The Squid's Ear Magazine

Lopez, Brandon


Lopez, Brandon: vilevilevilevilevilevilevilevile (Tao Forms)

Extremely active in the Downtown NY scene as a versatile double bassist in a wide variety of settings, Brandon Lopez presents a tour de force album of solo improvisations, developed to illuminate his abilities as a powerful string player but also as a mischief-maker on the strings through unexpected technique and the application of "RealBadVibes".

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product information:

UPC: 642623801123

Label: Tao Forms
Catalog ID: TAO 011CD
Squidco Product Code: 33251

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded by Brandon Lopez.


Brandon Lopez-bass

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"This is the exquisite new solo work by virtuosic bassist/composer Brandon Lopez. vilevilevilevilevilevilevilevile is about perceptions. More pointedly: it is 'less about -a thing- than it is about perceptions of things, questioning those perceptions, and possibly altering perceptions.'

On moving to NYC, Lopez immediately began making himself indispensable in many creative music scenes. From New York Philharmonic's David Geffen Hall to the DIY basements of Brooklyn, Lopez has worked extensively beside many luminaries of jazz, classical, poetry, and experimental music. As with all bass players of great skill and commitment through the ages, Lopez has been prolifically active in collaborations because he has been in duly high demand.

The Cleveland Review of Books noted: 'This is virtuosity as vocabulary, a total command of texture, subtlety, and a depth that can be reached into.' Lopez is also an improvising composer of estimable gifts. One recent example is his expansive work in duo with equally astonishing drummer Gerald Cleaver; recently incorporated into a trio with Fred Moten, the inimitable poet, theorist, critic, and 2020 MacArthur Fellow. Among the attention paid to their 2022 debut was an '8.0' review in Pitchfork and a 'Best Jazz Albums of 2022' notice by the New York Times.

The brawn which Brandon brings to his playing is abundantly clear on stage, and can be viscerally felt as a force coming out of his recordings. The strings and wood frame are wholly resonant when called forth, by muscles well-developed for the purpose by a longtime gravedigger. Yes, Lopez dug many for a strong spell as a young man. It is also abundantly clear that 'brains over brawn' are a key differential. A Puerto Rican kid growing up working class in North Jersey doesn't perform with the New York Philharmonic (as a soloist, no less) without the brains.

Lopez has kept busy during these pandemic years, releasing solo works (and other collaborative stealth recordings) via his Bandcamp page and creating live streams on Instagram. vilevilevilevilevilevilevilevile is, however; by his own telling, only his second 'real one' for solo bass -- an album created with forethought towards wider release."-Tao Forms

Also available as a vinyl LP.

Artist Biographies

"[..] Composer/bassist, Brandon A. Lopez, deemed "The Ubiquitous Free Improv Bass Ace" by the Village Voice and said to play with a "Bruising Physicality" by the Chicago reader.

He was born and raised in the splendors of Northwestern New Jersey, in the shadow of the (New York) city. It was there that he cultivated a taste for the left of center musics and subsequently, dug graves.

He's had the pleasures of working with many of the world's luminary weirdos. Here's a list: Nate Wooley, William Parker, Chris Corsano, Justice Yeldham, Weasel Walter, Peter Evans, Tyshawn Sorey, Gerald Cleaver, Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey, Tony Malaby, Paul Lytton, Mette Rasmussen, Jooklo Duo, Michael Foster, Leila Bordreuil, Jaimie Branch, Joe Morris, Brandon Seabrook, Cactus Truck, John Dykeman, Daniel Carter, and many others.

He's currently leads a trio dubbed "The Mess", another one called the Brandon Lopez Trio, works as a soloist and is formerly/currently/latterly writing more and more music. He may play some it sometime soon (see "gigs").

He attended New England Conservatory."

-Brandon Lopez Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. LikeTheEdgeOfAMachete 4:12

2. Piri 6:13

3. Billie 3:51

4. RealBadVibes 5:49

5. vilevilevilevilevilevilevile 4:48

6. como el filo del machete 3:18

7. PonceNewYork 5:41

8. The Real Bad Vibe 7:11

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Stringed Instruments
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Solo Artist Recordings
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Search for other titles on the label:
Tao Forms.

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