... we're doin' Bournemouth Uni graduation ball, that's gonna be funny! DJ sets at Noisily and Boomtown. Live at Illusive festival. Oh and I think I'm DJing at a wedding in Scotland too...but really we've been trying to get this EP out rather than get gigs, once it goes out I'm sure we'll have more dates for the summer.

Jack the Cad: Great stuff! So, finally you had better let us know when and where we can get this EP of yours.

Chris: So it's being released on Rocstar Records and is out on Juno for a 1 week exclusive on 15th June, then out everywhere else 22nd June.

Tom:  There's a preview up on YouTube and Soundcloud at the moment too - search 'captain flatcap bonklet EP'.

Jack the Cad: And any other messages for my loyal readers? Or for any disloyal ones?

Tom Rotherham: We're stupidly excited about releasing the EP, I'd definitely say it's our best overall work to date, been working towards it since Captain Flatcap started out, hopefully you'll all like it too!

Chris: Cheers for reading, if you dig the EP please buy it, it'll make us very happy!

Tom: Gareth! any last words?

Chris Rotherham: WUB WUB WUB.

Gareth: [silence].

[Editors' note - This interview was conducted via the internet, and Gareth had a very poor connection. This makes it sound like he was in a war-zone, so we shall leave it at that.]

So here is that promised free download - have a listen to the Soundcloud below and then insert finger here for the free download link.

Monday, 28 April 2014

The 3 Questions - Jack's take

Keen observers among you will have noticed that the blog has undergone what I understand is termed a 're-branding'. This was mostly prompted by my previous posts in which I asked a number of movers and shakers in the vintage remix (I'll explain in a little while) scene around the world for their answers to the following questions:

Is electroswing 'proper' dance music?
What does the future of the scene look like?
Is it a fad or can it claim to be a bona-fide dance music genre?

You can see the responses I got here, there, and over there. I strongly recommend that you have a read if you have not yet done so - it really is fascinating stuff.

Anyway, I promised that I would give my personal take on the questions, but upon reflection I have decided it is more interesting to have a look at what the responses were and try to learn something from that.

The first thing that becomes obvious is that 'electroswing' is not a popular term. As Mike from Dutty Moonshine put it "electroswing is a stupid fucking name". (Sorry old chap, it is too good a quote not to use again.) His view is echoed by several other interviewees, with greater or lesser eloquence. They argue that the phrase may once have been a useful description of the nascent sound, when it was largely house-based and swing-based, but that it no longer does justice to the variety that has arisen over the last couple of years. I have racked my brains to try to come up with a snappy alternative, but I struggle to improve upon Vintage Remix, as suggested by Nick Hollywood, Chris Tofu and others. Hence the re-branding. I confess that I still don't find that term totally helpful, as it excludes those artists who are not remixing vintage sounds, but are making, as it were, original modern vintage music - Electric Swing Circus, Elle and the Pocket Belles, Lamuzegueule, and so on. Nonetheless, it seems to be the best we have for now. Perhaps you have a better term - suggestions in the comments please.

Turning to the second question, the consensus seems to be that we are on the cusp or brink of seeing electro-swing, SORRY, vintage remix really hit the big time, but that it could go either way. Tallulah Goodtimes (among others) notes the sudden proliferation of vintage remix tunes being used in TV adverts. One could also point out that The Correspondents are playing main stages at festivals this summer, and that Boomtown has an entire district given over to the sound. As Kaptin is Dead, Mayor of Boomtown, points out, it may be for the best that Vintage Remix remain just below the radar of the masses, lest we be overrun with ghastly Gramophondzie crap. The final part, which dealt with the USA and Canada, may turn out to be the most important part here.

So far as the final question goes, I get the feeling that all of those who responded to the questions I posed have a genuine love for the music. That has to be a good thing. I can't think of anyone in the scene (OK, maybe a couple of people) who has the sort of cynical approach that would spell the end for the genre. The fact is that these guys love making this music, and as DJ Dodgy-Style put it, it will continue to evolve "until [they] run out of tunes to bootleg." As long as they keep making great music, people will want to see them play live and will want to dance, and the whole thing will self-perpetuate. It may be a fad, but it will be a prolonged one.

There was one other view put forward that I thought was worthy of note here, and that was from Richard Shawcross (aka C@ in the H@) on the subject of genres. He said: "If I had to define it under a broad umbrella genre, I would in fact call it Jazz, not Dance music". I am not convinced that I agree with him there, except in a very broad sense, but it certainly made me listen to his music in a new way.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The 3 Questions - Part 1

Insert finger here to go straight to part 2

These posts were born out of a conversation I had with Mike from Dutty Moonshine a few weeks ago about the nature of Electro Swing and its future. In it, I asked him to answer the following questions:

Is electroswing ‘proper’ dance music? 

What does the future of the genre look like? 

Is it a fad or can it claim to be a bona-fide dance music genre?


These are questions that I had been pondering for some time, but I couldn't quite work out how to turn it into an article that didn't sound like navel-gazing. Mike's answer was so impassioned that I decided to see what some other people in the industry thought about it all. Read on to see what the likes of Nick Hollywood ('Godfather of Electro Swing'), C@ in the H@ and Talullah Goodtimes have to say on the issue.

Right at the end you will get to see what my thoughts are. Let's start with Mike:

Mike from Dutty Moonshine: 

Good question, I think of it like this; Electro Swing is a stupid fucking name which Wagram came up with to describe a sound and it stuck. When I started the Vaudeville Rave I'd never heard of Electro Swing. Has the 1st compilation that coined the name even come out? 

Check our event page out and how we described the artists https://www.facebook.com/events/41335687035/ 

The idea of vintage sounds being remixed has grown massively: Ivy Levan with Swamphop; The Correspondents with all their Boogaloo samples; Swing beats and bawdy cabaret vocals; Dutty Moonshine with the balls-deep bass sets with Swing samples; Drop the Lime with his Dropabilly; Artists like Caro Emerald, Alice Francis or Imelda May making serious careers out of their take on the sound; Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer and his Chap-Hop; The Puppini Sisters with their Andrew Sisters-style pop. Now note how all those listed don't really fit "Electro Swing" but all make a living and tour the world under the umbrella of "Electro Swing".

Even pop stars are making the odd Swing track, have you heard Jessica Cornish (Jessie J) - Sexy Silk?

What a tune! You could drop that in a set and no one would know that was Jessie J. Look at Robbie Williams' massive selling Swing album. 

On Electro Swing being a fad, I think it is more a name that doesn't do justice to a sound. The evolution into Ghetto Swing was inevitable as the term Electro Swing didn't properly describe songs by artists such as C@ in the H@ or Defunk. I mean is The McMash Clan's song Swing Break really an Electro Swing song? No. But what is it? It's a dance track that has a Swing vibe and a fairly well known Swing singer on it. The sound of the vintage being remixed is well appealing, original and straight up fun so no I don't think it'll be a fad. The standard Electro Swing that started it all, yeah that won't last and even now think it's dying off a bit. I feel all the new "Electro Swing" nights are way more "Ghetto Swing" and/or incorporate more diversity than a cheap house track with a few horn samples.   

Our mix "Kicked Out Of The Club" was named that way because an established Electro Swing promoter said we weren't Electro Swing anymore. Well we never meant to be but what are we now? While we pretend to suffer an identity crisis here's a kick ass mix with lots of Swing in it!  When we started we stuck out like sore thumbs, something I think that helped us, but now....such diversity on display. The sound will continue to modestly creep forwards into an established sound but the genre name does no favours. Think how diverse the original scene was. Charleston, Honky Tonk, Blues, Big Band, Vegas Swing, Jive, Gospel, Bossa Nova - that's why it's so diverse now because it was so diverse to start with. We're just having to compete with a shit-load of other genres in these modern times - Metal, EDM, Punk, Pop, Country, Indie, Disco, Funk etc etc so we'll never be as large as back in the day but we'll exist and continue for quite a while to come yet.

Richard Shawcross aka C@ in the H@, co-founder of Ragtime Records

I would consider Electro Swing Music not a genre as such, and it is neither a fad or a movement, if you ask me. To say either of those is to follow fashion. There has been music with elements of early 20th century swing going back for many, many years, whether it be via influence or sampling. It is just the naming of Electro Swing which is the new thing.

If I had to define it under a broad umbrella genre, I would in fact call it Jazz, not Dance music. All dance music, by definition, can be danced to, but not all Electro Swing music is to be danced to... It does not have a set style, even within the broadest sense. As it is not limited by BPM or any other boundary, it cannot be pigeon-holed in the same way as other genres. Do you ever see an Electro Swing section in a record shop (online or offline)? I have yet to see one, and would be surprised if I ever will. After all, a track which is house music but is swing house, will just be in the closest house category.

With Ragtime Records when we submit a release to an online record shop, despite what we request, we may find the same release being placed in such diverse genres as chill, rock, glitch hop, house... all for same release.. because they have to pigeon-hole it... which at times can be quite amusing, at times, annoying. Electro Swing is such a loose term that it is down to how people interpret it, which is how you get some DJ's playing hip hop/glitch hop/breaks sets with early 20th century influences, and you may get DJ's playing house/techno sets with early 20th century influences. They are both electro swing, but they are both very different.

The bottom line for me is that music genres and definitions are blurring so much that it is hard to keep track of what is what. I think the future is just more blurring of lines, more recycling of old music, and more combining with new styles. And for me, this is a good and exciting thing I like to embrace.

DJ Nick Hollywood - Founder of the White Mink club nights and founder of Freshly Squeezed Music

What is 'proper' dance music? When early dance first arrived it wasn't seen as 'proper' music itself because it was created by machines!
It's all simply about evolution. People become invested in a particular sound and they don't like it when it moves on... Swing, like the Charleston from which it evolved, was one of the very earliest dance crazes. Its birth coincided with the arrival of readily available recorded music technologies. Electro Swing is a genre that reaches across the decades and takes the influence of the past and draws from / acknowledges it in the present. It's very inclusive. I coined the phrase (since extensively borrowed so it presumably it has some wider resonance) "the sounds of the first great depression with the technology of the second". By 'sounds' I meant both sampled, but also the influence of musical style (ie literal 'swing', and by 'technology' I meant as much 21st century 'attitude'.

What does the future of the genre look like? Following on from the above, we will be stepped over by the next big thing inevitably... evolution.

Of course it's a bona-fide genre. The question is answered when it becomes as big as it has and when it is taken up, right across the world, by thousands of unconnected people. It's a zietgeist moment.
The currency of dance music itself is often about the new, about embracing the unexpected, in other words - it has a strong faddy element built into its appeal - ES has benefitted from this and will also ultimately get boring because of it. Only the very best music from the genre with transcend that. The larger it gets the more people try to cash in on the novelty, the less novel it becomes, the more steeped in mediocrity, the quicker everyone moves onto the next thing.

If this music is to make a lasting impact and contribution it needs to be about quality and innovation. Perhaps it's lasting contribution will be in helping break down the barriers between genres (at the risk of becoming rather unfocussed by definition so perhaps Vintage Remix is a better phrase).

[The video above is from Kischée, whose album is the latest release from Freshly Squeezed. Jack the Cad.]

Kaptin Is Dead - Programmer of Bands and Town Mayor of Boomtown, DJ and part of Big Swing Soundsystem

Is electroswing ‘proper’ dance music?

It depends by whose definition really.  Will it ever be played seriously by Annie Mac or Pete Tong? I think it probably has at some point, though it would have to be within the context of another genre rather than as 'Electro Swing'. That's the main issue is Electro Swing is not a genre really, it's a collection of ideas and the disparity between the various parts in terms of quality and sound is pretty large.  

What does the future of the genre look like?

It could look a number of ways.  Either it finally crosses full force into the main stream, has a brief moment of every twat under the sun getting into it and then does everyones head in before dying a horrible death; or the big American RNB artists catch on properly, blows all the other acts out of the water, who sit around bitching about 'real' Electro Swing before finding something else to get into; or, it remains as a fun oddity, occasionally popping over the surface but just bubbling along nicely, at less but bigger nights and festivals.  There's certainly plenty of room to grow still, and I think it will carry on being able to sustain a few quality bands and DJs for a while. 

Is it a fad or can it claim to be a bona-fide dance music genre?

See previous answer about it being a genre but I think it depends on who is looking at it.  I think in terms of mainstream popularity, it will only ever be a fad.  It's far too fun to be taken too seriously and that's part of it's appeal for me.  Having said that I think there is more to it then simply music.  The whole Vintage Remix vibe says a lot about society and I don't think what it really offers to society has been properly explored.  

The 3 Questions - Part 2

DJ Tallulah Goodtimes

If we're talking about dance music composed to make people dance, then yes, Electro Swing is proper dance music! If we're talking about is it proper electronic dance music, then certain areas of the genre are, yes - absolutely. We have skilled electronic producers cutting samples from old records (Jamie Berry and Skeewiff brilliant examples - although Skeewiff take their music way beyond the electro swing genre, if we'd like to get picky!)

To add to that, production collaborations to create new 'old' sounding tunes are all over the place (Kid Kasino feat Shea Soul / Alex Johstone feat. Leo Wood / Dutty Moonshine feat Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer) - performing with live and digital. Bands such as Electric Swing Circus, Captain Flatcap, and Jenova Collective are not only using live instrumentation, but live sample triggering in their live performances too - techniques used in the dance music domain.

Chris Tofu and Nick Hollywood (the scene's pioneers, as we know) take it everywhere from jump jive to reggae, to swing, jazz and Electro Swing. As well as producing more underground-laced cuts, Enzo Siffredi is also out performing in the 'proper' dance music scene. My latest production outing brings some rave breaks to the party and I like to play with FX and loops while I'm playing out. DJs such as Dutty Moonshine and Madame Electrifie take the genre into more glitchy territory.

When you look back to producers like Mike Dixon and Mr Scruff who made some of the earlier e-swing which was heard in underground clubs in the 00's, then it felt as though it sat comfortably in the realms of the underground - 'proper', if you like. Head over to the West Coast of America and jackin' house samples on jazz so this could also be considered 'proper'. Then of course, there are bands such as Fresh Dixie Project who are more traditional in the band sense.

The music crosses brilliantly into performance too - with acts such as Slamboree and their circus craziness. And it veers into cabaret with it's natural, cosy fit with burlesque performance.

The 'genre' is a wonderful melting pot of feel-good, fun, uplifting music that crosses live and electronic sounds and performed in so many ways. The masses perhaps still don't know what it is, yet it seems to be universally appealing whenever I go to an event. It has potential to be whatever it wants to be - a musical chameleon, loved by many.

Short answer, yes, it's proper.

Electroswing has hit the mainstream in the sense that there's a fair amount being licensed to television at the moment. Electroswing in adverts seems to be de rigeur. As with any kind of 'scene', the music will no doubt move and evolve and continue to do so as new artists bring their own take to it.

I'm sure in the coming years we'll not only see new and exciting nights, copycat nights, electroswing featuring as a genre within other genres on nightclub bills - "A night of hardcore, rave, funky house, and electro swing", for example. It will no doubt continue to feature at festivals, with perhaps more dedicated festivals. It's niche, but growing in popularity. Vive le swing!

Is it a fad or can it claim to be a bona-fide dance music genre?

Personally, I'm not that into categorisation, but if we're going there, I would probably say it's established itself nicely as a bone-fide 'sub genre of dance music'. It borrows heavily from all of the land of electronic music and then plonks itself squarely in the midst of it.

DJ Dodgy-Style, Cabaret Voltaire

“Is electroswing ‘proper’ dance music?

Yes, of course it is. People dance to it. It pounds. People take drugs and put their hands in the air like they jus' don't care. If you don't think it is then I'm sorry you don't get it. A lot of us do. 

What does the future of the genre look like?

Electroswing largely attaches itself to other genres so it will evolve with other types of music. (until we run out of tunes to bootleg.) 

Is it a fad or can it claim to be a bona-fide dance music genre?”

It doesn't need to claim to be anything. It is whatever you personally take away from it. S'lyke 1 of dem subjektiv tings, innit?

Alex Zicotron of Electro Swing Malta

How do you define 'proper dance music'? In my opinion it is quite simple: dance music is music which makes people dance. Electro Swing definitely does that  - its totally danceable music. Also, unlike some other forms of electronic dance music, it easily lends itself to dancing in pairs, true to the original swing spirit. This makes an electroswing party an interactive and fun social event like no other.

Going forward, it is inevitable that the style will evolve and mutate by merging with other styles.  Maybe it will never have the same mainstream appeal like techno or house, but then again, electroswing is many styles rolled in one. The swing elements have been merged very successfully with a wide range of styles, including hiphop, house, electro, dubstep, drum n bass and more. It is therefore a style in constant evolution which can cut across various genres and tastes. 


Is eletroswing 'proper' dance music?

Yes and no. In the beginning electroswing was mainly related to minimal and house music, so yes. But the evolution of the genre, especially in England, has brought in influences from dubstep and drum n bass. Electroswing, therefore, is more a genre of electro than a dance music genre as it encompasses so many musical styles.

What does the future of the genre look like?

In the future I think that electroswing will mix with other styles. We can already see how, like dubstep, electroswing is being used in television adverts; so one could say that the genre is becoming more mainstream. Lots of artists outside the electroswing circle are also inspired by the genre, lots of trap artists like tropkillaz for example, but also notable electro artists in France like The Geek or the Noisy Freaks.

Is it a fad or can it claim to be a bona-fide dance music genre?

The term ‘bona fide’ is linked to the aesthetic of electroswing but I don’t think it is doomed to remain a closed style. A comparison can be made between those who like to dance and dress up in period costume and those who prefer the music. The nights risk becoming specialised a bit for these two circles.

Stroke me here for Part 3