Hi, my name is Torsten, I play piano and synth in an instrumental band from Bristol, UK called Hexcut. Also in the band are Chris Dreher (electronics), Dominic Fludger (bass guitar) and Rick Entwistle (drums). Our sound is somewhere between rock, modern jazz and electronic dance music and is hard to put into any one genre! It comes from the collective influences of all of us, and we write music together so it comes out as a blend of all our tastes: I am particularly into jazz acts like Gogo Penguin and Mammal Hands as well as alternative electronic acts such as Bonobo and Jon Hopkins, Chris is into hip hop and trip hop such as Blockhead and Portishead, Dom is into progressive rock and metal and Rick is into heavy rock and metal as well as house and drum’n’bass.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
The band started in 2017 when me and Rick met while I was covering for the keys on Rick’s old band – we realised we had similar music tastes and wanted to explore doing electronic dance-inspired music with a real drum kit and live keys playing. We then got our original bass player Sean involved, recorded an EP called Factory and started doing gigs around our home in Bristol. We quickly made a name for ourselves – the underground music scene here is incredible for jazz, rock and electronic music so we had a receptive audience! We put out our second EP in 2019 called Phases, where we tried to push the technicality of the music while keeping it accessible. We also incorporated more electronics and synths to broaden the sound. Sean left the band so we brought in Dom, who provided a heavier, more melodic approach to the bass.
When the pandemic hit it of course meant we couldn’t play live much for a couple of years, but it gave us plenty of time to write new music – just before COVID shut things down we had expanded from being a 3-piece with drums, keys and bass to a 4-piece with addition of Chris (a producer under the name Darken), who uses a laptop and some MIDI controllers to add electronic depth to our live sound. We were keen to write some tunes with the new lineup, and got to the point where we had enough for a full album, recording the first two tracks in the summer of 2022: Silverstar and Chasms, which were released in January 2023.
Silverstar is a liquid drum’n’bass-inspired tune with a very syncopated rhythm which sounds like it could have an irregular time signature but is in 4/ 4. It took us a long time to lock in that rhythm! The B-side Chasms was an attempt to write a dubstep drop on piano, with Rick’s heavy drums on the drop and breakbeat-style beats in the verse bringing the tune to life. We’re looking forward to putting out the full album as it’s a real evolution of our sound, with a lot of variation in mood and feel between tracks – some are dark and heavy, some tender and melancholic, others are uplifting and dancey.
If you like what you’ve heard so far stick with us, we’ve got much more to show soon!