MERZBOW + HEXA
The esoteric noise duo known as HEXA is the sonic union of Xiu Xiu’s focal point Jamie Stewart and sonic provocateur Lawrence English. Forged out of a mutual interest in exotic birds and the decaying charms of the post-industrial age, their collaboration explores the physicality of sound and its abilities to infiltrate and occupy the body. Their collaborative work has been described as being possessed by cascading low frequency pulses and tectonic plates of sound, suspended in cavernous cathedral-like spaces.
Legendary noise artist Merzbow needs no introduction, given his prolific output and notorious experiments within the realm of human endurance and audible extremes. While Merzbow has remained a solemn figure within the canon of noise, and he is no stranger to the members of HEXA. Jamie Stewart and Merzbow worked together as a duet on a collaborative Merzxiu LP in 2015. On the other side of the spectrum, Lawrence English has curated numerous concerts for Merzbow across his native Australia.
A partnership of these three artists was born out of the collective goal of framing their work against particular sonic and visual architectures. HEXA’s initial utilization of this idea, Factory Photographs, was a commissioned piece to soundtrack the photography of film maker David Lynch. HEXA approached Merzbow with the idea of a collaboration that sought to collide their particular approach to physical sonics against Merzbow’s resoundingly ontological noise practice.The result of this collision turned into a full length album, aptly titled Achromatic. Focus laid on the severe reverberation of relative noises, brandishing extreme frequencies familiar only to Merzbow and coupled by HEXA’s brutalist pulsation. Each side of the album is produced and mixed by the other, making their audio interpretation of Achromatic a sort of reverse exquisite corpse. A true snapshot afterthought from the decay of the modern age.