HC-B

HC-B“Quality Instrumental Post-Rock with a fierce emotion that will blast your face off for its entirety… The songs blend together to form a tsunami of shredding guitars, loud violins, free horns, booming basses and hammering drums… One of the greatest of its genre.” – WRUV

Named after the great French photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sicilian quintet HC-B are masters of a similarly evocative art. Their expansive sound, rich with detail, is a clear reflection of a band at the height of their creative powers. Effortlessly shifting focus and timbre with each movement of their epic song-suites, HC-B channel their formidable talents into some of the most thrilling, symphonic instrumental rock you will hear.

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Discography

 

Rough


June 2015

On Rough, HC-B’s dexterous handling of dynamics and structure recalls fellow artisans of epic such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and This Will Destroy You. The album’s five long pieces complement and play off each other beautifully. On single ‘Deux’, a masterclass in slow-burning restraint, guitar and bass melodies snake around each other in dizzying patterns. The song’s cumulative power – and that of the album as a whole – comes from the tenacity with which the band explore every shade of the music’s melodic colours.

 

Soundcheck for a Missing Movie


June 2009

In each of its eight majestic songs, Soundcheck For A Missing Movie follows HC-B’s finely trained lens across a breathtaking instrumental rock landscape, rich with detail and swimming with emotive currents. In triumphant single ‘Hot Afternoon In The Bulls’ Square’, free-jazz horns squabble and blare like a swarm of bees before the main theme shines through like an exultant fanfare, supported by a thundering bassline. The gorgeous ‘Slow Compensation’ winds sinuous synth lines, violin and a longing male and female vocal through the swaying drums and guitars, mustering a quietly anthemic yet intimate epic. And closer ‘Missing Movie’ brings the house down with a storm of ferocious guitars.

Biography

All of HC-B’s members have been friends in their hometown of Catania, Sicily since childhood. Gianluca Napoli (guitar, bass, keyboards, theremin, vocals) and Salvatore Fichera (guitar, bass, clarinet, vocals) initially played together in noise band Scream Inside, and Riccardo Napoli (drums, xylophone), Federico Laudani (guitar, bass), and Giuseppe Musmeci (guitar, piano, keyboards) played in space-rock band Plan 9.

The band formed in 1999 and self-released two EPs, My Green Apple and t0101222, which firmly established their distinctive balance between composition and improvisation across a broad instrumental palette. This was soon followed by the release of their debut album Sliding On Barents Sea on Edwood Records in 2003, which received glowing reviews in Italian magazines (Blow Up, Rumore, Mucchio Selvaggio) and webzines (Freak Out, Music Heart, Rockit). Since 2003 the band have played around Italy, supporting the likes of Battles, dEUS and US Maple.

Their 2009 album on Hidden Shoal, Soundcheck For A Missing Movie, also includes the talents of Andrea Fiorito (violin, piano), Giovanni Fiderio (violin), Sergio Montemagno (trumpet) and Sabrina Sciacca (vocals). It was recorded and mixed by Sacha Tilotta and Alfredo Musumeci at Dream Factory in Catania, and mastered by Bob Weston (Shellac) in Chicago.

News

  • Eat Your Friends: A Hidden Shoal 10th Anniversary Compilation

    Eat Your FriendsHidden Shoal is excited to end the celebration of its 10th year of existence with the new compilation album Eat Your Friends, comprising remixes and covers of Hidden Shoal artists, by Hidden Shoal artists. This freely downloadable album not only showcases the wealth of original music released through Hidden Shoal, but also the creative ingenuity and deft musical touch of the remixers and cover artists.

    From searing solar-flared adaptations to delicately reconstructed covers, deep space jam reworkings, and shimmering ambient tapestries, Eat Your Friends reimagines the Hidden Shoal discography in new and beautiful ways, playing to all the strengths of the roster’s dizzying array of talent.

    Includes remixes and covers by: Antonymes, Arc Lab, Glanko, Wayne Harriss, Liminal Drifter, Makee, Chloe March, Markus Mehr, Erik Nilsson, REW<<, Slow Dancing Society, Tin Manzano, Willem Gator, and Zealous Chang  of music by: Arc Lab, Brother Earth, Cheekbone, City of Satellites, Medard Fischer, Gilded, Glanko & Daniel Bailey, Kryshe, Memorybell, Erik Nilsson, perth, Slow Dancing Society, Tangled Star, Umpire, and Zealous Chang.

    Eat Your Friends is available now as a free download via Bandcamp and is also streamable via SoundCloud. Listen and then throw yourself into the wormhole as you explore the originals and more work by the remixers and cover artists.  For all the filmmakers, games designers and others in need of engaging music, don’t forget that all tracks in our catalogue are available for licensing (film, tv, games, compilations etc).

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  • Hidden Shoal is 10!

    Hidden ShoalHidden Shoal is extremely excited to be celebrating its 10th birthday this month. It’s hard to believe that back in May 2006, Perth-based musicians Cam Merton, Stuart Medley and Malcolm Riddoch began Hidden Shoal Recordings as a means to put out releases by local artists. Tim Clarke, based in Melbourne, joined the team in 2007. Hidden Shoal has since gone on to become a much-loved independent label and publisher, releasing over 120 albums from a diverse range of international artists and licensing music from its catalogue across film, tv, web and compilation.

    Stay tuned for special anniversary announcements in the coming months!

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  • Giuseppe Musmeci of HC-B and Willem Gator Interview at Tomatrax

    Willem GatorFor those that missed it, check out this wonderful interview with Giuseppe Musmeci of HC-B and Willem Gator at Tomatrax late last year. Giuseppe is currently finalising the next Willem Gator album so keep your ears peeled for more news on that. It’s going to be something special!
     
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  • HC-B’s Epic New Album “Rough” Released

    HC-B "Rough"Hidden Shoal is excited to announce the release of Rough, the epic new album by serpentine instrumental rock band HC-B, which includes slow-burning single ‘Deux’.

    On Rough, HC-B’s dexterous handling of dynamics and structure recalls fellow artisans of epic such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and This Will Destroy You. The album’s five long pieces complement and play off each other beautifully. On single ‘Deux’, a masterclass in slow-burning restraint, guitar and bass melodies snake around each other in dizzying patterns. The song’s cumulative power – and that of the album as a whole – comes from the tenacity with which the band explore every shade of the music’s melodic colours.

    Stream and buy the album via BandCamp or head to iTunes, Amazon or your favourite online store and grab yourself a copy. In the meanwhile check out the music video for ‘Deux’ below.

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  • Epic New Track from Italy’s HC-B, Album Coming!

    HC-BSix years on from their their brilliant 2009 release Soundcheck for a Missing Movie, Italys serpentine instrumental rock outfit HC-B have once again delivered the goods.  ‘Deux’ is their new single taken from their forthcoming third album Rough. The track is a masterclass in slow-burning restraint, its guitar and bass melodies weaving around each other in dizzying patterns. The song’s cumulative power comes from the tenacity with which the band explore each facet of the main theme’s melodic colours before erupting into fuzzed-out power chords at the song’s climax. What’s even more impressive is hearing ‘Deux’ within the context of the album, as each of the five long pieces complement and play off each other, creating a satisfying whole that evolves kaleidoscopically with repeat listens.

    Download ‘Deux’ via Bandcamp and stream via Soundcloud. Rough drops on the 25th of June.

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  • Featured Track – HC-B ‘Hot Afternoon in The Bull’s Square’

    HC-BIt’s hard to believe Sicilian quintet HC-B released their masterpiece Soundcheck for a Missing Movie back in 2009. Those who thought this was the last great sonic document from the band will be pleased to know it’s not and that we have some exciting news on what’s to come from HC-B in 2015 (soon!). So what better time to reflect on one of the centerpieces of Soundcheck for a Missing Movie, ‘Hot Afternoon in The Bull’s Square’. Now I had planned to wax lyrical about this song as it excites me every time I listen to it, but then I stumbled on a quote from the awesome US college radio station WRUV that summed up everything I wanted to say,

    “Quality Instrumental Post-Rock with a fierce emotion that will blast your face off for its entirety… The songs blend together to form a tsunami of shredding guitars, loud violins, free horns, booming basses and hammering drums… One of the greatest of its genre.” – WRUV

    Now listen and hear why every word of that quote is spot on.

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  • Three Questions With Giuseppe Musmeci (aka Willem Gator)

    Giuseppe MusmeciGiuseppe Musmeci is a man of many talents. He’s a self-taught composer, guitarist, electronic musician and member of the Italian post-rock outfit HC-B. His work under the Willem Gator moniker is a beautiful tapestry of atmospheric down-tempo, big basslines and oriental instrumentation, often counterpointed by urgent and angular beat-driven explorations. He creates music that is not only about ‘place’, but also deeply embedded in its own place of construction and composition. His pivotal 2011 album Hong Kong Express is testament to this approach, composed while the artist lived in a ‘cubby hole’ apartment in Kowloon.

    So let’s hand it over to Giuseppe as we ask him to pull three questions out of the bag…

    Who is your dream collaborator?

    Definitely Peter Hook from Joy Division-New Order!

    Describe your musical career in 6 words or less.

    Traveling, observe, breathe, absorb and release …

    If you were writing a soundtrack/score, what director would you most want to work with?

    David Lynch

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  • Hidden Shoal Turns Six!

    Throughout the month of May 2012, Hidden Shoal Recordings is celebrating its sixth birthday. Later in the month will be the release of the latest free sampler album, Triangulating Nature, which compiles 12 singles released over the last 12 months. Other delicious surprises will be revealed in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more info.

    Since starting up in Perth, Western Australia in 2006, Hidden Shoal has developed an enviable roster of genre-defying global and local recording artists. With 40+ acts from 10+ different countries, ranging from British ambient artist Antonymes through to American musical experimentalist Todd Tobias and beyond, the committed team at Hidden Shoal continues to play an integral role in promoting exciting new independent music.

    Come join us and keep an eye on the Hidden Shoal Store for lots of cool special birthday deals!

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  • 2009: A Million Square Miles

    As part of our 5th birthday celebrations, we’ll be looking back at the history of Hidden Shoal, year by year, casting some light on artists and releases that may have been overlooked. For one week, all releases covered below will be available from the Hidden Shoal Store with a 30% discount. Flavoursome!

    In 2009, Hidden Shoal continued to release stunning music from around the world, including debut Hidden Shoal albums from Hotels, HC-B, Tarcutta, Sleeping Me, City Of Satellites and Elisa Luu, sophomore albums from Jumpel and Wes Willenbring, a third album from Sankt Otten, and EPs from Stray Ghost and Down Review (a new collaboration between Arc Lab’s Medard Fischer and Near The Parenthesis’ Tim Arndt).

    2009 was also notable for the release of our compilation album A Million Square Miles, a project endeavouring to showcase Western Australian talent to the US (the titular million square miles). After more than three years of sharing independent music far and wide, A Million Square Miles represented a key facet of the Hidden Shoal Recordings story. The album brings together a pair of tracks from each of the then eight WA-based artists on the Hidden Shoal roster: Mukaizake, Apricot Rail, Fall Electric, Glassacre, Toby Richardson, My Majestic Star, The Slow Beings and Tangled Star.

    2009 also saw Hidden Shoal join forces with The Caribbean and Scott Solter in a single EP. This not only began a special relationship with the wonderful The Caribbean and created an ongoing avenue for them to release some of their more experimental offerings, but it also began the label’s relationship with Scott Solter, which eventually led us to Boxharp (Scott Solter and Wendy Allen).

    HSR046:   Jumpel Deuxieme Bureau
    HSR047:   Hotels Where Hearts Go Broke
    HSR048:   HC-B Soundcheck For A Missing Movie
    HSR049:   The Caribbean Scott Solter Re-Populates The Caribbean EP
    HSR050:   Sleeping Me Cradlesongs
    HSR051:   Tarcutta Tarcutta
    HSR052:   Tangled Star That Time EP
    HSR053:   Apricot Rail Apricot Rail
    HSR054:   Down Review From Here, For Anyone EP
    HSR055:   Sankt Otten Morgen Wieder Lustig
    HSR056:   Elisa Luu Chromatic Sigh
    HSR057:   Various artists A Million Square Miles
    HSR058:   Wes Willenbring Close, But Not Too Close
    HSR059:   Stray Ghost Each Paradise Is A Lost Paradise EP
    HSR060:   Mukaizake Unknown Knowns
    HSR061:   City Of Satellites Machine Is My Animal

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  • HC-B Tour!

    Italian cinematic rockers HC-B embark upon a European tour this weekend, in support of their amazing HSR release Soundcheck For a Missing Movie. If you’re at any of the following locations on these dates, check out this superb live band:

    Sat  17 April – Centro per la Pace, Barcellona
    Mon 19 April – Maj Musical Monday, Munich
    Tue 20 April – Tovarna Rog,  Ljubjana
    Wed 21 April – Honky Tonky,  Seregno
    Thu 22 April – Ohibò Lab, Salerno
    Fri 23 April – Marianello Jazz Caffé, Piano di Sorrento
    Sat 24 April – Lomax, Catania

    HC-B – Hot Afternoon In The Bulls Square HC-B – Hot Afternoon In The Bulls Square

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Reviews

  • HC-B ‘Deux’ Reviewed at The Sunday Experience

    “And talking of Hidden Shoal, the latest from Australia’s finest purveyors of the sublime and the dreamy comes from HC-B in the shape of their third full length entitled ‘rough’ which alas we haven’t had a chance to hear just yet though be certain of this there will be words fondly strewn at its feet later in the week. For now teaser single ‘Deux’ – incidentally available as a free download – ought to give you a fair idea as to what’s cooking. Best described as a slow to burn post rockian epic, ‘Deux’ is lushly crafted with a dead eye detail for poise and arrangement, both measured and majestic it perilously scales in ascending formations all the time growing in stature and assuming depth and density much like a brooding and bruised Grails at the height of their talismanic powers its akin to being at the heart or eye of a raging storm orchestrating nature’s fragmenting moods and from it harnessing a beautified though touchingly emotionally brutal quietly simmering turbulent rage. Quite something all said.”

    The Sunday Experience

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  • HC-B “Rough” Reviewed at Music Won’t Save You

    [Translated via Google. Read the original here.]

    “Distant post-rock signals continue to occur periodically as a warm sirocco wind, able to remain dormant and then flare and wane again. They come from what for years has been (and still is) the most “rock city” of Italy, Catania, from which the HC-B quintet has returned to emit their signals in the form of the third real album in over a decade of activity.

    “Rough” is all that can be expected from a post-rock record, but also possesses the strength and freshness too soon dispersed by the genre in its translation fee. The five songs, all between seven and eight minutes in length, flowing away in a tight sequence that moves from nerve noise and concretions from dry rhythmic cadences of “A” to get rid of stop and go, and growing along the sweeping epic “Deux”.

    The credibility of the Catania band proposal is revealed in the fluidity of the modular joints, which give a strong cinematic footprint “Three” and “Vier” before the adrenaline back to be relentless in the concluding “Kvin” the hum of guitars which endures in my ears even in the emblematic almost two minutes of the final silence.

    It would be all too easy to cite the usual terms of comparison, however, more and more distant in time, referring to the proposal of the HC-B to its original propulsion like that, but in fact the skill and perseverance of Catania band drawing up its sound return to formula give the paradigm of post-rock guitar breath as less warm and vital.”

    Music Won’t Save You

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  • HC-B “Rough” Reviewed at PopDose

    “It takes a great record to remind me how awkward it can be — yes yes, like dancing to architecture — to write about really good instrumental rock music. For the moment, the band putting me in said position is HC-B, the record is the group’s latest Hidden Shoal release, Rough, and both are terrific, sometimes bordering on breathtaking.

    There are plenty of tropics and meridians that can bring you to Catania, Sicily, the band’s birthplace and home since forming in 1999, that heady peak of post-rock, and they are surely writ large all around the band’s sound. They flirt with the glassiness of Slint and The For Carnation, the epic crescendos of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the mannerisms and tempo of Do Make Say Think, the dreamy sway of early Mogwai. It’s evident these guys have done their cribbing and their homework. There’s love in these notes.

    But the music, above all else, is studied but somehow not derivative. Go figure. The song-suite “Deux,” a single of sorts if there is one on the five-track disc, starts almost menacingly calm and brooding, very post-punk, long before the guitars ever go underwater and the verses dive under heavy, sleepy eyelids. “Three” and “Vier” start exceptionally plaintive, though “Vier” kicks that off quickly to launch into a guitar exploration and then an effective, stripped-down percussive tableau. (The song ends on the other side of the horizon line, with the apocalypse.)

    Closer “Kvin” is mysterious and violent, with drums that thrash every which way as guitars try to eek their way toward resolution. “Uno,” the (appropriately titled) album-opener slowly grows, like a seed in water, e-bows in echo chambers before multiple guitars begin hammering out cyclical patterns. The closing to that sound, though, will send chills up and down the precipice of your spine if there’s an ounce of warm blood left wriggling through your body, you zombie, you.

    There are sometimes reminders this isn’t the stuff of Spiderland or Rusty or Come On Die Young or F#A#Infinity or whatever post-rock epic you want to hold it up against the light and compare. That’s not entirely the point. This is an engaging little gem, worth tracking down for all of you Stateside snobs who think post-rock is left to the archives of time. Bands like We Only Said, from France, and HC-B, from Italy, are carrying the mantle for all of those who came before them. Pay attention, young and old: add Rough to your collection.”

    PopDose

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  • HC-B “Rough” Reviewed at The Breakfast Jumpers

    [Translated from the Spanish via Google Translate]

    “Great return of Catania HC-B., After the epic Soundcheck for a Missing Movie of 2009, make me once again goosebumps ears with five new songs. Rough came out last week for Hidden Shoal, majestic post-rock instrumental that plays repeatedly. Instant classic.

    The Breakfast Jumpers

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  • HC-B “Rough” Reviewed at il Cibicida

    [Translated from the Italian via Google Translate]

    “Six years is a long, a century of music. But the times are also required. The HC-B know this and, indeed, the story of six years if the lead already behind by two disks ago had been so in fact between “Sliding On Barents Sea” (2003) and the previous “Soundcheck For A Missing Movie” ( 2009). And now here Rough (again for the Australian Hidden Shoal), which is primarily a hard liberating for the band Catania, almost a karma, an exorcism.

    Pull out five pieces of this type, dark, moody, it was painful, yes, absolutely, necessary and act of love for a certain kind of post-rock that is gone and missing, to tell the truth. Five-piece, we said, five snakes crawling and dangerous but free: an instrumental concept and loose what should be the perfect jamming for an ideal film.

    So once again it is a very strong sense of HC-B for kinematic and longs for the sound image, that gives by implication, the sublime. This time, however, everything sounds more “rough”, rougher, more heartbreaking is the black color that is musical and existential if not music: see the reverberations of irreducible Three, the explosions in Deux febrile or the thrilling epic of One. It then slides possible lead us to fierce icy seas which are to crash on the rocks bristling (just “rough”) in what is a dramatic conflict between nature and feelings. Spectacular and chilling at the same time.

    Over time, as you said, sometimes you need to make sense of all this. It certainly is for HC-B. Why certain photographs to hit hard, hit in the stomach, they need the right exposure time.”

    - il Cibicida

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  • HC-B “Rough” Reviewed at Tomatrax

    “Sicilian quintet HC-B have brought out album number three, consisting of 5 very long experimental instrumentals going for a total of 40 minutes.

    The great thing about this album is, while it is completely instrumental, the different musical elements manage to say so much more than words alone ever could. Rather they move beyond the limitations of clunky sentences and create seamless and multi dimensional imagery that transports you somewhere so foreign and utterly amazing that words along would not do justice.

    Much like Godspeed You Black Emperor the band are able to exert great moving emotion, almost like a release of endorphins. The music manages to sweep you up and carry you along weightlessly for the epic ride.

    Uno has a kind of epic roller coaster ride feel to it. The music races around with phenomenal energy while traveling with all manner of twists and turns each creating a great surprise even after several listens. The mix of soft luscious sounds and heavy (almost) metal moments create a great contrast that both allow the differences to be emphasised and appreciated while also provide for an effective shock and awe!

    Deus has a more bleak, gothic feel, reminiscent of the Cure’s early work. The deep sounds paint a vivid grey soundscape that is both gloomy and unnerving. Amongst the doom and gloom are some great bursts and angsts. The raw distorting guitars force out the feeling of aggravation and anger that sea-saws off the subdued melancholy.

    Three has an “escape to the country” feel to it. Beginning with dense industrial sounds it gradually moves away towards airy, earthy sounds. The journey sees the open atmosphere build up and completely surround you.

    Vier continues in the floating airy vein. The track starts off with a very laid back, relaxing vibe that allows you to lay back and drift off. However this proves to be a false sense of security as the music takes a sinister turn with a harsh and raw post punk sound working its way in.

    Kvin has a thick and harsh industrial sound as it slashes its way through at great speed. The fast and intense sounds give off a feeling of running around with a sense of anxiety. At the same time there is a lofty overarching feel that gives the song a certain gliding feel.

    This is an amazing album with each track taking you on an epic journey will of vivid imagery and encapsulating atmosphere!”

    Tomatrax

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  • HC-B ‘Deux’ Reviewed at The Modern Folk Music of America

    “hc-b is a sicilian post-rock band whose third album, ‘rough’, is due out on hidden shoal in june. on the lead single ‘deux’, their music builds and swells to dizzying, pulse pounding heights, guitars swirling around each other before breaking like a wave into a tide of washed out melody.”

    - The Modern Folk Music of America

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  • HC-B "Soundcheck for a Missing Movie" – WRUV

    Excerpt: “Quality Instrumental Post-Rock with a fierce emotion that will blast your face off for its entirety. This album is a stroke of magnificence that is rare in the world today. It transcends the regular notions of what music is, creating a radical art form that emphasizes perfection… The songs blend together to form a tsunami of shredding guitars, loud violins, free horns, booming basses and hammering drums… One of the greatest of its genre, and one of the greatest in music.”

    WRUV Reviews

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  • HC-B "Soundcheck For A Missing Movie" – Il Mucchio Selvaggio

    Excerpt (translated from the Italian): “A remarkable quantity of electric, acoustic and electronic instruments, and voice used occasionally, with which HC-B create their imaginative soundtracks, unifying post-punk, post-rock and the avant-garde in eclectic compositions. More authoritative and intriguing than their album Sliding On Barents Sea (2003), Soundcheck For A Missing Movie hypnotizes with eight complex episodes, where physical flashes sometimes break cerebral and emotional harmonies’ calm.”

    Il Mucchio Selvaggio

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  • HC-B "Soundcheck For A Missing Movie" – Rockerilla

    Excerpt (translated from the Italian): “two different faces in one soul: the first dissonant, moving music of legendary proportions in loud masses with a large ensemble; the second introverted, defined by math-rock grids. HC-B’s aesthetics are oriented to the reconstruction of livid and rough landscapes… Obscure and violent emotions, mitigated by the magical artifices of poetry. 8/10″

    Rockerilla

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Artist Photos

 

 

Music Videos

Licensing

HC-B’s music is  available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.

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