Escapade — But Distractions Abound
(Submergence SUB 5008, 2006, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01
Here's a healthy dose of psych/space/krautrock goodness for you. Escapade may not be as big a name as Ash Ra Temple or Amon Düül but they can easily be spoken of in the same breath. They favor densely layered psychedelic jams consisting of distorted guitars and overdriven synths and electronics with an almost menacing intent lurking behind each piece. Track one, "Partial Memory Occurrence," belts forth a rubbery bass and drum rock groove that gives the guitars and synths a solid footing to go exploring from. For sheer balls-to-the-wall intensity nothing matches up to the closer, "Memley Mem," that refuses to let up from its relentless, punk-like overdriven assault that earns comparisons to both Heldon and Faust. Other tracks may seem more restrained, though they are just as visceral and intense in their own right. The longest track, "As Far As," merges eastern modalities with hardcore psych and electronica, building from a hypnotic acoustic drone to a fierce crescendo over the course of 13 minutes that sounds like the kind of thing Jimmy Page might have conceived had he explored krautrock in the early 70s. Much has been made about this band's keen telepathic sense when it comes to improvs and you can hear it in these tracks. Each clearly takes improvisation as the source but has structure and a unified direction that rises above mere noodling over a rhythm. Few bands do it better and this album finds Escapade at the top of their game. Recommended.
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more