¥742 hecq. scatterheart. cd. hymen records. october2004



p 1.1
coup de lune
madison I
flood me
midnight generator
madison II
road north
the white stairs
wenn ich

download pressrelease.pdf

although only 22 years old, benny boysen’s musical interests run wide and deep, having begun with the influences of his artistic parents such as bach, bartok and haydn, and eventually moving on to duran duran, billy idol, gary moore and u2. “today,” he says, “i love everything that seems to be intelligent music to me: speedy j, l'usine, biosphere, dälek, murcof, deathprod or james plotkin.” so it’s no wonder that on his second album as hecq, scatterheart, boysen demonstrates a knack for incorporating the musical approaches that impress him into a dynamic and crisp post-electronic

yet unlike some of his musical predecessors, hecq’s scatterheart posits itself as a complete whole - an aural concept that spans the better part of an hour, where complex, intense breaks and melodic themes intermingle with ambient space and emotional droning. scatterheart begins with a tense ambient dirge that breaks into a post-glitch gallop on “fdk,” then meanders through light (“madison I”) and dark (“madison II”) atmospheric moods in a masterfully arranged succession of tracks. periodically, scatterheart cracks its industrial concrète surface with exquisite melodic concepts. “coup de lune” waxes mysterious with its mixture of downtempo funkstörung breaks and a languid, dense aura akin to gridlock and beefcake; the tense pizzicato strings that begin “flood me” morph into a phantasmagoric swirl of broken hip-hop rhythms that descend into the black astructural depths of “midnight generator.” while semblances of speedy-j’s and l’usine’s respect for sonic depth and texture permeate the soothing “field” and crackling “doraccle,” scatterheart remains an epic, singular musical creation.

“i don’t like the idea of attaching some tracks one after another,” explains boysen, who resides in a small south german town. “there are surely albums where that makes sense but i like it when you have also tiny bits of 35 seconds - or even less - where you just hear somebody talk inarticulately”.for boysen, who has remixed haujobb, architect, l’ombre, and in strict confidence and whose debut hecq album appeared on kaleidoskop, scatterheart is “the feeling of insecurity, and violability in every artistic process. this process is always controlled by your permanent changing daily
condition. it’s impossible for me to sit down and produce a track…i must have had some experience that keeps my mind going. i'll never concentrate on the technical process but on the feeling i have at this moment…so you are not just ‘making music,’ you convert something, you are diverted from "just" programming. you are scattered, and this not only in your mind but also in the central ‘emotional’ organ - the heart. that's the way scatterheart developed.”

hymen records will release hecq’s scatterheart in digipak cd format in october 2004.

hecq wuselt in dieser besonders feinen electronica des lusine icl-kim cascone typs. pergamentene melodien und soundtüll über knacksenden, splittrigen, rauschenden samples und beats. manchmal wird er sogar kindisch-überdreht wie kid 606 oder lesser, mit dribbelbeats und brasilianischen karnevalsrhythmen, die sich auf einmal aus den glitchigen atmosphären schälen. meist geht es aber sehr ruhig und semi-organisch zu, knisterned, prasselnd und mit digitalem anstrich, was die beats betrifft, warm und gefühlvoll, was die melodien und klangflächen angeht. das dies ein debütalbum eines jungen deutschen sein soll, mag man gar nicht glauben. hört sich viel zu professionell an, als hätte man schon einige jahre im laptop-zirkus verbracht. stilistisch variabel nimmt er sich aus glitch, electronica, dub und ambient was er als kompatibel zu seiner idee von emotionaler musik erachtet und präsentiert einen beeindruckenden soundtrack, der hallt, schabt und groovt und sich nicht leicht einordnen läßt. so hat man’s gern. (tô)

 vital weekly
"i love everything that seems to be intelligent music" german electronic composer benny boysen once said. he is the man behind the solo-project hecq. two composers, mentioned by benny as intelligent composers is biosphere and speedy j. unquestionably these two are great inspirators on this second album titled "scatterheart". musically the album finds itself in the borderlands between isolationist ambient and electro-inspired idm. opening with dark waving drones of floating_ melancholy, the thoughts first of all head towards biosphere's ambient-milestone "substrata". as the album slowly develops rhythms begin to penetrate. at this point the associations of speedy j  occur, thanks to a rhythmic texture more likely built on hissing machines than just following any traditional beat pattern. the hissing machinery noises have been beautifully structured to provide a perfect backbeat for the eerie soundscapes of mr. boysen. raw samples of spoken words help to create some sort of bizarre emptiness and thus assist in fulfilling the overall nocturnal atmosphere of the album. highly recommended! (nmp)


elettronica post-industriale che lascia trapelare molteplici forme ed influssi: quella di benny boysen, appena ventidue anni, è tuttavia già una ricerca ben definita, che sa appropriarsi di sonorità aspre ed innovative, diluendole in suggestioni ambient, complesse dissonanti strutture auditive, partiture ritmiche discontinue, abusate con attenzione glitch in contrappunto ad innesti melodici ed ispirazioni d'origine space. un album rude e melanconico, derivato da immaginari certo non concilianti ma che sanno evolvere con percezioni sensibili, fluidi e repentini cambiamenti d'umore, focalizzando le emozioni piuttosto che i processi della tecnica digitale. sessantuno minuti di registrazioni, tracce di lunghezza variabile (anche molto brevi), con aurali paesaggi sonori, oscillando fra il minimalismo delle due differenti versioni di 'madison' e la ritmicità break esibita in 'doraccle', oppure con 'inyarms' inducendo trasalimenti e sospensioni astrali per un debutto davvero eccellente. (aurelio cianciotta)

a review in russian language by valentin laboda:

this album is a fine addition to the hymen catalog. as the label doesn't issue new albums all the time, it is obvious that they are selective with regards to what they release. having a high level of standards has paid off with scatterheart, benny boysen's second release as hecq. his sense of dynamics is a key element to his music's success. during "doraccle" the shifts between loud and quiet are extreme, and help to sustain a level of tension within the music. at 61 minutes the album is long, but the variety of sounds and textures keeps the set interesting. the way egyptian percussion and pizzicato strings are used on "flood me" make it a highlight of the album. his use of these unusual textures shows that his influences are more varied than those of many electronic producers. although boysen is technically proficient at programming intricate beats, he doesn't let the process become the focus of the music. instead the set retains an emotional feel, although it often sounds cold and mechanical. there is always an underlying drone or atmospheric texture that keeps the tracks grounded in human emotion. the opening track "fdk" begins with over a minute of droning, whirling tones before the beat kicks in. from this point on, the percussive patterns are juxtaposed with the atmospheric elements. by focusing on one element or the other, there is the possibility to listen with a different focus each time. the inclusion of several short interludes consisting of sampled dialogue also helps the set to retain a human quality. this seems to be a direct reference to the "skits" often featured between the songs on hip hop albums. while many electronic acts talk of the influence hip hop has had on their work, boysen has addressed this subtly within the configuration of the album itself. the fact that the dialogue is from films also emphasizes scatterheart's cinematic quality. although there is a great amount of variance of sounds between these tracks, they work well together as a whole and flow well into one another. although there are many short tracks among the 23 featured, each seems to last long enough to effectively present an idea, without sounding unfinished. the running order is well organized, with "tbe," the loudest, most chaotic track, placed at the halfway point. this short track's noisy barrage of percussion balances the set perfectly. it's refreshing to find that although there are so many people producing instrumental electronic music today, there is still the possibility to create an album as fresh sounding as scatterheart.

If a label like Hymen decides to release a newcomer, he's supposed to be good, since the quality control has been consistent through the years. Hecq is definitely very good, his production skills are amazing if you consider he's only 23. The balance between sinister beats and mellow melodies is perfect, like in "Flood Me" where you find a stomping beat opposed to classical strings, or in "Field" where only light tones bring some warmth to a frozen break. Other tracks are just pure sonic darkness, with heavy basses, dubby echoes and tiny micro-clicks that stress the beat. The overall sensation is of floating over a landscape covered with snow, if only Scatterheart wasn't interrupted by a couple of upbeat tunes. Between a great number of short tracks (there's 23 in about an hour) you find two tunes, namely "Doraccle" and "Road North," that could form an excellent 12" on their own. The former is a broken beat piece with a groovy slap bass, something that resembles Architect's most recent album (I Went Out Shopping To Get Some Noise, Hymen: 2004), while the latter is a straight, funky, electro tune --something that would work very well on the dance-floor. It's not they're bad tracks, in fact they're some of the best, it's only that they seem a bit out of place here; slightly interrupting the quiet flowing of the album. Obviously you can see it the other way --they also add some variety and rhythm, but I still think the track-list could have been arranged better. Scatterheart is an impressive album that could be described as an introverted version of Lusine and is strongly recommended for fans of Lusine ICL releases, also on Hymen. (luca maini)

on se souvient de a dried youth premier album et coup de maître de l'allemand benny boysen, aka hecq. a l'époque l'espoir nous traversait même, d'une possible nouvelle donne en ce qui concernait le versant extrême et expérimental de l'electronica. après les albums de toutes beautés d'apparat (duplex chez shitkatapult) et d'einoma (milli tonverka chez vertical form), a dried youth, émaillé de samples organiques (opéra, bruissements…) et d'algorithmes judicieusement choisis, présentait en effet de larges possibilités, tant au niveau des moyens techniques que celui de la générosité envers ses auditeurs. boysen, jouait à merveille sur les atmosphères et les textures rugueuses d'une ambiant-electronica évocatrice de paysages post-industriels, de champ de ruines rouillés, noyés dans la brume. le défi d'alors semblait être de ne pas sonner trop froid ni inhumain. las, son nouvel album prend le total contre-pied de cette orientation ludique même si ardu, pour ne garder que le deuxième adjectif de cette phrase. oeuvre complexe (ce qui n'est pas forcément pour nous déplaire) scatterheart ne cultive pourtant pas la fragile sensualité du premier. seul point commun entre ces deux albums, l'aspect cinématique que nous retrouvons ces temps-ci dans toutes les productions hymen/ant-zen. ici, c'est bien de cinéma qu'il s'agit en effet et la plupart des samples semblent tirés de films anglo-saxons (nous apprendrons en vérité qu'il s'agit de textes lues par erich fried, un ami de boysen). pourtant, ce supplément d'humanité ne redonne pas vraiment vie à la création (créature ?) de boysen. plus abstrait que jamais, des tracks comme p.1.1, p.1.2, p.1.3, sortes d'interludes qui cachant mal la volonté d'expérimentation ultime de l'artiste, et cela au dépend du plaisir de l'auditeur. a l'écoute de scatterheart, on pense surtout aux grands pionniers de la musique concrète, ou électro-acoustique, ce qui pourrait être un plus, mais également au classique d'autechre. un manque de personnalité qui finalement mine l'auditeur. du coup, cet aspect un rien décevant, ajouté à l'ambiance générale de l'album, dépouillé et sans âme, expérimentale mais sans réelle originalité, fini par donner envie de tourner la page. entendez bien, scatterheart n'est pas un mauvais album, juste un de ceux que l'on écoute sans vraiment accrocher, sans l'entendre. a trop vouloir intellectualiser, on tue l'émotion. mais pour cela il nous reste toujours a dried youth qui lui, était exceptionnel. (maxence grugier)

everybody that is interested in industrial and idm knows that if you are looking for high quality innovating electronic music you have to keep an eye out for the releases on hymen. hecq is their new discovery. scatterheart is actually the second hecq release, but this is the first one on hymen. the listener is taken into a varied world of sounds and forms when playing this record. there is some idm to be found on this release, both as real tracks and as short pieces of music (‘p.1.1’ and ‘coup de lune’), but also a sort of weird elektro disco (‘road north’). what holds this record together is the overall melancholy mood. even as divers as the record is you will experience it as a natural whole. hecq doesn’t care for coventions about album formats and song structures. he plays around with sounds and forms and does that in a brilliant way. scatterheart might be called a free form album but it doesn’t loose itself in endless experiments as sometimes happens with this sort of music. the result is an outstanding album. not to be missed if you are into progressive electronic music. (mvg)

benny boysen's self-professed love for artists like speedy j, l'usine, murcof, deathprod, and james plotkin resonates throughout his sophomore hecq album. he's a wunderkind (only twenty-two when the album was created) who distills his appetite for bartok, billy idol, and everything in between into the satisfying, hour-long sojourn scatterheart. the title choice embodies boysen's conviction that every artistic process involves violability, the 'scattering' of heart and mind that emerges when one moves beyond mere programming. the album is sequenced as twenty-three connecting tracks, with ten of them—interspersed voice samples and ambient interludes, typically—less than two minutes long, giving the album a trippy travelogue feel. while the strategy generally works well, some segues are abrupt, like the sudden shift from the stormy soundscape “inyarns” to the buzzing curlicues, pinprick beats, and dubby washes of “holler.” as one might expect, tracks inhabit contrasting stylistic realms. on the ambient front, the album includes the dirge-like overture “fdk,” seashore atmospheres in “madison ii,” and haunted rumbles in “inyarns”; darkest of all is “midnight generator,” an aural excursion into the bowels of some underground crypt. uplift arrives, however, with the airy dub confection “the white stairs” and the scurrying dancehall of “doraccle”; even better is “flood me” which merges graceful pizzicati (lifted from the second movement of debussy's string quartet) with the swirling punch of arabian hip-hop rhythms. sometimes, boysen's influences rise perhaps a little too close to the surface, with the primary candidate l'usine, given the ubiquity of surgical beat sculpting so reminiscent of jeff mcilwain's handiwork. “field,” “suck,” and “iso” all feature that crisp signature, with the combination of glitchy atmospheres, skittish beats, and muffled bass lines in “coup de lune” impressing most of all. while the intermittent interludes help downplay the l'usine influence, there's no denying its presence; furthermore, boysen, like mcilwain, tends to fixate on beats at the expense of the accompanying melodic material. notwithstanding such caveats, scatterheart remains an engrossing outing that bodes well for boysen's future work.

hecq discography. 10.2004:
a dried youth. cd. kaleidoskop kal003. 2003
scatterheart. cd. hymen records ¥742. 2004

hecq webpage: http://www.hecq.de