Born in Johannesburg, 22 year-old Jason Beukes AKA Escapism Refuge has been learning to craft expansive and immersive musical soundscapes for quite some time. Taking influence from Radiohead, Bonobo and A Tribe Called Quest, amongst others, Beukes has developed a musical palette which combines heady atmospherics with subtle and intricate throw-back percussion.
Landing on Smokin' Sessions, the 'Red Lights EP' will form a perfect fit for the label, whose previous efforts from Synkro, DJ Rum and Versa have all reinforced the ambient and bass-heavy 2-step sound chosen by Escapism Refuge on this EP.
Lead track 'Red Lights' uses a catchy synth line and heavy drums to create an uplifting sound, whereas 'Moods' uses a combination of frosty keys and echoed vocals to create a more rolling, eyes-down vibe. 'Small Steps' is the most technical of the three, using skittering percussion and dancing strings to great effect.
Escapism Refuge has already had some impressive DJ support that includes
Gilles Peterson at BBC Radio 6 Music, Lefto, Joe Kay from Soulection and Zeb Samuels of Deep Heads to name some highlights.