Check out the YouTube playlist here.
Années Folles of the Golden Era
This playlist aims to capture the spirit of the roaring 20s, a decade with distinctive cultural edge and jam packed with jazz. It was 5am in a tiny tent at a festival in 2009 that my ears first sampled the genre of electro swing, and since then I cannot get enough of the feet-tapping, syncopated beats. Electro swing ingredients? Take jazz, swing music and house music to create a unique blend of genres with a cheeky and sexy tone.
The playlist opens with the well-known ‘Sing Sing Sing’ by one of my favourite jazz musicians, Benny Goodman, known as the ‘king of swing’. The big band sound, the continuous drum motifs and Goodman’s intricate clarinet solos are reasons why this track lives on over 80 years later. Next up comes a smooth track, appropriately named ‘just jammin’’. Apparently Gramatik’s mother used to catch him glued to the radio in his older sister’s room whenever there was an old funk or rhythm & blues joint on, tapping his leg on the floor along with the beat and now I’m doing the same to his tunes.
The Austrian DJ, Parov Stelar, creates upbeat and melodically written tunes which I feel in this third track. The opening vocals are rapidly joined by the thinly textured intertwining piano outbursts and bouncy saxophones, which imaginatively lures the listener into the land of retro jazz.
Maniac – Caravan Palace! My all-time favourite pioneers of electro swing, a perfect introduction to the genre if you are sampling for the first time and want to know where on earth to begin listening. The quirky yet silky smooth track features on their second album, ‘Panic’, and is characteristic of the band’s passion and enthusiasm for the music they play. I saw the band recently on their UK tour and I can say that it was one of my favourite concerts! Talented musicians make this band exciting to watch and singer Sonia Fernandez Velasco sent the party swinging on this next track ‘clash’ so turn your speakers up and let the bass sink in!
The mix of hip-hop and swing in the 6th track make an unexpected treat for the ears. Described as ‘chap hop’, it sounds like Mr Bruce – lead singer – should be rapping about cricket and scones but it still manages to sound slick and unique. Try listening to their remix of Disney’s Jungle Book tune ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ after this playlist.
The penultimate track is another by Parov Stelar to get you in the groove and finishes up with Tape Five that will trap you in this catchy vintage lullaby.
This playlist and accompanying piece was created by Claire Hume, Music Blogger at Rhetoric Magazine. Come back for more every Wednesday!
Photo courtesy of: flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives