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Vinyl Killer

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Album Review

Flavoring their respective instruments with liberal amounts of electronic effects, loops, and delays, the New York City trio Drums & Tuba creates an instrumental palette of sounds that includes funk, fusion, rock, ambient, and other modern dance strains. As on previous works, the group in no way limits itself to traditional styles of arrangement. This freedom is what allows the band (joined by keyboardists Manny Handerson and Things Fingerton on occasion) to stretch out and cover an impressive amount of ground across 13 tracks (and they could have gone even further). Drummer Tony Nozero sets up the moody, whirling "Topolino" with looped rim shots that sound vaguely North African. Brian Wolff lays gentle tuba and trumpet over top, yielding the set's finest and most serene composition. Guitarist Neal McKeeby shines on "The Sauce Maker," playing a simple, yet effective slide melody over his own chords that comes off as a sort of post-rock version of Santo & Johnny's "Sleepwalk." The group can riff on James Brown and Morcheeba with equal ease. A light-handed production by vocal supporter Ani DiFranco and Andrew "Goat Boy" Gilchrist ensures that Vinyl Killer's charms and oddities shine through clearly.

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Great album. Maybe their best?

Biography

Formed: 1995

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Drums & Tuba tapped a variety of musical traditions and experimentation to forge its eclectic identity. The New York-based trio carried its message home by combining rock, Afro-beat, jazz, punk, electronica, New Orleans brass band traditions, and funk into a heady mix of grooves and song-structured instrumental music. Drums & Tuba, consisting of Brian Wolff (tuba, trumpet, trombone), Anthony Nozero (drums, percussion, electronics), and Neal McKeeby...
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Vinyl Killer, Drums & Tuba
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