Published Feb 13, 2015For his first record as Six Organs of Admittance in three years, Ben Chasny came up with a whole new compositional system, called Hexadic, as a way to dig himself out of a creative rut. Think of it as a kind of twist on Brian Eno's Oblique Strategy cards, an aleatoric — or chance-based — approach to songwriting.
Every detail of every song, from the notes played to how often they were played to the lyrics themselves, was determined by Chasny's system. While most of the composing was left up to chance, the decision to play the songs with an electric guitar was all Chasny, as he thought the songs leant themselves better to a "rock" format. Six Organs have typically been Chasny's folk outlet, leaving his noisy guitar work to other bands like the psychedelic powder kegs Comets on Fire or the more avant Rangda, but Hexadic is louder and more gnarly than anything else he's done under this moniker.
What this record has in common with its predecessors is minimal drumming, veiled, gauzy vocals buried in the mix and guitar work placed front and centre, though this time it's buzzing, whirring and howling wherever it's compelled to go. Though such a departure might throw fans of his earlier work as Six Organs for a loop, this drastic shift in style seems like Chasny's way of throwing his own creative process through that same wringer. (Drag City)