Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hex - Hex (2013)

One of the coolest new Japanese combos we've heard in awhile – a group who have some of the live jamming of the club jazz generation, but who also touch on some of the noisier elements of an earlier generation of Japanese avant players as well! The blend is great – never too free or far outside – but a really fresh reinvention of the kinds of core sounds we've been digging from groups like Quasimode or Indigo Jam Unit. Like both those groups, the lineup here is relatively lean – both piano and keyboards played at the same time, with acoustic and electric bass, and heavy drums and rhythms from Midorin – who we know for his work in Soil & Pimp Sessions!
The electric and acoustic elements work together beautifully – often widening the sound around the edges with lots of cool sonic elements, while the core rhythms still move forward strongly. The aesthetic is quite fresh, while still holding on to other great elements of the Japanese scene – another local winner for the exciting Japanese branch of Blue Note! Titles include "Jazzstep", "Suite For The Visionary", "Uncensored Love Transmission", "Tropicalia 14", and "Dahsur Waltz" – plus great remakes of "The Osaka Blues" and "Hello To The Wind" – and a wonderful version of "Tokyo Blues" with vocals by Ed Motta!  © 1996-2014, Dusty Groove, Inc.

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