Alex Anwandter and Balún Come to BRIC House
BRIC, the pioneering Brooklyn arts and media institution, begins the 2020 season of BRIC House Sessions on March 5 with a Latinx indie double-bill featuring Latin GRAMMY Award-nominated singer-songwriter Alex Anwandter and Brooklyn-based global pop darlings Balún. A leading name in South America's new vibrant indie pop scene, Anwandter comes to perform his critically-acclaimed album Latinoamericana. The concert begins at 8pm in the BRIC House Ballroom - one of the best spaces for live music in Brooklyn - with a performance by Brooklyn-via-San-Juan "dreambow" pioneers, Balún.
Alex Anwandter brings together '80s-influenced dance music and emotional songwriting, all wrapped up in engaging live performances full of raw intimacy and showmanship. Nominated for two Latin GRAMMY Awards, his groundbreaking performance of "Manifiesto" at the 2016 awards show made a strong statement for LGBTQ+ rights. Anwandter's most recent release, the critically-acclaimed Latinoamericana (2018), is lushly composed and, although rhythmic and club-worthy, is rich with cutting lyrics.
"In many ways, the album is a direct reaction to the world, and specifically South America, turning towards demagogues and authoritarian leaders with the hope of remedying social and economic ills ... In other ways, the album seems shaped by Anwandter's experience as a U.S. resident in the Trump era, a child of Latin America burdened with witnessing a repeating history of oppression, ignorance, and autocracy in both his native and adopted homes." (Remezcla)
Brooklyn-based electronic indie band Balún broke out of the San Juan indie scene a decade ago and has since undergone a formational odyssey through the industry, academia, and the stateside Puerto Rican experience. Balún's long-awaited sophomore album, Prisma Tropical, combines an incredibly wide field of genres and influences into a revelatory sound that evokes both the band's homes and the distance between them.
Heavy doses of tiple, bomba barrel drum, and dembow work alongside loops and layers of shimmering synths to accomplish something explicitly of the island, yet fluent in the language of global pop. Tied together around the magical realism of singer Angélica Negrón's lyrics, Balún's deep understanding of reggaeton's Jamaican dancehall roots has transformed their shoegaze pop into "dreambow."
The series continues later this spring with concerts from: Nigerian music icon Orlando Julius, one of the founders and leading musicians of Afropop, preceded by a set from Brooklyn afro-funksters Kaleta & Super Yamba Band (March 19); Maimouna Youssef (AKA Mumu Fresh), whom NPR calls an "abundantly gifted singer and emcee with multi-octave range and ferocious rap delivery," in concert with D.C.-born, New York-based MC and poet KAMAUU (April 2); and Black Belt Eagle Scout, the project of indigenous multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Katherine Paul, whom Pitchfork calls "the heiress of Geneviève Castrée and Courtney Love and Carrie Brownstein," joined this evening by singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Denitia (April 16). The series closes with Tribu Baharú, one of the leading Champeta groups from Colombia, with Brooklyn's newest Congolese guitar band, Loboko, opening (4/23).
The exhilarating concert series, held annually, brings the spirit of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival into the organization's Fort Greene headquarters through world-class performances on Thursday evenings. BRIC House Sessions draws its talent from a bold and eclectic array of musical genres, featuring both local treasures and internationally-renowned artists. The Ashland is a season Co-Sponsor.
Tickets may be purchased online at BRICartsmedia.org or via Eventbrite.com. The Box Office at BRIC House is open on performance days, one hour prior to the event. BRIC House is located at 647 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn.