vrijdag 29 september 2017

Hex. Bark Psychosis

Another re-release by Fire Records from a band that I had never consciously heard of. Probably had seen a review of in the 90s that did not impress me enough or for whatever other reason was totally ignored by me.

It is a fair question whether I would have listened to Hex for more than a few minutes at the time. If anything Hex reminds me of Talk Talk on the album that I turned my back on quite soon, 'Spirit Of Eden'. Released in 1994, Hex was the reason that a journalist coined the music postrock.

Come 2017 I'm hearing music with different ears. I hear the changes in the music Bark Psychosis presents. The way it uses dynamics. The way tension is built into the at times softly streaming music. A lot is going on, while never diving over the edge into unlistenable freaky stuff or utter complexities of a nature that makes me run away as fast as I can. 'Kairos' music, certainly.

On Hex (also a great book by Thomas Olde Heuvelt by the way) Bark Psychosis presents a mix of symphonic rock and indie with jazz including a topping of late new wave, while finally an I do what I want attitude provides for some finishing touches. Over this experimental music or at times more atmosphere than "traditional" songs, Graham Sutton sings with a soft voice, moving more towards whispering than singing.

Today a band like Spain certainly is a reference, but then Spain started in the 90s, to return after a long hiatus in the 10s. The Norwegian band Soup is another, but does explode in grandiose shredding ways, something Bark Psychosis refrains from. From 1994 itself I have no reference except the album from the late 80s I already mentioned.

It is of no use to pick out individual songs. They all, with all respect, are sort of the same. The tempo is slow. An atmosphere is built around a central theme, to which sounds and instruments are added. Without being able to call the music on Hex minimal, it includes traces of minimal music. The music meanders around, like waves upon the beach and wind ruffling leaves. The sounds come and go. Slowly making their point, before moving on and making room for the next sound; or song.

Hex is one of those albums that beg attentive listening. I somehow started to do just that and got carried into the album. Following instruments, being surprised by a new one or a firm interruption or eruption. For the superficial listener this album is not meant to be. Invest time and whole worlds open themselves. Fascinating stuff Hex is.


You can listen to and buy Hex here:


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