How many albums can rightfully be described as birthing or, at least, perfectly summing up an entire genre? Bark Psychosis’ 1994 masterpiece, Hex, is one such album, as critic Simon Reynolds (supposedly) coined the term “post-rock” to describe its haunting, atmospheric blend of jazz, dub, electronic, and pop music.
Nowadays, the term “post-rock” is usually reserved for the slow-burning, louder-than-loud instrumental rock music of bands like Mono and Explosions in the Sky. But Hex, along with Talk Talk’s later output (e.g., 1988’s Spirit of Eden and 1991’s Laughing Stock), truly feels like an evolutionary leap beyond the normal confines and concepts of rock n’ roll.
The album’s first three songs — “The Loom,” “A Street Scene,” and “Absent Friend” — are about as perfect an opening trinity as you could hope for. I still remember the first time I heard them on a mixtape from an internet acquaintance, and becoming entranced by music that sounded familiar, and yet wholly fresh and new. “Absent Friend“‘s final minutes, in particular, are about as transcendent as music gets.
All that’s to say, it’s about time Hex got a second lease on life. FACT reports that Hex has been remastered by Bark Psychosis’ Graham Sutton and engineer Stuart Hawkes, and will be released on September 15 by Fire Records (which also released Bark Psychosis’ excellent Codename: Dustsucker in 2004). The Hex reissue will be released on CD, double LP, and digital FLAC.