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He’s a DJ, musician, producer, director, and self-described “Vaudevillian”. He’s a performer of a strangely addictive kind of Electronic Dance Music that transports you back in time while simultaneously keeping you in the here and now. And his name is Vourteque.
Hailing from Chicago, Vourteque is one of those strikingly different DJ’s that pull you in not only through their music, but with their personality and style. Vourteque is an ambassador of Neo-Swing and Electro-Swing, two genres that I admittedly did not know much about before now. Taking influence from big-band jazz and swing in the ’30s and ’40s, neo-swing and electro-swing combine vintage music with elements of house and EDM to create an entirely different sound that’s quite unlike anything else. You can hear traditional jazz instruments, such as trumpets, clarinets, and saxophones combined with elements typically found in Bass, House, and Glitch genres. It’s a kind of futuristic fever dream of a genre, and Vourteque is one of its champions.
Vourteque takes his own turn at creating what he calls Glitch-Swing, taking influence from Soul, Funk, Blues, Dubstep and countless other genres, creating his own distinct sound. Several gems can be found off of his “The Bombshell EP”, released in 2018. His cover of the “Peter Gunn” theme song, a 1950’s era private eye television series, is addictively glitchy and grimy, sounding like it would be at home on the soundtrack to the best futuristic neo-noir video game ever. “Comanche” is funky and soulful, featuring a brassy remixed saxophone that’ll make even the most cynical tech-head want to jump on the dance floor and do the Charleston. And the cheekily titled “Ragtime Games” is a moody, addictive and absurdist combination of Hip-Hop, dubstep, and an old-timey piano that creates something greater than its separate parts. It’s a glimpse into Neo-Swing that is compelling and fun to listen to.
Vourteque combines his unique sound with a unique style that pays homage to the jazz and swing artists that he draws inspiration from. There’s a kind of showmanship when it comes to him, as you can find videos of him performing in front of a crowd in a bow-tie and a pin-stripe suit and photos of him in elaborate tailcoats that make him look like a mysterious circus ring-leader. (Did I mention he’s performed at Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios Project?)
Vourteque is the notion of ‘opposites attract’ personified. He’s old and new, honoring the classics while putting a fresh spin on them, combining vintage sounds with an electronic twist to create something wholly new and exciting.
*Featured Image Credit via Greg Inda*