Posts Tagged ‘Che Chen’

It’s hard not to slip into ridiculous hyperbole when it comes to the band 75 Dollar Bill. Are they the best band in New York City? Best band in the USA?.  Whatever conclusion you come to personally, you’re gonna love the instrumental duo of guitarist Che Chen and percussionist Rick Brown. They’ve definitely nailed down a thrillingly original sound, centered around Chen’s specially designed quarter-tone guitar something about his tone cuts right to the quick, with North African riffs blending into juke-joint boogies into more avant territory. Brown’s impressively minimalist setup (he mostly plays a wooden crate) is a perfect fit, adding a hypnotic thump to the mix. The whole thing is a little hard to describe, but trust me on this: 75 Dollar Bill is amazing. On the band’s latest release, Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock, the group expand the lineup baritone saxes, droning violas and contrabass — and deliver their most powerful music yet. Things feel a bit more composed and fleshed out as opposed to the improvised feel of some of their earlier recordings, but it works just fine: four mindbending tracks, each one a delight.” –


They’re just a great band. You hear African elements, Middle Eastern, and Delta Blues. They’re a really good reminder that there is this kind of music that just travels from culture to culture—even Appalachian folk music and things like that—where people see how far they can dig into drone and repetition, and something that is hypnotic and trippy. It’s the kind of thing I’ve always gravitated towards.”