March 11 2013
After four years of attending SXSW, I've finally seen more than 2 films. I have seen the amazing documentary about bartending and the craft cocktail culture called 'Hey Bartender'. Then I did a double feature yesterday, which included the documentaries 'Downloaded' (about the rise and fall of Napster), and 'The Punk Singer' (about the musician Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre). Today, I will be checking out the documentary, Brothers Hypnotic, which is about one of my favorite groups, The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble consist of 8 brothers, who happened to be sons of Kelan Phil Cohran, the legendary jazz artist from Sun Ra. Originally from Chicago, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble started playing their unique blend of jazz, funk, and hip hop in the streets of New York until a journalist noticed them and did a story on the brothers in the New York Times back in 2006. Check out the New York Times video below.
Following those early days of playing streets, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble started to get noticed by heavy players in the industry inlcuding folks like Damon Albarn, who featured them on a couple of tracks on the most recent Gorillaz album. They have collaborated with other artists such as Rhymesayers BK One, the legendary Tony Allen, Mos Def aka Yasiin Bey, Ghosface Killah, and more.
The documentary follows these talented and hard-working brothers and looks into what make them unique as a group and as individuals. This is as much a coming of age story as it is a story of great music. Trailer below:
Below is the video of one of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble's latest tunes "Cuernevaca" featuring their father Kelan Phil Cohran.