Review: You don't get any more NYC than Manhattan disco/deep house hero Eli Escobar who presents his debut album on Luke Solomon's Classic Music Company. Starting out with the soulful feel good opener that is the title track, there's more quality on offer on the pure disco inferno "Phreeky" featuring Hercules & Love Affair's Nomi Ruiz on vocals (who appears on several tracks throughout the albums duration) and the cheeky "Chaka Khan" which is a bouncy after-hours jam for freaks and the deep low-slung groover "Next To Me". But that's just scraping the surface. The album is full of quality grooves from start to finish, inspired by one of the Big Apple's finest talents and we highly recommend it!
Review: There's something pleasingly old-fashioned about Happy Again, an album of alternative versions and remixes of tracks from Eli Escobar's acclaimed Happiness full-length. Thanks to the presence of DJ-friendly dubs, rhythm tracks and acappellas, it feels like Classic looked to the pioneering remix albums of the 1980s for inspiration. What really makes it stand out, though, is the quality of the material. Kon's rework of "Happiness (Part 2)" offers the perfect balance between subtle house and voodoo disco, while Soulphiction and Soul Clap steal the show with contrasting deep house takes on "Can't Stop Dancing" and "4 Luv". We're particularly impressed, too, with the freestyle-tinged revision of "Chaka Khan" by The Carry Nation, while Escobar's own dub of "Happiness (Part 2)" is a loose, warm and groovy treat.
Set My Heart On Fire (Eli Escobar remix) - (6:22) 123 BPM
All Night Long (feat Amy Douglas - Set My Heart On Fire part 2) - (5:52) 126 BPM
Makes Me Feel - (5:41) 124 BPM
Review: Tragic scenes have just been averted at Plant HQ as Eli Escobar responds creatively to a passionate fan's request to set her heart on fire. Knowing murder is never the solution, Eli has instead made a jolly funky house track that tips a nod a disco and the mainroom mid-90s prog vibes of acts like Blue Pearl. For added security, he's also made a heavier remix. Needless to say the passionate fan has seen sense and no longer wishes to be set ablaze. PLUS we now have two renditions of an unmissable piece of timeless house music. With the crisis averted, Eli celebrates with two other golden grooves - "All Night Long" and "Makes Me Feel" - both of which tingle with slippery disco distinction.
Review: Much has changed for Eli Escobar in the three years that have passed since this edits EP first appeared on wax. In that time, he's released umpteen albums of original music and found himself an in-demand DJ and remixer. Naturally, the four edits showcased on this Razor 'N' Tape outing have undoubtedly stood the test of time. Check first killer opener "Bullfight of Love", a percussive and occasionally foreboding revision of a Chaz Jankel classic jam rich in elastic slap-bass, punchy horns and eyes-closed guitar solos, before turning your attention to the bongo breaks, dub effects and heavy disco-funk bottom end of "Everybody". Elsewhere, "The Music" is a Clavinet-sporting disco-funk bounce-along and "Seven Eleven" is a breezier chunk of glassy-eyed disco sleaze.
Review: Some two years on from the album's original release, Night People serve up a fresh set of remixes of cuts from Eli Escobar's debut set, Up All Night. There's much to admire, with hyped disco/house fusionists Purple Disco Machine, in particular, impressing with their version of "Visions". A rolling deep house/disco fusion full of springy live bass, crispy beats and jammed-out organ riffs, it's just the thing to keep the party going when dancers are flagging. Escobar's own tweak of "Tension" - featuring vocal samples from a mid '80s Boyd Jarvis and Timmy Regisford production - is a late night, Italo throbber, while Whatever/Whatever join the dots between a myriad of classic NYC dance music styles on their acid-flecked, early morning rub of "NY So Hi".
Review: Having previously plied his trade on a number of New York-affiliated imprints (Wurst, Night People NYC and Nervous offshoot Nurvous amongst them), Eli Escobar makes his debut on Transatlantic label Classic. Opener "Phreeky" features contributions from regular collaborators Vanessa Daou and Nomi Ruiz, and is little less than a killer combination of classic piano-house grooves, party-starting disco samples, relentless cowbells and choice old school vocal samples. It's something of a belter, all told, and one of Classic's strongest releases of recent times. Escobar continues this retro-futurist feel on the Masters At Work-via-Detroit-and-Chicago vibe of "Can't Stop Dancing", where vibraphone solos and whispered female vocals ride an Andres-styles deep house rhythm.
Review: Eli Escobar is a staple of New York's electronic music scene and on his latest release, demonstrates why he is held in such high regard. That said, the title track shows that he is also expert in house music from Chicago. It starts with a stripped back drum pattern, followed by a reptitive vocal, hissings hats, insistent acid and doubled up claps. The unfussy production sound and straightforward approach to arranging harks back to the classic sound of Larry Heard and Adonis. On "Back 2 Luv", Escobar makes a stylistic return to NY. While the drums are solid, the combination of Steven Klavier's soulful vocals and celebratory piano keys make this house music of the most uplifting variety. The Jamie 3_26 Alright Ronnie version, with its disco influences closes out the release.
Review: Hot on the heels of his rather fine Phreeky single, Eli Escobar returns to Classic with two more hot-to-trot house hits. "Chaka Khan", in particular, is something of a retro-futurist treat, with the NYC producer expertly blending hip-house era breakbeats, tipsy chords, warehouse-friendly electronics and a swathe of old school vocal samples. It sounds like a guaranteed party-starter, like many of Escobar's nostalgia-tinted productions. "Up All Night Part 2" sees him revisit the title track of his 2014 album, expertly working selected disco loops into a bumpin', sweaty, hands-aloft house stomper. It rises and falls in all the right places, and sounds like it could be capable of causing serious dancefloor devastation.
Review: It would be fair to say that Eli Escobar's second album, Shout, is not a carefree affair. Inspired by his growing anger at American politics, it's a much more poignant and melancholic affair than his party-hearty debut album. As such, the 15-track set is arguably his strongest collection to date, with cuts such as "Nightmare Rag", the gospel influenced disco deep house cry for freedom "The People", twisted and intense "ANGR", blissfully slick and tactile "City Song" and superb "Going On?" - a kind of sorrowful deep house update of Marvin Gaye's most heartfelt work - proving that Escobar is a far more thoughtful and musically savvy producer than many incorrectly believed. There are plenty of groovy and quietly positive moments, too, fuelled by Escobar's belief that love may be the answer to America's mounting problems.
Review: While Eli Escobar's recent album, Shout, was undeniably superb, there's little doubt in our eyes that "City Song" and "City Song Part 2: Love & Happiness" were amongst the standouts. Here, both tracks are given the remix treatment. Munich twosome COEO handles "City Song", transforming the dubbed-out, disco-influenced deep house original version into a sparkling, piano-heavy chunk of classic, late '90s New York house complete with fluttering vocal samples and oceans-deep chords. The more organic and disco-fired "City Song Part 2" is re-imagined in contrasting ways by Escobar and Ron Basejam. While the latter's Crazy P-plus-acid lines version is fine (the funk-fuelled synths are particularly ear-catching), we're slightly preferring the sweaty, restless disco thump of Escobar's own rework.
Review: Keeping it simple is the name of the game on this latest from New York house wunderkind Escobar. It's a single-track affair, for starters - so none of those pesky remixes to worry about - while the track itself is a looping affair centred around a female "the rhythm, addicted to the rhythm" vocal that plays almost constantly, underpinned by a nagging synth riff that nods to classic-style Detroit techno. Various other vocal snips and ever-shifting drum patterns help to maintain the interest, but this is nevertheless an eyes-down, locked-in-the-groove kinda cut built to keep warmed-up floors moving through those peaktime hours.
Review: Eli Escobar is turning into a one-man anthem machine. Since joining the Classic Music ranks a couple of years back, the New York producer has been responsible for a string of insatiable dancefloor hits. Predictably, "Handz Up" is another belter: a jaunty, piano-laden roller that smartly builds in intensity throughout. Escobar achieves this primarily through the layering and manipulation of impassioned gospel style vocal samples, bold piano riffs and occasional Church organ, though the stomping, handclap-heavy beat also plays a significant part. Chicagoan scalpel fiend Cratebug - better known for his killer re-edits - provides the obligatory remix, re-imagining the track as a sleazy chunk of head-cracking, mind-altering acid house/gospel house fusion. It's a filthy remix, all told, and offers a druggy alternative to Escobar's cheery original version.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a brand new album from sometime Classic Music Co contributor Eli Escobar, a producer who has proved to be one of the most distinctive and consistent in house music over the last few years. "Last Summer" contains a mixture of short interludes and inspired, almost uniformly dancefloor-friendly workouts that bring together a range of complimentary influences. Our picks include the atmospheric and acid-fired deep house warmth of "Flashing Lights", the muscular peak-time Moroder-isms of "(All Night) Rhythm", the melodious, sun-kissed Balearic house brilliance of "Blu" and the woozy warmth of "Last Night".
Review: Since dropping his debut single in 2007, Eli Escobar has proved himself adept at changing with the times. His inspirations may change - from house to disco and back again - but his insouciant attitude remains the same. "Work It" is undoubtedly a fun record. The title track captures the spirit of hip-house and uses it as inspiration on a fearlessly cheeky cut that sits somewhere between nu-disco and shiny electronic house. Vocal cut "I Believe" goes even bigger and shinier, turning into a techno-tempo nu-disco workout with all manner of layered synths. "KOD", meanwhile, sounds like a nu-disco producer's take on classic Masters At Work - all bumpin' grooves, twinkling synths and impeccably soulful vocals.
Review: As Eli Escobar let's it be known in "The Formula" that he's 'got something for you' as the sweet chorale chimes. There's a subtle Osunlade vibe to this album, the American's first, and Rhodes be flaying on "Visions" as they vamp to a climax like a Bootsy Collins solo. It's all stripped back business of "NY So Hi" - get down to this! And for some quality, sustained loops check out "Thank You Les". "Up All Night" is a dubbed-out, cool-as, disco-tinged burner and there's a whole load to discover here in a debut album rich with the type of soul you can only get from the streets of the big apple.