Epic Proportions by Brandon Seabrook, “brutalovechamp”.

Album of the day

Epic Proportions by Brandon Seabrook, “brutalovechamp”.

By Brad Cohan · May 31, 2023



Brandon Seabrook has long established himself as a pillar of the lush Brooklyn DIY avant-garde, developing with guitarists such as Mary Halvorson, Ava Mendoza and Marc Ribot. While those visionaries each carved out their own singular niche from a jazz-centric idiom, Seabrook occupies a world of his own. Is it jazz? Metal? Classical? People? A punk? It’s all of the above – usually at the same time.

Regardless, few artists have the breadth of command, high-speed intensity, and unique touch on both guitar and banjo. In a word, Seabrook breaks. Love albums in The herd In his three by Cooper-Moore and Gerald CleaverAnd TremblingIt’s a time signature-loaded face recorder that features Timebrook with his strings team, Henry Fraser and Daniel Levin. raison d’être: rolling the listener into submission with extreme physicality.

Brutalovechamp It’s a different beast, and one that proves Seabrook’s boundary-breaking, ingenuity. For all the guitar notes and riff explosions he can call his signature freestyle, he at least prefers a more subtle approach to it.

Although Seabrook’s epic proportions contained three members who helped fuel 2017’s blurringly complex and corrosive avant-metal mania. Death trommel fatale, This new group has a distinct sound of its own. The record shows a changed set of players Dead trommel fatale (cellist Marika Hughes, double bassist Eivind Opsvik, electronics and sound master Chuck Bettis, and drummer and multi-instrumentalist Sam Ospovat) with newcomers Nava Dunkelman (actress, glockenspiel, voice), Henry Fraser (double bass) and John McCowen (double bass clarinet) ) Bb clarinet, alto and bass recorder).

The two records couldn’t be more different, at opposite ends of the spectrum both sonically and stylistically. Dead trommel fatale It had more in common with the legendary black metal that Kralis invented, but filtered through the prism of punk jazz. brutalovechamp In the year Nodding to the 1970s, utopian folk rock meets the polystylism made famous by Nels Cline’s Infinite Guitar Heroes in the 20s.Th Turn-of-the-century composers like Alfred Schnittke. From this motley group of influences culminates a carefully crafted, happy-go-lucky sprawl, proggy maelstroms laced with playful grit that puts Sebuk’s incredibly creative composition at center stage.

In the album’s notes, Seabrook stated that he wrote the music brutalovechamp At a time when his “personal and artistic life was in a state of flux.” Those feelings of doubt, desperation and contemplation are unleashed on the title track, a 10-minute-long tour de force worth the price of admission alone. The calm sound of McCowen’s alto recorder is the first sound you hear. brutalovechamp An equally soothing mandolin selection before Seabrook enters the fray.

It wasn’t long before the music went full tilt. The agro-prog twang of Seabrook is filtered through a loose country-grilled scream Meatballs II And Blood on the tracks/Desire– Era Dylan – if the latter under the influence of free jazz and a good tempo. “I Wanna Be Chlorophylled I: Corpus Conductor” is cut from the same heady, bucolic cloth, with a three-dimensional string ensemble reminiscent of Hughes, Fraser, and Opvik and Ospovat. Bettis further enhances Seabrook’s mandolin shredding skills by applying his own stamp of electronically fueled strums and strums. Meanwhile, “Gutbucket Asylum” and “Compassion Montage,” powered by Bettis and Dunkelman’s demonic screams, respectively, sound like carnival music from the depths of hell.

Of course, this may seem like it brutalovechamp It’s a straight battery – and of course some of it certainly retains the guitar chaos that Seabrook is famous for. But it’s also his laser-focused, melodic and compact effort to date, delivering a listening experience that’s arguably pure joy and deep contemplation—thanks in large part to his Epic Proportions team, who help make his vision a reality. A newfound sense of patience and space creates an invitation to fully embrace all the fine details and otherworldly languages ​​of Saybrook’s guitar wizardry.



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