Smile & Disable / The Crossing
From the tale of the Chinese empress erased from history to a dedication to the key workers who’ve been our lifeline for the past year, BrandNewTrumpets has quickly built a reputation for music rich with storytelling and subtle messages. Her latest effort, however, is the Croydon artist’s most upfront and thought-provoking work to date.
After two EPs where her voice played a supporting role — a melodic or atmospheric tool — now it takes centre stage. DIFF046 reveals the full extent of BrandNewTrumpets’ sharp, confrontational lyricism and a confident delivery far beyond her performance experience.
“I don’t buy your ‘Right to Buy’ bullshit / Right to life only if you can buy your rights to it!” she spits on ‘Smile & Disable’, a bold critique of capitalism and disparity. Throughout the track BrandNewTrumpets addresses the injustice of inequality and the brazen lies and corruption that enforce it — “How a small minority in power have us fighting amongst each other for scraps,” as she puts it.
Brimming with her signature cinematic sound, the broad low-end and noodling synths provide an expansive backdrop to her intensely direct vocals. Once again, the artist’s loose structures offer twists and turns that grip the ear and defy categorisation — only the halftime tempo and crisp percussion betraying her junglist roots.
On ‘The Crossing’, BrandNewTrumpets’ jazz influences take over entirely. Driven by six minutes of frenzied percussion by producer, drummer and mastering engineer Bob Macc (Rephlex / Outsider / Inperspective), the propulsive rhythm lurches and sways through unpredictable, sampledelic swells and disorientating vocals. It’s a haunting, hypnotising listen that brings danger and despair in equal measure, mirroring the tragic circumstances that inspired it.
“Relenting to the narrative of Macc’s drums, I try to tell the horrifying story of the 16-year-old boy born in Sudan who tragically drowned when trying to reach British shores in desperation for his life,” explains BrandNewTrumpets. “It’s a reflection on the perilous journeys that people take to escape and survive.”
Written in the dark depths of lockdown, both tracks shine a harsh light on the realities of a broken society, asking questions of those in power, but also reminding us all of the part we have to play.
DIFF046 lands as part of a trio of releases from Diffrent’s core artists Dexta, Lakeway and BrandNewTrumpets, each in some way reflecting the past, present and future of the label to celebrate its 11th anniversary. All three are out 26th March on digital and limited edition 10” lathe cut vinyl. Pre-order from the Diffrent Music Bandcamp from 5th March.
released March 26, 2021
Written by: Rebecca Porter (All Tracks) & Bob Macc (Track 2)
Mastered by: Bob Macc @ Subvert Central
Artwork & Design: Banana Gun