Clinton Ray Jr, stopped by to talk Swinghop, Electroswing and the retro buzz.
NN: You've been involved in retro styles musically for quite a while, what do you see as the biggest changes in it's current rise? Ray: Well the biggest change is that its not looked upon as retro as much as we'd like to think that it is. Often it's perceived as new music by artists with a different style. Which could mean fans are either a bit more historically oblivious than we expected or just far more open and musically sophisticated than we give them credit for , and they simply hear music, either way I'll take it. The downside of it is that those artists of the past who were the original architects of what serves as the basis of these styles, may not always get the credit they deserve. NN: What impresses you most about the new 'swing' artists you are hearing? Ray: I like the fact the music is typically done in way that preseves the music that inspires it,yet adds its own character as well. I would never say they improve it, just expand it a bit. Even from years back when you hear De Phazz's 'Cut The Jazz' or Belleruche's revision of 'Minor Swing' or countless other modernized retro styled music, you wanted to hear where it all came from, where it started. Of course many artists are doing completely original music simply in a retro style, we do that in Film Noir Extras. And like us, their are a couple dozen very impressive bands and singers that have taken on a complete retro theme and persona, and do it well, living the part. The idea behind Film Noir Extras, (as in film noir movie 'extras') is that as that era past, we didn't, we are stuck here in present time as we were back then, (had we been back then) so each song is a journal of that circumstance. It's like Rip Van Winkle waking up 20 years later and doing his thing like he only slept a day, unaffected by the differences around him. NN: So you see this as being far more than a passing musical trend then? Ray: Absolutely. Folks like Parov Stelar, The Speakeasy Three, Swing Republic are leading the way on the trip back in time, and adding some spice they would have loved back then as much as we do now, that concept blows me way. Be it Electroswing, SwingHop or Modern Swing its a way to get down in an elegant way.