House of Hayduk City of Quartz is the brainchild of composer, producer and musician Mads Heldtberg. The basic idea of the album is rooted in the belief that there is a common musical thread shared by both musicians and music fans, that transcends genre, age and aesthetic.
In this spirit, the foundation of the album is based around 3 generations of musicians from 3 different backgrounds: Charles Hayward is the first generation and elder statesman of the group. He is the drummer and founding member of the seminal experimental UK group THIS HEAT (est. 1976). Known for their confrontational and politically charged approach, they are widely considered a missing link between progressive rock and later experimental genres such as post-punk, industrial, and noise rock. The second generational member of House of Hayduk is bassist Billy Gould, best known as original member of the San Francisco based group FAITH NO MORE. Through the band's 30 years of existence, they have been hailed as a major influence in modern rock, highly regarded from well known groups as diverse as Metallica, Guns and Roses, Nirvana, and Sparks, to name a few.
What many people do not know is, that in 1981, the year before FNM formed, an impressionable 18 year old Gould saw a THIS HEAT concert in London, which would greatly affect his future musical direction: "The original idea of punk had already run it's course, but THIS HEAT provided all the doom and depth to convince me that challenging music was still moving forward; it made a strong musical impression on me; aesthetically, it drove home that whatever I did, I should always try to do it in a manner that was unique, and in it's own way, always powerful."
Which then brings us to generation #3: Danish artist Mads Heldtberg- who brought the album together. Mads came into contact with Gould in Copenhagen at age 17, when his unconventional outfit DÜREFÖRSÖG opened up for FAITH NO MORE in 1997. "I remember being obsessed with footage my friend had taped on his parents VHS of FNM playing "Caffeine" at Rock am Ring around 94 or 95. This was literally the moment I realized; this is it! This is what I want to do! Finally getting to see them live, totally tore a hole in the fabric of my perception of what music can, and should be--and I had a similar experience the first time I was introduced to THIS HEAT. Needless to say, getting to assemble, and work with such a powerful rhythm section was incredible" Through their initial contact, and various musical collaborations over the years (Gould has released two DÜREFÖRSÖG albums under his Koolarrow Records label), Mads envisioned a musical project based around the chemistry of these three players.
Three solid days in a studio in New York convinced the three of them that they indeed had something special. But for all of it's potential, it was the addition of some ridiculously talented players that brought the entire chain together: Peter Peter - an institution in the Danish post punk scene, B J from Los Angeles based HEALTH, Dean Hurley -David Lynch's musical director (!), Timba Harris -solo artist and violin extraordinaire for ESTRADASPHERE, and internationally acclaimed composer and remixer Anders Trentemoller all added their touch.
As you can probably already imagine, this all adds up to an incredibly huge, sick album. Drums radiate a sense of power, doom and darkness that is both profoundly human; and as chaotic and unforgiving as a force of nature. Hard driving, monolithic bass that begs to be experienced on a massive sound system. Shards of surgical guitar slice through thick vapor, accompanied by a symphony of percussion, horns and synths. Filtered through a dub-like, hypnotic lens, “City of Quartz” is a musical indulgence, refined with obsessive detail; this album wasn't written--it was designed with intent.
But the album's real value is in what it does: it bridges the gap of influence from generation to generation, and disproves the contemporary notion that music is merely a moving parade of marketing, fashion, formula and packaging. Different eras of inspiration can come together and create something that transcends musical conformity, creating something completely fresh and long lasting.