Black Market Brass

Black Market Brass

 Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
BandWorldFunk

Despite hailing from the arctic tundra of Minneapolis, Black Market Brass sizzles with an eclectic blend of cool, deep funk and driving Afrobeat grooves that will lure you to the dance floor and never let you leave.
Taking their cues from the godfathers, Black Market Brass draws on complex polyrhythmic percussion, driving bass lines, dizzying guitar interplay, rolling keyboards and room-commanding brass to deliver a live show that will turn your bones to dust.

Biography

Founded in Minneapolis during the spring of 2012, BMB came together when two guitar players discovered each other's almost identical craigslist ads aimed at starting a funk band influenced by among other things, the sounds of Fela Kuti, K Frimpong, and King Sunny Ade.  

Over the next 3 years the band would relentlessly rehearse, fine tune, and develop their deeply powerful sound.  What started as a funk band playing obscure covers eventually blossomed into a creative collective of musicians writing, arranging, and performing original music that builds on the sound of Nigerian Afrobeat by tastefully blending it with other styles.  As time went on, the band cycled through players and material before arriving at what would become the permanent lineup and their signature sound.  

In 2013 Secret Stash Records released BMB’s debut single to critical acclaim within the collector and DJ communities.  The bible of all things funky, Wax Poetics, declared the record to be “Heavy Nigerian Madness.”  Flea Market Funk raved “This is some authentic music right here people, recorded in the United States. Inspired by the likes of The Funkees, The Black President, and Moussa Doumbia as much as James Brown and The Meters, this Twin Cities dozen (and sometimes more) is shoveling out their musical path with their unique sounds.”  The entire pressing quickly sold out as Secret Stash shipped copies around the globe while BMB slang copies from the stage after shows throughout the Midwest.  


Two years later, after almost non-stop gigging and rehearsing, BMB finally tracked their debut album at Secret Stash’s new recording studio in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis.  Cut live in one room over the course of 3 days, the recordings jump out of the speakers with an energy reminiscent of the band’s celebrated live shows. "Cheat and Start a Fight" was introduced to a sold out release party at St. Paul's Turf Club on September 17th 2016.

Discography

"Black Market Brass" 7"45 - Secret Stash Records (2013)

A. "Big Muffler" - received airplay on MPR's 89.3 THE CURRENT in both the local show and on regular weekday rotation
B. "Snake Oil Man" - Selected to be featured on waxpoetics.com as free download. Was also reviewed and released on sound cloud.

"Cheat and Start a Fight" LP-Secret Stash Records September 2016

The incredible thing about recorded music is its ability to travel across time, space, and cultural boundaries.  The story of Black Market Brass and their debut album, Cheat And Start A Fight, is a testament to that miraculous feat.  Recorded in 2015 by the 12 piece instrumental band, it is heavily inspired by the sounds of West African popular and spiritual music from long ago.  

Founded in Minneapolis during the spring of 2012, BMB came together when two guitar players discovered each other's almost identical craigslist ads aimed at starting a funk band influenced by among other things, the sounds of Fela Kuti, K Frimpong, and King Sunny Ade.  

In 2013 Secret Stash Records released BMB’s debut single to critical acclaim within the collector and DJ communities.  The bible of all things funky, Wax Poetics, declared the record to be “Heavy Nigerian Madness.”  Flea Market Funk raved “This is some authentic music right here people, recorded in the United States. Inspired by the likes of The Funkees, The Black President, and Moussa Doumbia as much as James Brown and The Meters, this Twin Cities dozen (and sometimes more) is shoveling out their musical path with their unique sounds.”  The entire pressing quickly sold out as Secret Stash shipped copies around the globe while BMB slang copies from the stage after shows throughout the Midwest.  

Two years later, after almost non-stop gigging and rehearsing, BMB finally tracked their debut album at Secret Stash’s new recording studio in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis.  Cut live in one room over the course of 3 days, the recordings jump out of the speakers with an energy reminiscent of the band’s celebrated live shows.  About the process, guitarist Hans Kruger says, “This music needs to be recorded live.  Everytime we play there are these little connections that are being made between a couple of the musicians.  The bass and drums might lock into something that the horn players don’t consciously know about.  But while that’s happening, the horn players might find their way to some new interpretation of their parts.  You would lose some of that if you went in and tracked everything one at a time.  There needs to be room for collective improvisation.”

The album title "Cheat and Start a Fight,” and some of the songs on the album, are heavily influenced by Yoruba bátà music, as taught to conga player David Tullis by Chief Muraina Oyelami in Accra Nigeria during the summer of 2012.

Bátà drums are conical drums used for ritual Orisha worship among the Yoruba. They are thought of as talking drums in Yoruba culture, in that they can roughly imitate the contours of the Yoruba language through the use of various tones and accents. Since the drum can imitate speech, extended drum lines can be thought of as sentences. Groups of sentences can be thought of as a poem. This drum language draws on a vast repertoire of ancient proverbs called oriki.  "Cheat and Start a Fight", is the first line for a Shango worship oriki poem titled “Yannije.”  In addition to being the album’s namesake, rhythmic and melodic patterns found in specific oriki poems form the basis for two songs on this album, Moon King and Half A Cig.  

Start to finish Cheat And Start A Fight is laden with endless polyrhythms driven by intricate percussion, intertwined guitar parts, and rock solid bass and drums.  Atop that complex backdrop the 4 piece horn section, anchored by copious amounts of baritone sax, revels in their ability to effortlessly float back and forth between almost militaristic precision and ultra loose, sometimes free-jazz inspired playing.  The result is a strange sort of booty shaking party music with a dark, heavy, post-apocalyptic-like undertone.  Its Afrobeat with heavy doses of psychedelic textures and feelings.  And while BMB is undoubtedly part of today’s Afrobeat revival, make no mistake about it, Cheat and Start a Fight stands on its own as a unique work that they hope will help progress the development of a genre of music they love, respect, and cherish.  

Set List

Originals
Chuck Wu
Mob Rules
Son of Sultan
Calypso
Moon Kings
Pocket Baby
Powers
Glum
Half a Cig
Snake Oil Man
Big Muffler
Sowu
Woru
Into the Thick


Covers
Heaven-Ebo Taylor
Jealousy-Tony Allen
Colonial Mentality-Fela Kuti
Gentleman-Fela Kuti
Hwe Hwe mu na yi wo mpena-K. Frimpong & His Cubano Fiestas
Water No Get Enemy-Fela Kuti
Afro Disco Beat-Tony Allen