Terrie Hessels

Terrie Hessels is an improvising guitarist from the Netherlands. In addition to his work as an improviser, he's a founding member of the iconic Dutch punk band The Ex. Terrie founded the Terp label to document the work of Ethiopian musicians as well as his own improvising projects.


Terrie Ex & Ab Baars


"In English there's a related idiom: Dutch courage. That's when intoxication makes you fearless. Perhaps a fitting image for Ab Baars and Terrie Ex on their first record of duets, "Hef". I'm not referring to literal drunkenness, of course, but a figurative image of being tanked, a thoroughly internalized sense of dizzy, giddy musical interaction, bravery to try things you'd know you wouldn't/ shouldn't when sober. Ab is creative music's official drunken master (past masters: Ben Webster, Archie Shepp), and the marvelous Mr. Ex is a very worthy drunkboxing partner. In Ab's tenor especially, I hear this approach (keep in mind, Chan only turns to drunken boxing when pushed to do so!) - a loopy, wild, off-kilter phraseology that's precise and imprecise in the right balance, or rather in the right relation. In the twosome's opener, "Oud Over", Ab lurches and sways like a sot. But beware, 'cause just when you think he'll topple over, he turns into a bloodthirsty silver machine, attacking the jugular and slicing in tandem with Terrie's electric chicken-scratch scrapple of strings. Listen on "Stokdutter" as the guitarist's metallic shards combust behind Baars' slow-motion clarinet, unfazed by sudden motion - two temporalities superimposed, the unreality of unitary chronological time for a buzzed man. The drunken master works at his own pace. What's it take to make music like "Hef"? A liter and a half of Dutch courage. –John Corbett, Chicago, January 2000"