Columbus, Ohio artist Ben Bennett creates an exquisite racket armed with a mutant kit of recycled and modified acoustic instruments and found objects. I first experienced Ben's work when he performed at the Rubber City Noise Cave in Akron, OH on February 11 2012. After witnessing Ben simultaneously double bowing a drum head, blowing on mutant wind instruments using circular breathing techniques, dragging himself across the floor through the crowd and smacking ball bearings onto the floor I immediately knew I needed to document and present Ben's work. Unlike anything I have released before and a thrilling new direction for Experimedia. To truly understand the experience that is Ben's work I recommend watching some of the performance videos below. Enjoy. - Jeremy Bible
Also available as digital download via Ben's bandcamp
. 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
"It takes a certain amount of guts and attitude to call the opener on your newest record "Have you ever considered taking a break from listening to music for a while?" Yet it perfectly encapsulates what makes the latest from Columbus, Ohio's Ben Bennett, Spoilage, such an interesting record. Bennett uses no electronics in his creations and improvisation plays a vital role. This is music that is messy and organic and human.
The list of instruments and implements that Bennett uses through Spoilage is mind-boggling. Everything from various drums to a wheelbarrow, pizza cutter, and "the narrow part of a balloon" is in play. Considering this, the cacophonous symphony that ensues isn't as out-of-control as one might think. No, this is carefully-constructed from beginning to end, each choice made at the spur of a moment and pushed to extremes. Spoilage is a maximalist exhibition, extorting visceral sounds from the tools at his disposal.
Bennett flips back and forth in his song-titles from the specific and mundane to something more universal. All of it, though, is where this music comes from. Personal, political, whatever - it all goes hand-in-hand. The scattered, blown-out percussive blasts could be the bombs falling just as easily as that moment you realize the last bus arrived two minutes early and you were one minute late. Quiet scrapes flicker between gulfs of silence, leaving room for philosophical contemplation or drawing up a reward sign for your stolen bike. In the end, it's all matter that fades through time. Everything is Spoilage." - Brad Rose
Ben Bennett started playing music as a young child, took up the drums in middle school, and has always been attracted to improvisation. His interest in jazz moved steadily towards the more avant-guarde, then to free jazz, and onward into the world of free-improv. His current music stems mainly from various forms of free-improv: maximalist, reduced, noise, etc. A desire to get the most varied and visceral array of sounds from the simplest instruments has led to an ongoing process of distilling the drumset to its essential sound-maker, the vibrating membrane. Using extended techniques involving breath and friction, as well as the time-honored tradition of hitting things with sticks, he plays an evolving pile of frame drums, pre-tuned drum heads, metal things, tubes, and other objects that can be combined and recombined to get a variety of sounds during a performance. This set-up lends itself greatly towards being crammed in a backpack, strapped to a bike, dragged along the ground, or thrown down the stairs, generally without physical or psycological damage.
Recent projects include: bst.cr - trio with Ryan Jewell and Wilson Shook, Wrest - with Jack Wright and Evan Lipson, Rotty What - trio with Jack Wright and John M Bennett; Central Ohio War Coalition - with Mike Shiflet, Joe Panzner, and others; duos with Ryan Jewell, Jack Callahan, and Ben Hall; and solo performances.