Electro swing, often known as swing house, uses elements from swing dance music and big band jazz formats. These, in most songs of the genre, are combined with house music elements and hip-hop beats.
The origins of the genre date back to the early 1990s and the revival of vintage swing music. Early experiments combining swing and electronic dance music include the Dutch house band Doop’s eponymous track, and Mr. Scruff’s “Get a Move On!” (1999).
In the mid-2000s, EDM artists started to explore even more with swing sounds. Freshly Squeezed’s new music and Wagram’s compilations of electro swing hits provoked considerable dance floor attention. Caravan Palace, a French band formed in 2008, combined house and hot-club jazz à la Django Reinhardt on their first album. Yolanda Be Cool’s “We Speak No Americano” received worldwide exposure two years later. In 2013, Austrian DJ Parov Stelar’s “Booty Swing” featured as the soundtrack of a television commercial for the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas casino and hotel. This introduced electro swing to mainstream American audiences.
Additionally, Parov Stelar’s 2020 release “Voodoo Sonic Part 2” debuted at the top of the iTunes Electronic chart. He has also received nine Amadeus Awards for a series of electro swing albums released between 2012 and 2020. In the meantime, artists such as Jamie Berry and the Swing Republic were pushing the edges of the genre’s boundaries.
Musical characteristics of electro swing
Electro swing, like many other kinds of electronic dance music, divides into constantly changing subgenres. for instance: Swing ‘n’ bass, which combines the breakbeats of drum and bass with swing, and also swing hop, which incorporates swing samples into hip-hop tracks.
Electro swing producers use a combination of standard 4/4 beats with hip-hop samples to create their music. DJ scratching and other hip-hop elements can also appear. A proper electro swing experience generally means a live setting, which may involve a live band in addition to the DJ’s remixes of vintage sounds.
For events in London and around the United Kingdom, enthusiasts typically dress and dance in vintage fashion. The swing part of this genre appears as the sound of Depression-era jazz. This means reeds and brass, shuffling percussion, and occasionally vocal components—with vocal bits thrown in for variety. DJs and producers usually focus on a single, catchy phrase or “hook” to serve as the foundation of their track.