Smokey Joe & The Kid- Schön

This is a self-branded “electroswing” track by French production duo Smokey Joe & the Kid. I wouldn’t exactly put this track in our proverbial “wheel-house” but goddam is it good. I love everything about this track and what it represents, and also what it stands for with regard to the electronic music scene and what is a growing niche. I’ll start with the boring music stuff first, then get into the philosophical shit I care about. First, we start with this wonderful jazz intro with a wonderful swung jazz percussion and a funky plucked bass line. This then gives way to wonderful set of horns (I’m a sucker for brass instruments… a good saxophone? Swoon) and an old-timey vocal chorus complete with a harmonic 3rds (oh the glory). And then, just when you think you know what’s going on, you get where the “electro” part comes in when the standing bass I mentioned before all of the sudden morphs into a grungy electro bass line and the jazz-swung percussion shifts into a more standard electronic 2&4 rhythm. That being said, we don’t lose that much of the original jazz smoothness, as we still get a spattering of brass chords on the off-beats in this electro breakdown. Ok, I got that out of the way, now I can get to what this song stands for.

I recently got into a philosophical discussion about what electronic music “is.” As some of you may know, I fundamentally disagree with the idea of genres, and tracks like this one are exactly why I hate them. Electronic music is more a statement on methodology, not on style. Anything can be electronic music. I’ve reviewed electronic tracks that incorporate hip-hop beats with blues guitar and reggae timpani… how the hell do you try and put that in a box? For those of you who are married to terms like “deep-house” or “electropop” or whatever other contrived phraseology you choose to implement, reconsider your reasoning after trying to put this track into a box. If you can do it, then you must know something that I don’t.

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