Oh Ah Ee
"Oh Ah Ee," the debut album by Los Angeles-based experimental composer Hannis Brown, is a snapshot of a drifting mind. Incorporating multipart stream-of-conscious compositions with explosions of free jazz and guided improvisations, the album incorporates lush vocal harmonies and spastic guitar work over clattering found sound percussion. Part experimental "new" music, part indie rock, "Oh Ah Ee" is the self-portrait of an artist mining the contradictions of his head. Using the objects of his intimate surroundings as instruments, Brown textured the sounds of "Oh Ah Ee" with tapped beer bottles, samples of running water, rustling paper, and guitar picks spun on a desktop. Pounded heating systems and trash cans provide driving percussion under Mingus-induced horn arrangements and alternately spastic and soothing vocal lines at times reminiscent of Talking Heads; at times recalling the spidery-thin delivery of the late Elliott Smith. The result is a unique compositional voice that draws equally from the microtonal orchestrations of Pendereki and Ligeti, the pensive minimalism of Tortoise, the screaming congregational arrangements of Charles Mingus, and the outer orbits of modern avant indie rock.