New York’s premier disco big band crowds into the spotlight

Andy Beta in The Village Voice:

2012-your-escort-is-here_7500209_40It's a sweltering mid-August day in 2006, the sun bouncing off P.S.1's cement courtyard during their Summer Warm Up series. Although “warm” doesn't seem an adequate descriptor for the heat wafting off the crowd of people pressed against one another. Yet onstage looks just as packed, with 15 members of the Brooklyn disco band Escort—a procession of horns, violins, percussion, guitars, keys, and backup singers—having filed out and jostled for space.

Not even two months elapsed between Escort's first single being pressed up and released on their own label and the Warm Up gig, their first live show. But that single, a zooted-up, squiggly, string-stabbed gem called “Starlight” had soundtracked most of that summer's underground dance parties. “It was right at the cusp of New York City DJs shifting from spinning house and electro to disco, and it just seemed like everyone was playing 'Starlight,'” recalls Eugene Cho, the keyboardist and co-leader of Escort. Bespectacled and measured in his responses, Cho shares the couch in the band's West Village studio with his longtime musical partner, guitarist, and co-leader Dan Balis, who adds: “And it spread outside of New York, too: [the famed Hacienda DJ] Greg Wilson was into it. Dimitri From Paris played it. We even heard it once at an H&M.”

More here. Incidentally, Dan Balis, pictured above, is a man of many talents and a friend of 3QD. He did the last major overhaul of the site's design a few years ago.