Brass Riot - The Never Acting Story
01 – Wake Up, WTF!
02 – Make A Move
03 – The Never Acting Story
04 – Guitar Hero
05 – Tight Spots
06 – Voids & Riots
07 – Raven
08 – Stumble And Fly
09 – What About
When Belgian Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone in the mid-19th century, he could not have imagined what he had set in motion with his invention. Neither in classical music nor in military music did his new woodwind instrument find much appreciation. It was only long after his death that it became the most important instrument in jazz music via swinging big bands. It would probably have amazed Mr. Sax if he had been able to witness a young trio from Germany playing loudly against climate change and the lack of political consequences with two noisy saxophones and a drum set on a stage in front of the Reichstag in Berlin in front of more than 50,000 people jumping up and down during the climate strike in September 2021: BRASS RIOT.
The trio around Constantin von Estorff (Sax), Simon Sasse (Drums) and Carl Weiß (Sax) have been a band since their school days in Lüneburg. What started there as street music became a permanent and sought-after formation through the proximity to political initiatives, above all the Fridays-For-Future movement, and appearances at countless demonstrations. The band's name is slightly misleading, as "brass" in music refers to brass instruments such as the trumpet or tuba, even though most brass bands always include a saxophone. Moreover, the word "brass" means something in the German language, which in turn fits perfectly with this young, energetic trio: Fury.
On the heels of their debut album "Matschsafari" (2018), their second studio album "The Never Acting Story" is now released on Fun In The Church. The album title, in critical allusion to the world-famous fantasy book by Michael Ende, sums up well what the music of BRASS RIOT is about at its core: the possibility to get a noisy outlet for all the fury about the failed politics of the last decades and the frustrations and fears that go with it, and to free oneself from it for a moment. That this path has produced the wildest live music on this crisis-ridden planet is an irony of history - and certainly not the first time it has happened. It's no different in the jazz of Charlie Parker than in the songs of Patti Smith, the raps of Little Simz or the Afro-beat of Fela Kuti.
Musically, BRASS RIOT move more in the area of the melodic ska-pop of Madness, the fake jazz of the Lounge Lizards and contemporary rave brass ensembles like MEUTE between house music and electro beats. The fact that they have managed to politicize their sound so strongly over the years, despite all the party that goes with it, and without any song lyrics at all, is truly phenomenal.
The new album, produced by Tilman Hopf in the legendary Chez Cherie studios in Berlin-Neukölln, is almost a live album, because we hear the band actually play their repertoire completely live, except for a few studio overdubs. The fact that they have managed to politicize their sound so strongly over the years, despite all their party-ability, and without any song lyrics at all, is truly phenomenal.
The new album, produced by Tilman Hopf in the legendary Chez Cherie studios in the Sonnenallee in Berlin-Neukölln, has almost become a live album, because we hear the band actually play their repertoire completely live, except for a few studio overdubs. They can actually perform this just as well - without electricity and amplifiers - on any street corner. Except for the often used EWI saxophone, a so-called electronic wind transducer, which allows to trigger synthesizer sounds.
This instrument, in turn, was invented by a certain Nyle Steiner in the 70s, but could not catch on in either pop or jazz. BRASS RIOT, however, love their electronic wind instrument!
EMI's futuristic aesthetics are matched by the artwork of artist Sandro Rybak, who has set "The Never Acting Story" somewhere between fantasy and gamer worlds. The saxophone on the cover is staged like a Holy Grail, like a magic weapon or a gadget that goddesses or aliens must have bequeathed to us. Considering what this instrument has already moved in the last 100 years, we can only wish that BRASS RIOT have made the right choice with their "Weapon of Choice"!
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