"If you think of a piece of music as a rubberband - I like to try and stretch it. Let's say melancholy in one end and humor in the other, and see how far you can take it. Bringing oppositions together." - Mikkel Hess
The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and composer Mikkel Hess, Hess Is More currently exists as a six-piece orchestra of New York musicians, with the group's classically handsome leader pulling quadruple duty as drummer, conductor, bass player, and singer. Their actually-original sound could be described as technically-proficient worldly funky jazz that accomplishes quite a lot; mainly, it's clever without being boring and dancey without being dull.
Born in Denmark, Mikkel Hess puttered about on various instruments while growing up, picked up a classical music education in Copenhagen, and delved into computer-based music while tucked away in Rio a decade back. New Yorkers might remember the band from their recent Nublu residency, where they paired artists with their own live music sets, or shows at Union Pool and Cameo Gallery, as well as chichi afterparties for art happenings.
Abroad, Hess is More has collaborated with the Royal Danish Ballet, played Istanbul and Moscow, and worked with tons of artists who are actually interesting. When not busying himself with band duties, Hess has scored many a film and composed music for Danish theatrical performances of "The Wind and the Willows" and "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" at The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.
The latest Hess is More record, "Creation Keeps the Devil Away," came out in October of 2011 and features a guest appearance by Nomi Ruiz, the frontwoman of Jessica 6, which makes it pretty much the coolest.
1. Would You Like to Disco? (live at Spot Festiva)
2. In The Fridge (live in Denmark)
3. Ssshhhh (live in Denmark)
4. Piano Waltz (with Chat Roulette as part of the Hess Is More Residency performance art series)
5. Go Go Go Go (live in Denmark)
Find out more about Hess Is More here