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ESCM [Reissue]
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Album: ESCM [Reissue]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Firewater
2)    Orbitus Teranium
3)    Flaming June
4)    Road To Lostwithiel, The
5)    Memories In a Sea of Forgetfulness
6)    Solar Plexus
7)    Nectar
8)    Remember
9)    Love, Peace and Grease
10)    Content
 

Album: ESCM [Reissue]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Firewater
2)    Orbitus Teranium
3)    Flaming June
4)    Road To Lostwithiel, The
5)    Memories In a Sea of Forgetfulness
6)    Solar Plexus
7)    Nectar
8)    Remember
9)    Love, Peace and Grease
10)    Content
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Brian Transeau (vocals, guitar, vocoder, bass, drums, DJ); T.H. Culhane, Jan Johnson (vocals); Vinnie Reilly (flamenco guitar).
  • Engineers: Brian Transeau, Simon Hale, Jason Corsaro.
  • Personnel: Jan Johnston (vocals).
  • Audio Mixers: Jason Corsaro; Steven Barkan.
  • Audio Remixer: Paul van Dyk.
  • Recording information: Blue House On A Hill Studios, MD; EMI Abbey Road Studios, London, England; Omega Studios, Rockville, MD; Planet 4 Studios.
  • Continuing pretty thoroughly in Ima's vein, ESCM is another collection of ambient-progressive electronic music with as much interest in new age blissouts as dancefloor action. This said, ESCM is stronger all around, with a more varied sense of overall rhythm dynamics than the basic build-and-release trance climaxes that were the bread and butter of Ima. Opening track "Firewater" shows this well with its initial rhythm, a shuddering, slightly distorted tribal drum stomp instead of a straight pulse. Swooping synths and ecstatic vocals mix with deep spoken-word vocals about "fire in the sky," and when the main beats kick in, it's shuffling funk that carries the track to even higher and stronger levels. Concluding with acoustic guitar and rough, soulful vocals, it makes for quite a stunning start, signaling the album's greater ambitions and success at delivering the same. While "Orbitus Teranium" sounds like it should be a tribute to the Orb, the crisp drum machine generated breakbeat punch of the track is much more BT's affair, spiked up with sudden stops, interjections, and laser sounds. As the album continues, hints of polite if active drum and bass influences and other recent beat touches crop up on other tracks even as the more familiar techno beats kick in, while quirky, abrupt synth stabs lend a slightly retro air to the proceedings as well. In that vein, the most retro and most successful track at once is "Lullaby for Gaia," with a high bassline clearly cloning Peter Hook's groundbreaking work for Joy Division and New Order. Jan Johnston's lovely, ethereal vocals, sounding a touch like a very polite Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, adds the finishing touch to a perfect number. Not everything works, admittedly -- "Solar Plexus," an attempt at semi-industrial rock, has nothing on, say, Prodigy. ~ Ned Raggett
Professional Reviews
Spin (12/97, p.162) - 7 (out of 10) - "...features ornately pretty prog-dance soundscapes built on compositional skills ordinary mixmasters cannot touch. With his widely imitated style of `epic' or `dream' house, BT flaunts beauty the way many rock musicians brandish coarseness--with as much urgency as he can muster..."

Melody Maker (10/4/97, p.54) - "...Progressively light years ahead of IMA...E.S.C.M. shows off a sleek diversity, moving between styles and influences with an impatient desire....[certainly] BT still has a few more tricks up his sleeve."
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