The Brooklyn-based disco band Escort released the lush throwback “Starlight” online in 2006, and gained some viral recognition thanks to the Muppet-laden recut of its hyperkinetic 2007 follow-up “All Through The Night.” Both tracks are included on the band’s fine, long-in-the-works debut LP, which puts Escort in the rarefied disco-revival company of fellow New York act Hercules And Love Affair and Milwaukee 10-piece Kings Go Forth (which got the Tom Moulton remix treatment on 2010’s Don’t Take My Shadow EP). Blending lessons learned from Moulton and his genre-blending contemporary Walter Gibbons, the lush proto-disco productions of Gamble & Huff, and the thumping heart of house music, Escort is more than worth the five-year wait.
Escort’s 17-piece live band has garnered rave reviews for its incendiary live shows around New York City, but while this music is built to move sweaty bodies, dual Svengalis Dan Balis and Eugene Cho take pains to make Escort equally potent for headphones, long drives, and living rooms. These are pop-length tracks with hooks aplenty, and occasionally, with genealogies that are a blast to sort through. “Cocaine Blues” is a loose remake of the 1977 disco-reggae number “Cocaine In My Brain,” which itself sampled the indelible rhythm track of “Do It Any Way You Wanna,” a 1975 crossover hit by the Philly R&B group People’s Choice.
On the other hand, songs like “Chameleon Chameleon” and “Love In Indigo” bring the sort of light, string-laden production and giddy release (courtesy of vocalist Adeline Michèle) too often absent from modern dance-pop. This one will suffice for now, but hopefully the next Escort LP will arrive sooner.