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Bran Van 3000

After wrapping up a New York video shoot for modern jazz legend Branford Marsalis, Canadian film and music video auteur Jamie "Bran Man" Di Salvio marched across town with the ten grand he had just made (in cash) and blew it all on musical equipment. After returning home and assembling a cast of 20 or so Montreal musicians from across the musical spectrum, Di Salvio had the nucleus for what would become the stylish, techno-pop-hop collective Bran Van 3000. Though Di Salvio embarked upon the project knowing only DJ culture, his cohorts brought a variety of rock guitar elements into the mix. The resulting album, 1998's Glee, bore the mark of diverse stylistic impulses, at times becoming a muddled amalgam, but more often, an intoxicating integration of hip hop breaks and sampledelic swirls molded onto a postmodern kitsch-pop core. Di Salvio and his retinue liked the results so much, they followed up in 2001 with Discosis, which features "Astounded," the album's first single.

The original track was especially notable because it unearthed from the vaults the treasure of an unpublished Curtis Mayfield vocal, placing it in a lush minor-key disco arrangement. Fred Everything "Flutey Dub" mix of the song, featured on his Bombay Records compilation From The Deep, reduces the inspirational vocal to atmospherics and anchors it all with a pulsing house beat.

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