Monday, October 12, 2015

Hexn-al-khimiyya; Old Bicycle Records, limited edtion cassette/dl; 2015

     "[I]t's like an alchemists playground"-June Millington, Angry Women in Rock, v. 1 

As Disaster Amnesiac has been listening to, and really digging al-khimiyya by Italian artist Hexn, I've also been digging back through certain key publications within my library, not the least of which being Andrea Juno's great mid-1990's interviews with women musical artists from the Pre-Punk, Punk, and Post-Punk years.
June Millington's quote, used to describe engineer Richard Perry, jumped out at me, its theme being synchronous with Hexn's stated goal of a "desire for alchemical knowledge" as arising from his musical matrix.
Hexn's playground would probably have to be designed by Edward Gorey or Tim Burton, as the release features a fantastically Goth vibe. Tracks such as Still Praying In the Middle of a Sun, Since Everything Was Anything, and A sacred Ring Around the Earth feature the kind of Bat Cave trance rhythms and vibes that would have just about any fan of that genre up and onto dimly lit dance floors world wide.  
Still Praying features a wonderfully dramatic, icy synthesizer buildups that lead into really cool reverb drenched viola sounds, Since Everything features finely programmed down-tempo percussion, and A sacred Ring's doom-ey ritualistic vibe slithers into an awesome double time shuffle that would surely send any of its participants into a Dionysian ecstasy. These tunes are seriously tight, finely produced, and incredibly pleasurable to hear.
Further tracks such as Never Again Again Again, Now Then Black, and Eye are a bit more on the heavy Industrial side of the blackened Goth spectrum, with their sounds having a bit more of an experimental feel, perhaps a bit less dance-oriented and more of the head trip variety. One won't hear Disaster Amnesiac complain about those vibes, either! More really thoughtfully produced musical alchemy can be heard within these tracks, it's just that one may want to sit down with the eyes closed for them. Perhaps they're a bit more on the Apollonian side of the "as above so below" equation.
With al-khimiyya, Hexn has crafted a fine magickal vessel. It is surely a symbol of a sublimely attuned musical/alchemical soul.

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