Review: Eli Escobar's previous release was a dusty mixtape full of J Dilla-inspired hip-hop head-nodders, so it's nice to see him return to the dancefloor via a first EP for Phonica. Opener 'FindAWay2Day' is sunny and life-affirming, with the NYC producer adding smile-inducing chords, loved-up pads, sampled vocal snippets, disco guitar licks and eyes-closed sax sounds to a solid bass of shuffling house drums and boogie bass. 'Something Inside of Me is a tech-tinged chunk of hazy late-night deep house hypnotism, while 'Down All Day' is a rushing, ultra-bright chunk of piano-house retro-futurism and 'Daywun' is a contemporary deep house take on hip-house. Luscious stuff all told.
Review: Despite being called 3, this isn't Eli Escobar's third album, but rather his sixth. There's a definite 'no nonsense' feel to proceedings, with the popular and talented NYC producer choosing not to bother naming tracks (instead, they're simply numbered). What's on offer is of course quietly impressive, but very different to the dancefloor-igniting blends of house and disco we're used to hearing from Escobar. Instead, he's explored his love of hip-hop, dropping a mixtape style set of mostly short, instrumental hip-hop beats rich in hazy basslines, head-nodding beats, finely picked, chopped and arranged samples, and instrumental flourishes that variously doff a cap to soul, jazz-funk and deep disco. Blunted beats for fans of Guru, J Dilla and other greats of stoned instrumental hip-hop.
Review: No single-track salvo from Eli Escobar this time round, but rather a two-track missive packed to the rafters with peak-time potential. Leading the charge is 'Just Work', a stomping but hypnotic affair in which sampled handclaps and blues vocal snippets work (sorry) together with looped stabs, cymbal-heavy machine drums and twinkling piano solos to create a heady late-night mood. 'Typical Sax Song' is a touch more laid-back but still energetic enough to get people going on the dancefloor, with Escobar adding woozy synths and hazy sax solos to a loose-limbed house beat and rubbery, delay-laden electronic bassline.
Review: Breaking through in 2017 thanks to a stream of records and long players for Derrick Carter and Luke Solomon's Classic label, the New York Eli Escobar artist scratches up his first release of 2021 with a follow up LP to last year's Last Summer album. Lullabies For A Sleeping City, then, brings with it a radiophonic, sample heavy and funk fusion influence of lo-fi field recordings, dusty hip hop drums, woozy synth lines, rhodes and pads to slow mo grooves and broken beat drums that strapped and packaged with the vibe of a balmy night's setting sun. Don't sleep.
Review: Eli Escobar has always tended towards the prolific, but during the ongoing global pandemic he seems to have upped his work rate even further. In the last four months alone he's released a full-length excursion, There Are Ghosts Everywhere in New York City, a mini-album, Night Class, and now this two-track single. Interestingly, he's on a more atmospheric, tactile and downtempo tip this time round, with opener 'LuvISalright' wrapping eyes-closed '80s soul vocal samples, dreamy chords and twinkling lead lines around a gentle, hip-hop tempo groove. It's utterly delicious and hugely attractive. 'LifeGoesOn', which is the kind of glassy-eyed chunk of huggable dreaminess that should be sound-tracking long, languid sunrise, is similarly deep, loopy and sumptuous.
Review: Last autumn, Eli Escobar delivered a swathe of rather good single-track salvos. It's these that have been gathered together on Night Class, a five-track mini-album that showcases the increasing musical diversity of his dancefloor-focused sound. That much is proved by the first two tracks, where the bold, beautiful, vintage-sounding synths and throbbing bottom-end of 'Blue Magic' is followed by the glassy-eyed, nu disco-tinged piano house bliss of 'Give Love'. Escobar's increasing use of late 1970s and early '80s synth sounds continues on 'Night Class', while 'This Is Not Going To Be An Ambient Track' sits somewhere between revivalist Chicago jack and slow-burn deep house warmth. As for closing cut 'What You Said', it's pleasingly crunchy, foreboding and sweaty.
Review: US house cronie Eli Escobar keeps the musical coffers full of tunes over at Night People NYC with some quickfire freshness. Still hot from his Last Summer LP, this New York city proud release is peppered with soundbites from the big apple, be they interviews from the studio or sound bites from the street which are weaved between sensual electro-soul numbers like "Treatemright" or the '80s inspired neo-R&B of "Dreams". There's poetry and gospel to be found in "GetThruit" next to some dusty instrumental hip hop vibes in "Zombieland" or the crackled out, melancholic urbana beats of "Crimepayz". Find a splash of ambient house in "Streetwalker" and "Problemchild" with good time vibes and atmospheres in "Kids" to some old school hip house sentiments and breakbeats in "Beatz2tharime". A record inspired by jazz, new york city, and its people.
Review: Manhattan veteran Eli Escobar can usually be relied upon to deliver the goods, so we were naturally not that surprised to find that his latest single once again hits the spot. Lead cut "Body Muzik" sees him pay tribute to the electronic body music era of the 1980s, New York style. That means a thrusting, mind-altering mixture of Nitzer Ebb style bass, sweaty beats, spiralling electronic noises and short stabs that sound like they were inspired by NYC freestyle. "Tonight (Club Mix)" takes a different approach, with Escobar mixing up jazzy breaks, stomping house beats, jacking drum machine fills, restless New Jersey organ riffs, crystalline chords and savagely cut-up old school vocal samples. It's as ear-pleasing as it is effective.
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: 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: 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: 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.