If you were wondering why Chance the Rapper’s “No Problem” implemented smooth jazz vibes in its production, then you’d have to make the trip to NYC to find the answer. Recently, Brooklyn-based duo Brasstracks got the opportunity to work with Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne, and 2 Chainz on last year’s summer anthem from the Grammy-winning album Coloring Book. The subtle elements of bass and electric guitar coupled with a manipulated vocal sample flows effortlessly throughout the track. Created by a bassline and drums, the lush tones were influenced by jazz and blues sounds.
Driven by modern jazz, Ivan Jackson and Conor Rayne wanted to reinvent the approach in creating electronic music. The two Manhattan School of Music graduates paired up after they both realized they wanted to find a way to take their classical training and pair it with their lifetime love of hip hop. Similar to the approach of Daft Punk’s latest album, Ivan and Conor uses acoustic instruments, such as trumpet and drums, as a song’s basis. Although this method has been used before, acoustic instruments and orchestral sounds are not synonymous with most popular electronic hits; aside from an odd horn or guitar here and there, raw instrumental sounds weren’t often used as the basis for a banger. New releases, such as their Chance-approved cover of Lil Uzi Vert‘s “XO TOUR Llif3” and their original song “Fever”, set those preconceived notions aside—Ivan and Conor make it clear that a full band is just as hype as the ecstatic synths of the early 2010s that most seem to affiliate with dance music. They’ve also delved into the world of hip hop as well; along with their Grammy-winning “No Problems”, Ivan produces much of NYC rapper and frequent tourmate S’natra’s work, played horns on Anderson .Paak’s “Am I Wrong“, and musically directed 6LACK‘s tour in the first half of 2017. As some of the most hardworking and genuine artists in the electronic music industry, the group continues to distinguish themselves from similar artists and adds a refreshing twist in today’s soundscape.
Currently on a summer tour, Ivan and Conor plays trumpet and drums in their performances and brings this element in their music to life. Be sure to check out Brasstracks at your local city to experience their distinct sound this summer.