Tyondai Braxton

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
The Grow Gauge (1999), 6/10
Death Slug 2000 (2000), 5.5/10
History That Has No Effect (2002), 6/10
Central Market (2009), 6.5/10
Hivel (2015), 5.5/10

Tyondai Braxton, a New York-based composer who made his name with the improvised digital/electronic tours de force The Grow Gauge (Loopchoir, 1999) and History That Has No Effect (JMZ, 2002), that display his art of "orchestrated loops" through which he manipulated voice and guitar to create "orchestral" sounds, but also indulged in avant-jazz excursions such as Death Slug 2000 (Metatron, 2000), a duo improvisation with Jonathon Matis, has composed the multimedia project N.E.A.R for chamber orchestra and two choirs.

He also plays in Battles with Don Caballero's Ian Williams, Helmet's Jon Stanier and Lynx' Dave Konopka.

Central Market (Warp, 2009), his first album under his own name in seven years, apparently inspired by Igor Stravinsky's ballets, offered complex scores for synthesizer and orchestra. Opening Bell mixes a Steve Reich-ian repetitive piano pattern with exuberant neoclassical orchestration. The Duck and the Butler does something similar on the comic front, with a rhythm and a melody that evoke both Disney cartoons and Ravel's music. The brief Uffe's Woodshop, is a breathless allegro of colliding folkish and industrial themes. The ten-minute Platinum Rows is a sort of post-rock symphonic poem, a convoluted and tumultuous stream of consciousness with dramatic overtones, and, overtly or not, reminiscent of Frank Zappa's bizarrely postmodern orchestral music. The nine-minute Dead Strings is a bolder statement, fusing industrial noise and rhythm, ethereal strings and vocal effects towards a small apocalypse of scratching and dissonance. The one sung piece, J City, is an interesting experiment in fractured funk-rock but probably belongs to another album.

The 42-minute piece of Hive1 (Nonesuch, 2015), the result of two years of live performances, debuted a new project with percussionists and Ben Vida on sysnthesizers.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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