L.I.N. – Mack the Knife.

March 09, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

An important part of the mainstream American culture of the 1930s to 40s, Swing infuses heavy double-bass and drum rhythms with a brass and sometime string section as lead to create an up-beat and enthusiastic genre that went on to define an era. Quite unfortunately, the genre experienced a decline during the second World War due to a range of reason. In recent years however, different aspects of the 1920s to 50s have been re-introduced to the kids of the 21st century through fashion, television (Mad Men), movies (The Artist) and music.

Electro-swing fuses swing and different types of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) production techniques by incorporating loops and samples from swing, jazz and big band compositions. There were several attempts to introduce the sound in the 80s to the early 2000s, however reaching minimum success. Notable singles include Lucas With the Lid Off (1993) by Lucas and Swing Set (2000) by Jurassic 5. The genre wasn’t properly defined till 2009, when the first compilation album for Electro-swing was released. Musicians that have helped pick the sound back onto its feet include G-Swing, Caravan Palace, Parov Stelar and many more.

I love that you can create something new out of an old concept, especially in the arts. And when it comes to this type of fusion music, what I appreciate about it is how it also acts as an educational tool. The first time I heard anything close to this genre was when I watched Take the Lead. Starring the hunky Antonio Banderas and based on a real life story, the movie follows a group of delinquent students as they learn to get back on their feet through dance. It’s a very stereotypical ‘Yes, you can!’ kind of movie, but what struck me most was this one song: I Like That You Can’t Take That Away From Me. A fun coupling of the new and the old that pushed me to discover some of the most legendary 20th century artists, namely George and Ira Gershwin, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

Pierre Dulaine: “Two songs, working together? This is a beautiful idea.” – Take the Lead

This episode’s playlist: Listening to International Noise:Swing

  1. C2C – France
  2. G-Swing – France
  3. Waldeck – Austria
  4. Swing Republic – Denmark
  5. Parov Stelar – Austria
  6. Caravan Palace – France