Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Like I've been saying, this tune began as a remix to the Tony Allen song "Losun"—it's coming out as a 12in single on Honest Jons very very soon.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Amal Baji stunts his special-issue $200 48 hour Canadian visa while 360 gets beamed up and out of Toronto.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


All insane, ill-conceived, absurd good things must come to an end, and the HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE July Tour 2007 was no exception. On Saturday we woke up in Paris, flew to Toronto and muscled our way through a well-produced show at the city's gorgeous Harbourfront Centre—an open-air theater right there on the pristine waters of Lake Ontario. We rocked the opening slot for Miami's Haitian sound system sensation Sak Pasé as part of the Centre's World Routes: Global Hip Hop programming and if we were tired (and we weren't...aight?) the crowd didn't seem to notice, we got crazy love from the few thousand people who ended up packing the pier as well as tasteful appreciation from the rich folks pulling up in their yachts (yes really)...talking 50-foot status yall!

It was our first gig in Toronto and trust we'll be going back, hopefully for some dates this fall. "T-dot" has everything the band looks for in a city...and let's leave it at that!

Changing up the look on these pics a bit, just to show the scope of the gig. Click to enlarge.

Props to Dalton at Harbourfront Centre for the link.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Yes there is a castle. Yes there are stray dogs. Yes the HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE lifestyle is out of control.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


This is the life we're living: we've ended up in Siles, Portugal at Festival Músicas do Mundo—the country's largest world music festival. We're sharing the bill with some legends and luminaries, including Malian diva Oumou Sangaré, Ethiopian jazz lion Mahmoud Ahmed, Indian polyrhythmicist Trilok Gurtu and English reggae jammer Bitty McClean...playing with Sly & Robbie! But you know how we do, HYPNOTIC isn't content to leave until we've left our mark...so we're banging out in the narrow cobbled streets of this quiet island town.

This is a crazy way to end a hard month of hard playing—we've been moving so fast that the laid-back vibe here in Sines caught us off guard. During the day it's mostly hippie kids hanging out playing drums, smoking hash and talking to stray dogs...then at night it gets crazy, thousands of people showing up for the nightly festivities held inside the ruins of a castle sitting on a cliff above the sea. Each night's headliner is slated to take the stage at 2:30am, it aint nothing but a party out here yall and we're not getting much sleep.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Bros are feeling the upgrade this time around, we about style never about fashion.

Here's last year November 2006 in the same spot.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


That's what the newspapers called it. We closed out our time in Frankfurt with a mesmerizing show at the city's Historical Museum as part of Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm's "Summer In The City/Jazz im Museum" programming—in this case an 11am show in the museum's garden courtyard.

As you might imagine is the case to be for latenighthousepartyrocking "cold-blooded heroes of funk", HYPNOTIC doesn't have an early morning jazz brunch set ready to go, we aint that type of show...So we more or less did what we always do, some Bros stayed up all night at a salsa club and then just rolled to the show ready to play we put together two stunning sets of stirring spiritual music to explore the meridians of this all original HYPNOTIC material—almost two hours of intense, focused playing and that's something you don't always get to see or hear from this band. Plus an encore!

Germans love jazz and they love brass, but still...over 800 Frankfurters packed into the museum's garden? Check out LT getting his Phil Cohran on, bringing knowledge to the people!

Thanks to the Mousonturm staff for great hospitality. Let's bring it back!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Stumbling thru a Frankfurt train station last night I came up on the spot where we played last November—the handheld camera footage ultimately becoming groundwork for the crazy insane DIY video for "War" that got the internet goin nuts.

We might have to retire that clip pretty soon, though. In Barcelona we shot a new video for the song with talented young director Santi Gonzalez Aguado. Santi's done some award-winning video work including stuff for M. Ward and El Chavo, so when he reached out we said cool.

The video should be cool, each of the Bros was shot in front of a bluescreen so Santi can freak everything out later in post-production. Dude kept saying something about having the whole band onscreen at the same time in different colored boxes, which made me think of the throwback "Brady Bunch" opening...but I figured maybe they didnt have that show in Franco-era Spain so I kept the thought to myself.

Anyways props to Santi and his team for all the hard work. Check out the dope pics his girlfriend colleague shot on set.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


That was then: LT at Robert Johnson Club, Offenbach, November 2006.

Well, we're back in Frankfurt again. It's kinda cool to walk out the train station and know where you're going—in this case back to the grimy (but wifi equipped!) hostel we crashed in last year as we re-upped and got it crackin on the HYPNOTIC mythmaking you've been following. We're staying in some posh accommodations this weekend for our show at the Frankfurt Jazz Museum but you know how we do we always stay close to our roots. Ok maybe this will be our last hostel stay ever but tomorrow we're gonna get up and hit the Zeil market with our horns, we got a lot of love last time so we're ready to bring it back.

Here's a youtube from last year's trip, seems like forever ago. Gypsies, where ya at??

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


This is what we do on our off days, get fresh tattoos. In Amsterdam! 360 got a map of the world on his arm—he's gonna fill in all the countries he goes to. Clef got the Kemetic greeting "Hetep" done, and Smoov, got "Smoov" is some weird script.

Now we're out to FRANKFURT.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


HYPNOTIC had an amazing time at the North Sea Jazz Festival. Respect to all the other artists (Snoop killed it), shout out to Wynton Marsalis, and many thanks to the great festival staff and the folks from Mojo who really looked out for the Bros—Natalia, Eva, Aldo and Ron.

Also holler at the kid Ruben Atlas, he's been working on a documentary on HYPNOTIC for the past year ago and he came out to record our historic appearance in Rotterdam.

Also thanks to Marije from G-STAR for making the trip up to Rotterdam with fresh fits. She rolled up in the custimo G-STAR Raw Defender Land Rover 8-seater and drove Bros to the first show. Bossy, it's the only way to travel.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Here's how we left things in Rotterdam. This is a new song the Bros have been working on for a few months, it started off as a remix to the Tony Allen song "Losun" and now it continues to grow to be an official HYPNOTIC crusher. (The record's gonna come out soon on Honest Jons records as a 12in single pretty soon so check for it.)


LT and his sousaphone holding down the front page of Holland's leading "intellectual" newspaper. HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE, the thinking person's favorite brass ensemble.


HYPNOTIC closed out a triumphant debut at the North Sea Jazz Festival by rocking the "Yukon" venue—ideally a massive boxy tent but swiftly turned into a sweatlodge halfway thru the band's first tune "Jupiter". Yukon was our biggest stage of the festival and we really packed people in, it was sweltering inside but folks kept cramming in the doors at the back of the spot, braving the thick heavy air just for a chance to trip out on the HYPNOTIC psychedelic experience one more time.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Last night—or this morning, rather, since we played at 1:30am (?!?!?!)—HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE stormed back up into the North Sea Jazz Festival to deliver another crushing set of all original music. The hot thing about the 1:30 marquee slot is that it was timed blast off right as some of the big headline shows were letting out. You'd think that'd be aight, all the thousands of festival patrons streaming past the band on their way out into the night and thus giving us a chance to show tons of people what we're all about. Didn't turn out exactly like that though.

You know some shit is going down when artists ARRIVE to the gig after midnight, and that's what we did when our driver dropped us off at the front doors of the venue—we were coming IN as people were going OUT. Save all the blood diamonds and Jesus pieces, we came in the doors like some kind of true ghetto superhero hooded out Rolling Stones brass rock band from the future of the very next moment. We do what we want when we want. We wear our sunglasses at night. A crowd built around us for the next hour and by 1:30 the drama was lit, we had to wait for whatever jazz legend was playing to finish up in some concert hall so we could give the people what they wanted. But they wanted it now, the future they wanted they wanted it right THEN—so much so that the vibe was getting hectic, a thousand or so people waiting in the lobby of the venue as the clock ticked towards 2am, HYPNOTIC standing there with heat in their hands ready to put it down, it was about to be a rally or a riot.

We finally got the green light to play and started in on "Mushallah". Our set was pretty much over after that, the whole festival transfixed by tones they'd never heard or anticipated and maybe never even dreamed of, you know how HYPNOTIC music is it's the sound you always wanted but were always afraid to hope for. People clapping, people dancing, people crying, coming right up to the band as they played and wanting to embrace the Brothers, people on upper levels leaning over the railings, someone shut down the escalators and more people packed on just to get a view—trying to see what, exactly, was the source of that sound.

The rest of the set was a mass of heat and light with no beginning and no end, the Bros throwing themselves in to the heart of their songs to see what new brilliance they could pull out, the crowd churning in front of them, above them, every place all around, the band sending love out and the people sending it back. I think it ended at some point, not sure when or how.


Well, here at North Sea anyways. We're changing up the usual HYPNOTIC game and letting the good folks at the IT RECORDS booth bump the product for us. No surprises, they keep selling out. With Dutch sales tax of 20% these are basically promo, but then again this country has great healthcare, nice roads and legalized marijuana. Attention Europe, when we come out here heavy our CDs are gonna cost like 78 euros. Holla.

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