#musicmonday — Mr. Lif & Brass Menažeri / "Rebirth"

We heard you missed us well we’re back with a cool track to help you climb out of the post-holiday daze.

Mr. Lif has been spinning rhymes for nearly 25 years, as a solo artist working with, among others, the Definitive Jux crew. He’s also a big part of Thievery Corporation’s touring troupe, and has recorded and toured with The Polish Ambassador. Mr. Lif came on the scene in 1994, releasing singles with politically and socially conscious lyrics at a time when gangsta rap was prevalent.

His new collaboration is with Oakland’s Brass Menažeri, a powerhouse 10-piece band specializing in music styles originating in Serbia, Macedonia and Greece, with strong traces of Balkan, Eastern European and Rajasthani roots as well. The band first hooked up with Mr. Lif at the 2010 Seattle Folk Festival. They hit it off and now, nearly seven years later, we have Resilient, a remarkably cohesive record that naturally fuses the best of what each artist has to offer.

We’re big fans of Mr. Lif and brass band music, but must confess some skepticism when we first came across this new record (released in November on Waxsimile). By the end of the first verse on the opener, “Rebirth,” we were feeling bad for questioning whether this joint would work. We quickly shrugged it off and danced our asses off to the rest of the record. Then went back to the beginning and did it all over again.


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Mr. Lif And Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band - Crypt Of Lost Styles from Yes Boss on Vimeo.