BADBADNOTGOOD: Flashing Lights

BADBADNOTGOOD’s (often initialized as BBNG) 2012 album BBNG2 is an ambitious project of covers and original material that was recorded in just 10 hours. They are a singularity grounded in the post-internet music atmosphere, drawing influences from an impressive catalogue of hip hop, R&B, jazz, and post-rock. BBNG is a fresh take on modern jazz without the pretension usually associated with the scene – insular circlejerks are exchanged for hip-hop collaborations, post-rock orchestration an ample substitute for stale piano solos. BBNG manages to remain modern and fresh without forfeiting the complexity of the traditional staples of the genre.

On “Flashing Lights” we hear an entirely unique perspective on modern jazz: it includes break beats, snarling guitars, and sprawling orchestration as well as traditional piano. “Flashing Lights” is not only well conceived, it is meticulously executed. BBNG isn’t successful only because of their creativity and lack of identifiable genre – each member of the 3 piece band is an incredibly talented musician. Their 2012 album BBNG2 includes in the liner notes the message: “No one above the age of 21 was involved in the making of this album.” It’s hard to believe the drums on the track are made by the careful articulation of a skilled drummer rather than a machine – what sets BBNG apart from most musicians their age is genuine musicianship. Non-traditional instrumentation such as clamorous drums and grunge pedals are sure to make jazz purists snub their noses in discontent, but that just makes BBNG all the more appealing.

You can support BBNG by buying their albums on bandcamp.

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