What Is Electro Swing?
Almost self-explanatory, the Electro Swing sub-genre of electronic music has become a phenomenon the past years. It's catchy piano loops, playful sampling, and booming beats in the area of electro and electro house have been firing up dance floors across the world since 2004.
Since 2004, the "Electro Swing" search term has been slowly growing with an upturn in search volume since 2008. The explosion didn't occur until 2018, which has likely been triggered by the bountiful "electro swing" playlists across major streaming platforms, like Spotify.
Search trends indicate that it wasn't until 2006 that the "electro swing" search term really started to pick up steam.
Popular Electro Swing Artists and Songs
The electro swing musical genre hasn't seen mainstream success until somewhat recently with top Billboard charting track "Robot Face" by French group Caravan Palace to the commercially-acclaimed "We No Speak Americano" by Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP to Mr. Scruff's "Get A Move On!"
Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP - We No Speak Americano
Mr. Scruff - Get A Move On!
Trends: Popularity of "Electro Swing" by Country
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
What can be gathered by these rankings? Well, it's predominantly popular in Europe. Steady-beat dance music is widely popular in the above-mentioned countries, with actual dense swing dance cultures in capital cities, like Berlin, Prague, London, and more. This, along with predominantly European styles of electronic music, including the Euro-dance movement from the 90s to House, Techno, and EDM-style big-room, the hotbed for this style is largely found in Europe.
So, How Did Electro Swing Start?
In the age of sampling, Electro Swing wields the power of classic big band samples, to popular moves and quotes, to instrumental loops that instill a special excitement. It is claimed that the genre originated in exactly the early 1990's era of sampling old records from the swing era and revitalizing them with hip hop beat structures. It was likely inevitable that vintage swing samples would eventually find their way into the wave of electronic music production from the late 1990s to the early 2000s.
Electro Swing has been referred to "Swing House" as well due to its steady (four-on-the-floor) beats.
Electro Swing Variations & Spin-offs
Of course, you gotta change things up once in awhile! Below are some of the genres of electronic music, which has adopted vintage swing samples and put them through an other-worldly party filter. It's time to turn up the party heat a bit.
Swing n' Bass: Swing, Breaks, and Drum n' Bass
Combining sounds that were popularized in the United Kingdom, like break beats, jungle, drum n' bass, and midtempo, the "Swing n' Bass" movement is a small, but powerful one. In an impeccable blend of the modern and vintage, Swing n' Bass takes the uptempo nature of drum n' bass and matches it with uptempo styles of swing. Swing n' Bass is fitting for fast swing styles like The Charleston, St. Louis Shag, Collegiate Shag, Balboa & more.
Below are some producers who have produced swing-inspired drum n' bass tracks:
K+Lab - "Do Right"
Mista Trick & Fizzy Gillespie - "Don't Leave (Harlem Swing Riddim)" feat. Brazier
Duke Skellington - "No Diggity"
Glitch Swing: Swing and Glitch Hop
The Glitch-based electronic music culture including intense sound design, aggressive percussion, and deep sub-bass has sprung up in various pockets of the world. It's hip hop predominantly grooves and tempos makes it compatible with dubstep, drum n' bass, house, garage, etc.
It serves as a fitting medium through which to siphon vintage swing samples, as you can find out below.
Defunk - "Jive Is Good For You" [Glitch Hop/Swing]
Stepcat - "Jitterbug" [Glitch Hop/Swing]
The McMash Clan feat. Kate Mullins - "Swing Break" (Opiuo feat. Russ Liquid Remix) [Midtempo/Glitch Hop]
Swing Hop: Swing and Instrumental Hip Hop
Living in an era of bedroom producers has created many possibilities. One of them is bringing sample-based swing and hip hop to the forefront. Below you can find some notable instrumental hip hop track that use swing samples to give it a whole new angle.
ProleteR - "It Don't Mean a Thing"
Gramatik - "Just Jammin'"
Electronic Swing Spotify Playlists
Now that we've covered some of the origins of Electro Swing, as well as its evolution into the world of glitch. hip hop, and drum n' bass, it is time for you to pick your poison! Below, you can find some interesting Spotify playlists for all of the styles covered here.
Have a blast!