A dark bar, full of smoke (depending on the city) and the kinds of characters easily classified as lowlifes - that's the scene. Rumbling, rambling, rough cut vocals gurgle over bouncy, organic beats. The air smells hard and old; the lowlifes sit mostly still, their human urge to dance dulled behind their half-dead eyes. Little green men walk around the room while little green pills are gobbled up. In the middle of the mess is a mysterious Ohioan who calls himself Alyosha Het. His music is the sound infecting the room, beautifully spitting through layers of reverb and pain.
Singing about loneliness, cigarettes, canaries, something called "college" and the process of "illuminating his mind," Het comes off as something of a Tom Waits for fans of Violent Femmes and Guided by Voices. His new record, The Purgatourist, displays an incredible aptitude for eerie, moody lo-fi/bedroom production, doing so without sacrificing songcraft. His vocals drenched in drinks, smokes and raspy spirit, the man behind this oddball gem is an excellent composer of gutter-friendly left field folk.
A fan and admitted "stalker" of Fort Wayne's own Chainsmoking Records, Het, acting out of character, simply sent a letter and a disc to the label, very likely winning their hearts before opener "Little Green Pills - Little Green Men" ended. While recording, Het used no money, drum machines or computers, citing cigarettes as the only part of his recording budget. While working on the album he never gave a thought to anyone hearing it, so he claims. This grim outlook, he says, makes the record more interesting. Makes it work.
For a rollicking folk record, The Purgatourist is anything but conventional.Read more ›
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