Escapade — Searching for the Elusive Rainbow
(Mother West mwr030896, 1996, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-05-01
One wouldn't think that music this trippy could come from the USA in the 90s; indeed, the references in Escapade's music go back to the experimental Krautrock of the earliest 70s — Faust, Guru Guru, Cosmic Couriers, and Can. What with a totally instrumental improvisational five-piece lineup of drums, bass, guitars, samplers and noise generators, and heavily processed bass and guitars, they manage to create three lengthy free-form psychedelic jams, each topping the 16 minute mark, plus one condensed piece. The opener, "Immersion," explores the same fertile territory that Amon Düül II's "Marilyn Monroe Memorial Church" did; beginning with the second track, they begin to rock harder and go even deeper into experimental realms, combining driving rhythms with an industrial vengeance. Yes indeed, pass the sugarcubes, please. The ever-present electronics are purposely primitive, non-keyboard generated, and generally asynchronous, giving the music a decidedly free-form psychedelic feel, yet unlike so many of the modern neo-psychers who operate only a few beats away from the techno realm, Escapade revels in its rawness and energy, an affirmation of how far we need to go back to capture the true essence of space-rock. Recommended!
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more