FRI 8 SEPT | THE BLACK BOX, BELFAST | 8PM | £15 (£10 CONC) BOOK HERE
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 the modal traditions of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, early electric blues, 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 draws on an extended family of players, expanding into other configurations live and on record, from compact trios to adhoc marching bands. Their most recent studio record, the double album I Was Real, was named #1 record of the year by WIRE magazine in 2019, while 2020’s Live at Tubby’s struck a chord by capturing an exuberant pair of sets recorded just days before the pandemic sent live music into lockdown. A new studio album, the first for their 10-piece little big band, is forthcoming in early 2024 from Thin Wrist Records. Rick Brown has been in bands in NYC since the late 70s, including Blinding Headache, V-Effect and Run On. Che Chen has been an energetic organizer and improviser in New York’s experimental underground since the mid-2000s and has collaborated with Tetuzi Akiyama, Chie Mukai, Tashi Dorji, Chris Corsano and countless others.
“a phenomenal duo” – The Quietus
“border-destroying party music” – Mojo