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Brown, Hannis: Oh Ah Ee

Hannis Brown is a composer specializing in experimental music with nods to indie and free form jazz styles. The songs on his debut album Oh Ah Ee are based on loose compositional structures and arrangements making for a totally bizarre listen and have very little commercial appeal. Brown utilizes whatever is available in the studio to make his music. His instrument list includes guitar, violin, cello, hammer dulcimer, synths, glasses, beer bottles, heating system, running water, desktop, spun guitar picks…well, you get the picture. He also provides vocals. There are also a few guests adding saxophone, trumpet, flute, cello, piano and maracas to various tracks. The press release mentions Pendereki and Ligeti, Tortoise and Charles Mingus as possible comparisons. Having not heard the artists mentioned I cannot validate this assessment.

Folks, this is some strange stuff indeed, although there are some redeeming qualities to be found. While some compositions are completely experimental with little in the way of melody and structure, some do have an endearing quality like the too short "Don't Want To Go Anymore" with a lush vocal arrangement and soft acoustic guitar reminiscent of The Beatles and the unusual "Nothing I Know Of" where melodic acoustic guitar, layered backing vocals, jazz flavoured saxophone, vocal lines reminiscent of David Byrne (Talking Heads) and jazzy acoustic guitar fills combine for an interesting listen. If that sounds bizarre, it is, but it surprisingly works. Unfortunately, these moments are too few and far between for me to recommend this disc.

However, if experimental music is your thing, you should listen to the samples provided on Brown's MySpace page and go from there. For everyone else, this might be a tough sell.

Track Listing:
1. Oh Ah Ee
2. Happy (Momentarily)
3. Ehhh AhOoo
4. My Head Is Underwater
5. Ahhhhh
6. Gliss
7. Don't Want To Go Anymore
8. Shh [Ah] Shh [Ah] Shh
9. Never Know Where I Am Going
10. Eh Uh Eh
11. Eyes Closed
12. Ahhhh [.] Ohhhh
13. Nothing I Know Of

Added: March 14th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's MySpace Page
Hits: 1270
Language: english

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