Album Mini-review: Tyondai Braxton — HIVE1
File Next to: David Byrne and Brian Eno
Son of legendary jazz improv master Anthony Braxton, Tyondai Braxton (formerly of Battles) has set out to make a name of his own. The experimental HIVE work was initially commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process initiative. Employing multiple musicians manipulating content via laptop computers, amplified acoustic percussion, and other instruments, HIVE was a multimedia feast. Subsequent performances of the work took place in London, Sydney, and at the boundary-pushing 2015 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee. HIVE1 features eight pieces conceived for the original installation. The man-meets-machine pieces successfully hybridize bass-bombing synthesizer lines and percussion into a sweeping, majestic, often heady mix. There’s a three-dimensional feel to the album; even without headphones, the listener is virtually transported to the center of Braxton’s sonic activities. The lines between synthetic and organic are constantly blurred, and – even stripped of its visual components – HIVE1 is never less than interesting.
An edited version of this review previously appeared in the Colorado Springs Independent.
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With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.