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Brooklyn musician Ben Greenberg began Hubble in 2011 as a solo guitar project extended from his work with avant-rock band Zs and Pygmy Shrews. Relying on virtuosic guitar techniques more in line with metal shredders than the experimental scene, Greenberg implemented finger-tapping and minimal use of pedals or looping in his long-form compositions, setting him apart from legions of the crescendo-building loops of his contemporaries. A cassette on NNA Tapes in 2011 entitled Hubble Linger was the first available recording from Greenberg's project, followed by the debut full-length Hubble Drums later that year on adventurous N.Y.C. label Northern Spy. Greenberg toured extensively in support of the album, including stops throughout the U.S. and Europe, as well as appearances at 2012's South by Southwest festival. In early 2012 Greenberg also joined gritty rockers the Men, with the long-running Pygmy Shrews on their way to disbanding and Zs in an extended hiatus. Greenberg juggled his various projects and managed to keep a focus on Hubble, with touring and exclusive engagements at various colleges and galleries. Hubble performances were often self-referential and highly conceptual. Some pieces included "Hubble's Hubble" (a hypnotic score set to interstellar images taken from the Hubble telescope), "Hubble's Escape" (a metallic repetition that morphs into the theme from John Carpenter's 1980's sci-fi adventure flick Escape from New York), and some more ambitious performances with the "Hubble Superposition," which routes Greenberg's guitar signals through a systematically placed quadraphonic amplifier system.
© Fred Thomas /TiVo
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