The brothers are back in town. That is, the seven brothers of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble who recently described themselves as ‘musical Shaolin monks’ and who return to the stage, as well as make their London debut on the big screen.
The bold-as-brass brothers, who specialise in creating a delirious mix of hip-hop and funk, are the subject of a documentary called ‘Brothers Hypnotic’ set to be unveiled at the Prince Charles Cinema in Soho on May 20th. A Q&A session follows the screening.
The film offers a fantastic insight into the band members who were raised by anti-establishment jazz legend and former trumpeter in Sun Ra’s Arkestra, Phil Cohran. Growing up on Chicago’s South Side, the family lived on a strict diet of jazz, funk and black consciousness, where band practise began at 6am and even tidying up their rooms proved an opportunity for musical exploration.
The documentary charts the brothers’ progress as they try to make their way from playing in the streets of their adopted home of New York City, collaborating with Damon Albarn, Mos Def, Childish Gambino and Q-Tip, and wowing a crowd at one of their legendary live shows. Along the way, they find the values they learned from their father constantly tested.
“Music was like our religion,” says trombonist Cid. “We joked that it was like a monastery or a church. And while there’s a lot of love between us – it can also create a lot of tension. We know how to push each other’s buttons. Everyone gets to have their say, however, and that’s part of the beauty and energy of our creation.”
To finish off their European tour, the Hypnotic brothers play 229 in Great Portland Street on July 11th. Tickets £22.50.
Watch the trailer for film Brothers Hypnotic:
Live: 229 – July 11th