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EERDERE EDITIES | 2008 | MUZIEK | THE CJ BOYD SEXXXTET


Biography

“We are not exactly a "band". We're a group of musicians interested in exploring the connection between music and sexuality. The line-up has changed quite a bit, and continues to change; what continues is our commitment to experimenting with eros and its place in musical experiences.

 

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We are a vehicle of critique. We start with the supposition that our culture's fundamentally prudish willfull ignorance about sex is connected to our culture's simultaneous cult of sexuality hidden behind thin veils of pop icons on the radio and television. We suppose that the shunning of the body and the attempt to make sex a mere spectacle are both forms of denigrating our sexual bodies.

 

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The true celebration of sex, as far as we can tell, has yet to fully manifest itself in our culture. We tip our hats to the sexual revolutionaries of the 60s and 70s, as well as the great sexual scientists Freud and Kinsey, and hope to continue their work through musical/sexual exploration.”

 

Discography

-) 2007 : 'Fleur du Mal' (Self-released).

The Silent Ballet's point of view :

The CJ Boyd Sexxxtet are an experimental art collective, performing ambient chamber music on bass and many cellos. They also have an affinity for playing in the nude, and feel that music is inextricably linked to sexuality, something that is conveyed by their driving, thrusting compositions with or without the accompanying nude press photos. I think most reviewers would spend time discussing the press photos and the eros/nudity theme, and for this reason I would prefer to ignore it. However, I don't think that would be fair, as the sexual themes are linked with our understanding of the music, and it is not as gimmicky as it may seem on first look. The band does not attempt to be an avant-garde/instrustmental Pussy Cat Dolls, playing up porn star poses and showing off cleavage and curves for the sake of selling records; instead, the cover communicates a sensuality and comfortability, as well as a playfulness, all mirrored by the music the group makes. The band is sincere and genuine in their art, dedicated to exploring the connection between music and sexuality, as well as playing with the paradox of a sexual repressed culture obsessed with the cult of celebrity.

Fans of CJ Boyd are surely aware of his virtuosity and versatility, having crafted impressive albums of compositions exclusively for bass, acoustic bass over dubs, and hip-hop oriented instrumental music. Boyd's latest album, The Greatest Weight, did an excellent job of crafting powerful songs of complex overdubbing bass. The Sexxxtet is distinct from his solo records, but is still clearly in the tradition of minimalist arrangements, evolving chord progressions, and relaxing and/or invigorating music, dependant on one's mood. Boyd is the foundation on which these songs are built, but the rotating musicians make their presence felt, giving Fleur du Mal a unique feel. These three songs, each about 20 minutes long, take the listener on a journey without feeling cinematic, and have the vibe of a jam session without the (complete) lack of structure. These three tracks, building slowly over time, are not going to suit everyone's taste, and are not always appropriate due to their length. As background music, or as a soundtrack to whatever it is one might be doing, the Sexxtet makes for a tranquil ambience.

The first track, “At the End of Breath,” begins with the ringing of a Tibetan singing bowl, whose tone underlies much of the rest of the track. An acoustic bass solos over the ringing of the bowl, while gentle chords are sustained in the background. After over three minutes, the cellos come in, and the record begins to take off. The slow, mournful crescendo of the strings will likely appeal to fans of Godspeed, and is reminiscent of minimalist composers such as Steve Reich, who rely on repetition and subtle changes over time to propel the piece. Track two, “Here's to Thanatos,” is the most well-composed of the three, transitioning from rhythmic and engaging to absolutely beautiful and lulling by the end. Last is “And Indeed There Will Be Time,” a powerful piece which layers strings and other instruments on top of a repetitive bass melody, culminating in the entire band chanting a Buddhist Mantra in Sanskrit, taken from the Heart Sutra. "Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha." (Gone, gone, gone all the way over, everyone gone to the other shore, enlightenment, rejoice!) As the Sexxxtet's voices fade out, the listener truly does feel as though we have reached the other shore. It is a rare thing when music is capable of taking the listener on such a journey, and CJ Boyd is a rare talent indeed.

Joseph Sannicandro - site.

fleur du mal

 

 

Audio

You can listen to a few tracks here.

 

Web

-) Official site.
-) Myspace.