We adore bands that push the boundaries and we regularly punt artists that are trying to create something new and interesting at the cutting edges of music. Really we do. However, today’s recommendation have no such intention. Some designs are so perfect to start with that there’s no point searching for unnecessary changes – that’s just change for change’s sake. New York’s hot new disco collective, Escort, are making the musical equivalent of the wheel, so perfect and well-crafted are their disco hits that there’s absolutely zero need for any re-invention of the genre. This is pimped-up, stacked-heels-disco and if you can’t indulge yourself in this guiltiest of pleasures then we suggest that you’re simply too cathartic. It’s time to loosen up.
Touted as ‘disco revivalists’, what we are witnessing here is actually devoid of any new air being breathed into the 70s genre, not so much reviving it as cloning it. Their not taking bits and pieces of disco’s style and throwing it into a contemporary new mixture. Far from it. This isn’t Fan Death or The Golden Filter. There is no electro bit. There is no sultry, modern elements on top of it. What we find here is the purest of disco, delivered in a precise and rather brilliant package. They earn their Recommender badges today not for their invention, but for simply producing such a quality set of confident hits.
Escort were founded by producers, Eugene Cho and Dan Balis, adding the beautiful singer, Adeline Michèle, on vocals. They expand to a 17-strong(!) team when performing live and it’s their shows around the venues of their home city of New York – disco’s natural home – that have driven their reputation skywards. Their performances have every orchestral element you would hope to see too, with a backline of brass and strings, as well as guitarists that play whilst stepping to set dance routines in unison. This is a band that have their lazer-guided sights aiming straight at your feet. Too often we find bands focusing so much on being musicians, crafting in the studio as best they can, but they sometimes seem to give less thought towards being performers. In today’s modern era a good live set is pretty much essential and Escort have it nailed.
Following a string of singles over recent years they’re finally ready to unleash their self-titled debut album on November 15th through their own Escort label, (although Tirk will handle the release in the UK). You can plunder the classic acts for comparisons, such as Earth Wind & Fire, The Trammps, Kool & The Gang, Chic, or KC & The Sunshine Band. In managing to match the retro with a deadly live set in which you don’t know where to look, you can add comparisons to their fellow New York peers, The Phenomenal Handclap Band. What we often find with comparisons to the classic artists is the contemporary versions only ever seem like pale imitations, but here we have a team writing new disco that feels just as timeless as that from their forebears. The Scissor Sisters‘ Jake Shears even described them as “the best disco you’ve ever heard“. By focusing on the need for quality musicians and immaculate productions, Escort have developed an exciting album, proving that you don’t have to be old-fashioned to do things the old-fashioned way. (MB)
ESCORT – CAMELEON CHAMELEON
ESCORT – COCAINE BLUES