Friday, November 27, 2020

'Voodoo Sonic' by Parov Stelar

27 November 2020

I’ve been a big fan of electro swing for years – though without knowing there was a name for this emerging music genre. In 2009 I came across Imam Baildi – two Greek brothers who take old Greek tunes from the 40's, 50's and 60's and add modern instruments and beats to create music which is cool, mysterious and incredibly catchy (reviewed here in May 2009). I then saw the French band Caravan Palace at the 2009 WOMAD Festival (reviewed here in July 2009), playing the gypsy jazz swing of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli to pounding high-tempo electronic beats. At WOMAD in 2012 I saw The Correspondents mix swing-era big band records with contemporary electronic beats (reviewed here in August 2012). In 2013 I discovered the Dutch singer Caro Emerald and her old-fashioned big band swing, updated by a modern four-to-the-floor dance beat (reviewed here in April 2017). The Latvian band Dziļi Violets (reviewed here in February 2019) have a similar modern take on old-fashioned swing. But my new favourite electro swing is Parov Stelar – Austrian musician Marcus Fuereder – who has just completed an epic album ‘Voodoo Sonic’, released gradually over the past year as three EPs. ‘Voodoo Sonic’ is a more varied collection than Parov Stelar’s earlier albums (I would particularly recommend 2013’s ‘The Art of Sampling’) with more purely instrumental tracks. It’s great fun: this is playful and inventive dance music – cool quirky and infectious.

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