The first time I heard of electro swing was from my Uber driver a few months ago.
“Do you like swing music?” she’d asked. Sure, I’d said (a lie).
“Do you like electronic music?” she asked. Yeah, I guess, I’d responded (another lie).
While driving through the side streets of Melbourne, she navigated through her Spotify playlists, typed in Caravan Palace, and promised I would love this song:
And, actually, I did.
‘Electro Swing’ is, literally, electronic music + swing music
Electro swing combines the influence of vintage or modern swing and jazz mixed with house, hip hop and EDM
I assumed electro swing was a newly invented phrase, but apparently, I just haven’t been in the right circles.
According to Reddit /r/electroswing, electroswing (or ‘swing house’) originated on the 1990s, building from the work of hip-hop artists who sampled vintage swing music. A combination of old and new, nostalgia-meets-futuristic, it’s a genre that’s… divisive, to say the least. Thump, a publication from VICE, calls it ‘the worst genre of music in the world’, while Urban Dictionary calls it ‘basically everything you need’.
We No Speak Americano: electro swing on the charts
It’s hard to find an article about electro swing that doesn’t mention Caravan Palace, an electro swing band in Paris, France. Other bands include Swingrowers, Mr. Scruff, Alice Francis, and more.
For a masterclass in electro swing, check out this Spotify playlist:
Inside the making of an electro swing track
Benjamin, aka BeWebFactory, is a musician and composer in Paris, France. He’s the creator of two electro swing tracks.
Always wanted to hear what would happen when you combined electronic music with swing? Wonder no longer. pic.twitter.com/z8Pe9VlIPV
— Envato (@envato) May 16, 2017
Electro Swing 1: “Electro swing jazz track mixing traditional strings and gypsy guitars with a fat drum and bass beat and DJ scratches. The vocal sample is : “I got my style and it is alright”.
Electro Swing 2: A dancing electro gypsy swing tune mixing violin, clarinet, gipsy guitar with a fat electro beat and DJ scratches.
Benjamin describes electro swing as a “fusion of old school dancing gypsy jazz harmonies with a modern drum rhythm.” To create these tracks, Benjamin selected many samples and mix-and-matched to find the best combinations. “I may modify the tonality and the tempo of the samples to fit my needs, and I add some real instruments of my own if needed, and mix all this together until it sounds good to me.”
Looking for more stock music that doesn’t suck? Check out our list of the 50 great new tracks on our stock music marketplace this month.