Tyondai Braxton emerges from six-year slumber underneath the Guggenheim, releases new album HIVE1

Tyondai Braxton emerges from six-year slumber underneath the Guggenheim, releases new album HIVE1

It’s been a very long time since we’ve heard from multi-instrumentalist, avant composer, and former indie heartthrob Tyondai Braxton, though he’s kept himself extremely busy over the last six years with a number of commissions and one-off performances, working with Bang on a Can, Steve Reich, Kronos Quartet, Philip Glass, the L.A. Philharmonic, and Mouse on Mars, to name but a few golden gods. Still, Braxton’s last solo album, Central Market, was released in 2009, a year when TMT’s favorite album of the year was Merriweather Post Pavilion; most of that year’s voting staff has now graduated from high school and will be sending off their second child to community college this coming fall.

The new album, HIVE1, is set for release on May 12 via new label Nonesuch (Central Market and Battles material having been released by Warp). Pre-order it on iTunes or direct from Nonesuch now and you’ll get an immediate download of “Scout1,” which you can also listen to below. The eight pieces making up HIVE1 are derived (how derivative!) from a performance titled HIVE that was premiered at the Guggenheim Museum in 2013 and has since shape-shifted into a smaller form you can hold with one hand in the record store (your other hand holding a replacement copy of Merriweather Post Pavilion).

As a way of drowning out people at shows yelling “Atlas!” and “Bring on the math-rock!” Braxton only works big, and the live version of HIVE is no exception, combining architectural design, LED lighting, and five musicians performing intricate compositions in connected “space-age oval pods” (hence the title). And for all the signifiers of high art, based on the preview track below, it’s clear that immediacy, driving rhythms, and a complex pursuit of fun are still at the heart of the music. Braxton is also set to perform HIVE three times, once each night, at this year’s Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, starting on March 27.

HIVE1 tracklist:

01. Gracka
02. Boids
03. Outpost
04. Studio Mariacha
05. Amlochley
06. Galaveda
07. K2
08. Scout1

[Photo: Grace Villamil]

• Tyondai Braxton: http://www.tyondaibraxton.com
• Nonesuch: http://www.nonesuch.com

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