The Invisible Girl, by Parov Stelar Trio

November 19, 2013

The best hyphenated genres don’t combine disparate worlds; they em­brace commonality. Country-rock thrives on earthy simplicity, while folk-pop mines a wealth of timbres both acoustic and electric. Electro-swing may sound like a silly lark. In fact it’s a cohesive hybrid that’s entirely about dancing, about the timeless power of fascinating rhythm.

On his latest, Austrian DJ and electro-swing pioneer Parov Stelar creates compelling tracks, with the help of two horn players. “Doctor Foo” and “The Fire­face” layer big band–era horn lines over four-on-the-floor club beats, while “La Divina” takes a loungey ballad and turns it into trip-hop:

Elsewhere Stelar strays farther, drawing from soul and hard jazz. But the electro-swing theme is always nearby; even the funky “At the Flamingo Bar” begins with the audacious sound of a looped standup bass.