Hazmat Modine

(Website)

Absolutly fantastic band from the New York reflecting that wonderful melting pot of cultures in a very American way, not world music not blues not rock, not pop but maybe a glorious mixture of all ..

Hazmat Modine draws from the rich soil of American music of the 20’s and 30’s through to the 50’s and early 60’s, blending elements of early Blues, Hokum Jugband, Swing, Klezmer, New Orleans R & B, and Jamaican Rocksteady. The band is fronted by two harmonicas which use call and response, harmony, melody, and syncopated interweaving rhythms. The band includes tuba, guitar, and percussion, claviola and Hawaiian steel guitar. The band’s sound reflects musical influences ranging from Avant-garde Jazz to Rockabilly and Western Swing to Middle-Eastern, African, and Hawaiian musical styles.

Hazmat Modine plays the kind of Blues one might have found in a whorehouse in New Orleans had the city been built on the Black Sea somewhere alongside Macao and inhabited by Gypsies. The band is driven by a pair of dueling Harmonicas, backed by Tuba, Drums, Guitars, and Trumpet with the addition of special guests playing exotic instruments such as the Claviola, the Cymbalum or the Chinese mouth-organ, the Bass Sax and the Normaphone. Frontman Wade Schuman, has the appropriately throaty voice of someone who has both hopped freight trains and collaborated with the Throat Singers of Tuva (really…). In addition to his own material the band cover tunes by Slim Gaillard, Jimmy Rogers, Jaybird Coleman, and living Berlin.

Albums

Cicada

Label: Jaro Medien
Distribution in France: L'Autre Distribution
Release date: May 12, 2011

Après “Bahamut” en 2007 le groupe new-yorkais Hazmat Modine sort son deuxième album “Cicada” sur le label Jaro en 2011. L’harmoniciste, guitariste et chanteur Wade Schuman et ses huit musiciens nous embarquent tout au long des 13 titres dans un voyage musical festif ou les musiques populaires américaines fusionnent avec les musiques de l’Europe de l’Est, le rocksteady jamaïcain, les rythmes caribéens. Blues du delta, swing et funk de la Nouvelle Orléans, rythmes des années 20 à 50 ; Hazmat Modine emprunte le répertoire culturel américain dans toute sa richesse et nous rend ici un album à la musique universelle, intemporelle. L’artiste Wade Schuman déclare à ce propos : “Ce n’est pas que je joue des formes différentes de musique du monde. Je joue juste de la musique américaine avec ces musiques du monde qui la nourrissent de l’intérieur." Les artistes Gangbe Brass Band du Benin, le Kronos Quartet et la chanteuse américaine Natalie Merchant sont invités sur cet album.
“Cicada” est un disque foutraque et jubilatoire, un mixe dyonisien et virtuose de toutes les musiques. En France, il a obtenu le prestigieux Prix Charles Cros en 2011.

Hazmat Modine - Cicada

Bahamut

Label: JARO 4283-2
Distribution in France: Abeille Musique

Release Date : september 2007

Hazmat Modine draws from the rich soil of American music of the 20’s and 30’s through to the 50’s and 60’s, blending elements of early Blues and Hokum, Swing, Eastern European music, New Orleans R & B, Jamaican Rocksteady, and Rock & Roll. The band is fronted by two harmonicas which use call and response, harmony, melody, and syncopated interweaving rhythms.

“Hazmat” refers to hazardous materials, but while the sound is unique and adventurous, it is also oddly familiar. At times it conjures up the crackle of an old Alan Lomax recording, but there are subtle differences that make it something other than a purist’s nostalgic remembrance.

“If you want to be faithful to the music forms that made American music great,” proclaims Hazmat leader Wade Schuman, based in New York: “You have to be faithful to what made it great,(...) its essence, music that comes out of the so-called melting pot of different cultures banging up against each other. And that was the creative aspect.” The album entered the world music charts immediately upon its release outside of France, in June.

Hazmat Modine - Bahamut