Escapade - Rule #3

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Submergence/Mother West
Catalog Number: SUB 5004
Format: CD
Total Time: 65:21:00

If you needed a band to create and edgy, dark, and stark soundscape for your next movie, then Escapade is your band. Driven by the percussion of Hadley Kahn, Rule #3 gives you six tracks of moody, dense sonicscapes. One of those is Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive," which is as darkly intense as anything on the album. Overall it is another interesting and fascinating album from this band, recorded over a period of 19 months beginning in January 2000.

The album opens with the tense and dramatic "A Symphony Of Sirens" which features the scream of guitars in, well, siren like wails. While at first listen you may not pick out the siren-like sounds in the mix, closer listens reveal the various "sirenonic" sounds at play, presented very subtly. Add in other sonic effects as well, and you have a spacey, sonic brew that is very Pink Floyd-like. The track builds in intensity as it plays, though not quite reach cacophonic levels. It slowly subsides after reaching its peak. At one point we get a sickly, weak sound as if the strings of a guitar have been loosened enough to lie limp on the fretboard and plucked... beneath this keys hold still on a slightly pulsating note... If you feel anxious at all, this may not be the track for you, and yet evokes such scenes of extreme and absolute isolation. The end of the world has come and you are the only one left. In fact, think back to your lower budget sci-fi films of the 70s -- there was incidental music like this there. I think of Lucas' THX 1138 in particular.

"Circumference" is taut, playing things close to the vest, though a sound flares out every once in a while, defying gravity. The core of the piece is a repeating pattern against which guitar and effects play off. That core is dark, pulsating... a rough slab of hewn stone, turning and turning --- the calm, steady center of the hurricane while about it an angry tempest swirls. The band plays on, oblivious to violent forces whipping that have plucked them from the stage (and the stage from its foundation)... well, yes, Isidore is in the news as I write this, so perhaps that is the reason for that particular visualization. It is an interesting and almost exhausting 12 minutes... it's ends on a driving rock beat -- Russ Giffen's bass thumping away, Hadley's taut drums and crashing percussion, and Rob Giffen's guitar lines cutting across this.

"Eclipse In Carbon" is the darkest piece here, where keening guitars cry out from the abuse given them by the massive processed piccolo bass. The mothership has hovered into view, and it is massive...the enormous intake engines sucking in birds and other small animals, leaves off the trees... this is the global disaster the sirens portended at the outset. Only it's far, far, far worse than anyone could imagine. The devastation is total, and it is only the first wave. All live on earth has been obliterated -- the surface is as barren as the moon.

At first, you think of "And Then All Silence Was Crushed" as the epilogue - where we dip down from our protected spot to see that all life has truly gone. Only, read that title again. No, it is quite the opposite. Life has survived, in pockets. We'll have to start again -- tribal-like percussion from Kahn, and marimba from Casanova suggesting we're starting with "primitive materials." Interestingly, as Kahn's drums become more martial, you come to realize that perhaps for our species history is repeating itself. Warring amongst each other still, we go through a second industrial age, reinvent weapons and so forth, leading ourselves to not only a renaissance in technology, but to the same point of self-annihilation that existed before the aliens tried to wipe us out. Or was that dark mass really a mothership? Maybe it was a mushroom cloud.

Well, even if I'm off base with what the band are on about thematically, you owe yourself the favour of checking Escapade out. Like the best movies, this has gripping drama and suspense that will leave you awestruck with your finger hovering over the play button, wondering if what you just went through was real.

A Symphony Of Sirens (19:11) / Interstellar Overdrive (7:45) / Mysterious Utterances (5:07) / Circumference (12:12) / Eclipse In Carbon (9:12) / And Then All Silence Was Crushed (12:34)

Hadley Kahn - drums, glockenspiel, incidental guitar, synth, sequencer, loops, effects
Paul Casanova - guitar, prepared guitar, effects
Bob Giffen - guitar, effects
Paul Nilzinger - keyboards, guitar, synth, processed voices
Russell Giffen - bass, guitar
John Ortega - "access virus b," processed piccolo bass

Searching For The Elusive Rainbow (1996)
Inner Translucence (1997)
Obscured Dialogues (1997) (ltd. edition)
Citrus Cloud Cover (1998)
Due To A Faulty Premonition (1999)
Remembrance Of Things Unknown (2000)
Rule #3 (2002) A Thousand Shades Of Grey (2003) (split w/Acid Mothers Temple)
If/Or (2004) (rec. live in '96, CDR)
But Distractions Abound (2005)

Genre: Electronic

Origin US

Added: September 29th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 904
Language: english


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