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Dirty Art Club – Hexes album review

The sky, stars, planets, constellations. Asian fusion. Dark crypts and cellars, creepy vibes, Halloween. The ‘70s, tan leather, sideburns, psychedelic culture. Bright colors, vivid block-lettered graffiti, hip hop swag. What do these images have in common? Why, they might be none other than a fraction of the images conjured up in one’s mind as they venture into Dirty Art Club’s second album, appropriately named “Hexes.”

North Carolina-native Dirty Art Club producers Matt Cagle and John “Madwreck” McKiever have already recently graced the world with their musical talent with their 2011 hip-hop based debut “Heavy Starch.” Their second album delivers the same beloved beats combined with further musical experimentation whose medleys are a delight to the ears.

“Hexes” was released on July 3rd 2012 on Phonosaurus Records. Its eight tracks are intense and other-worldly, combining hip-hop, electronic and psychedelic sounds. “Black Acid” starts off the experience with a chilled-out, psychedelic mood complete with Indian-infused notes. The hip-hop based “Full Metal Jacket” is most reminiscent of the duo’s first album, and therefore arguably the album’s safest track. The hypnotic title track “Hexes” just might be the album’s pièce de résistance, what with its shifting tune at the track’s final minute. The transitioning from one tune to another within the same song—also heard in Minilla and Slow Burner—masterfully crafts a dual auditory experience in the space of barely three minutes.

As the album’s title predicts, “Hexes” is likely to send you on a colorfully dark—or is it the inverse?—experience, resulting in a pleasantly unpredictable ride. Listeners keen on Pogo, Dirty Elegance and RJD2, as well as listeners yearning for experimental-instrumental tunes may feel drawn to Dirty Art Club’s style.

“Hexes”: a definite spell whose effects are likely to be as varied as its listeners.

By Natacha Pavlov

Natacha Pavlov is an avid reader, writer, and traveler. Aside from eating ridiculous amounts of chocolate from her native Belgium, she can be found consuming large quantities of tea, falafel and lebneh in the lovely Bay Area.

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