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ESG, "South Bronx Story"

Between the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, the 'No Wave' movement surfaced, combining art-funk, punk and dance music into a mix which was not a commercial breakthrough, but was revered by many in the music community to be of great influence. One of the acts, ESG was comprised of four sisters from South Bronx, NY, and through many shows including gigs with The Clash, Public Image and Grandmaster Flash the group gained some attention across the water. Soon the group had a single produced by Martin Hannett, released on Factory Records, a gig at the opening night for legendary Manchester club, The Hacienda and more gigs with groups like A Certain Ratio and Gang of Four. Songs like "Moody" went on to become popular favorites in various night clubs while the b-side, a very 'Unknown Pleasures' Joy Division-sounding "UFO" went on to be sampled by rap acts including Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J and Doug E. Fresh. After a few singles and years of playing out a full-length album was released in 1983, but the interest waned, hip-hop was in and nobody was paying for the samples. The group still plays around occasionally and even released a track in 1993, "Sample Credits Don't Pay Our Bills." This collection, from a division of Soul Jazz Records (UK) reintroduces to the public songs from their album and singles along with some other early tracks. Listening to the music, their influence on early Beastie Boys, Luscious Jackson and early Salt -N- Pepa can clearly be heard. While it's arguably primitive in parts, the soul and energy is present throughout the entire disc, songs like "Erase You" are feverishly catchy while the Spaced-Out album version of "Moody" are hypnotizing.