E.S.G. most definitely left their mark on popular music.
An acronym which stands for Emerald Sapphire & Gold, E.S.G. are the Scroggins sisters: Renee, Marie, Valerie, and Deborah, and in their original lineup joined by colleague Tito Libran. The group emerged as a part of the post-punk, no wave, and dance music scene which was simmering in the underground clubs of New York City in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Much like brief-labelmates Liquid Liquid, E.S.G.’s style is heavy on the percussion, repetition, moments of meditative cool, and propulsive grooves and basslines. They’ve got attitude and a real sense of spunkiness.
In 1981, the band issued their self-titled EP which was a small collection of songs culled from live shows and recording sessions with the indie British label Factory Records. It’s in these sessions that the band recorded “UFO,” an instrumental with screeching sirens and a hurried drums over an ominous descending bassline. This track, originally recorded to fill out three minutes of leftover blank tape, later went on to become a juggernaut, gaining a whole new life being sampled in hip-hop, R&B, and all manners of pop music. Chances are, you’ve heard this track many, many, many times before in some form or another. I’d definitely recommend checking that one out as well.
But tonight’s post is another one of my faves from the EP. “Moody” is a dope listen which came out of the same recording sessions as “UFO.” It’s a headnodder. It’s energy, slickness, and Renee’s delivery makes this listen catchy and sublime.