Certainly, if you’ve been following JOVM over the years, you’ve probably become intimately familiar with the New York-based neo-disco/electronic dance music/funk collective Escort, founded by producers Eugene Cho and Dan Balls that features frontwoman and bassist, Adeline Michele as members of a core group of five that frequently expands to a huge ensemble featuring 17 members for live shows. And since the collective’s formation almost a decade ago, Escort has received praise nationally across the blogosphere and in several major media outlets for a sound that’s been described as a modern take on disco. The 2012 release of their self-titled, full-length debut not only received breathless praise, it cemented the act’s burgeoning reputation as one of New York’s best, live dance acts — and it also turned their frontwoman into a certified star as she later released a solo album and was part of the house band for The Meredith Viera Show.
As that has happened, the New York-based collective has also been at the forefront of two major (and very recent) movements in electronic music: the first movement involves the increasing use of analog synthesizers among some producers and artists to evoke a period specific sound; the second being, a push among some producers and artists to use live instrumentation in some fashion to craft a more dynamic sound and live show — and to show that there’s actual musicianship behind the stereotypical image of someone punching buttons on computers and sequencers.
After releasing a number of singles throughout the past couple of years, Escort will be releasing their long-awaited sophomore effort, Animal Nature through the group’s own label, Escort Records on October 30. Whereas the album’s first single, album title track “Animal Nature” may have reminded listeners of the massive influence Nile Rodgers, and Giorgio Moroder‘s signature work with Donna Summer have had on electronic music and dance music in general, the album’s second single “Body Talk” is comprised of layers of shimmering and cascading synth and keyboard chords, handclap led-percussion, throbbing bass and brief blasts of horn paired with Adeline Michele’s sultry vocals to create a certifiably slick and sexy house music track with an anthemic hook that subtly nods back to disco — all while being a marvel of modern production techniques.