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New CD: Mr. Lif & Brass Menazeri, Hip Hop meets Balkan Brass's video poster

Help hip hop pioneer Mr. Lif & Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band deepen & record our genre-defining new collaboration! Read more

Oakland, CA Music
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pledged of $8,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on May 19, 2011.

Help hip hop pioneer Mr. Lif & Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band deepen & record our genre-defining new collaboration!

Oakland, CA Music
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About this project


We're so honored that you all donated to help make this project a reality. We reached our $8000 goal, and even beyond, as of Monday night, 60 hours before deadline! We can now get to work composing & arranging & recording & editing & mixing & mastering & getting it into all y'all hands as fast as we can!

I can't begin to express how grateful we are to everyone who donated to the project, or helped spread the word. THANK YOU! We'll do our best to make you glad you helped.


I should probably mention that it's NOT too late to DONATE! Any more funds we receive can go towards 

  • additional studio time for creative mixing & editing to make it sound even better!
  • hopefully organizing & supporting a TOUR, hopefully to your hometown!
  • promotion! (hard to make that one sound exciting)
  • mindblowing graphic design by THE WORLD'S FINEST ARTISTS!

Thank you again!


Brass Menazeri & Mr. Lif


project description

  • note: We've changed some of the higher-value awards around, check out the new perks at the $150, $200, and $750 level! AND a clarification: the $25 rewards DOES include a physical copy of the CD when it's released, as well as the download early master.




Last December, Brass Menažeri and underground hip-hop pioneer Mr. Lif kicked off a groundbreaking new collaboration and we need your help to bring it to fruition!

As part of the first-ever Seattle Folk Festival, we came together to fuse Balkan brass and underground hip-hop into a brand new genre. We only had two days together, but we created something that we think has the potential to breathe new life into both hip hop & Balkan music. In Lif's words, “Within the first minute of our first rehearsal, we recognized we had potential to do something unique, and we’ve been intoxicated by the process of working together ever since.” Check this link to our performance of "Because They Made it That Way"

Also, check out this live rendition of "What About Us?!" from our 1st ever performance.  We had only one rehearsal prior to this show, but the love, enthusiasm, and willingness to tread into the unknown shines through in this video

Now Brass Menažeri wants to bring Mr. Lif to our hometown, the hip-hop mecca of Oakland. Together we will arrange and record tracks for a new CD that will capture the unexpectedly powerful combination of Mr. Lif’s politically-charged East Coast lyricism and Brass Menažeri’s soulful, ecstatic Balkan Rom (“Gypsy”)-style sounds.

The money raised through this campaign will pay for transportation, studio time, engineering, mixing, mastering, graphic design, production, and manufacturing of this CD. This will be a project that stretches both artists beyond our boundaries and promises something unheard of in either genre.

If we manage to surpass the original $8000 goal, any extra pledges will go towards more creative mixing, improving the sound quality even further, supporting a collaborative tour, and a promotional campaign.

Thank you so much in advance for any support you can offer!

Special thanks to Patrick Dougherty for providing the performance footage of "Because They Made it That Way" & "What About US?!"

Photos by Dave Lichterman -


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    19 backers

    the exclusive: You get a free digital download of one of Brass Menažeri's HOT NEW ORIGINALS, never before released!

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    76 backers

    the early birds: free digital download of the new Brass Menažeri & Mr. Lif CD AS SOON AS IT'S MASTERED (2-3 weeks BEFORE the actual release date)! *Plus* the exclusive track above!

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    22 backers

    the john hancock: an AUTOGRAPHED COPY of the new CD as soon as it's released (Fall 2011), plus all the above.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    5 backers

    can't wait to see you: TWO TICKETS to our CD RELEASE PARTY (Bay Area, Fall 2011), or any other (single) Brass Menažeri or Mr. Lif show nationwide if you prefer. Plus all the above — autographed CD, early download, and exclusive bonus track!

  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    6 backers

    Be a part of it!: this donation gets you 3 great new rewards: 1. An invitation to JOIN US IN THE STUDIO for a day of recording or mixing 2. YOUR NAME in the EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDITS on the new CD 3. One FREE ADMISSION to ALL Brass Menažeri & Mr. Lif shows (both collaborative & solo) for a year.
    Plus all the rewards from $10-100!

  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    2 backers

    The Inquisitive: an hour-long MUSIC LESSON (Bay Area or via video chat) with any member of Brass Menažeri on their instrument / vocals, or in music theory, composition, or digital audio production. Plus all the above!

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers

    who's coming to dinner: Invitation for two to a PRIVATE PARTY & PERFORMANCE by Mr. Lif & Brass Menažeri, with DINNER prepared by Brass Menažeri baritonista Rachel MacFarlane & bandleader Peter Jaques! (Event will be in the San Francisco area, Fall 2011.) Plus all the above (either one of the $250 incentives)!

  • You selected
    Pledge $750 or more

    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    MAKE A SONG WITH US!: Add a track featuring Mr. Lif & Brass Menažeri to your own album! For example, you can send us an instrumental from your upcoming project; Mr. Lif will write a verse, Brass Menažeri can add horns as well as additional percussion, & DJ Spark can lace the cuts. Many possibilities in the process as to how we can arrive at an outstanding new song together. Thanks for your contribution. Looking forward to working with you!

Funding period

- (30 days)