75 Dollar Bill are one of those band’s I’m amazed I’ve never stumbled upon until now!! How have I missed this band, these creators of mesmerising and enchanting dust-driven dreamy sound for what has nearly been a decade since their emergence in 2012??
Formed in New York City in 2012, 75 Dollar Bill consist of members Che Chen on guitar (formerly of True Primes) and Rick Brown on drums (formerly of V-Effect and Curlew). Their sound plays out over vast and unchartered soundscapes, where sun and solitude meets forgiving horizons and welcoming lands of opportunity and hope. Leaning heavily into desert blues, their sound emits heavy North African vibes which reminds me of greats such as Tinariwen and Ali Farka Touré, whilst their exploratory and unravelling compositions makes me think of Lonesome Shack – It’s a striking combination!
It has been reported that sometimes Brown and Chen have produced their own instruments, like DIY horns assembled out of coloured plastic or PVC pipe, a tiny Ace Tone organ, a portable cassette player, chimes and sleigh bells affixed to a stick, or a cowbell! But the fundamentals remain and their music grows from the roots of syncopated grooves, cast from a the fusion of guitar and percussion.
They released their first full-length album, Wooden Bag, in 2015 on the Other Music Recording Company label, and followed that up a year later with Wood/ Metal Plastic/ Pattern/ Rhythm/ Rock...and whilst this record may only be 4-tracks long, it boasts some good lengthy expeditions of 12 and 15 minute-long tracks – these are sounds to get lost in! This is where Beni Said can be found, the song that introduced me to this band! Check it out above and listen/purchase the rest of the album from here – Listen to more of their music from here!