Brassy
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso)
Got it Made (2002), 5/10
Gettin' Wise (2003), 6/10
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Formed in Manchester, Brassy is a combo comprising Muffin Spencer on vocals (Jon Spencer's sister), Stefan Gordon on guitar, Karen Frost on bass, Jonny "DJ Swett" Barrington on drums and scratching. They mix the aesthetics of electronica, hip-hop and garage-rock. Like most British "next big things", they wasted their best shots on singles and EPs. They debuted with three singles (Boss and Straighten Out in 1996) in the vein of Elastica's dance-pop, and the EPs Bonus Beats (1999) and I Can't Wait (1999). The first full-length, Got it Made (Wiiija, 2002), was basically filler. Work It Out, I Can't Wait and You Got It forced disorienting electronic effects on relatively lightweight grooves. Good Times and Nervous were more intense, but hardly shocking.

Hot on the heels of the single Play Some D (2003), Brassy's second album Gettin' Wise (Beggars Group, 2003) worked better in the register of edgy, punkish funk music. Hard-rock riffs and sarcastic tones propel Hit 'em Hard, So Long Baby, and, while Brassy are no Public Enemy, these tracks display enough energy to arise above background dance muzak. Spencer's voice has become more distinctive as well, and her rigmaroles (1-0-0, Feeling Sorry) often carry the tune regardless of the music. There are tributes to the roots (the classic funk sound of Mine, the call-and-response of soul choir and rap lead in Gettin' Wise). There are experiments on rhythm (Still Stealing) and novelty numbers (Where Did You Get That Funk?). Perhaps the most adventurous piece is Dus', a carnival of sound effects and scratching (almost as inventive and propulsive as Sugarsmack).

(Translation by/Tradotto da Davide Carrozza)

Brassy è una combo di Manchester formata dalla cantante Muffin Spencer (la sorella di Jon Spencer), il chitarrista Stefan Gordon, la bassista Karen Frost e Jonny "DJ Swett" Barrington alla batteria e alla console. Mescolano le estetiche dell'elettronica, dello hip-hop e del garage-rock. Come molte "next big things" inglesi, sprecarono i colpi migliori in singoli ed EP. Debuttarono con tre singoli (Boss e Straighten Out nel 1996) sulla falsariga del dance-pop degli Elastica, e gli EP Bonus Beats (1999) e I Can't Wait (1999). Il primo album, Got it Made (Wiiija, 2002), è a base di riempitivi. Work It Out, I Can't Wait e You Got It forzano la convivenza tra effetti elettronici disorientanti e groove relativamente leggeri. Good Times e Nervous sono più intense, ma poco travolgenti.

Forti del successo del singolo Play Some D (2003), il secondo album dei Brassy Gettin' Wise (Beggars Group, 2003) funziona meglio nel registro di certo funk nervoso e punkeggiante. Riff hard-rock e toni sarcastici reggono Hit 'em Hard e So Long Baby e, siccome i Brassy non sono i Public Enemy, queste tracce mostrano energia sufficiente a farsi distinguere dalla dance muzak di sottofondo. La voce della Spencer è diventata più caratteristica, e i suoi sproloqui (1-0-0, Feeling Sorry) spesso reggono le melodie noncuranti della musica. Ci sono tributi alle radici(il suono funk classico di Mine, il call-and-response di coro soul e rap capeggia in Gettin' Wise). Ci sono esperimenti sul ritmo (Still Stealing) e alcune novelties(Where Did You Get That Funk?). Forse il pezzo più avventuroso è Dus', un carnevale di effetti sonori e scratching (inventivo e propulsivo quasi quanto i Sugarsmack).

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso)
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