Klaxon Mutant Allstars

Klaxon Mutant Allstars: Robot Invasion

$15.56 $18.98

Artist: Klaxon Mutant Allstars
Title: Robot Invasion
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS

The Klaxon Mutant Allstars have emerged as a unique Bay Area group inhabiting the worlds between jazz, electronica, indie rock, and hip hop. Their music has been described as "playful, haunting, exuberant, and -most importantly - expertly crafted by a whole team of virtuosos." Festivus 2013. The group consists of Henry Hung (trumpet, keys, and live effects), Eric Garland (drums), Colin Hogan (keyboards), Kasey Knudsen (saxophone), Georges Ban-Weiss (bass), and Sam Bevan (bass). All members of the ensemble are vital performers in the Bay Area, whose resumes span the musical spectrum. These professional musicians have worked with major pop acts such as Bobby McFerrin, Donovan, tUneYards, TV on the Radio, Lyrics Born, Too$hort, Deltron 3030, Thao Nguyen, Maria Muldaur, Zigaboo Modeliste, John Vanderslice to performances with jazz stalwarts such as James Moody, Stanley Clarke, Jimmy Cobb, Dave Liebman, Joshua Redman, Maria Schneider, Fred Frith, Ben Goldberg, etc. Everyone in the band contributes compositions and custom arrangements that reimagine what jazz is today by blending the soundscapes of a multi-genre aesthetic impacted by emerging technology. The album ROBOT INVASION shows the Klaxon Mutant Allstars finding themselves through the reshaping of what jazz means for today's generation of musicians. "Start Time" begins the album and is written by drummer Eric Garland, the musician who brought the Klaxons together. One of the most highly in demand musicians in the Bay Area, Garland is known for his work with Donovan and a founding member of the Bay Area's Jazz Mafia, a coalition of jazz musicians who are renown for bending genres, combining classical, hip hop, and jazz into large symphonic works. "Start Time" evokes the elements the Klaxon Mutant Allstars seek in their music - groove based music that is accessible but intricate enough for the jazz musician. "Desaparecere" is a Deerhoof cover featuring the bassist Dr, George Ban-Weiss, who by day is a professor of engineering and by night lends his musical talents to not only the Klaxons, but to his own group the Autonomous Rogers and violinist Mads Tolling. Deerhoof is known for their highly charged and intelligent songwriting, and have for years been the standard bearer for adventurous and original indie rock. The Klaxons use the song as a platform to explore improvisational possibilities and features exciting solos from both George Ban-Weiss and saxophonist Kasey Knudsen. Immediately following is a song by trumpeter Henry Hung, "Dear 70%..." The piece was written after a dismal turn out on an election day in 2011. This piece features Hung's flowering exploration of playing keyboard and trumpet simultaneously. "There have been many attempts to manipulate timbre with extended trumpet technique, but the addition of a second voice via keyboard has really opened up a new world for me, texturally, melodically, and harmonically. The new possibilities are simultaneously exhilarating and daunting not only in the scope of the possibilities but also how far away from where I want to be musically." This song features the Hung's inventive arranging by switching traditional roles each instrument plays. The bass and drums are used as melodic leads as the horns act as the underlying bass role. "Klaxon Tomb Bomb" is another original by drummer Garland and has been used as a theme for the band's indie rock yearnings. "Jamie Moyer" is another original by trumpeter Henry Hung. "I was listening to the radio and heard that Jamie Moyer had made it back to the major leagues at the age of 49. I was so moved by the sheer audacity of his career, how he could still be in the league long after anyone thought he should be...a career built from modest talents, but lengthened through sheer will and experience." This song features many textural twists and turns, demonstrating how the Klaxons redefine traditional roles for their instruments. The horn players adopt the role of the bassist at times, carrying the beat. This song is especially notable for the highly inventive soloing of both Colin Hogan and Kasey Knudsen. Knudsen's solo is an especially remarkable one, which begins as a duet with her and drummer Garland. As the two trade phrases, Hung layers electronic effects, another staple to the Klaxon sound that demonstrates Knudsen's amazing improvisational prowess to react to her own sounds being manipulated through pitch distortion and sampling. Eric Garland's second offering to the album "Riled Up." The song features Garland's highly inventive and clever writing, disguising meters with different poly-rhythmic feels and was written for saxophonist Riley Bandy. The song features an invigorating solo by keyboardist Hogan which leads to a solo section where the horn players, Knudsen and Hung, show once again their deep chemistry and ability to play off of each other's ideas. The soloing section leads to a particularly brilliant solo by Garland who fittingly wraps up the soloing and brings the musicians back in for a recap of the song. "Against Her Better Wishes, We Hit the Rewind Button" is the Klaxons' sole ballad of the album written by Henry Hung. The horns begin a melodic strain which becomes the soul of the piece as their sounds are processed through heavy filters. This piece is based off a David Sedaris short story called "Home Videos," a moving story about Sedaris' mother. Colin Hogan's contribution to the album, "Taxi Driver Blues," is a riveting tune that reveals the Klaxon's deep roots in jazz improvisation. But much in the manner of the Klaxon's style, the blues is unconventional by use of substitute chord changes and rhythmic hits for the soloist to perform over. Hogan demonstrates, once again, his virtuosic talent and creativity that has been honed by years of performing with his two other prodigiously talented brothers Steven and Julian in the Hogan Brothers. "Robot Invasion" is a daydream of Hung's visualized through song. The song evokes the low fidelity textures and breaks of early rap and hip hop with this raucous number. Hogan cues up his best Bernie Worrell impersonation as Hung ushers in the "robot invasion" through keyboard effects. Bassist Ban-Weiss is once again featured in a section that is a tribute to the bass breaks of the early 1980s. "Start Time (Assimilation Completed)" finishes the album and fittingly pays homage to the electronic sounds of the 1980s, a period of nostalgia for all of the Klaxon members.

Tracks:
1.1 Start Time
1.2 Desapareceré
1.3 Dear 70%
1.4 Klaxon Tom Bomb
1.5 Jamie Moyer
1.6 Start Time (Interlude)
1.7 Riled Up
1.8 Against Her Better Wishes
1.9 Taxi Driver Blues
1.10 Robot Invasion
1.11 Start Time (Assimilation Completed)

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