Album Review

Ben Bennett – Spoilage (Experimedia, 2013)


Ben BennettEverything / Everything / Everything (Experimedia)

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This is the definition of hard to peg. Minimal power electronics? Noisy jazz punk? Funky field recordings? Not quite any of those but kinda all of them. Bennett takes whatever the fuck he can get his hands on and makes the craziest racket ever. This dude doesn’t know what acceleration means, he’s only got 3 speeds: silent, quiet, and brain boiling, and he jumps in between them with super precision, but there’s something about the brain boiling mode that, even though it’s chaotic as fuck, still has a maximal minimalism, knowing that whatever you’re hearing is basically just a handful of everyday items and Bennett is going to town on them, it’s fucking raw & primal, without being simplistic or boring. And I’d swear there’s some electronics or effects going on here but apparently that’s not the case, this is pure analog in all its caustic glory, and maybe you could chalk it up to lo-fi recordings, but he goes from blown out in the red explosions to painfully detailed squeaks & scratches in half a second, so fidelity ain’t the answer. This is just the sweetest fucking noise and Bennett is a master of his tools, which are almost impossible to guess. Some are decipherable… Are those pots & pans? Oh, yep, he mentions a “camp cook set.” Some aren’t… I bet this is a percolating coffee maker. Haha nope, it might be either a “mason jar ring with latex glove stretched across it” or “the narrow part of a balloon.” Then there’s the truly bizarre moments, like the track that literally sounds like a motherfucking freight train. I have no idea how he did that, but it’s insanely awesome. Maybe he used his “pizza cutter” and “wheelbarrow.” Clearly the “how” isn’t the reason to check this out, though. Just know this is some fucked up shit that sounds incredible on the turntable. Don’t miss out.

P.S. “All proceeds from digital sales of the album will go to Living Energy Farm, a project to build a farm, community, and education center without the use of fossil fuels or electronic media. More info at livingenergyfarm.org

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