Escalator – Out Of My Ego review
Label: EK Product
Fans of the infant stages of EBM and dance-oriented Experimental Industrial may or may not remember one of the stronger acts of the time: Escalator (brainchild of Electro producer 2RT+TB). Debuting in 1989 with No Acoustic Music and releasing half a dozen albums up through 1994’s hard-to-find obscurity Arbeit Escalator seemed to fade into forgotten legend status even as Industrial evolved into something more akin to mass-produced Electropop.
Keeping watch as these genres have been overtaken by all manner of Techno, IDM and having lost a large part of the experimental flow of things, Escalator have returned after an unprecedented 17 year hiatus from new works. It feels as if he had used a time machine to jump ahead in electronic complexity to an unknown future point, tinkered around for many years, then returned to 1989, and set to work. The resulting new album Out Of My Ego (being self-released under EK Product) shows that this type of music is still as extremely strong and relevant in today’s landscape as it was years ago. In all honesty, this is an amalgamation of today’s technology with yesterday’s sense of originality. Considering all the myriad of copycat acts in the darker genres over the last several years, perhaps this return to Industrial’s raw and nasty programming-only roots is even more important now then when the project began. Escalator is back with a vengeance and any DJ not familiar with this work needs to become so immediately.
Almost every track has an old school EBM rhythm tucked within its fancy dance oriented bass-lines and complex hooks, snagging your boots and never once letting go. The party starts immediately with “Bad Constellation” which shows off all the programming styles and distorted vocals you will hear. You will be able to decide within this one track whether this entire album is for you. Other tracks of note include the Experimental anthem “Out Of My Ego”, the rhythmic Powernoise stomp of “Shut Me Off”, and the TBM leanings of “Biological Countdown.” The album closes out with “Gepek Lesztek”, an epic, sprawling 9-and-a-half minute journey that straddles the lines between Terror EBM, space alien sounding Ambient and pure Experimental Trance and has as much in common with Meat Beat Manifesto as it does :Wumpscut:. This track alone demands that Escalator be known not only as a pioneer and innovator but also a serious must spin in today’s club scene.
There honestly is not much negative I can say about this album. It is already guaranteed to stay in my rotation all year. The only drawback I can comment on is that because it is so experimental it may be ironically ahead of its time yet again. The glitchy sound structures and off-kilter beat patterns make this album hard to process for listeners not used to something that isn’t the predictable 4-to-the-floor but DJs around the world need to give this plenty of club time to gauge how people react. Going Out Of My Ego is something you must experience if you are tired of the same old Electronic sounds.
Must have tracks: The whole album, period.
For fans of: Front Line Assembly, Vomito Negro, Eistenzende Neaubaten, Meat Beat Manifesto, Mind.In.A.Box, Wynardtage, Komor Kommando
- Bad Constellation
- Rew Stop Play
- Out Of My Ego
- Deeply Buried Psychosis
- Shut Me Off
- Biological Countdown
- Gepek Lesztek