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Yohimbe Brothers featuring Vernon Reid and DJ Logic

Mark F. Turner By

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Yohimbe Brothers
Yohimbe Brothers featuring Vernon Reid and DJ Logic
La Huit
2007

This live concert captures footage of the Yohimbe Brothers: guitarist Vernon Reid (Living Colour, Free Form Funky Freqs) and DJ Logic (Zen of Logic, Ropeadope, 2006) and their multiform collage of hard rock, Latin, funk, jazz, and hip hop turnablism. Add some artistic post production visuals by French documentary filmmaker Jerome de Missolz and you get a DVD that's a sensory trip for the eye and ear.

The YB's band for this occasion also features Jared Nickerson on bass, Deantoni Parks on drums, Leon Gruenbaum on keyboards, and vocalist/sound poet, Latasha Diggs. Recorded in Paris at the Banlieues Bleues music festival in 2005, the document includes tunes from their releases Front End Lifter (Ropeadope, 2002) and The Tao of Yo (Thirsty Ear, 2004).

Experimental sounds come to life visually in vibrant splashes of color and shifting patterns and rhythms. A variety of shapes, geometric and freely drawn, gyrate and dance with the changing beats, the musicians at times superimposed in a kaleidoscope of art. This mix of psychedelic onslaught and normal static camera work matches perfectly with music and sounds that are always in flux—junglism beats, synthesizers, scratches, sampled sounds built and deconstructed in real time.

But the film is also about the band—a tight-knit group that works through the changes. Diggs engages the audience with speaking voice (sometimes electronically processed) and sultry vocals, at times lovely, at others chaotic. At one point Reid's response to the audience's "Yee-Haw" leads the band directly into a Country Western-funk piece complete with Logic's sampled "Do Si Dos" and Reid's torched guitar playing.

The bass and drum pulsate the hypnotic groove so hard on the final track that the band seems almost oblivious to the audience. Did the crowd feel or misunderstand the vibe? The Jimi Hendrix tune "Are You Experienced?" comes to mind in the way the film successfully brings the Yohimbe Brothers' music to life visually.

Personnel: Vernon Reid: guitar; DJ Logic: turntablism; Jared Nickerson: bass; Deantoni Parks: drums; Leon Gruenbaum: keyboards; Latasha Diggs: voice.

Production Notes: 52 minutes; Surround Sound 5.1; Recorded 2005 at Banlieues Bleues. Extras none.


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