Album: "The Escapist" (1998)
Label: Map Records
Style: Electronic
Songs: 14


Reviewed by: Nicholas

This is one of the most eclectic albums I've heard in a long time that still manages to be good.  It covers so many areas of electronic music that I cannot put a definite style on it.  Phil Western (best known as Philth from cEvin Key collaborations) mixes impressive electronic skill with real instruments and even vocals sometimes without losing the whole electronic feel of the album. Some songs are ambient/rock grooves with real instrumentation like "hampi" and "getting old", or "pleasures", "stay clean" and "sun is round" which even have vocals. The electro realm is represented with tracks like "no help" and "maruti". Pure ambient tracks like "last moments", "poison", and "flashback" give us tones and drones that help explain just how much of download's sound, especially "III", was Phil's influence.  To further demonstrate his importance to Subconscious discs, "mourning" is included even though it is nearly identical to "purple passion" from platEAU's "music for grassbars". "i no really" is where the disc really gets bizarre with some drum & bass rhythms underneath a recording of someone having electric shock therapy.

Phil does make the excursion into pure techno with "kent the fly", which has a repetitive rhythm that grows stronger and then has some light melodies added to it, and "full moon" which can be described about the same. The bottom line is that everyone will find tracks that they enjoy, but they may end up programming in only those and miss out on broadening their conception of electronic music.