Noon Hour Concert: Brasstronaut
Friday, March 12, 2010
Like their hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, Brasstronaut is hard to pin down. Their debut album, Mt. Chimaera, possesses qualities of the fjord-flanked city’s unpredictable character. Since forming in 2007, Brasstronaut has steadily acquired the hands necessary to fuse a diverse range of genres and this follow-up to their Old World Lies EP represents the first statement by the band’s definitive six-piece line-up. Vocalist and keyboardist Edo Van Breemen is joined by a roster fluent in trumpet, lap steel, flugelhorn and the seldom-heard EWI (a wind synthesizer), among others.
As the members would try to tell you, the experience of the band is not about making music that is based on some pre-existing vision. Instead, each player allows their knowledge and skills from their different backgrounds to mesh with the other’s sounds, without overwhelming the sum of parts with an individual voice. This balance has been successfully translated to recording with Mt. Chimaera, and the result is a startling album that is all at once avant-garde and universal.
You might expect these ingredients to produce something too obscure for radio or more mainstream audiences, but thus far Brasstronaut is firmly rooted in the pop tradition. Take for example, Mt. Chimaera opener “Slow Knots,” in which horns tempt the song toward total chaos but are restrained by an upbeat, finely-honed rhythm Stewart Copeland might be proud of. Or single “Lo-Hi Hopes,” with its changing tempo and many movements, which yet has all the pace and hook of a Spoon anthem.
Friday, March 12th, 12pm