Es-K - "Continuance"
As the Buffalo, NY philosopher Conway always reminds us, “there are levels to this shit.” To attain the level that Es-K is on right now requires a lot of time and a lot of thought — this is a young man who carefully studies not only the artform, but his own process. Due to the improvements and corrections he’s been making over the years, he’s pulled off something rare: balancing a prolific output with demanding quality control.
With Continuance, we find Es-K developing several threads of his recent career at once. The first is his ongoing collaborations, with producers and musicians alike. His work has always featured a few choice cuts, but here, those experiments get bumped up to center stage. There are a lot of guests, yet it’s still a seamless ride. Everyone gets the vibe & everyone nails it, too, including some 802 guests like keyboard funk virtuoso Danny Whitney, producer Flip Physics, lo-fi laureate David Chief, and of course, longtime collaborator Loupo.
The other thread getting continued on this LP is Es-K’s explorations into … well, back in the 90’s, biologists called it Acid Jazz. The low end is fat but never slamming, the mixes are deep and lush, and every track develops like a song instead of looping like a beat. This is carefully produced headphone food, and it sounds even better on a big system.
So while Es-K’s DNA is still infused with boom bap, it’s a wild contrast to hold his recent work up against, say, the jazzy dust of Here and Now or his epic Spontaneous Grooves series. It’s been a huge evolution to witness. Wherever this cat is headed in the next five years, it’s going to be dope.