The Grasshopper dudes and the Telecult Powers men have both just dropped some serious wax on Grasshopper’s own Baked Tapes, but let’s take a minute to talk about the should–see-wax–release the two bands just collaboratively put out. Telecult Powers were a New York City fixture whose live shows featured saint candles, 16mm film projections and two guys sitting on the floor absolutely wailing on two very pro-looking homemade synthesizers. Witchbeam, one half of Telecult, recently moved down New Orleans to find the last zion and this is bad for their legendary performances continuing, but seemingly good for getting some nice recorded documentation of the band. A few years ago the two Teleculties crewed up with another Brooklyn Space Odyssey duo, Grasshopper. The Grasshopper pair was known for facing each other, standing up rather than a sort of kneel, over twin horns and a slew of guitar pedals. With a mind for the all out heaviness the two groups formed to create the Hex Breaker Quartet. After some short run stuff and a big tape that dropped last year, the world finally sees a new full length Hex Breaker tape.
The music is a healthy mix of exploring extended synthesizer tones on extended trumpet squalls and what sort of sounds get going when those two get busy, as well as trying to put together pieces that that are built on the fat that synthesizers can gestate on one tone or texture for along time, while the trumpet doesn’t provide the same opportunity. The latter leads to some pretty Star Wars-style pieces being thrown down. Deep spacey synthesizer textures that blur and convulse very slowly. The kind of electronic music that sees precedent more in 1980s synth sculptures alone in their studios built into various European University studios and less with the pop or rock edge that Krautrock or Minimal Synth went after. With the tones having time to really focus themselves and layer, the regalness of an incredibly clear trumpet blast cutting through the electronic storm, invites the presence of Darth Vader or some other powerful space king. With this opening jam cutting the the nostalgia out of using analog electronic gear, perhaps Hex Breaker Quartet is inviting in their own new Space King, a galactic golem that can only be formed when two different forces collide on wax.
The tape mellows on the epicness and backs away from the Lucas soundtrack stylings to move into more fast paced jams. The preceding three tracks each explore huge fields of sound and different ways movement can occur in it. Again, leaving behind the Berlin School and only taking minor hints from the Roland Kayns and the ilk before them, all after dosing themselves with acoustic instruments, the Hex Breaker Quartet go head on to into doing engulfing research into multiple sonic planes. Enough with the jibber jabber though. What the band is doing well here is creating a few levels of texture, some higher in pitch some lower, some based on the interaction between two synthesizer oscillators, some based on the relation between slick trumpet scale scurries against modulated synthesizer blasts. The various additions each member makes to the piece are all allowed to simmer with other additions from other members, or additions from the same member, to form a primordial stew that allows pieces to rise to the top and textures to change, and textures that were once interacting with another component can quickly or slowly move to an entirely different component. In following the streams of sound what is really found is a timelessness, the pieces could almost be rearranged minute by minute and it wouldn’t matter. The sounds and textures that meld together through out the B-side are impossible to trace and eventually the listener can only be concerned the great mess of sound presented. The pieces demand the focus to be on the now, and the focus is demanded to be on the eternal.