The laid-back chug of "Make Yourself Useful" calls to mind many disparate influences, like the dirty Wurlitzer of Medeski, Martin, & Wood, and the brazilian guiro, which sounds like it's coming right out of a forro song. The two trumpets braid themselves together and tear themselves apart continuously through the simple melody that has something of a "Marching Band on LSD" vibe to it. The rhythm section is lifted directly from Ernest Ranglin's jazz-reggae band using drums, upright bass, slide guitar, and many percussion instruments like guiro, claves, go go bells, wood blocks, and shekere.
These are the musicians who comprise Hylo-fi:
Timothy Allen- Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Organ, Percussion, Songwriting, Bandleader
Kevin Raczka- Drums
Mike Williams- Bass Trumpet, Percussion
Eric Biondo- Trumpet
Eli Asher- Trumpet
Rob Jost- Bass
PJ Boeckel- Bass
Felix Chen- Bass
Alex Hamlin- Baritone Sax
Steve Baczkowski- Baritone Sax
Maria Christina Eisen- Tenor and Baritone Sax
David Crowell- Tenor Sax
Lynn Ligammari- Alto Sax
Matt Blanchard- Tenor Sax
Kevin Moehringer- Trombone
Grey McMurray- Guitar
Ryan Ferreira- Guitar
Jeff McLeod- Guitar
Mike Wagner- Keyboard
Ringo Brill- Percussion
Matthew Downey- Percussion
Jeramiah Fox- Percussion
Dave Treut- Percussion, Clarinet
D Sean Clements- Percussion
Tim hails from the gorgeous slice of Erie County known as Buffalo. he now resides in Brooklyn. he has been in many different types of bands over the years and shared the stage with many beautiful musicians in the process. to name a few : Jon Nelson's Genkin Philharmonic, Butch Morris's Orchestra Slang, Beyondo, Zozo Afrobeat, Kenny Wolleson & Himalayas, Mike Gordon (phish), Brazilian Girls, Fred's Slacks, The Operatives, Anal Pudding, Rhubarb, Lazlo Hollyfeld and Thought. Recently tim has formed his own band, Hylofi, featuring members of his own favorite bands: Jerseyband, Beyondo, Zozo Afrobeat, Naked Brunch, and yes of course Thought. Think industrial/samba/funk with 5 horns and a bunch of random precussion instruments like shekere, cabasa, claves, bells, whistles, and fire extinguishers.
Mike plays and does: bass trumpet, trombone, voice, coreography, shong writing, bass guitar and percussion. He is an Eastman graduate (’03), and he loves wolves. That's because he is a wolf. He also loves to learn new languages.
Mike also plays/has played/recorded with: Knights on Earth, Beyondo, Mocean Worker, Nublu Orchestra conducted by Butch Morris, Kenny Wollesen's Wollesonic/Himalayas, El-P, Ike Sturm Ensemble, Bat For Lashes, Pela, Danan Healy Band, Amun Ra, Mike Gordon, Slide Hampton, Joey Barron, MMW, Assylum Street Spankers, Knights on Earth, Yah Supreme, Slavic Soul Party, Donny McCaslin, Fire of Space, Eternal Buzz Brass Band, Antibalas, John Ellis, Zox, Lazlo Hollyfeld, Ulu, Uncle Sammy, Rhubarb, Beyondo, Joe Bagale, Sunny Jain Collective, and the Eastman Trombone Choir. MiWi has also played a very cold roll in a film called Living Wake which Premiered on June 8th 2007 at the Cinevegas film festival.
Mike has studied with: Mark Kellogg, Clay Jenkins, Slide Hampton, Joe “the kid” Baudo, Bill Weikert, Hagar and Dr. Bauch.
Current favorite music is; Talib Kweli's Eardrum, Thomas Mapfuno, The Tiny (Sweden), Hot Like Stripes (Dr. Bauch), The Temptations, Itsnotyouitsme, Comfort Woman (Meshelle)
Mike now lives in Brooklyn (Bushwick) and loves the beautiful struggle. Current inspirations (besides 5:30pm): Borsh, Bear Stearns, Learning Hebrew and Russian, and Chocolate
vocalist/trumpetplayer/writer Eric Biondo from Buffalo, NY. Eric Biondo's Recording Credits include Antibalas-Security (2007-Anti) T.V. on The Radio (2006-Interscope) Return to Cookie Mountain Regina Spektor-Soviet Kitsch (as a writer) (Sire 2005) Bat for Lashes (2006) Foals (2007) Holly Miranda (2008) Spankie Wilson and the Quantic Soul Orchestra (Quantic 2006) Dirty On Purpose (2006 North Street Records) The Monkees-Live Tour DVD (2002-Universal) The Monkees-Live in Las Vegas (2001) Davy Jones-Live at Mohegan Sun (2002) Zach DeLa Rocha-Unreleased Celebration-Modern Tribe(2007) Pela (2007) Brian Bonz (2008) Davy Jones (2007) Elysian Fields (2007) Miles Robinson (2007) FunkyMonkeys- Taste Like Chicken (2005) FunkeyMonkeys-Mustache (2007) Teddybut-I've got a Mustache for you (2003) Teo Macero-Impressions of Duke Ellington (2002 Teo Records) Icarus Line (2006) Reverend Vince Anderson (2006) The Barbarian Horde (2007) Eternal Buzz Brass Band (2007) Ted Poor Quartet (2004) As a trumpet player in a hornsection I've made music with EL-P, Sinead O' Connor, Davy Jones Band, Spoon, The Monkees, Burning Spear, Otis Day and The Knights, Hilary McRae, Chin Chin, Thought, Chris Garneau, Hootie and The Blowfish, State Radio, Disco Biscuits, Barry Williams (Greg from the Brady Bunch) Stephonik, The Drifters and Ursa Minor.
STEVE BACZKOWSKI (baritone/tenor/alto saxophone, bass/alto clarinet, didjeridu, wood flutes, voice, prepared turntable, objects...) Steven Lee Baczkowski (b.1975): baritone saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, improviser, composer, adventurer, music producer and free-lance sound informant. Born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., Baczkowski began studying music playing alto saxophone at age eight, switched to baritone by the time he was twelve, and has remained committed to exploring this oft-overlooked member of the saxophone family ever since... Baczkowski solo, Baczkowski/Ravi Padmanabha Duo, Cages w/Baczkowski, Buffalo Suicide Prevention Unit, Michael Hermanson's Nucleo Polyglot, Baczkowski/Will Redman Duo, 12/8 Path Band, Space Trio, Eulipion, Hylozoa... "The Dim Bulb", a live trio recording CD with Paul Flaherty and Chris Corsano, was released in 2005 on Wet Paint Records... In the summer of '05 the BSPU released their debut CD recording "Buffalo Suicide Prevention Unit" on Realm of Records... Baczkowski and drummer Ravi Padmanabha recently released "Tongue Rust and Lead Moth" CDR on Utech and a live duo recording "Aqua Machine" on the Italian vinyl-only record label Qbico. They will release a trio recording with Robert Dick in early '08 on Important records and a live recording of the Buffalo Suicide Prevention Unit "Alive" has just been released on the Portugese label Ruby Red Editora.
Alex Hamlin :
Saxophones, Woodwinds, Guitar, Keyboard, Composition.
Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Alex is a multi-genre multi-instrumentalist whose arsenal includes saxophones, flute, piccolo, bass clarinet, clarinet, sloppy trombone, tortured electronics, guitar, and keyboards. He is a founding member of the Lungcore band, Jerseyband and the Jerseyband HORNS and manages his own record label, Rangletorian Records. Recently, Alex toured Germany and Switzerland with the West-End Production of Grease Das Musikal, and performs with New York City artists such as the Barbarian Horde, Fat Blaster (Ralph Alessi), Edison Woods, Hylo-fi, Alarm Will Sound, Antibalas, Transmission, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. He gives private music instruction on saxophone and woodwinds and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Classical and Jazz Saxophone Performance from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, NY.
Maria Christina Eisen:
I play saxophones....I have played with Dub is a Weapon, Lee "Scratch" Perry, The Fu-Arkist-Ra, The Schmendricks, The Woes, The Chris Conly Trio+1, The Medicine Women Roots Ensemble, The Monster Zero Orchestra, The Ideas, Benny Reitveld, Thought, Hylo-fi, Kyle Jason and the Soul Power Movement, Soul Be It, Fire of Space, Eagle Ager, and The Dirty Gauchos. I have recorded with Kiss Kiss, TV on the Radio, Irv Irving, and The Pimps of Joytime
Hello! My name is Josh. I'm a music composer / producer, multi-instrumentalist and sometimes filmmaker / shaman living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY with my wife Jenn. I have written music for Nickelodeon, Disney, PBS, and Showtime, including the mega-hit show, 'Dora the Explorer' for which I served as musical director and penned the theme song. In 2000, seeking to free myself from the creative constraints and corporate agendas of TV music, I left 'Dora the Explorer', traveled, and began studying improv and kung fu, while making several short films. In early, 2001 I began my own independent kids project, FunkeyMonkeys, which to date, includes 5 CDs, a live band & Off-Broadway show, and several short videos. Around that time I joined the accalimed improv troupe, Centralia as accompanist and musical director, which led to the 2002 Fringe Festival Musical 'Generica'. In 2003, I released my first solo original CD, the dark, electronic "Biblical Digital" which received some great reviews, and whose tracks have been featured in several films. Recently, I have begun recording and producing the music of other artist's and bands at my Bushwick studio, 'The Playground'. Artists include Antibalas members: Amayo (Fu Arkest-Ra), Eric Biondo (Beyondo), and the bands, Thought, Hylo-fi, Lazer& the Dookers and others, some of whom I perform with at live shows.
Hylo-fi was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn in the winter of '05. Three members of the band Thought had moved into an apartment together, and one of them, Tim, was having a particularly tough time finding his niche in the big city. He went through about 7 dead-end jobs in as many months, working as a bike-messenger, bartender, flyer-hander-outer, and even as a drone in a warehouse for coorporate, yuppie home-furnishing store, Crate & Barrel. Needless to say, this young musician was failing miserably in his quest to pay his rent, being fired from more than half of these jobs within the first month. Tim was at the point of not being able to even afford the subway most days, so he took the opportunity to spend time at home on his roommates Mac, learning the basics of Pro Tools and constructing a giant dreadlock of wires and patch-cords leading from his roommate's bedroom to the small kitchen where his Lowery Magic Genie organ was located. Magic started to happen when Tim discovered a few old toys that began to spark creativity. The Yamaha DD-7 was a "my first drumpad" hunk of bulky plastic, purchased somewhere in the late 80's or early 90's from a BJ's wholesale club, that narrowly avoided the garbage many times. Tim hooked that up through a Boss Metal Zone distortion pedal, and started recording distorted toy drum beats. Once the Metal Zone had been rediscovered as a more-than-effective way to breathe new life into tired, old sounds, "Industrial Samba Funk" was born. Now the songs were writing themselves and Tim was purely the human channel which the music was flowing through. The sound of the original recordings was as lo-fi as can possibly be (hint hint) because Tim was using battered old equipment that was NOT set up the way one generally would think any "studio" could possibly be set up. The Lowery organ was in the kitchen, the Mac was in the adjacent bedroom, and there was really no space to play bass or guitar anywhere in the room. The process was probably quite funny to watch: Tim hits the record button, runs into the kitchen and tries to play along with the prerecorded drums, then starts the overdubbing process with the other instruments on the other side of the room, running across the room and unplugging usually at least 1 cord in the process. Eventually the recordings were all but finished, but Tim had 1 other problem. He could not properly bounce the tracks, nor did he have a CD burner, which led to him wiring 2 old tape decks together and plugging the M-Box into the mic-jack of one of them. Is is also worth mentioning that he was so broke at the time, he could not afford to get himself blank tapes (I know, I know..) so he recorded over whatever old crappy tapes he could find lying around. If you ever hear the original, you will notice the sound of Bach Cello Suites popping up in between Hylo-fi songs. All of these factors also led to a certain desparation in the music that cannot be manufactured. Sometimes inspiration seems to take hold while people are as uncomfortable, lonely, nervous, and down in the dumps as they have ever been.
Hylo-fi as a band is something of a different animal. Tim has had the fortune of being surrounded by some of the most talented young people in music in New York City. He was somewhat new to the Brooklyn music scene when he first started the band but was lucky enough to have the line-up agree to work on the project with him. The main idea of the band being to reproduce the fat, bass-driven grooves without using a laptop onstage, all the while layering rich, chordal harmonies over the top using a 4-6 piece horn-section. The band has had a revolving-door line-up, as it proves quite difficult to always secure the same 10-12 people for any given performance. The instrumentation changes slightly as well depending on whatever the musicians choose to use on the gig.