incontrol from Lyon (France) is a true Electro Swing enthusiast. When I was looking for good resources for Electro Swing (a.k.a. Swing House), I soon stumbled over his Electro Swing blog/podcast and his small event company Bebop Swing. After featuring one of my mixes in his podcast, it is a pleasure for me to return the favor and feature him here.
First of all, let’s start with a nice Electro Swing mix by incontrol:
“I think that Electro Swing is already a movement. It is just starting to form, but it’s happening worldwide. I know people in Australia and America and all across Europe who promote this sound. There are many good releases, and there are quite a few compilations. I think this is getting big.”
When talking to Julien, I noticed how we had made similar experiences with Electro Swing. Many people from all ages seem to like this sound, and there is no shortage of great artists. However, many people don’t really know that there is more to this than just a handful of House tracks with a Swing flavor.
“If you go to Beatport and type in ‘Electro Swing’, you find nothing. When I tell someone that I play Electro Swing, they just ask:’What is it?’ However, when I play it, I get very positive feedback. For example, I played a DJ set after a cabaret show in Switzerland, and I got everybody dancing in about 5 minutes. When I had to stop, even the older people came to me and asked me to go on. That’s when I understood that we are right, this sound works, and it makes everyone dance together.”
Julien not only promotes his sound online, but also organizes parties in Lyon and has travelled to DJ booths in Paris and other cities. His understanding of a good party emphasizes his view on Electro Swing as a movement:
“We try to create a unique atmosphere at our parties and go back to the craziness of the 1920s/30s. Before the last party, I went through various second hand shops and bought clothes that matched with that, and just gave them to our guests to wear during the party. We also work with girls who do a Burlesque strip-tease shows at our party, and the last time she even played with fire. We also try to not only do DJ sets, but also have live music. We once had a band called Dirty Honkers, and after their show, the saxophonist played on improvisation with me. We are also not that strict about genres, so mixing in some Deep House, Jazz or Dance tracks is also ok.”
While Julien couldn’t make a living off of playing Electro Swing yet, he does his best to promote the sound. Networking with other DJs around Europe is a key factor in this.
“I also DJ at private parties where I can’t only play Electro Swing, but our Electro Swing parties are not that much about making money anyway. They are about the sound and the atmosphere. However, I am in touch with a few DJs across Europe. These are people like Max Pashm (UK) or Typoboy (Paris), who are active DJs in their regions. We are trying to create a network with those DJs and have regular Electro Swing Club events with bands and DJs in various cities.”
I do hope that Julien Incontrol is successful with his ideas. I would love to see this sound spread all over the world. It certainly has the potential.