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Band Hip Hop Alternative


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"Review on "Eleven" LP"


Menacing, Cinematic music topped by an MC with a thorough and direct flow. The beats remind me of December in downtown Boston- grey, frost covered and crisp. Bien keeps his tone in chill mode, never raising his voice or dipping in to here-today-gone-tomorrow styles championed by the desperate and the untalented. His Partner in crime, Matt James, has a mature soundscape approach that complements his teammate and never overpowers the total idea. Gotta give it up to "Piranha," my favorite track here. It rolls in like an eerie fog from a horro movie and never lets up. (Dualsix Records) - The Weekly Dig


I've got three rap records in my whole collection, and they're all from 1987. As these things go, though, I can say with assurance that two tracks ("Piranha" and "Chlorine") especially stand out. I'd actually turn up the radio if they came on, which is more than I can say for almost everything of the (hip-hop) genre that I hear. So if you like the stuff, this must be a pretty good one if I can stand it. I guess I own four rap records now. (Joe Coughlin) - The Noise, Boston MA

"Bien Live at the House of Blues, Cambridge MA"

Opening the show was Boston hip-hop duo Bien -- rapper Richard "Bien" Marshall and programmer/mixer Matt James. Performing songs from their debut CD, "Eleven," they pumped up their 30-minute set with live instrumentation from a drummer and bassist, as well as Genevieve Jones, who sang on "Chlorine." Bien has a nice flow, and James keeps things interesting as with the electronica-leaning of "E." Really, though, all one need know about this group came during "My Area," Bien's ode to his hometown, in which he says "I'm not a pimp." At a time when most other rappers are embracing all things pimpadelic, Bien happily rejects hip-hop banality, stripping the music back to its no-frills, heart-thumping essence. - The Boston Globe

"Amazed with Bien's Flow"

I'm always surprised whenever I hear an MC who can really flow the rhymes. It's not that I think it's all that tough to be smooth. It merely takes a lot of hard work. But the style today (and for the last decade) has been overwhelmingly messy. Richard Marshall (who goes by Bien) prefers to float against the tide.<br>Thank God. Hey, I like loopy, disjointed hip-hop as well as the next guy, but it takes hard work to make that sound work as well. And most of the folks who sling slop are simply lazy. Marshall and producer Matt James have crafted eleven superb tracks that spin some fine science but are also just as comfy throbbing at parties.<br>The sound is late 80s, a sophisticated, complex version of the pop rap that destroyed the street value of hip hop for a time. Bien gets it right, using catchy electronic beats and a clean production sound to create a real sense of adventure. What I'm trying to say is that Bien is at home in the mainstream, but there's so much depth in these songs that the more studied listener will also find plenty to enjoy.<br>Yeah, okay, so I'm an old fogey. I actually like to know what people say, and I'm not above enjoying some throbbing bass. But there's no questioning Marshall's skills on the mic or James's studio acumen. This album is for real. Bien is a true master. - Aidding and


Bien, The "E" EP. "E," "Maxx To This," and "Wax Jobs"

Bien, Eleven (LP) Dual Six Records.
-Maxx to This
-Wax Jobs
- Piranah
- "E"
- Chlorine (featuring Genevieve Jones)
- Where's Johnson?
- End of Discussion
- Area
- The Nasty
- Basic Training



Back in 1993, two talented highschool freshman took their friendship from Jazz Class to a small home studio after school. Mathew Hubball, an exceptional bassist and drummer, discovered he held similar musical tastes in hip-hop and electronic beats as his friend Rich Marshall. Originally recording on a small 4-track, Rich laid down rap vocals over production beats created on tape by Matt. The two arranged tracks together, and as they grew their chemestry and knack for strong songwriting matured.

Inevitably, both songwriters graduated highschool in 1997 and seperated. Having alot to say, Rich enrolled at UMASS, Amherst as an English Major. Matt, awarded a full music scholarship, moved to attend the University of Miami, Florida. The story might have ended there, but Matt continued to create more sophisticated beats and productions. Rich too continued writing lyrics and even took the occational road trip to Miami for studio sessions.

Eventually dropping his music major but remaining at the Univ. of Miami, Matt found his stringent jazz and classical studies too confining. His own voice was simply to loud to ignore. Being a creative mind (and an advocate of the Miami weather), he turned his major into his other love of Film. As a Film Major Matt frequently scored his own shorts and class projects. By his last year, Matt won the accolades of his peers by being selected as "Most Valuable Senior" in his major. His short Film Veritas, which Matt wrote, directed, produced, film-scored and edited was submitted to the NYC Film Festival on behalf of the University. The film won in its nomination catagory, earning Mr. Hubball another scholarship year at NYU Film School.

Rich Marshall aka "Bien" took a different route. After a year of intense partying at UMASS, Rich took a break from school and worked odd jobs around the greater Boston area. Always writing, Rich continued to develop his lyrical style and approach. He also continued to take English courses and kept close communication with Matt.

While Matt lived in New York as a NYU post-grad, Rich frequently visited to record. The spark in their musical chemistry bonded closer than ever. Obtaining access to bigger and better studios, the two churned out the catchy tune "E." -A new fusion of Electronic House and a classic hip-hop sound. The two found they were on to something hot. By combining Electronic elements and Hip-hop in a fresh way the two felt that their music should be represented live in a totally different context from the standard MC/ Turntable set-up.

The result is Hip-hop MC Bien, backed by his live band. A culmination in arrangement of Electronic Beats, self composed loops (no ripped samples), live bass, drums and keyboards, Bien Live is a ripped-out lively show winning audiences over with every performance. Creating together in a span that ranges over a decade, Bien and Matt James are poised to make music for many years to come. From their humble beginnings in a high school ensemble, to their years seperated in development, and now the novelty of their originality... The future is ready for Bien.