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date: 14 December 2019

ESG [Emerald, Sapphire and Gold]locked

  • Ryan Kirk

Extract

[Emerald, Sapphire and Gold]

Funk dance group formed in the South Bronx, New York, in 1978 by the sisters Maria (vocals), Renee (guitar and vocals), Deborah (bass and vocals), and Valerie Scroggins (drums). Its sound is characterized by the prominent role of bass and drums with only sparse guitar and repetitive, catchy vocal lines. The use of call and response techniques in the vocals and the sophisticated rhythmic interplay between the bass and drums gave the group’s music a raw and primal energy.

Although the group split up shortly after releasing their debut album Come away with ESG (99 Records, 1983), their music proved influential to hip hop, no-wave, and post-punk artists. ESG reformed in 1991, and in response to their popularity among hip hop producers released the album Sample credits don’t pay our bills (Nega Fulô Records, 1992). After they disbanded again in 2007, Soul Jazz Records released further compilations and EPs, and two new full length albums, enabling their music to reach a younger generation of punk, funk, and dance-oriented artists....

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