The Baldwin Brothers
Cooking With Lasers
Purveyors of “Chicago junktronic,” The Baldwin Brothers aren’t really related, nor are they named for the Hollywood quartet of brothers. TJ explains the genesis of the term “Baldwin” on their Web site: “We used it to mean someone who was in-the-know. It was just some in-joke. So the name really never had anything to do with those other Baldwins.”
While neither Daniel nor Stephen appear on Cooking With Lasers, there are a few guests. Miho Hatori (from Cibo Matto and Gorillaz) lends her sweetly unique vocals to the electric and shimmery “Dream Girl.” Originally recorded as an instrumental, “Dream Girl” enchanted Hatori so much that when asked to collaborate on Cooking, she took the track and worked on her vocals while on the road with Cibo Matto.
Also lending her talent is Geri Sorivano-Lightwood from The Supreme Beings of Leisure. Her multi-layered vocals on “Ether” are reminiscent of The Fifth Dimension’s “The Age of Aquarius.” The result is a sparkling, effervescent journey into the realms of space.
The Brothers Baldwin also drew on popular ’70s TV show Six Million Dollar Man for inspiration. “The Bionic Jam” remixes the theme from the 1974 television show with the new millennium’s sensibility without making it silly or kitschy.
Wanting to avoid the repetitive and therefore dulling nature of most dance music, The Brothers Baldwin crafted their songs over a pop structure; wrapping samples and keyboards over acid jazzy samples and lounging beats with an occasional good scratching, and adding live guitar and bass; a seamless blend made even more impressive due to the fact that some of the bass lines were actually recorded in different studios. Three years in the making, its sound is far from processed or stale; Cooking With Lasers is wonderfully fresh and smart, the next step in the evolution of electronic music.