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Youngblood Brass Band

Is That a Riot?

September 30th, 2008 · post by Fred Goodsell · Make a comment

Youngblood Brass Band are a nine-piece jazz/hiphop/experimental ensemble. Their energetic live performance and relentless touring schedule have earned them notoriety in the underground. On top of this they have a strong DIY ethic and have been involved in the setting up of the ‘Layered Art Collective’ that functions as “an independent record label, literature and sheet music publishing company, recording studio and forum for like-minded artists, students and educators working together to build a community focused on igniting the local and global populace with arts and education related opportunities.”

‘Is That A Riot?’ erupts in a furious brass frenzy from the get go. Front man, MC Henzie Skogen, encourages the listener to ‘March’ with a passionate cry that fades, as the music mellows, into a poetic spoken word verse only to build up again.

Skogen’s lyrics are a blend of poetic structures, intelligent imagery and strong messages. On the more hip-hop orientated ‘Bone Refinery’ he really gets a chance to let loose and show what he is capable of.  Flowing through his rhymes with grace and originality.

‘Is That a Riot?’ is Youngblood Brass Band at their best. As eclectic as they come, there is so much here to appreciate. The soft jazz intervals, cool and refreshing rhymes, raging crescendos, ragga grooves but mostly the fusion of all of this to create a solid yet fascinating record.

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