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'Broadcast One' - Dandelion Radio's 1st compilation album

For May we have sessions plus special shows - one related to Nirvana and the other the city of Sydney

Artist Info

Black Market Brass

Black Market Brass
Image from Discogs
Powered by Audioscrobbler™Black Market Brass Supplies Dauntless Take On ’70s West African Sound Via ‘Hox’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

By Ryan Dillon

In just two albums, Black Market Brass has paved a lane all to their own. The Minneapolis-based collective has mastered the art of syncopation and digests influences on a global scale, allowing them to view music from a birds-eye view and piece together deep, funky grooves. Their first two releases set them apart from other big bands as they take notes from classic Afrobeat music and infuse them with modern tropes. The band looks to continue their impressive catalog with the release of Hox via Colemine, their undeniably infectious new LP. For just under an hour, Black Market Brass proves exactly why their unique takes on ‘70s West African music feel so refreshing. Complex rhythms are lined with smooth melodies and form a wall of sound so intensely dense it thickens the air around you.

Hox is far from another instrumental LP to throw on while doing chores around the house. These arrangements evoke the feeling of flight and should be listened to with a focused ear in order to catch the nuances of Black Market Brass’ artistry. Their melodies are carefully layered like a perfectly made baklava and come at you at warp speed, although it is never too much at once. Despite how dense these arrangements are they avoid sounding too cluttered, creating polyrhythms with the perfect amount of edge. There is something that takes hold of you instantly, a force conjured by the natural chemistry of the band. Black Market Brass is able to create enticing music in a relaxed setting, forming arrangements with unpredictable twists and turns. However, Every road leads back to their love of West African music and how they filter it through their own life experiences. The result is 12 pieces of instrumental solace that turn any room into an Alice in Wonderland-style playground, creating unseen colors via whimsical musicianship.

Hox is seemingly broken up into three sections cut by short interludes that transition you into the next world. “Hox A” is our chaotic introduction to this wild ride. The album kicks off with three tracks that lean on more traditional song structure though the worlds they create within those parameters still hit like a ton of bricks. Steady drum patterns emphasize blaring horn sections with the single “Echo A.D.” leading the charge with some mesmerizing melodies. “Hox B” then swaggers into the room with an enviable smoothness to welcome in a softer side of Black Market Brass.

The middle portion of the LP is reserved for jazzy arrangements that have the band going for a more minimal sound that still feels alive. A moment like “A Web, A Knot, A Tangle” epitomizes the sonic direction of this portion perfectly. Soft melodies roll in like puffy clouds that swell into hard-hitting punches for some otherworldly funk. The final hox, “Hox C” has the band diving head-first into their love of syncopation. Complex melodies are layered to create hectic instrumentals that allow the band to speed things up to a blistering pace. The monstrous outro “Doom Country” is the most subtle yet challenging track on Hox. An ambiance enters the room with the subtlety of a mouse while distant drums accent weeping guitar melodies.

Black Market Brass’ third LP proves to be their best yet. By breaking down their original formula they created an entirely new one that still sounds undeniably BMB, but more advanced. The concept of Hox is broken up into three sections, each one showcasing a different distinct side of the band’s artistry. These three parts morph into one cosmic journey through the many influences of Black Market Brass while showcasing what makes them such a dominating figure in the modern jazz scene.
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Artist biography from last.fm

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