Many years later, after much Casio meets distortion pedal meets 4-track mayhem, he formed experimental gimp-hop band Pancake Circus with Shaggy Manatee whom he'd known while working at a 50's diner. Soon joined by Thumbtack Smoothie on drums, this trio released three LPs and tore into their live shows with a chaotic fury and eclectic mix of disco, rap, lo-fi funk, noise, electronica, and anything else they felt like throwing in. Pancake Circus shared the stage with The Ex-Models, Marginal Prophets, Brassy, and Idlewild (prompting vocalist Roddy Woomble to write in his tour diary "Go get your hands on a Pancake Circus album, they're the best first on band I've ever seen. I want to look like the singer and sound like the drummer.") during its brief life, and garnered reviews ranging from fawning ("it's the future of hip hop and it's endowed with a brain the size of China!" - Cumbersome Compendium) to positive ("these renegade monks of San Francisco continue to usher in raw, hybrid sound that keeps the Bay Area ahead of the rest of the country." - Digital Artifact magazine) to venomous ("the worst piece of garbage I have maybe ever listened to." - The Sounds of Ground Zero). All three interpretations were appropriate.
From the wreckage of Pancake Circus rose Quake Trap, a platform from which each member could continue to explore the boundaries of Hip Hop and Electronic music. As Yoko Solo, Brandon recorded an LP, The Forbidden Channel, an EP, Weese, and created a library of samples, the notorious "MoPhreak" collection of junk noise (featuring dope-addled rants from San Francisco's Haight Street dwellers...who were compensated with beer). To pay the bills, he and Shaggy Manatee have done a variety of odd audio jobs, from making weird pop songs for weird video games to looping Usher's music for his concert DVD's menus to making ring tones to recording gangsta rap. In 2001-2002, he taught a self-designed "beat making" class in Oakland High Schools, Libraries, and in an institution for at-risk youth. From this work, three albums of hip hop, collage, spoken word, and electronic music were recorded. The most noted of the three, entitled The Streets, was donated to the Mandela Center for the Arts to be sold in its fundraising. A student named B-Child, who became known in class for his abstract and hook-laden beats, would later return to work at Quake Trap as a prolific producer, phone jockey, and tech assistant.
Over the last year, while working closely with members of the legendary Beta Lounge Sound System and Robotspeak's community of innovators, Brandon co-founded the Hail and Ride music series with DJ 370 and producer/graphic artist Circuit73. It very quickly has evolved into a destination and home for experimental, futurist music in San Francisco. Performing with such diverse artists as Wobbly, Ralph Carney, Lymbyc Systym, The Life on Earth, Bigga Bush and Chachi Jones had a galvanizing effect on Yoko Solo. This inspiration, and mutation, is on display in his upcoming release The Beeps. With one foot in the experimental pool and it's soul swirling in the beat, this album leads Brandon LaSan into familiar territory: Music that doesn't cater to genre. Or: music for tomorrow. Or: The Beeps.
Check out the artist's website:
1. kluge (?!)
2. pigbucket blam blam
3. don't fall asleep i'm warning you don't fall asleep
4. infinite collapse pt.one: i blew it (infinite undo)
5. infinite collapse pt.two: sickly assassin
6. infinite collapse pt.three: Bang U Up Dummy
7. krak v.2 i rebuke thee
8. no party, wind/vomit
9. these are the beeps
10. the alarm (9Ã¸Ã¸Ã¸)
11. covered in feces...stronger than you, rotten
12. partial collapse / useless control systems (i've got no rights)
14. cosmonaut tragedy