BRION STARR is a singer, artist, and actor based in what remains of New York City. Having been shuffled around throughout early life, if there is any place at all STARR considers home, it is this ever changing megapolis. STARR remains guarded about personal matters taking issues of privacy seriously, revelling in the anonymity of The Big Apple. A New Yorker, STARR feels at ease in only one place.
Although secure in this sanctuary, STARR operates internationally having recently completed the recording of debut solo album ‘Global Identity’ over the course of three months at Konk Studios (home of childhood musical heroes The Kinks) in the remote hamlet of Hornsey in North London away from the incessant chatter of USA. The majority of morning walks to the studio were soundtracked by children on their way to school through the fall leaves, shrouded in fog. The nights spent tumbling down the parkland walk, where trains used to run until the war halted them, to the Boogaloo intoxicated by each other’s stories and perceptions. These three months felt like am extended dream having previously spent the last year and a half touring the world with The Noh Starrs after releasing their eponymous album via Modern Sky in 2017.
Through the demand of this touring STARR pushed the boundaries of what has come to be known as a band. A constantly revolving/evolving line-up, originally an intentional aspect of the band inspired by free-minded individuals such as Damo Suzuki, had sometimes beautiful and often cacophonous results. The band were widely panned as a disaster live; a mix of drug abuse, paranoia, and line-up changes eventually spun out of control in what STARR considers the most beautiful yet chaotic show to date at Tokyo’s infamous Ruby Room where one guitarist quit just hours before set time yet the band were still lauded for their performance and cheered back on stage for not one, but two encores. This led to a concentration of efforts, the focus to record a solo album, and refining process of the revolving band concept.
STARR has been rightfully pinned as ‘The ringleader of New York City’s coolest music experiment’ by i-D magazine, this sentiment holds true on latest effort ‘Global Identity’. Along with former bandmates Robbie Wood and Lida Fox, STARR follows the experimental drone and psych-rock elements of their debut album to the logical extent expanding vocally to form a full-fledged rock and roll album while maintaining curiosities by bordering cut-up pop structures with free-jazz/skronk contributions by Matt McAuley of NYC stalwart outfits TV Baby/A.R.E. Weapons on saxophone. STARR then explores musique concrète loop based tape compositions and ambient meditative reflections on the latter half of the album with harpist Marilu Donovan as well as childhood friends Tanmay Buch and Greg Cook on tabla and tape loops respectively, forming a lush listening experience in the tradition of the long-playing album.
BRION STARR ‘Global Identity’ is to be released into this chaotic world the first day of Spring 2019 via Taxi Gauche for Europe.
‘The ringleader of New York’s coolest music experiment’ i-D magazine