Big Mean Sound Machine & Bella's Bartok
“BMSM might be one of my favorite bands on the planet. With a horn section to kill for, a drummer that can put me in a beat coma instantly, and a knack for hitting grooves in a pantsless stride, they aren't easy to ignore,” writes Joel Frieders of SYFFAL.com and he’s not kidding. For a band without a lead singer, Big Mean Sound Machine has character in spades. When assembled from a selection of the finest, well-lubricated, musically brilliant human components, the final result is the aural equivalent of positive feeling, “...the embodiment of feeling… delicious,” writes Frieders. People dance when a rhythm moves them, and there’s no defying instinct when Big Mean Sound Machine is on stage.
Big Mean is contemporary proof that it’s possible to create art that stimulates the body while also challenging the mind to explore beyond the status quo. “For the listener who stops shaking to pay attention at a Big Mean show, they can find a musical education,” writes Josh Brokaw of The Ithaca Times. Borrowing elements from traditional afrobeat, roots reggae, ethiojazz, and funk among others, “Big Mean’s [style] is not easily captured by the precise, genre-parsing descriptors of a contemporary music press that’s uncomfortable admitting to being surprised with a new sound,” writes Brokaw. Their instrumental soundscapes have no overt messages yet they’re anything but barren. “You get the feeling of walking the streets in a city late at night as those who are up to no good are coming out of their homes searching for their next score,” writes Bryan Lasky of NYSmusic.com. “Seamed together by an amazing rhythm section… the core of the group commands attention while providing a passionate and constant groove,” boasts Vinyl Fluid Records, noting the fact that this purely instrumental band stimulates audiences both physically and cerebrally, though devoid of vocal indoctrination. The theme the band delivers again and again through evolving rhythms and melodies is to enjoy music for its creativity and musicality, and the way it makes you feel in every sense of being able to feel.
To understand Bella’s Bartok, imagine what you would get if Salvador Dali and Toulouse Lautrec were fronting the Moulin Rouge's house band, and you have the exuberant spectacle that is Bella's Bartok. Described as "about as much fun as you can have with your pants on" (Dan Wolovick, Two Way Monologues), this 6-piece powerhouse melds Bohemian Klezmer Punk with pop sensibilities into an eminently danceable party. The diversity of musicians that make up Bella's Bartok, combined with their boundless energy on stage, has been known to break a dancefloor, or two (or three, but who's counting?). Their sound moves way beyond labels, pushing the envelope towards the darker side of Eastern European music, referencing vaudeville and 20th century eclecticism.
With multiple awards under their belts, including The Valley Advocate's Best Band in the Valley 2014 and The Deli Magazine's Best of New England (twice!), this eclectic group of guys have carefully crafted a sound that is part strange and creepy, part pop gold. With an aura of theatricality, Bella's Bartok shows not only entertain, but they invite you to partake in the wild party they are having on stage, to involve yourself in the spectacle. Quite simply put- this is the band you should never miss, ever.