Friday, February 23, 2007


Mos Def and HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE, Brooklyn Academy Of Music Feb 2007

You wanna know where we've been.

We've been working! That's no excuse for leaving HYPNOTIC's faithful fans hanging in limbo with no news of the BAM shows with Mos Def...but on the real it's taken a week or so to catch up on sleep, find our keys and generally sort out what the hell happened on 16 and 17 February.

In general the shows upped the ante from that first date in January at Jazz At Lincoln Ceneter. Bigger band (two new saxes, guitar, turntable), new tunes, tighter arrangements. Mos is still experimenting with the whole idea, alternately putting the band through its paces and getting lost in the rapture of it all. As previously reported, the set list was more or less

"Paint The World" Chick Corea
"Real People" Common
"Hip-Hop" Mos Def
"Poison" Bell Biv Devoe
"Rainbows" Madvillain (Madlib + MF Doom)
"My Life Is Real" Mos Def
"Hurricane" Neil Young
"I Put A Spell On You" Screamin Jay Hawkins
"The Grunt" The JBs
"Stakes Is High" De La Soul

but all through it Mos was adding lyrics and versions—his own "Ms Fat Booty" and a double-time of the classic "She Keeps On Passing Me By" by the Pharcyde laid over the second half of BBD's "Poison", which stretched to nine minutes as it turned from the joint you all know and hate to love to become a grown man's reflective lament on love, life and loss. I have a full version from soundcheck so I'll work on making that nice for the people.

Who knows what'll happen next? Mos is talking more shows and maybe some studio time with the project. The shows at BAM were really the first suggestion that the music's only gonna get better if the collaboration could hear it in the way the band really opened up the sound on "Hip-Hop" and the already insane diesel Madlib beat of "Rainbows". I copped clips of both of those moments too, so you can see what I mean.

Anyways ou know how HYPNOTIC does it—we keep it moving. The band hasn't talked much about the gig, but if you caught em out on the street or in the subway since then maybe you heard couple of the younger dudes playing around with the riffs on "Rainbows" in between their own original tunes.

Oh word this time the shirts read "So Fresh So Clean" with a pic of Barack Obama on em. Nice one Twin.

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