NEWS: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble @ The Cluny, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Back in 1959, a trumpeter called Phil Cohran was introduces to members of Sun Ra’s Arkestra. Over the span of two years he played with the Arkestra and this is still what he’s probably most famous for. Which is a bit of a shame. After leaving the Arkestra, Cohran learned to play the harp, the cornet and many other instruments, as well as forming the Artistic Heritage Ensemble and inventing the instrument known as the Frankiphone (essentially an electronic version of the kalimba). He also had eight songs, who make up all but one of the members of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

The Chicago-based nonet are wizards when it comes to all things brass (as their name suggests) but their music spans across a whole range of genres, from hip hop and jazz to funk and soul. You might not have heard much of their solo output, but you’ll probably have come across one of their many collaborations in the past; they’ve worked with literally everyone from rap stars like Nas and the Wu Tang Clan to Gorillaz (they supported Blur on their Hyde Park reunion shows in 2009), Prince and the B52s. But alone, they’re just as much of a force to be reckoned with. Their debut album Flipside (otherwise known as Hypnotic Orange) contains some of the funkiest works of modern times and they’ve continued to produce epic slabs of fusion goodness ever since. They’re one of the must-see acts in the world of hip hop and soul fusion and are highly likely to put on a spellbinding show.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble play at The Cluny on Friday 17th April.

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