ESG's music is centered around complex polyrhythms, a funky bass and pop-flavored guitar. During their first incarnation, the group signed with 99 Records and issued a debut self-titled EP in 1981 that featured three live and three studio songs, the latter produced by English post-punk producer Martin Hannett (Joy Division, etc.). 1982's ESG Says Dance to the Beat of the Moody EP continued in a similar vein, as did their first full-length album, 1983's Come Away with ESG. ESG disbanded shortly thereafter, but re-formed in the early '90s, heralding their comeback with a self-titled 1991 compilation of previously released material. The group's work had become popular among hip-hop artists searching for samples, with such acts as TLC, the Wu-Tang Clan, the Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Gang Starr, Tricky, Jay-Dee (J-Dilla) on his Donuts album, and indie rockers like Unrest and Liars. The group addressed this issue on the 1992 12" EP Sample Credits Don't Pay Our Bills. The album, ESG Live!, was release in 1995 and featured both old and new material.
The band played their final show on Friday, September 21, 2007 at Chicago's Abbey Pub, during the Estrojam festival.
The band announced that they reformed and will be playing their first returning show at NYC's Santos House Party on September 13. They also claim that both more shows and new music will emerge in the future.
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