February 18, 2017
The energy in the crowd is as amped up as the stage when Brasstracks lit up the Fillmore with a variation of Rihanna’s “Work.” There is something invigorating about the mix of hip hop, electronic, and live instrumentation. Ivan Jackson works the stage, part DJ and part trumpeter, while Conor Rayne’s drumming adds that extra punch; making the music come alive. Just this week, the duo from Brooklyn, NY added two Grammy’s to their name for their collaborative work on Chance the Rappers album Coloring Book on the track “No Problem.”
Though Brasstracks is coming off of big week their humility is reflected in their performance which feels intimate and personal. They play several originals from their Good Love EP like “Melanin Man” (ft Masego) and “Get Your Way” as well as remixes to Kaytranada’s “Lite Spots” and more. Towards the end of the performance, special guest Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic, adds another layer to the horns section with his saxophone. With outstanding musicianship, Brasstracks is beautifully blending new age sounds and old school jazzy hip-hop, and they’re doing it well.
By now the crowd is electric with anticipation of Big Gigantic. Pulsing with verve and unity, so that when the lights blared back on from the stage everyone is ready. 80’s synth pounds through the room in quick stabs. Lights flare and the voice of Angela McCluskey sings out “I can feel it coming back…” to begin the song “The LIttle Things” from their recent album, A Brighter Future.
It’s no surprise that Big Gigantic, aka Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken (drums), have been so active on the festival circuit in recent years. Their production, which involves animated lighting and funky, island-themed graphics, is every bit as a part of the experience as the music. The pace moves rapidly, with smooth transitions between songs., as they switch from “C’mon” to a lights-off, single-spotlight sax solo.
As the night waned, there was a sense of community and delight. The feel good, electronic music of the evening kept spirits high from beginning until end and it is obvious why so many people showed up on a chilly, Thursday night to be a part of the event.