Monday, September 19, 2011

HEX BREAKER QUARTET "Chemical Angel" & "Crowned And Conquering Child"
(True Color Of Venus)


Grasshopper and Telecult Powers are two of the most high quality acts in New York's glamorous and cocaine fueled drone scene. Wait... let me start over. Grasshopper features two of the most in demand flugelhornists on today's light-classical scene and Telecult powers meet yearly at Bohemian Grove and drink virgin's blood. That's more like it, wait not quite...

Grasshopper and Telecult Powers, both formidable space travelers in their own right, become far more powerful than you could ever imagine under the combined Hex Breaker moniker. The seldom scene Quintet version of the group comprises the trumpets and electronics Grasshopper duo of Jesse DeRosa and Josh Millrod and the synths of Telecult Powers Mr. Matthews and Witchbeam. The more common configuration of this group, (the Quartet, which performs and records as a trio without Witchbeam) is the one found on this absolutely outstanding pair of tapes released on Mr. Matthews' True Color Of Venus label. Wait a second, "Quartet? Three member?" you say? Dig this: the fourth member is a fucking ghost. Just sit back and take that in!

What really sets these guys apart from the pack (besides their downright human decency and good hygiene) is the focused group dynamics and lack of overplaying. Yeah sure, one guy or gal could make this music with the aid of ample technology, but these boys keep it simple and work together to create something astonishingly beautiful (remember "bands", yeah they still exist). Matthews uses his homemade equipment to lay down the synth based bed on which the two horn players rest. Millrod generally plays beautiful "trumpet sounding" trumpet with a light echo effect and De Rosa plays the EVI, which is a high-tech electronic trumpet that sounds more like a synth.

Hex Breaker Quartet deals in subtlety and serenity and it's the highly methodical strain in their work that really makes them an essential group in my book. Maybe it's the fact that two of these guys are making the music with their lungs and the other is using instruments he built by hand that make the group sound so organic. But mark my words, this is a living breathing world that is worthy of repeated visitations.

The Quintet has a tape coming up soon on NNA, so stay tuned.

Buy a tape: mister.matthews@gmail.com
Audio samples here: http://soundcloud.com/hexbreaker
New Telecult and Grasshopper LPs here: http://thebakeryfloor.com/bt/

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