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Hess Is More

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Biography

Hess Is More is essentially the project of Denmark's Mikkel Hess, a composer and multi-instrumentalist who combines elements of jazz, electronica, Scandinavian folk, soundtrack music, and classic pop with a playfully melodic and decidedly humorous sensibility. The product of a musical family from Copenhagen -- Mikkel's brother Nikolaj Hess, a well-established jazz pianist, is a regular member of his live band, while another brother, saxophonist Emil, several cousins, and even his parents have also been frequent collaborators -- Hess got his first drum kit at the age of seven. He went on to attend Copenhagen's Rhythmic Music Conservatory, studying with jazz legend Ed Thigpen, among others, and graduating in 2002. While maintaining an active career as a jazz drummer, Hess also began working as a composer for several major Danish film, theater, and television outlets. The first Hess Is More album was actually a score he composed for a production of The Wind in the Willows, first released in 2003 by the interdisciplinary art collective BoinkBox (of which Hess is a founding member), and later reworked, with a few additional tracks, as Tip Top Dynamo, Hess' 2005 debut on the Music for Dreams label. 2006's lighthearted Captain Europe introduced his vocals for the first time, most notably on the attention-getting "Yes Boss," a duet with Vietnamese-Norwegian singer Bang Chau which was also issued as a remix 12". His next releases included a score for Rosenkrantz & Gyldenstjerne Er Døde and a limited live album recorded at Wood Wood record store, which contained the genesis of the 2007 single "Would Would You Like to Disco." The next year brought the three-part conceptual album Denial, which spawned a successful Danish radio single in "Ssshhhh"; a career-spanning compilation of Hits followed in 2009, issued in the U.S. by Nublu Records. ~ K. Ross Hoffman

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