Lee Simms

The Escapist

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On The Escapist, Lee Baby Simms' simmering ambient tracks build slowly, like on "Khat," where a vintage synthesizer wanders through DJ Shadow territory only to emerge in the repetitive, ominous, and mystical David Lynch world of "Cluseau." If there is a weakness in Simms' tunes, it's that they seem to lack the direction and drive of a DJ Shadow joint -- like these cuts were intended particularly for a film soundtrack. But Simms is a master at creating atmosphere. "Lazy and Cruel" works a dank blues riff and the first really solid beats on the record, "Curtom" grooves in a strip-club kind of way, and "Astor" creates a shining, sleepy dreamlike state. The Escapist is not the kind of record that grabs you immediately, but its slowly unfolding dramas demonstrate a real ability to build strange moods.

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