Monday, December 25, 2006


Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba, Imani.

With HYPNOTIC back in Chicago spending time with family and thinking on these things, we thought we'd share with you this video for "War"—the next song coming in early January 2007. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Kelan Phil Cohran waiting for the moment to arrive, Hyde Park Arts Center, Chicago December 2006.

Uf, we're waiting, too...waiting for the new HYPNOTIC sound to get pressed up on wax, waiting for the green light to announce some really big news and basically waiting for the holidays to begin. HYPNOTIC is heading back to the Chi for Kwanzaa this weekend and last night KPC called to say that he's playing at Ethiopian Diamond on Saturday the 30th...Wonder if some of the Bros will mob out and get a table or something. Either way New Year's weekend is gonna be all ascension peoples! And champagne.

In the meantime, though, the Cohran call—and a couple emails from yall—reminded us that we promised to get some video footage of the master poppin. Here's some of it, boss of the bosses Kelan Phil Cohran freaking the frankiphone a couple weekend ago at Chicago's Hyde Park Art Center. Enjoy—and remember, please don't touch the harp.

Monday, December 18, 2006

!!!!!!!!!!FINAL VINYL!!!!!!!!!

We get it crackin: HYPNOTIC's vinyl debut at Bastard, Berlin November 2006.

Ay yo! We're getting flooded with emails asking about THAT WAX. It's only been a month or so since the butter hit the block but seems like there's a lot of people out there hungry for new music. It's true that the Gilles-endorsed secret weapon custom design hand-packed Pantone gold label limited edition 10" vinyl garage brass sound of "Jupiter" b/w "Balicky Bon" at 45rpm has been basically sold out around the world—from Frankfurt to London to New York to sweet home Chicago...

...until now! Honest Jon's of London is sitting on a stack of the good stuff. Order now; you might not make Christmas but you should have the record in time for Kwanzaa.

And if you're in New York, swing by Other Music—they're supposed to have a few copies this week as well.

And if you're a retailer who'd like to get in on the next round of goodness—we're getting a 10in of "War" b/w "Mercury" ready for mid-January drop—EMAIL US.

And have a nice day.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Proto SpottieOttie: Like everything else he did, Sun Ra's writing touched (on) the future.

A few items:

1. Dug up a demo of "War" from a few months back and posted it up over to the MYSPACE. New and improved version coming at you via vinyl-only 10in record after Kwanzaa. KUJICHAGULIA!

2. And yes we need to get our Ujamaa crackin. Look out for HYPNOTIC mail order dips and downloads next week.

3. Is there an Sun Ra-OutKast connection? Page 68 of John Corbett's new book got me wondering about the link betweeen Sun Ra whylin out with "SPO DE O DE" and OutKast's "SpottieOttieDopalicious" off the old Aquemini joint. I think Andre 3000 was just getting into Miles in ’98, but you never know maybe Big Boi was all up on the Saturn sound even then. Or did Sleepy Brown put em on? I though about asking KPC in Chicago last weekend...But then I figured HYPNOTIC might have answers.

UPDATE: What would it take to convince the guys to HYPNOTICize TI's "What You Know"?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Boss of the bosses: Kelan Phil Cohran at Hyde Park Arts Center, Chicago December 2006

Went to Chicago this past weekend for the Kelan Phil Cohran talk. You can read the bio, pore over an article, and try to find this or that reissue. But these things are only partial preparation for the experience of being around KPC in realtime.

KPC—or "Brother Phil" as he's known on the Chicago jazz/heavy listening scene—is, of course, the father of all the horns in HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE. But the discussion at the Hyde Park Art Center was part of the programming for a fascinating exhibit so he was speaking his connection to the original brother from another planet: omniversal bandleader/composer/afrofuturist Sun Ra. KPC gigged and recorded with the Sun Ra Arkestra from the late ’50s til it left Chicago for Montreal (then New York) in the early ’60s; in that time he contributed to some of best albums in the Arkestra discography including Angels And Demons At Play, Interstellar Low Ways and The Nubians Of Plutonia (HYPNOTIC completists will want to to cop Ra's Holiday For Soul Dance LP to crosscheck Cohran's composition "Dorothy's Dance" with "Pops Riff" from HYPNOTIC's 2001 CD Flipside). The Arkestra experience was so inspiring that when Ra left town, Cohran stayed behind to keep working on his own thing—a decision that led to a handful of amazing recordings and a legacy of teaching and community activism in Chicago that continues to this day.

Noting the auspicious sign of Jupiter, Mercury and Mars all lined up at the head of Scorpio, KPC started at precisely 2pm (moderator John Corbett popped up several minutes later to har har that this was the first occasion of a jazz musician starting on time) by explaining his gear: Lugz for his appreciation of the hip-hop, permanent press slacks for "the regular generation—the baby boomers," a silk tunic bought at a Beijing hotel that symbolized the respect he received on a visit to China in 1996 and a pharonic headdress as a nod to Sun Ra's pioneering use of costumes and performance art in a jazz context. From there KPC unrolled a fascinating matrix of ideas, theories, observations, polemics, funny asides and yes, HYPNOTIC backstory, all the while bringing it back to the man he referred to as Sunny. "He was so weird, you had to take a deep breath all the time," KPC explained. "But at the same time Sunny had a big heart—he really cared for people and had concern for people's misdirection in life."

Somewhat amazingly, KPC also brought his own astral soundsystem, which included a harp, a trumpet, a French horn, the legendary violin-ukes/ukelins/tuneable zithers heard in the essential song "Music From The World Tomorrow" on Angels And Demons At Play and the even more legendary frankiphones he invented and made by hand. Plus a cosmic DVD projection!

Trust I have clips of KPC rocking all those vibes live, but it's gonna take a while for me to get em together. As you might imagine there's really too much to go into it all at once; I'm gonna get that video crackin in a day or so though. For the now time peep the pix.

Rule Number 1: Don't touch the harp. Nobody touches the harp.

Rule Number 2: Don't touch anything else.

After the show KPC admitted to being a little rusty on the French horn; the narrow tubing makes it a tough instrument to fake on if you're out of practice.

OG frankiphone: priceless.

The violin-ukele zithers heard on Sun Ra's "Music From The World Tomorrow". KPC bought them for the tuning pins—they let him get to the classical Chinese tones he had been reading about.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Came back to NY to find that the Green Hornet has returned.

And the new dippingtons are (finally) in—check the green cover for the "Jupiter" CD. Check back later this week e-commerce action and a possible download look as well.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


The rhythmic core of HYPNOTIC: III and LT at the Truth & Soul sessions, Brooklyn December 2006.

"In the old days, we'd set the drummer and the bass up against a tree and have em play there til the sun went down." —Kelan Phil Cohran said that yesterday. But more on that tomorrow. Today I'm flying back from the Chi and people buggin me about the pics from last week's session that I promised.

Like I was saying—we were in the studio last week. As previously reported, we knocked out six songs in two days: "Tarik", "War", and "Flipside" on Day 1; and "Gypsy", Mercury" and "Frankincense and Myrrh" on Day 2. HYPNOTIC fans will recognize some of those titles, since a couple of them were released on the CDs the band has been selling for a minute. Can't even really describe the nextness of these new recordings, though—the world of sound in both old songs and new—because I's still in the studio time dreamstate and I'm only gonna come out of it when we sit down to mix tomorrow. In recent weeks the band has thrust its entire repetoire into another dimension as new ideas filter into their lives and every brother prepare to confront new challenges and opportunities. The Tao Te Ching says something like, "whether you go up the ladder or down the ladder your position is still shaky." And so we're making our next moves with mindfulness, intent and focus on what the Creator has prepared for us. We're on our square but it's only natural that our sound will change and grow as our lives change and grow.

What does that mean to you? Gotta figure it'll be different things to different people, but the one sure this is that you'll be hearing the sound of a new HYPNOTIC when we drop these next 10in records beginning in January. Looks like we're gonna put them out as they were recorded so you can experience the vibe of each day as just that—a particular moment in time. The first one will be "War" b/w "Tarik" and "Flipside". God willing it'll be out around Dr King's birthday.

For now here's those flicks.

The Baji twins do what the Baji twins do.

Smoove's solos powered by Heineken!

III kicks back and cooks up a creative attack for the drumkit.

El Cid and Hudah tripping out in a sea of sound.

Pardon the left—but can someone please give Leon some dap?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


We kept it Brooklyn and blazed it at Soul Fire Studios for the past two days. Knocked out six songs, which we'll get out to the people as a couple of vinyl-only 10in dips starting early-early '07. Good vibes all the way around—the band reunited, feeling creative and ready to raw, plus Leon Michels and Jeff Silverman of Truth & Soul on the boards as we recorded straight to 1-inch tape. THAT'S ANALOG YOU MARS! Anyways we won't start mixing til next week but for now yo I have to tell you that the sound was incredible. The satisfaction in the playbacks kept the energy high through the whole session—basic tracks laid down in one or two takes before banging on to the next song. We then moved in reverse, beginning by taping solos for the most recently recorded song and ending with the first track of the day. In general each man stepped his sonic game up; there's a new depth to the band's sound as a whole and the soloists pushed into new territory with a combination of insight, bravery and humility that you don't often see. Come to think of it we didn't get to see it either since everyone went into the booth—into the chamber!—and played in near darkness.

But thankfully you'll get to hear it the way we did. This is HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE version 3.0.

Here's a little taste of the future. Digital stills gallery to come in a day or so.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Amal Baji and Jafar Baji take it international at the Blacktronica 5th Anniversary, London November 2006

Yo! In London DJ Patrick Forge is already playing "Balicky Bon", the flipside off the first 10in! Gotta turn the record over and cue it up +4 selectors!

The Baji twins flew in from Chicago last night, making it the first time HYPNOTIC has played as HYPNOTIC in over a month. The band sounds amazing—raw as hell coming off a holiday new ideas and approaches to the music. It's a good time to go into the studio and we're doing that this Tuesday and Wednesday. We're gonna record a mix of old and new songs and put everything to tape so the sound will be a little more representative of the HYPNOTIC sonics.

Partial song list:

Ideally these some of these songs will come out as vinyl-only singles beginning in January.

But you're right—that's weeks and weeks away. You know we're gonna tease you with some studio clips, but in the meantime bug to these pics of the band whylin out in London at the Blacktronica 5th year anniversay party. London was already being good to us and certain Bros were kinda sauced before we even got to the event, but when Hudah got up on a chair and announced the sheer brass thuggery to come...well, we went straight diesel on London! Pics below by EQUINOX.

The sudden brass assault of HYPNOTIC left Morgan Spacek awash in a sea of red light.

This was around the time that Clef started wearing a scarf on his head. You could say a lot about it, but probably wouldn't.

Jafar got to London and cut all his hair off. Then he went to the party and chopped it up with iconic photgrapher Liz Johnson-Artur.

In London dudes thug it out in hats like this. Peep the shearling too.

Here's Tic explaining HYPNOTIC's musical pedigree..."Ok so they're from Chicago..."

Acyde did it lovely on the decks. Blacktronica took it from Wu Tang to "Uptown Top Ranking" and ended with EW&F "Fantasy" got personal!

Friday, December 01, 2006


Long tones backstage at Club Bastard, Berlin November 2006. Photo by Jane Stockdale.

Found out late last night that the world's most influential jazz/soul/funk DJ—Gilles Peterson of the BBC's Radio 1—has nominated "Jupiter" for Song Of The Year as part of his Worldwide Winners 2006 awards. It's a long shortlist, but it's crazy that we're even included—if you've been reading along then you know it happened so quickly. (Then again, this is a band that's been playing together in some form or fashion for over 20 years!)

Ok might have something witty to say later on for now we're speechless.

Ay yo it's a contest type of thing, so remember the words of Chicago boss (and jazz patron) Al Capone...VOTE EARLY AND VOTE OFTEN!

Thank you! Good night!

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