ESC might be called a one-man-band by some, but a more accurate description would be one man and a whole lot of technology. Using live looping software he wrote himself running on an embedded Linux system, musician/engineer Dale Hiscock (along with a whole lot of guitar pedals) delivers a dream like mix of pop song structures and melodies layered on top of novel sound design and ambient textures. The result is at once accessible and intriguing.
ESC originated as a recording project, releasing its first EP “Geometry” in 2017. Although mainly a solo endeavor, the recording did feature guest appearances by musical friends near and far, including members of Boise’s Sun Blood Stories, Andy Rayborn of Paper Gates, and Brian Squillace of Yuno/LANNDS/Sea Cycles. The result was a genre-spanning indie/electronic/pop album that could be compared to American Football, The Shins, Bibio, Sufjan Stevens, or Brian Eno depending on which part you’re listening to at the moment.
Desiring to move on beyond the studio, Dale created the ESC looper in 2018. Working under the constraint that there could be no pre-recorded tracks except for drums, he programmed a system that would allow for multi-track live recording as well as real time manipulation of loops to enable actual live performance of the densely layered music. By looping, chopping, pitch-shifting, and otherwise mangling audio, ESC generates an entire band’s worth of sound on the fly as you watch.
ESC has now played several shows in Boise and is booking throughout the Pacific Northwest, and is also working on a followup album.