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Caravan Palace: Chronologic

review caravan palace x1 cong

Caravan Palace is a French electronic music band based in Paris. They play electro-swing, which is as it sounds; possibly more popular on the Continent than this side of La Manche.

Electro-swing combines swing and jazz mixed with modern dance. It can be an acquired taste; Mr Scruff and Jurassic 5 have written electro-swing tracks. Trendsetter Parov Stelar is less well known over here.

This new album has moved away from that a little with more of the modern dance / EDM sound and less of the swing. The band claim as influences Django Reinhardt and Daft Punk and both are heard on this new one.

Opener Miracle was a single, and has a Daft Punk sound. About You opens with a swing / big band sample playing quietly but is more disco / RnB than swing. Moonshine is a catchy and delicate little song that sounds more indie than anything. Melancolia is more varied with a spoken section of more of a hip hop feel, though there is some jazz sax thrown in just for contrast. Waterguns, seven tracks in, nearly swings but has a poppy chorus and Tom Bailey, possibly the Thompson Twin, who has French connections.

So far so danceable but it goes off the boil a little for a couple of tracks — electro-swing always has the risk of sounding like the house band in the Star Wars cantina, though Ghost is nice, another jazz-based song. (By “goes off the boil” we probably mean “reverts to a more familiar sound for fans”).

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