Tuesday 9 June 2015

Review: Vourteque – 'The Iron And Jazz Age'

'The Iron And Jazz Age'

If your only exposure to electro-swing was the UK's lacklustre entry for this year's Eurovision Song Contest, then you'd be forgiven for outright. But before you do allow me to educate you a little. The genre of electro-swing is a diverse and interesting beast that incorporates classic jazz samples and swing beats and mixes with elements of hip hop, edm, house, punk, techno, and even a bit of industrial that has been setting underground dance floors on fire for a number of years.

One artist that has been making a name for himself with his particular take on the genre is Chicago USA based DJ Joseph C.R. Vourteque whose first single 'Whiskey Drinker' was a searing blend of blues, jazz and gritty industrial that saw instant acclaim. His subsequent EP 'The Swing Mechanical EP' further cemented his credentials continuing the industrial-tinged formula.

Fast-forward to 2015 and we see the first full-length release from Vourteque in the form of 'The Iron And Jazz Age', which sees the DJ and producer embark on a much more ambitious and diverse collection of retro dance anthems.

The album blends big band, jazz, gospel and blues, with techno, edm, and industrial liberally spreading samples liberally throughout and throwing in a touch of fire and brimstone to counteract the up-beat music to add an apocalyptic prohibition atmosphere to the proceedings.

Tracks such as 'Hot Sinner', 'Saturday Night Service', 'Firelighter' which features chap-hop/steampunk rapper Professor Elemental, 'Dust Rhythms', 'No Teeth' and 'Go Along Now' epitomise the best of this approach with their strong hooks, memorable leads, and easy to dance to beats that will blend in with industrial, steampunk and even more mainstream modern speakeasies clubs. But the biggest selling point of the album has to be the brilliant re-imagining of David Bowie's 'Magic Dance' as a chirpy 1940s Hollywood musical number.

The production is strong with the whole album having a great sound that is fresh and modern despite the use of vintage flavourings. It's a solid dance record that has all the pit and polish it needs to make it a contender with any modern dance album regardless of its genre.

If you're feeling adventurous and esoteric, Vourteque's 'The Iron And Jazz Ages' is a very rewarding listen. It blends darker genres into it's dance friendly mix making it an easy go to for ebm and industrial fans dabbling in electro-swing. Hopefully, Vourteque will be quick to capitalise on this album and continue to raise his profile internationally.  

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