Brian J is a New Orleans-based multi-instrumentalist and Grammy-nominated producer, best known for his work as the bandleader and frontman of the party rock road warrior act Pimps of Joytime. He also has a Grammy-nominated country blues collaboration with Cedric Burnside. Interestingly, Brian J’s latest recording project Gitkin was conceived as a way for the Pimps of Joytime frontman and producer to “explore tonalities I’d never mess with,” as he puts it. Eventually,. the instrumental project became a release from “having to write lyrics or involve my voice,” Brian J explains.
With the release of Brian J’s 2018 Gitkin debut, 5 Star Motel, the Pimps of Joytime frontman, multi-instrumentalist and producer quickly established a style that he has dubbed “Outernational Psychedelic Twang.” Drawing from a wide range of sounds and styles including Peruvian Chicha, 60s Pakistani surf rock, 5 Star Motel‘s material was centered around expansive arrangements, featuring dynamic guitar playing and hand-clapping grooves. And with a backing band featuring an impressive collection of players, Gitkin has built up buzz playing exclusive and spirited shows in San Francisco and NYC.
Recorded at this New Orleans-based home studio, Brian J’s sophomore Gitkin album Safe Passage reportedly finds the multi-instrumentalist and producer expanding upon an already rich sonic palette with melodies informed by Greek and Middle Eastern modalities, Peruvian Chica and Tuareg Saharan guitar styles — with the end result being a mix of stomping blues and gritty funk. “Nosotros Tambien,” Safe Passages‘ latest single is a gritty and funky track featuring a looping and bluesy guitar lines, twinkling Rhodes, dense Afrobeat and Afro pop-inspired polyrhythm within an expansive, mind-bending arrangement. Centered around a dusty, unfussy yet deceptively anachronistic production, the cinematic composition sounds like a warm synthesis of Expensive Shit/He Miss Road-era Fela Kuti and Tinairwen.
Wonderwheel Recordings will be releasing Safe Passage on September 18, 2020.