Oct 12, 2018

RhoDeo 1840 Grooves

Hello,

Tonight's Artists are an eight-piece, Chicago-based brass ensemble consisting of eight sons of the jazz trumpeter Phil Cohran. Their musical style ranges from hip hop to jazz to funk and rock, including calypso and gypsy music.
 They call their eclectic blend of sound "now music", or "Hypnotic".  ....N'Joy

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Hypnotic Brass Ensemble -- an eight-strong cohort of horn-playing brothers (plus one unrelated drummer) who take their stylistic cues from jazz, funk, hip-hop, and various strains of world music -- started out playing on the streets of Chicago, New York, and elsewhere, selling their self-released CDs and gradually building a loyal following and an international profile. The youngest of some 23 children -- the offspring of different mothers, but all sons of jazz trumpeter and composer Kelan Phil Cohran (a member of Sun Ra's Arkestra and co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) -- Gabriel Hubert (trumpet), Tycho Cohran (sousaphone), Amal Hubert (trumpet), Uttama Hubert (euphonium), Saiph Graves (trombone), Jafar Graves (trumpet), Seba Graves (trombone), and Tarik Graves (trumpet) all grew up together in Chicago, watching their father rehearse with his band Circle of Sound, playing together in the Phil Cohran Youth Ensemble, and later writing rhymes as the rap group Wolf Pak.

Following the 1996 death of one of their older brothers, which shook up the family and prompted some of its farther-flung members to return to their hometown, the brothers, then mostly in their teens, began to coalesce into a more focused and business-oriented group. They started setting up around Chicago's streets and El stations to perform their original, collectively developed compositions, which call to mind the sound of traditional New Orleans big-band jazz and nod to the avant-garde angularity of their father and his contemporaries, but are equally informed by the rhythmic drive and accessible simplicity of hip-hop. Later they began recording and self-releasing CD-Rs, beginning with 2004's Flipside (aka Orange) and 2005's Jupiter (Green) -- the band's early releases all feature the same cover photograph and eponymous title, so they're referred to by the color of their sleeves and the names of key tracks -- which eventually sold hundreds of thousands of copies entirely through self-promotion.

After relocating to New York City, touring worldwide, and gigging with the likes of Mos Def and Erykah Badu, they caught the ear of Honest Jon's Records' Alan Scholefield while playing on the street in London, thereby initiating a fruitful partnership that resulted in several single releases and a handful of live and recorded collaborations (including a session with Afro-beat legend Tony Allen and dates supporting Blur). In 2009 Honest Jon's issued their first widely available full-length: yet another self-titled album, primarily featuring re-recordings of their earlier material, along with renditions of Moondog's "Rabbit Hop" and their father's "Alyo." Although the group has played with several different regular drummers over the years, including Christopher Anderson and Gabriel Wallace, most of the rhythm duties on this release were handled by likeminded British hired guns Sola Akingbola (Jamiroquai) and Malcolm Catto (Heliocentrics.)


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Hypnotic Brass Ensemble started by setting up around Chicago's streets and El stations to perform their original, collectively developed compositions, which call to mind the sound of traditional New Orleans big-band jazz and nod to the avant-garde angularity of their father and his contemporaries, but are equally informed by the rhythmic drive and accessible simplicity of hip-hop. Later they began recording and self-releasing CD-Rs, beginning with 2004's Flipside (aka Orange) and 2005's Jupiter (Green) -- the band's early releases all feature the same cover photograph and eponymous title, so they're referred to by the color of their sleeves and the names of key tracks -- which eventually sold hundreds of thousands of copies entirely through self-promotion.



Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Green   (flac  222mb)

01 Jupiter 6:16
02 Pops Riff 3:34
03 Birthday 5:00
04 Frankincense 4:36
05 New Earth 6:57
06 Paradise 4:04
07 Randolph St. Swing 4:19
08 Emmet Till 6:24
09 Balicky Bon 6:22

 Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Green (ogg   87mb)

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After relocating to New York City, touring worldwide, and gigging with the likes of Mos Def and Erykah Badu, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble caught the ear of Honest Jon's Records' Alan Scholefield while playing on the street in London, thereby initiating a fruitful partnership that resulted in several single releases and a handful of live and recorded collaborations. The ensemble really explored the meaning of its name, revealing how effectively multi-layered groove music can grab an audience when it is being played on traditional instruments, and live. There was little in this music for fans of the standout improv solo, of course (though the trumpeters did occasionally soar out over the melee), but the group's raw power, enthusiastic attack and the flexibility with which they push and pull the riffs against the beat were all improvisatory qualities, too. They also inventively explored one of the earliest traditions of early 20th century Southlands pre-jazz: the animated art of call-and-response. Huffing euphonium riffs would set the crowd jumping, before the garrulous trumpeters began swapping and spinning phrases like a group of jugglers. It was like the very earliest jazz, joined to the very latest hip-hop vocabulary



Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - New York City Live (flac  309mb)

01 Mushallah 3:09
02 Tarik 3:28
03 Jukebox 4:38
04 Hypnotic 3:00
05 War 2:58
06 Sri Nerodi 5:11
07 Marcus Garvey 3:38
08 Alyo 3:13
09 Mercury 3:45
10 Untitled 1 3:57
11 Untitled 2 2:28
12 Untitled 3 5:08

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - New York City Live (ogg  115mb)

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"Hypnotic" may be somewhat misleading: the word suggests something lulling and gently soothing, but the music made by this band of brothers is fiery and dynamic, anything but sleepy. While occasionally reminiscent of more established brass band traditions (Balkan, New Orleans), with a hint of soul and a dash of Afro-beat's frenzied intensity, their music is best described as jazzy instrumental funk: compositionally sophisticated, highly contrapuntal, and infused with thorny harmonics undoubtedly picked up from their father -- avant-jazz notable Kelan Phil Cohran -- but always rhythmically direct and unfailingly tight. Anchored by sturdy, simple drum parts and Tycho Cohran's supple, syncopated sousaphone basslines, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble blow dense chord clusters, indelibly soulful unison melodies, and tuneful interlocking counterlines, with only occasional focused soloing and emphasis on accessibility and groove. The album -- their first widely released full-length, which features re-recordings of many selections from their earlier self-released CD-Rs -- is consistently strong though fairly stylistically homogenous, containing mostly upbeat, party-ready tunes with either straight-ahead funk or Afro-inflected grooves, but there are a couple of curve balls in the lush, languorous (and yes, plausibly hypnotic) "Jupiter" and the especially manic, Balkan-esque Moondog cover "Rabbit Hop" (which reappears at the end with the addition of some spacy, wobbly electronic sounds). The only notable flaw in the flow comes toward the end of "Party Started," with some crowd-hyping chants that come off as moronically fratty -- though the group shouldn't necessarily avoid vocals altogether. As a whole, it makes for an exceedingly spirited and largely unique listening experience.



Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (flac  335mb)

01 Alyo 3:03
02 Gibbous 3:01
03 War 2:51
04 Ballicki Bone 5:27
05 Flipside 4:50
06 Marcus Garvey 3:45
07 Jupiter 6:21
08 Party Started 6:03
09 Rabbit Hop 3:57
10 Sankofa 3:36
11 Hypnotic 2:51
12 Satin Sheets 3:50
13 Rabbit Hop (Version) 2:23

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (ogg  121mb)

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Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is one of the most creative brass outfits out there today. They seem to become more and more experimental with each proceeding album, and they do not disappoint on FLY, moving further away from traditional big brass jazz and further into the realms of hip-hop, soul and funk. Check out "All In" or the title track (or "Exchange Rate" for a great instrumental) to hear what I'm talking about, highly recommend. This album is awesome.



  Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Fly The Customs Prelude   (flac  261mb)

01 P.O.T.A.
02 Rebel Rousin
03 Fly
04 Baggage Claim
05 City Livin
06 Navigator
07 Exchange Rate
08 Favela Funk
09 Saiko Shibuya Nights
10 All In
11 Hornets Nest
12 All In (Instrumental)
13 Navigator (Instrumental)
14 Saiko (Instrumental)
15 Fly (Instrumental)

  Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Fly The Customs Prelude (ogg   124mb)

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