Escalate Grooves.Beats.Science.Soul.

Escalate Grooves.Beats.Science.Soul.
"Fusion” may have become a much-derided term in everything from food to music, but every now and then, when the balance of elements being melded is just right, fusion can be pretty fantastic. Toronto instrumental jazz/funk/psychedelic act Escalate might just obliterate listeners’ misgivings about the f-word with their debut album that mixes the best of several genres into a smooth blend of soulful grooves. Escalate’s mellow sound was born when a pair of musical siblings (guitarist/producer Jordan Kern, keyboardist Shandy Kern, bassist Grant Drygas and drummer Tyler Drygas) decided to get together and jam. Surprisingly, though all four had logged plenty of time in the local indie rock scene, the result was more lounge swank than garage grit. Grooves.Beats.Science.Soul., expertly produced by guitarist Kern (best known for his work in Hollowphonic and as sideman to Emm Gryner), is reminiscent of fellow Toronto groove merchants the New Deal’s more ambient material — lush and dense, perfect for headphone listening. Like TND, Escalate are clearly well-versed in older grooves, and it shows in their careful arrangements and sequencing that unfolds like a jazz suite. Where they break away from the current pack of instrumental jam bands is their refusal to take the easy route and up the bpms for the dance floor crowd. With GBSS, Escalate suggest that soul can be as much about chilling out as getting down. (Independent)