Grooving on Something New and Cool with Escaper – Edge Detection

As you may already know, I occasionally get the distinct pleasure of doing album reviews for The Jamwich. It’s a great treat for me because not only is it a good excuse to get into some new music that I might not have heard, but I am also forced to make as big an impact as I can in 350 words. If you are a regular reader of mine here at A Perfect Mess, you understand why this is a challenge for me.  I have been told brevity is not my strongpoint and I could not agree more. I love words. I love using words. I especially love using words every way I can to get someone to want to hear the music I am telling them about. I do it when I write, and I do it when I talk. It’s something that happens when music feels really exciting to me! I want more people to want to hear it too! It’s why I do this blog in the first place. This is a place to talk about and share great music! Look, I already went off topic. See how that happens?

So earlier this year, I was tasked with doing a review on this new record, Edge Detection, from the band Escaper. While I managed to fit my thoughts into 350 words for the magazine, I had so many more words to use and I really wanted to do my own piece on this record. Escaper have kind of blown my mind as to what an instrumental album can sound like, and I am really digging it all.
Based in Brooklyn, Escaper has been all over the festival scene this year. They were at our favorite stop of the year, Disc Jam, joined on stage by a few of the folks from Turkuaz. They were at Mazzstock, Rock N Roll Resort, and will be at the upcoming Halloween Horror Camp and Progtoberfest. The Escaper guys are going at it hard out there and put on a simply fantastic live show. Regarding the recording of the new record, the band worked with engineer John Davis at Brooklyn’s Bunker Studio. All five band members played simultaneously in the recording process, but in isolated rooms. According to their website, this helped to capture the band’s great live synergy. I have to agree. They absolutely have it. These guys play together like finely woven silk. They groove well together and they play off of one another’s energy. It’s not hard to understand why this record is so good. So lets get into that.

The new for 2018 album, Edge Detection, kicks off with the song Secret Weapon. This song takes you on a rollercoaster ride of steady bass, dance heavy drums, trippy cool guitar work and these electronic synth sprinklings throughout. Then the sax comes in and just trips you right out. I loved this band right away from this song. It’s like experimental jazz fusion in space on acid. It’s exciting! The guitar in this song rips too so you get this complete rock overlay to your spacy trip – just to keep you guessing.

The next song, Rare Form, takes you in another direction entirely. The cool sax starts you out, followed by steady drum groove, kicking but smooth guitar, and a fresh and plucky synth solo. Try to keep from the body moves while you listen because this song is funky as hell while still feeling like smooth jazz. I love that about this band. It’s this constant blend of sounds and flavors and the energy is constant. You never get bored. Songs don’t sound the same and they take you in completely different directions.

Lets talk about the title track real quick. Edge Detection starts out spacy and trippy and you don’t know where the song might go. Then suddenly its all smooth. That bass is sexy as hell. The sax and drums layer over with some light guitar and synth just sprinkled through the mix, creating an overall vibe dripping with a sensual groove. It picks up tempo a bit making that groove almost climax as the song progresses. I have to wonder if that was on purpose. This song is written like good sex. I’m not exaggerating. You need to get that special someone in your life, a little wine, and sit down with this track.

Another favorite for me is Dream Times. This song is slow and complex in its groove with a mellow sweetness to it’s tone. I feel all sorts of things listening to this song. I love the chase the drums and bass have with one another while there is this lacing of keys and sax throughout. Every time I listen to this song, I feel like I hear something I missed the time before. Its a song that carries you along like a story you can’t seem to listen to hard enough. Realms is also a really cool track with this really persistent and pulsing tempo motivated by some fantastic drum work and very jazz heavy sax and keys overtop. I’m hooked.

The music of Escaper on this record is everything that a band can do right with instrumental music. It paints pictures for you in your mind. It chooses colors with their tones and changes. The grooves these guys employ take you on adventures. Each member of this band is a master of their instrument but  beyond that, they have such a creative way of blending the sounds they know together to create NEW sounds. I am brand new to the Escaper club so I was walking into this review completely cold. I usually like to do a little reading on the band before I start, but this time I didn’t. I just put on the music and let it take me over. Let me tell you, that is exactly what it did. That is exactly what Escaper does. Before I knew what was happening, I was completely enveloped in this outer space funk and jam head space that just took over. This was something new for me, but I was already a fan. Escaper have something I have not heard before. It’s a flavor that toes the line between electronic funk and jazz fusion jam. It’s something really fun. I’m completely in.

You should absolutely be checking these guys out ASAP. Head on over and check out the album on their website HERE. These guys have a bunch of shows coming up atoo nd you can peep their tour schedule HERE. Let’s grab a beer and shake it to some spacy Escaper grooves soon!

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