Hot Disc: Brasstronaut, Mt. Chimaera


Photography by Jeff Petry


Consider the mythical chimaera. It has the body of a lion, a serpent’s head for a tail, and a goat’s head jutting from its back. Weird, right? But considering its relevance to Brasstronaut’s debut full-length, Mt. Chimaera (Unfamiliar Records), it’s not all Classics Club geekdom. Grazing and gobbling up genres in its path with cunning sensibility, Brasstronaut manages to fuse pop, electronica, klezmer (yup, pokey clarinet) and jazz into one highbred take. Every moment of Mt. Chimaera is fresh—dashing your anticipations at each unexpected turn.

And the chimaera breathes fire. Like “Slow Knots,” a steady album opener that unpacks each of its disparate elements over a hard-wrought pop rhythm, strong echoes and hollering hoots. It breathes another kind of fire.

The spanking new six-piece lineup (up from the original four) includes trumpet, flugelhorn, glockenspiel, bass, guitar, lap steel, clarinet and EWI synthesizer playing alongside chief vocalist and keyboardist Edo Van Breemen.

Laid back trumpet and synth bellows morph into taut and jaunty tunes. But an opposite spin always appears on the next number, turning Mt. Chimaera’s eight songs into a torturously brief album. However loud or quiet these songs can be, just crank the volume and let Mt. Chimaera run its course. We can’t think of a better sound for an approaching spring. Equal parts warm and brisk; moving and mellow.

More Style