Relentless party brass orchestra dat Brass have knuckled down over the last year and proved to the scene that their off-stage antics are just as joyous and weird as their hip-hop/jazz/dnb fusion act sounds. Their debut album is a masterful circumvention and criticism of industry antics, carefully composed. A product of collaboration that is as eclectic as it is refined.
Opening track The Golden Fleece is a strong and madly syncopated attack on herd mentality with something gloriously Shakespearian about it. I'm trying to think of a pun as intelligent as rapper Looby’s lyrics, something to do with fleece...sheep...bah...bars...bah-rilliant....?!! Whack it on to face the impending commute...
Service With a Smile cements the consumerism baiting narrative of the album. Cynical with a pinch of sass… This track is a real anchor to dB’s South East London contemporaries, its energy is reminiscent of Loyle Carner and Shabaka Hutchins/The Comet is Coming, and the production value (Jess Camillieri) is in the same elite. It’s smooth, dark and catchy.
Snare is a hint at the direction the rest of this album is headed, a moody cacophony that’s still a little bit silly. Danny Elfman meets the Tik Tok generation. Brassman is plonked right after as a reminder that dB don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s music produced by people who grew up on Pixar, Guitar Hero and using Trumpet lessons as a way to skip P.E, and I'm here for it.
In standout track Humble Pie, guest singer Rachel Kerry provides a smooth and sandy pop racetrack for this dub marathon to play on. Her voice is a tonic for those in need of a nice warm hug before May 17. Purportedly picked up face down in a field at an early dB gig, scratch DJ dubba dutch really comes into his own for the crescendo, clearly he’s not lying down any more. If anyone ever makes Bake Off into a videogame, I guarantee this will be the 8 bit theme.
Best In Class is what I would write in every single one of the dB crew’s planners. A* s all round. already the sound of my summer. An original floorfiller... long overdue! It’s an earworm wearing a mariachi hat…
You think you’re enjoying a jazz/dub/hip-hop fusion, and then eight tracks in, new ground is laid. Somewhere in between Duke Ellington, Jazzy Jeff and Frank Zappa lies Pidgin. Frenetic Jazz for pre-drinks is my fave new genre.
Moon Under Water owes its moody effervescence to composer and youtuber Seb Skelly- it’s as vaudevillian as Parklife, with hints of Dad rock- Alex James but with less cheese.
And finally, coming to a cinema near you is... Danzon! Somewhere in Southern Europe, under an Orange Coloured Sky, is guest vocalist Mandeep playing the new James Bond, with gadget-man Looby. It’s a proud final festival floorfiller. WARNING, will make you desperate for live music to return.
Released May 7, 2021 here