Thornato ‘Escape Plan’ LP (Wonderwheel Recordings) 4/5

Eighth (musical) World Wonder Thor Partridge, aka Thornato, dropped a gem on us on November 6th with his sophomore album “Escape Plan”. Since his debut, Bennu, the New York-based producer has been hard at work turning the inspiration in his surroundings into sound system bangers. The abundance of inspiration is evident in “Escape Plan” which has everything from Dancehall and psychedelic Cumbia to pure club beats. The disparate layers of “Escape Plan” mirror Partridge’s many musical influences. A classically trained pianist, Partridge refers to himself as a “sound-hoarder” who finds much excitement in the sonic landscape of the streets of his home, New York.

With this album, Partridge has created the soundtrack to your actual escape. After what has seemed like an endless string of months, who couldn’t use a little fresh air, some room to breathe. In many places, actual travel still isn’t entirely safe but you can pop Thornato in your car stereo and just drive. The album comes out of Partridge’s own desire to find expansion and escape the city. It is a delicate balance between the organic and the electronic, the fresh breath you’re looking for to recenter your city life. The flute of “Out Here” evokes the feeling of wind on open plains while the beat of the song makes you want to drive right into it with the top down. “Dracula” is one of those songs that makes you want to press on the gas so watch for sirens.

In “Escape Plan” Partridge teams up with a formidable cast of special guests like Sotomayor, Zongo Abongo and El Buho to point the way to multiple exit signs. You can choose the above-mentioned car escape of “Dracula” and “Out Here” if that suits your fancy. You can lose yourself in the tropical heat of Paulina Sotomayor’s “La Niña Grande” while you imagine yourself sweating on a dancefloor. Or you can float away on the smooth sensual sounds of “Ya Hawa” and “Mes Couleurs”. Whichever route you choose you can be sure you’ve chosen the right one. Just make sure as you plan your escape, that you invest in a better sound system.

Molly Gallegos