Hexzuul is the doom/power electronics project of David Jones (Manticore, ex-Bile Sister). Dark, swampy sounds meet with industrial rhythms and diamond-sharp sparkles. Jones frequently collaborates with dancers, video artists and other musicians, blurring the lines between his own haunted vision of social atrophy with diverse artists surrounding him. Hexzuul recently performed solo and in collaboration with Brigitte Bardon’t at Kazoofest 2017, along with the chemical-based liquid lightshow of Mandelbrut at the most recent Electric Eclectics festival in Meaford, Ontario. His latest album, Bismuth Graves, is available as a cassette C-60 and as a digital download. In anticipation of Hexzuul’s spot on the upcoming SBVRSV bill with Rabit, we asked David a few questions regarding his creative process and his conception of subversion.
What kind of subject matter informs the output of your project?
Although much of it is cryptic, my music focuses on social conflict, inequality, class, the body, gender and privilege as well as abstraction, synthesis, meditation, healing and the creation of dream/nightmare-spaces. I think I focus on how these things affect me personally. The sounds are overwhelming and confusing because that’s how I feel a lot of the time. The drones and the shards of noise are therapeutic. I’m a hopeful person, but my music is just that part of me that is existentially desperate, passionate and heart-broken, a ragged gurgle of a defeated idealist.
What kind of impression do you hope your live set will have on people?
Not sure, I tool my sets to the environment and there is always a lot left to improvisation, so maybe it’s more about how I feed off the audience. I like to work with dancers and video artists and I like to dress up, cover my head in crystals, or act more performatively / unpredictably, to provide a more intimate or immersive visual environment. Sometimes I feel the need to step back, take deep care with my setup and it’s pace, lose touch with the social environment and present the music closer to it’s recorded form.
In your view, what does it mean to be subversive?
What the term means to me is to challenge and overturn something powerful and presumably oppressive from below. I tend to think of social conflict as crystalline, we inhabit complex identities and find ourselves at one time in a position of power and privilege and at another as impoverished, hated, ignored and alienated. So to be subversive is not clear cut, but I think that it involves navigating our social lives with attention to the larger structures that divide us, destroy the earth or strive to make it a boring and bleached-clean. In music, as in social life, I think this means to be open minded, to listen, to take risks and to try to understand others positions and affirm ideals rather than to spew rhetoric, default to cliche.
Hexzuul will be performing alongside Rabit, E-Saggila, CARES & Felix Pierrot on June 23rd at The Baby G.
Click here to purchase tickets.