Monday 15 October 2018, 7.30pm
“The instrumental duo of Che Chen and Rick Brown have been blowing minds on the East Coast live circuit with little more than an electric guitar and a wooden crate rhythm section … An improvised structure that’s not afraid to lay out a hypnotic boogie.” – The Wire (#16 - Releases of the Year 2016)
75 Dollar Bill was formed in 2012 in New York City by percussionist Rick Brown and guitarist Che Chen. Played on a deeply resonant plywood crate, Brown’s earthy, elemental rhythms are both the foundation and foil for Chen’s ecstatic, modal guitar style. The duo’s electric, richly patterned music can shape shift from joyful dance tunes to slowly changing trance minimalism, an uncategorizable hybrid which draws on early electric blues, the modal traditions of West Africa, India and the Middle East, Sun Ra’s space chords and the minimalist and No Wave histories of their hometown.
While Brown and Chen are always at the band’s core, the duo frequently expands into other configurations live and on record, from trio to 25-piece marching band. They have released a string of cassettes and two LPs with another full-length album nearly completed for release in 2019. Their most recent album, Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock on the Thin Wrist label, received many highly positive reviews and appeared on numerous lists of 2016’s best releases. It has since been released (on vinyl, digitally and, for the first time, on CD) in Europe by Glitterbeat Records on its tak:til imprint. Their forthcoming double LP, I Was Real, will be released by Thin Wrist in early 2019.
Percussionist Rick Brown has been in bands in NYC since the late 70s, including Blinding Headache, V-Effect and Run On. Guitarist Che Chen was previously in the band True Primes and has been an energetic collaborator in the American and Japanese undergrounds over the last decade.
“It’s hard not to slip into ridiculous hyperbole when it comes to 75 Dollar Bill. Best band in New York City? Best band in the USA? Best band in the universe? Whatever conclusion you come to personally, you’re gonna love the instrumental duo of guitarist Che Chen and percussionist Rick Brown.” – Aquarium Drunkard