Neil Hayden aka OX

How much brilliant music is produced that we never get to hear? And how would Syd Barrett be greeted in a world of Eminem and Aguilera? Poorly, I’d guess. So the cracked brilliance of some new Barrett would necessarily be relegated to the backroom, the bedroom, the basement, the garage. Hayden is an artist who invites you—quietly, sheepishly and with a nervous grin—into that candlelit backroom. His music is self-dubbed onto cassette, the J-card hand-pasted, the cassette label handwritten. The music is as lo-fi as it comes, but under that fog of tape hiss and flutter is brilliance. On this hard-to-find tape, Hayden (aka OX, as in “ock”) has produced a sort of contemporary refashioning of King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King. It’s a weird, disjointed ride, with shades of Barrett, Erik Satie and the Crazy World of Arthur Brown thrown in. Curious? Watch local listings for his live gigs.