Brandon Hoffman is Blocktreat, exploring unique musical styles. (File photo)

Blocktreat on northwest tour

Brandon Hoffman, aka Blocktreat, is coming to Prince Rupert’s Cowpuccino’s on Feb. 13

Brandon Hoffman, aka Blocktreat, got his name fronting a satirical treeplanting hip-hop group that rapped about lunch-stealing bears and pesky double planters.

“I brought an MPC drum sampler to camp, so we’d make these beats in the mess tent and then take them into the truck, which had the driest recording space available,” Hoffman says.

From that joke truck-cab EP, Hoffman moved on to experiment with laying chopped-up bluegrass traditionals over electronic soundscapes and minimal beats. With the help of a Vancouver indie electronic label, he put out two albums as Blocktreat that got some radio play, but soon Hoffman wanted to leave the bedroom-producer thing and re-interpret the songs for live performance.

Working with drummers Brent Morton and Graham Serl, he made a set spliced with mandolin, live drums, beats and effects.

Unprintable in family-friendly newspapers, the last album under that set up — Exciting New Ventures in F***ing Up — finally had the sound he’d been trying to dial in.

Song lyrics soon floated in, and after a year in studio, Blocktreat is now touring as a free-growing four-piece band about to tour Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert and the northwest — actually pretty close to home, since Hoffman was raised and is now returned to Williams Lake.

READ MORE: Five things to watch, Canada’s solid presence at the Grammys

“Maybe this is a sign that Canada’s electronic scene is coming into its own, if the smaller communities are finally coming on board,” he said, talking about A Tribe Called Red and Moontricks, who also meld beats with more traditional on-the-land sounds.

“Everyone always says Canada has no culture of its own, or our only culture is we’re not American. But it’s cool to see these backwoods aesthetics coming out of smaller towns.”

Haida Gwaii can hear the result next weekend at two shows sponsored by the Haida Gwaii Arts Council.

With Jessica Rampling on bass and Daniel Ruiz on drums and electronic percussion, Blocktreat will play at Cowpuccino’s Coffee House in Prince Rupert on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Opening the nights will be Malcolm Jack, who Hoffman first heard playing at Arts Wells and describes as the East Vancover-raised love child of Talking Heads and Fela Kuti.

One of Malcolm Jack’s recorded pieces, Inner Circles, is a single 22-minute track of ambient music sprinkled with folk songs.

“It never stops, but these songs emerge out of the woodwork as finely-crafted little indie folk songs and then it drifts back into this ambient cloud.”

READ MORE: B.C. hip hop artist signs with international label



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Brandon Hoffman, aka Blocktreat. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Annual Toy Run returns to Prince Rupert

The 37th annual motorcycle run brought more than 100 riders to Prince Rupert’s streets

Dog park coming soon to McKay Street park

City crews have been working to clear space since early August

Prince Rupert youth rugby receives new gear

Port of Prince Rupert contributed $24,215 to help purchase training equipment and instruction

WEB POLL: How will the lack of a mayoral race affect your decision to vote

Lee Brain was acclaimed as mayor on Sept. 21 after no other candidate entered the 2018 race

CMTN unveils renovated House of Cedar

$18.4M upgrade and renovation cited as key to modern trades training

This Week Podcast — Episode 103

Learn more Prince Rupert’s open air market, and our guest is an actor playing in Monkey Beach

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Most Read