Electro Swing, probably one of the dumbest sub-genre names I’ve come across in the ever increasingly growing list of house sub-genres. I first came across the name around 2010, right when dub-step was exploding and new sub-genres of it were popping up every day (does ambient doom-step, melodic horror-step or vocal tribal-step still exist?). My initial thought when reading about Electro Swing was: here we go again, now every house-artist will start inventing new sub-genre for every track that is released as well. Thankfully I was wrong about that.
However, after reading the description of the sub-genre I was intrigued. It combines 1920’s swing music with house; me being a fan of jazz and swing as well as a fan of house music, it sounded like Electro Swing would be something what would be worth checking out after all.
The first track in the genre I came across was Mr Scruff – Get A Move On and it blew my mind! It had everything; an innovative bassline, beautifully oldschool horn-samples and above all a groove like nothing I’d ever heard before.
Funnily enough, Get A Move On, while considered by many to be one of the staple tracks of Electro Swing, also pre-dates the definition of the sub-genre by almost a decade.
Shortly after my initial discovery of Electro Swing Yolanda Be Cool released their massively successful We No Speak Americano (a track which they later made an international recall of.
Youtube video of the recall statement). While We No Speak Americano certainly would fall within the realms of Electro Swing it didn’t really, for better or worse, put the genre on the mainstream map.
Electro Swing has the very unique trait that it tends to appeal to almost everyone. I’ve played parties where the crowd tended to lean more toward the pop/rock side of the spectrum and the dance floor would go crazy when I dropped in Riva Starr – I was Drunk. Likewise it’s a sub-genre that the House heads tend to enjoy as well.
While Electro Swing probably should be considered one of the more marginal sub-genres of today’s House landscape it is still alive and kicking and very much deserves your attention!
Here’s a small Electro Swing primer in no particular order or age: