Dress to dig
Melding urban blues and post-industrial excess, the uncompromising first album from Swiss band Hell’s Kitchen, Dress to dig, is set make a smoking-hot mark on the new season.
The band’s rough, saturated blues are close to the sound of US group Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, except here the rhythm comes from banging ventilation shafts or a washing-machine drum, and sometimes rubbing bits of pasta together. Their songs are served up raw, peppered with cries, murmurs and rasping breaths.
Hardly an easy listen, Dress to dig, the group’s first album, gives its audience a rough ride through a sort of hypnotic whirlpool that gets a grip on you.
Many will find this disk difficult to tackle first time round, but the strong point of Hell’s Kitchen is that their music never comes across as cold experimentation. The sound is carnal and alive, full of raw-edged emotion, like the very core of the blues.
Hell’s Kitchen Dress to Dig (DixieFrog/Harmonia Mundi) 2011
Playing live on 7 September in Paris (Jazz à la Villette), 7 October at the Festival de Marne (Cergy), etc.
Translation: Anne-Marie Harper