Hecq :: 0000 (Hymen/Kaleidoskop, 2CD)

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(08.03.07) Benny Boysen’s project Hecq, probably familiar to some through his long
list of remix credits returns after a brief hiatus with his fourth
album, simply titled 0000. 0000 covers two discs; the first a
sequentially numbered series of tracks recorded between 2006 and 2007
and the second a series of remixes and collaborations from known artists
and newcomers alike. Remixes are contributed by Mad EP and Nebulo while
three further collaborative tracks are added with Newt, Snog and
Ginormous alongside further remixes from unfamiliar names Rekt, Sytrjv
and Phylum Sinter.

On the first disc each track is simply numbered from “0001” to “0017” as
Boysen’s aim is to invite the listener into his world and experience the
mood and feeling of the moment when each track was created. His view,
quite rightly, is that a more descriptive title might create some
pre-conceived idea of the meaning of the track, which is something he
aims to avoid.

The album as a whole is distinctly electronic, mixing smooth glitchy
breaks and elastic bass over a ghostly sea of dark drifting tones.
Often, the slick synthetic breaks battle with a frankly sinister
other-worldy quality almost like a demonic voice trying to communicate
from another dimension. Take for example the distressed and distorted
vocal samples used during “0006” and “0007,” the breaks providing some
anxious urgency while the backdrop adds a disturbing element of dark
despair. The mix is so precisely executed and carefully constructed that
it can’t fail to impress. Somehow, Boysen’s music is unashamedly digital
and ultra-modern yet exhibits very real and organic emotional qualities.
Elsewhere on the album, “0011” and “0016” for example, Boysen ditches
beats and breaks altogether, instead focussing on lush sweeping waves of
luxurious ambient texture with an almost orchestral quality. Yet, within
the blink of an eye, the mood of “0012” changes to a busy mish-mash of
digital chaos which again breaks down to a serene drifting soundscape
over the space of just three minutes. Equally as quickly, Boysen turns
his attention to rapid-fire glitchy rhythms with “0014” before
unleashing the short-lived psychedelic dream sequence of swirling,
squealing electronic strangeness that is “0015.”

The second disc sees Boysen hand his original tracks over to a series of
remixers for them to put their own twist on his music and see where the
journey takes them. Newcomers Rekt open proceedings with two remixes of
the track “0001;” the first brings a plodding almost militaristic beat
and harrowing tones whilst their second contribution has a crisp
synthetic quality with bouncy rhythmic beats and an industrial slant.
Another newcomer – Sytrjv – remixes “0003,” offering a hybrid mix of
experimental electronics, industrial noise and dark ambience that slowly
builds pace as it progresses. As expected, “Marz,” a collaborative track
featuring Boysen and the influential Daniel Myer is a meeting of minds. Boysen’s precise digital techniques sparring with Myer’s mischievous
rhythms and sample-laden electronics. His collaboration with David
Thrussell, “Sknss”, is a different matter entirely; the mood is dark,
dense and oppressive while Thrussell’s vocals (sounding remarkably like
Daniel “Haujobb” Myer’s) speak of the sickness within. The final
collaborative track, “Dayout” with Ginormous, takes a little while to
warm up but when it does it releases a cavenous bassline and choppy
beats with soaring synths and intermittent bursts of electronic noise.

Boysen’s ability to mix beautifully serene soothing ambience with clean
precise glitchy breaks is second to none. The construction of his sound
is meticulous and precise, the result veering from gentle calmness to
disturbing darkness and back again via a rhythmic break interlude. His
ability to mix these styles so accurately and in his own peculiar way
makes this album an outstanding example of its genre, sitting somewhere
between abstract electronica, dark ambient and the slickest of glitchy
breaks. (4.5/5)

0000 is out now on Hymen. [Purchase]

  • Hymen
  • Hecq
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