Introduction to Escape-ism by Escape-ism isn’t a typical record.
Oh, sure, it looks like one, with a label in the center and mysterious grooves etched on a sleek, black disc that glints in the light with a perverse air of knowing treachery. And sure, when a diamond needle is dragged through said groove, it shrieks and sputters with the familiar range of “rock ’n’ roll” sound effects: low-frequency bass, high-end hi-hat stutters, and a middlebrow voice that gasps and cries for love, justice, redemption, insurrection, everything. And yes, Introduction… reacts like a normal record to direct sunlight; it suffers silently until giving evidence of its agony with an awful “warp.” Its cover is even like a normal record jacket: glossy cardstock with a cool design, group name, song titles, record label information, and the like.
But this disc is different. It shouldn’t only be reviewed in the music press but in the “world affairs” column of a conspiracy-minded newspaper, on a hot-rod review TV show, or possibly at an important conference by a renowned astrophysicist. It’s that important!
Why? Because it’s the first “solo” record by Ian Svenonius—of groups The Make-Up, Chain & the Gang, XYZ, Weird War, etc. and author of underground bestsellers such as The Psychic Soviet, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ’n’ Roll Group, and Censorship Now!!—and as such, it’s profound, prophetic, perverse, and poetic… It’s introverted glitter, violence against the state, obsessive desire; it stomps on convention, shreds constitutions, clobbers pre-conceived notions of what a record can be. Yes, that’s right: a single-person performance by I F Svenonius—recognized by
Performer Magazine as the “greatest performer on the planet”—Introduction to Escapeism
is a bite into a one-banana bunch.
A drum box, a guitar, a cassette player, and a single slobbering, sinful voice singing out… for a way out. Live, it’s a new paradigm of performance: raw, gestural, idiotic, sublime, revolutionary, poetic, faux naïf, unknowing, a drainage pipe that leads to who knows where.
Escape-ism’s Introduction to Escape-ism isn’t just the soundtrack for a late-night drive on a
lonely interstate, or a platter played to incite abandon at a pajama party with one’s pals. It’s also a tunnel to tomorrow. It’s a mineshaft to the motherlode.
FORMAT: LP is single jacket + MP3 coupon.
Walking in the Dark
Lonely at the Top
Rome Wasn’t Burnt in a Day
Almost No One (Can Have My Love)
They Took the Waves
The Stars Get in the Way
I Don’t Remember You
Crime Wave Rock
Merge Records MRG613LP