Is Brasstronaut a pop band? Is Brasstronaut a jazz band? Are they a confused jazz band redeemed by their pop sensibilities? Hey, Is that Edo Van Breemen from The Clips?
What is Brasstronaut? With trumpets riding on decidedly more complicated lines than typical pop music, lyrics that, alongside themes of colonialism display a serious sensitivity to “indie scene,” the constant refrain from reviewers proclaims the enigmatic nature Brasstronaut. And if we don’t know what they are, how can we tell if they are good at what they do?
Formed through an improvisational jam in late 2005, Brasstronaut released their first recorded offering in September 2008, entitled Old World Lies. The consistent feature of Edo Van Breemen on piano and vocals and Byron Davies on horns typifies the sound of Brasstronaut. Van Breemen’s vocals and Davies horn interlocking, matching one another along melody lines, Davies horn occasionally wandering into Dave Douglas, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis inspired improvisations. Van Breemen’s relaxed vocals lamenting old world abuse, vapid posturing. Not biting, but a tired grieving. The album fills out the sound the two’s sound with upright bass, cello and percussion. It is pop music, yet intelligent, complicated, intricate classical and jazz influenced pop music. Too smart for pop music, but to pop for smart music.
Brasstronaut returns to Vancouver from their time in Toronto and celebrates the event with a performance at the Biltmore Cabaret, April 30th, 2009 along with the Fine Mist and DJ Warm-it-up-Chris.