Brasstronaut has emerged from Vancouver’s unpredictable music scene as a sometimes-surly gang of six who draw from a sprawling list of influences to create a sound that is visceral and soulful, while managing not to sacrifice detail and patience in their songwriting process. They’ve earned a reputation for being equally comfortable playing sweat-drenched warehouse parties as they are playing to critical theatre audiences. They've been called everything from experimental pop, to mini-orchestral, to jazz and electronica and even "low rock." It appears that Brasstronaut is drawing new threads between unlikely combinations of genres and the results have been surprising listeners around the world.
Edo Van Breemen (vocals/keyboards) grew up in Miami, Florida and Köln, Germany before relocating to British Columbia and meeting Bryan Davies (trumpet). The two formed Brasstronaut, initially as an ambient instrumental project that drew from Bryan’s classical and jazz trumpet training and Edo’s background producing electronic music and playing in dance-punk bands. Slowly two more members were added (John Walsh – bass, Brennan Saul – drums) as the group was asked to play better local shows. Together, they developed a set of songs that would form their first release, the Old World Lies EP. The four-song recording garnered much attention from the media, including coverage from the likes of Exclaim!, www.pitchfork.com, The Mercury Prize Recommends, Toronto Star, National Public Radio (U.S.), and CBC Radio 3, as well as landing the song “Requiem for a Scene” in the No. 1 spot on the Hype Machine.
In January 2009 the band was accepted to participate in a winter residency at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts. The idea was to develop and record a full-length album under the guidance of some of the world’s most respected composers and recording technicians. They received mentoring from people like Daviid Thor Johansson, Tim Hecker, Dave Douglas, Alexander Overington and others. By the end of this four-month winter hibernation in the Canadian Rockies, they emerged with eight incomplete songs, requiring another six months of production in home studios in Vancouver, Oberlin Ohio, and New York to complete. During that time the band evolved into a six-piece with Sam Davidson adding textural depth with clarinet and Akai EWI wind synthesizer, and Tariq Hussain playing lap steel and traditional guitar.
The album Mount Chimaera was released in 2010 to much critical acclaim. The band has supported the release with live performances at South By Southwest, Pop Montreal, Canadian Music Week, the Vancouver Jazz Fest, the Hillside Festival, Rifflandia Victoria, and Iceland Airwaves, where they appeared onstage with the horn section from Sigur Rós. Brasstronaut has toured North America a number of times, sharing stages with Belle Orchestre, Bonobo, Japandroids, Kid Koala, NOMO and others, and plan to tour the U.K. in October 2010.
Mount Chimaera (2010)
Old World Lies (EP, 2008)
Members since 2008 (Davies), 1994 (Walsh). Saul and Van Breeman (both 2010).