Label: Once Upon A Time Release date: 29/11/10 Link: Official Site Two years ago the “Brooklyn Band” credential was shiny and ambiguous, and highly coveted. At the moment, the moniker has become something of a black eye, as the scene has lost it’s sheen. Like so many current artists based in Williamsburg, French Horn Rebellion do not hail from the tri-state area, and surely won’t be greeted with the same curiosity and intrigue as a couple of years ago when we were fascinated by anything emerging from the BK. The duo, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is in the midst of a musical transition that has become commonplace. Enterprising artists who have struck gold while mixing and mastering as producers can establish street cred that will open a few doors, and a few ears. Success has many fathers, so when MGMT’s ‘Time to Pretend’ captivated and clawed its way toward mainstream adulation, anyone even vaguely involved was asked to step out from behind the curtain and take a bow. One of those stumbling his way through the red velvet was David Perlick-Molinari who, along with hornist brother Robert, form FHR. Along with David’s production work, FHR has raised awareness while dabbling in remix culture prior to the release of their debut LP, The Infinite Music of French Horn Rebellion. I had a half-dozen remixed versions of ‘This Moment’ many weeks before hearing it in its natural state, and being disappointed by it’s lack of nuance. I never expect synthetic dance music to have much substance, or significance, and these diminished expectations allow a greater appreciation for Johnny Jewel’s hypnotic After Dark Compilation, and the genius of Andy Butler’s Hercules and Love Affair. So, I shouldn’t complain when FHR’s un-remixed music tastes bland, and is peppered with lyrical turds ‘Last Summer’ begins as an unimaginative, poorly executed high school melodrama, and then the actual French horn, denoted in the band’s name, gets whipped out and I’m left begging for some continuity. Bright spots include both the LP version of ‘Brasilia Girl‘, and its cryptic darker twin of a remix, which are entrancing and indicative of an immense talent still in need of refinement. Another aimless album created by a pair of producers turned artists, the 2009 debut from N.A.S.A., The Spirit of Apollo, was also a confusing potpourri without intention. It’s schizophrenic charm, or lack thereof, mirrors the vagrant wanderings of The Infinite Music of French Horn Rebellion. It doesn't sound as though FHR are in any sort of hurry to establish a signature sound. Clearly, the experimentation process of duct taping together odds and ends is far more fun than grinding out track after track of a concept album. It’s too early to tell if this is just more empty noise from across the bridge, or the rough beginnings of a possibly special collaboration. Photobucket