Saturday, 13 October 2018

Late-Night Radio

I spent most of my day keeping a low profile thanks to me accepting a late-night shift on UMFM. This one won't be hockey-based, though, as I'm going to venture outside of my normal comfort zone with a music show! From 1am until 3am CT, I will be doing the Electro Swing Thing on UMFM as part of Pledge-O-Rama! I don't know if you're familiar with electro swing music, but it's not very common here in North America and even less so in Canada compared to the US. If you're new to the genre, let's get you into it!

According to Thump, a publication from VICE, it's the worst kind of music that one can find on the planet. Ok, so that's not a strong start to this article, but if you're a fan of old-time music from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s that you'd hear during the Big Band era, this music might scratch you where you itch. It's an upbeat, fun remixing of songs from the past combined with some electronic dance music-infused new swing songs written by some talented artists.

As an example, here is Benny Goodman's Sing, Sing, Sing remixed by The Correspondents, and this song kicks up the bass kick a couple of notches while staying true to the original song.
As you can hear, it's literally blends the bass-kick rhythms of EDM with the upbeat, big band sounds, and the result is a unique genre of music.

According to most accounts, the electro swing movement started in the 1990s, building from the work of hip-hop artists who sampled vintage swing music, and the music itself has shifted from sampling vintage swing music to artists who have incredible fanbases due to their sounds. In Paris, France, Caravan Palace is immensely popular, and they actually reached #3 on the Billboard US Dance Chart with their 2015 album Robot Face. One of the more popular tunes from that album was Lone Digger, written by the band, and featuring the amazing vocals of lead singer Zoé Colotis and Camille Chapelière's work on the clarinet.

Admittedly, this music may not be for everyone. I played in the jazz band in school, and I had an appreciation for good swing music. I love the music in the scene in Penny Marshall's A League of Their Own when the ladies are at the Suds Bucket, and the dance club scene in The Mask with Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz is a ton of fun. From Brian Setzer and the Stray Cats to the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, from Glenn Miller to Michael Bublé, there's some great swing music out there that deserves a look if you're searching for a new sound. Electro swing is just the pumped-up version of some of the great swing sounds currently out there.

I've mentioned Caravan Palace, but one should also look into Jamie Berry and some of the work and collaborations he does. Parov Stelar is a solid musician with immense talent while 11 Acorn Lane, Swingrowers, and Alice Francis all have amazing music waiting to be discovered.

Again, this genre of music may not be your cup of tea. That's ok. I'm going to play a couple of hours of electro swing tonight on 101.5 UMFM with the hope that perhaps some of the kids coming out of the nightclubs hears it and finds it toe-tapping good. If you like either of the two songs embedded above, though, you might want to head down the rabbit hole and explore the wonderland of electro swing!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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