HEXES: DIRTY ART CLUB Monday 27 August, 2012

Never heard of Dirty Art Club? Don’t worry you’re in good company but let’s try and do something about that.

I know very little about Dirty Art Club. What I do know is that they are obviously students at the temple of boom and have released a fantastic EP called Hexes.

Hexes is eight tracks of sheer beat joy. It borrows snatches from pyschedelia, electronica, hip hop and blends them all together in a most pleasing way. If I were going to be really lazy I’d call it Trip Hop. I’m not so I won’t. It did remind me of Portishead in places. I don’t mean that Dirty Art Club just thought “let’s do a Portishead track”. I mean that they have studied Portishead and learned their lessons well and used that to influence their style. Influence not plagiarise.

That really is the most striking impression you’ll get from listening to Hexes. It’s that these guys have obviously spent a lot of time listening to music and they’ve learned from the successes and mistakes of their favourite works. This album is like a distillation of everything that is wonderful on the groove based side of the street. It really is that good.

There are heavily effected vocals, strange percussion, weird ghostly instruments and an overarching sense of how wonderful hip hop and beat making should be. In this respect they are much the same as Portishead. When Portishead released Dummy it was like a breath of fresh air for hip hop heads. The production on Dummy was, at the time, a clarion call to all hip hop producers to get their shit together and do it right. Remarkable when you consider that Dummy is not a hip hop album. Hexes does much the same thing.

If you love hip hop but more importantly love music then make sure you investigate this beautiful EP. You won’t regret it.

You can listen to and download Hexes here

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