Clubbers' Decktionary: Electro Swing
Trouble's DJ Hobbes gives us a guide to the myriad genres of clubbing
Electro Swing proper noun: varied tempos, mixing 20s, 30s and 40s jazz and swing styles/samples with modern production; has spawned myriad sub-genres, including Swing House, Swing Hop, Ghetto Swing, Swing Tech, Swing Step. Some crossover with Balkan Beat; also championed by Burlesque clubs.
Origins Originally emerged out of the ‘big’ bands of 1930s America, with the rhythm section (double bass, drums) emphasising the off-beat, and thus literally swinging, while the brass and wind performers added colourful solos. However, while Chicago’s house producers have been mining this seam since the late 90s, Electro Swing has only really emerged as a scene in its own right during the last decade.
Key figures British DJ/producer Nick Hollywood, behind the Freshly Squeezed label as well as the popular White Mink nights in Brighton and Electro Swing club (franchised internationally), is viewed as the godfather of the sound, having laid down a template in early noughties London at his Club Montepulciano nights. Austrian DJ/producer Parov Stelar (who also performs with a full live band) is credited with originally coining the term and is perhaps more widely celebrated internationally. There’s also Denmark’s Swing Republic (Freshly Squeezed), Paris’ Bart and Baker (Wagram), who famously performed at Dita Von Teese’s birthday party, and Caravan Palace, Germany’s Tape Five, Club Des Belugas and Dublin’s DJ Kormac (also a live band). True stalwarts of the UK club and festival circuit, London duo The Correspondents, featuring Trouble’s ex-resident MC Ratty B (now better known as Mr Bruce) up front, are among the most popular British live acts, alongside Reading’s Dutty Moonshine. (hobbesmusic.co.uk)
Having recently recruited Edinburgh aficionado Nuno Endo, Vegas! (Voodoo Room, Edinburgh, Sat 26 May) is the best place to hear Electro Swing in Scotland (thanks to Endo for his help with this feature).