Earl Scioneaux III brings together the past, present and future with his new Brassft Punk EP.
For years, the implied promise of electronic music was that it was the sound of the future, from Walter/Wendy Carlos to Bruce Haack to Kraftwerk and beyond. The irony is how quickly visions and sounds of the future slide into a sort of retro futurism, and how easily a song's time period can be identified based on its electronic elements. Today, the sleek, icy, robotic textures of French EDM pioneers Daft Punk sound quaint next to the arena rock-scaled squiggles and groans of contemporary dubstep, and Earl Scioneaux III - The Madd Wikkid - heard a way to give them new life.
Scioneaux merged electronic music and New Orleans jazz with 2009's Electronola project, and the engineer for Preservation Hall recordings returns this week with Brassft Punk, which recasts four Daft Punk in the mold of a New Orleans brass band. "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," "One More Time," "Around the World," and "Da Funk" have been arranged for a brass lineup, but Scioneaux hasn't significantly messed with the songs. "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" maintains the jagged edge of the Daft Punk original as Scioneaux's arrangement ping-pongs parts between horns, while "Around the World" keeps the original's swirling, dreamy quality as the vocalists (including some of the project's Kickstarter backers) drone the title phrase. While the grooves remain true enough to the Daft Punk originals, they also take on some of the handmade, shaggier quality of a brass band groove. The results - like Daft Punk tracks - are occasionally repetitive in ways that walk the line between static and hypnotic, but they're also exciting in the same places and play with many of the same dynamics.
The Madd Wikkid's Brassft Punk is on sale now.