XAM Duo initially began as just XAM, an outlet for the electronic recordings of Hookworms member Matthew Benn.
Inspired by the vintage sounds of Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, and other electronic pioneers, starting in 2014 he spent his downtime working on Hookworms music in 2014 and recorded some tracks. The three-song EP Tone System was released in mid-2015 by Deep Distance Records, and subsequently Benn was offered the opportunity to play live shows. To fully capture the sounds he was going for -- a mix of synths, drum machines, and live instruments like saxophone -- he'd need to collaborate. Around this time, Christopher Duffin (of the band Deadwall) was recording at MJ of the Hookworms Suburban Home studio, and after hearing that Duffin wanted to expand his musical horizons in a more electronic direction, MJ put the two in touch. At their very first rehearsal, Benn and Duffin found they were kindred spirits musically and decided to work together, which led to the name change to XAM Duo. In July of 2016, they released an improvised piece titled Two Ways, and later that year, their debut self-titled album hit the shelves. It was recorded by Benn and MJ at Suburban Home, and much of the music was put on tape the day of their first, fully improvised rehearsal. In 2017, XAM Duo collaborated with Virginia Wing on Tomorrow's Gift, a set of exploratory tracks inspired by Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, and Holger Czukay. ~ Tim Sendra, Rovi