July 26th, 2016 | This Is New York | 0 Comments
I saw New York-based composer (and former Battles member) Tyondai Braxton last week, performing at his record release show at National Sawdust Co. in Brooklyn. Anticipating his set, I remembered reading about him playing guitar surrounded by crazy pedals, manipulating loops and out-of-this-world sounds, and was expecting to see that. But his recent work, which you can hear on the Oranged Out EP, is analog synth stuff. It’s noisy, glitchy, and sometimes beautiful, especially with the glitchy visuals projected behind him, accompanying the work, .
26 (my age) has been an interesting year for me so far. A lot of the indie bands I read these days about seem so young, and the music they play feels cartoonish, like the musical equivalent of Archie comics. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it (or Archie comics) – I just don’t relate to it the way I used to. But New York is great because, among other things, it’s still called home by some of the most interesting, mature, forward thinking musicians and composers in the world, from Philip Glass and Steve Reich to the weirdos in bands like Oneida and Zs (the latter of whom also played a great set at National Sawdust Co. that night). I consider Braxton to be in that category of music makers.
I’ve been a fan of Braxton’s ever since coming across his name when I first read about Battles. It’s a shame he’s not still playing with that also-incredible crew anymore (playing along to sampled recordings just isn’t as good as performing with Braxton as a vocalist), but I can’t complain that he’s not still making great work.