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Taken from Mix 247 EDM (January 30, 2017)

Caravan Palace Remixes Black Betty

by Jacob Lesinski

Electro swing group Caravan Palace recently released their remix of the classic rock song “Black Betty” by Ram Jam. According to the official Youtube video, the band received so many requests when they played their remix live, Caravan Palace simply had to upload the remix online. The band’s interpretation is absolutely something unique in their already genre-bending style, and guitar aside, the song Black Betty certainly pays homage to the original beat.

The use of horns throughout Caravan Palace’s Black Betty is mellow, complementing where guitar riffs are absent, and the louder horns about two-thirds of the way through the song lead into a breakdown that really puts the spin in play. In line with traditional electro swing, that retro sound really comes through. There’s a circular melody that resonates throughout the song and makes the lyricism so memorable, without necessarily cheapening the effect. Critics of Caravan Palace may disagree, but those are the same folks who completely threw out electro swing in late 2016.

As the classic swing sound dominates the background, there are certain elements of new wave that come in through the sound effects. Between clinks and swoosh-noises, Caravan Palace’s Black Betty employs a variety of unique elements as sound effects. Additionally, I found the lyrics to have a more potent effect with a female lyricist. Black Betty in name alone is feminine and there’s a degree of more soul and authenticity to a matching vocalist. I would argue the lyrics are very definitive to Black Betty’s identity and acing them is a sign of sure success.

Caravan Palace is doing something very unique with their music and their audience can’t seem to get enough. Uploading their remix on the eve of New Year’s certainly could lead to a more pronounced number of releases in 2017 for Caravan Palace.


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