A Halloween party to the rhythm of Electro Swing! Review of
the compilation “Roaring Halloween (Electro Swing 1)”
October is probably the most intense time for people working in the music industry. I know something about it – I’m now preparing several CDs and vinyls for release on the Polish music market in October and November.
It couldn’t be more different for Electro Swing – there’s a lot going on here too. Did you know that the Electro Swing Thing team has prepared a fantastic compilation for you, namely ‘Roaring Halloween (Electro Swing 1)’? It is with great pleasure that I review all these tracks for you.
Last time, when preparing Electro Swing News, I rated the tracks with hearts. I decided to do that this time as well. :)
These first two tracks, which are featured on the Roaring Halloween (Electro Swing 1) compilation, were already reviewed by me that year. Interestingly, I combined them into one review, which I titled “Who did Ashley Slater scare?”. If you fancy revisiting my opinions on these two Halloween compositions, you can read my review HERE!
Ever since I first heard ‘Sweet Dreams’ by the band Eurythmics, I fell in love with this amazing electronic sound, combined with Annie Lennox’s very deep voice. Then I got my hands on the demonic version by Marilyn Manson, which was actually quite scary (especially for a scared little girl!). And this Electro Swing Mix rocked me out fantastically! Wolfgang Lohr and Varrick Frost have invited the wonderful Alanna Lyes to collaborate with them. I swear to you that I can’t imagine that ‘Sweet Dreams’ could have been sung by another Electro Swing singer. Alanna in this role is simply superb. And the sounds that perfectly complement her voice make it an absolute pleasure to listen to this version and I’m eager to dance to ‘Sweet Dreams’ at midnight on Halloween!
I really like “Spooky” as performed by Dusty Springfield in 1970. And I additionally love the ‘electrifying’ style in which Duke Skellington creates. But did you know that the first version of ‘Spooky’ was an instrumental that was written in 1967? It featured a predominantly saxophone sound, so in my opinion it fits perfectly into the Electro Swing canon and you can really go wild with remixing this song. Duke made a real musical masterpiece out of it, adding club beats, mixing it all with saxophone, electronic elements and his voice. Kumiho, on the other hand… her jazzy voice fits right in here. It is so warm and pleasing to the ear that I could listen to it all the time. And right at the end of ‘Spooky’, Kumiho shows us her impressive vocal range. Wow!
O! I remember very well the review I wrote about this track. In it I mentioned not only the combination of opera and Electro Swing, but also the Electro Swing sounds in Polish TV commercials. If you are curious about what else I pointed out when reviewing ‘The Barber’, be sure to go back to my text, which was published in June this year: HERE!
I will admit to you honestly that… I had totally forgotten about this track! I’m all the more glad that “Ghost” by Wolfgang Lohr and Alanna Lyes appeared on the compilation “Roaring Halloween (Electro Swing 1)”. This is an amazingly danceable single and I swear that if it wasn’t for the menacing laughter in the background and the specific lyrics, I wouldn’t have said that it’s a Halloween song!
I love electronic music – if you read my reviews, I’m sure you’re well aware of that. This 8-bit intro totally captivated and delighted me. Did you, listening to this track, also feel like you were playing an old 90s game again, such as Super Mario Bros? If so, I’m not the only one who feels this way, haha! :) But then it turns out that you can also hear Electro Swing elements and a bit of techno in this track. It’s a really great combination!
This track evoked a feeling of unease in me from the very first listen. Not only because of the creepy lyrics of the song, but also, or maybe even especially, because of that frightened voice of Madam Misfit. When I listened further, however, I noticed a great, catchy melody, and during the chorus I was already completely relaxed. My tip: if you are not convinced by ‘Feels a Little Strange’ the first time, listen to it again. I guarantee you’ll change your mind, and then you’ll find yourself singing “Bom bom bom bom bo bo bo bo bo bo bo bo boom boom boom” over and over again! :)
After all the crazy songs that you can dare to dance to, it’s time to slow down. Kumiho enchants us with her voice as usual, but personally for me “Devil” is too monotonous. I like the saxophone sound, but something is missing here. Maybe a sudden change of pace to something a little faster? What do you think? It doesn’t change the fact that I am in awe of Kumiho’s talent and her deep, emotional voice.
This is one of those tracks whose presence on this compilation really surprised me. Why? Because I usually listened to it in the summer and would never have connected it with Halloween. This theme, which comes in around 00:25, is a total holiday, fun, motivational track for me. I wasn’t feeling the horror and Halloween vibe here – it wasn’t until I listened carefully to the dark passages (they appear around 00:55 and 01:45) that I realised I was actually wrong. I’m already looking forward to choreographing our Electro Swing dancers to “Electro Swing Dance Emote”! :)
Well, I think there’s a bit too much going on in this song – although the more times I listened to it, I guessed that was the intention. I love Madam Misfit’s voice in it, as she is an incredibly original Electro Swing singer. It seems to me that if we reduced the number of background voices a bit, we could focus more on the melody and the lyrics, and those choruses distract from those elements a bit. Which doesn’t change the fact that I think ‘Trick or Treat’ is the perfect introduction to watching horror films on Halloween!
Oh, I feel like it’s been a very long time since I’ve written about Mr. Jazzek, the first Polish Electro Swing artist. What do I like most about ‘Dracula’? First of all this fantastic theme, to which I would love to dance the tango with Dracula (if only I could dance, haha!). Throughout the song Mr. Jazzek perfectly combines saxophone sounds (or clarinet, I’m not sure) and subtle Electro Swing sounds. I see everything in black and red and I think it fits perfectly with the Halloween mood.
This is a really, really cool Electro Swing track! That creepy, ‘screaming’ voice of Victor’s fits in perfectly with the Halloween vibe and I’m surprised at how it all works wonderfully together. I love the raging instruments I hear somewhere in the background. A trumpet, a bit of piano, the electrifying sound of the violin – it all makes ‘Heebie Jeebies’ a pleasure to listen to.
The last two years have definitely been a golden time for LVDS, as they’ve released some really tasty singles – including the Halloween-themed ‘The Freakshow’. I love the adorable piano (‘adorable’ – that word certainly fits Halloween perfectly, haha!), the sinister laughter somewhere in the background and that wonderful Electro Swing vibe. In fact, it’s really a track for everyone – I know that anyone who listens to “The Freakshow” will have a great time with it – exactly as I do when I once again fondly revisit earlier LVDS compositions.
Interesting fact: this track made it to my playlist of favourite Electro Swing tunes some time ago. Glenn Gatsby invariably offers us some truly fantastic compositions that I like to return to from time to time. ‘Shadow Hat’ is a combination of Electro Swing and club music. Add to that some spooky violins, old-school samples and you have a ready recipe for a great track that you can listen to even after Halloween!
This is one of the biggest surprises for me on this compilation – I love electronic sounds like this. And although I have to admit that I don’t hear Electro Swing here, just pure electronic music, I can’t get past ‘Darktown Rag’. It really is an incredibly dark, fantastic track that captivated me from the very first sounds.
I have no idea why, but the intro reminds me very much of Parov Stelar’s tracks. Then it all changes completely. The vocals are incredibly emotional, I can feel it all on my skin as that Victor voice pierces through me. And that electronic theme (around 02:30) combined with the Electro Swing, it’s a real masterpiece. I looped it several times because it really rocked me out and made me feel like I was at a good party in a club.
Oh, it’s amazing that this song is exactly where it is on the tracklist. Because let me tell you frankly, it is a perfect continuation of the previous song. Club sounds will always have a special place in my heart. I know that Wolfgang Lohr loves to experiment with different musical genres and does not limit himself to Electro Swing. In ‘Hold On’ you can clearly hear his inspiration from club music and I have to say that I really like it!
I don’t know why, but I’ve often associated Riff Kitten’s music specifically with autumn nostalgia and the time just before and after Halloween. I felt that his track would feature on this compilation and his magical piano wonderfully put us in a mysterious mood. “She’ll Make You Lose Your Mind” reminds me very much of another of his tracks, namely “Catatonic”, sung by Alanna Lyes. Do you too? :)
This dark saxophone sound is combined so beautifully here with Juli’s clear, pristine yet incredibly powerful voice. I have the impression that the sounds coming from these two instruments (yes, because vocals are a kind of instrument too! :)) float very high, up to the moonlight. It really was a fantastic ending to this compilation!
Which track from the compilation “Roaring Halloween (Electro Swing 1)” do you like best? I have a few favourites of my own and am unable to make a final decision, so I leave it up to you! :)
Written & reviewed by LadyDot (Ja, Wizeruk) Date: 2022-11-17
Anna (LadyDot) was born in ’94, but always felt she came from the Golden Twenties. “Polka” in Polish means “girl from Poland”, so she’s “Polka in polka dots”. She loves vintage style and spontaneous travels around Europe. But her greatest love (apart from her husband) is of course music, especially Electro Swing.
On her own Blog www.jawizeruk.pl she writes about various music genres. She is a copywriter, so writing is her strong point. Anna likes singing (not only in the shower!) and cooking (especially Italian and Hungarian cuisine).