Swing and gypsy jazz get 21st-century makeover
If you've ever seen that YouTube clip of Christopher Walken dancing his way through a hotel lobby with enviable athleticism, the music that got the sexagenarian to his feet was the new-wave gypsy jazz swing of Caravan Palace. Who they? A bunch of Django Reinhardt acolytes that's who - old pals who, when commissioned by a film company to compose a soundtrack for some 100-year-old porn films, hit upon a way to reinvigorate the dusty music they loved so dear. The result is along the lines of what the mighty Gotan Project did for tango - introducing swing to the distinctly contemporary sound of electro, house and dub. Despite the generational gap (or two), these styles make for curiously well-fitting bedfellows, the skipping pace of violin and Django-esque guitar finding a kindred spirit in high-tempo electronic beats, transporting all those within earshot to somewhere decidedly more exotic.
(Biography by Nige Tassell)