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»Born On A Houseboat« by Benfay

Cover of Born On A Houseboat

After an absence of far too long, Benfay makes a welcome return to Thinner. His last appearance on the netlabel was in January 2005 when he teamed up Irish singer Alice Mackay on the “Lighthouse EP” [THN068] delivering four tracks of vocal minimal house. Now, two and one-half years later, he’s back with “Born on a Houseboat” where the houseboat is a metaphor for a “floating community sharing a love for one style of music.” The style here is nearly a half-an-hour’s worth of delicious beat-laden grooves and urbane minimal house contained in four tracks.

Concerning the general flavor of the sounds, you’ll find traditional stab chords and pads and danceable beats generated with an analog drum machine. In addition, Benjamin says that he’s working with the imperfections of “human microgrooves” and blending the “digital domain with warm analogue dirt” often running sounds from digital virtual instruments through a sequence of analog devices.

“Breaching the Escarp” which means “breaking through the precipice” (referring to Ben’s hobby of climbing) begins with a staccato melody which Benjamin says sounds like a “doggerel.” But when the high hat enters and the stab chords and drum machine beats come in the groove on this piece takes off and there‘s no going back. The sound of a tire rolling on sand initiates “Phlegmatic Face” tinting it with some scratchy vinyl warmth. A melancholic dub ambiance coupled with a steady beat and a continuous bass line speckled with watery droplets of melody give the piece an overall carefree, “rolling through life” mood. The sad tone of “Phlegmatic Face” is quickly overtaken by the sugary summertime grooves of “Nimiety of Energy.” Wavering pads and a solid high hat impart the feeling of a warm summer breeze while simple melodies played on miniature Carl Orff instruments bring a touch childlike playfulness. Benjamin’s personal favorite is “Quick Drifter” - a slow-moving piece of minimal house loaded with stab chords, hot synthesized bass lines, catchy rhythms, and clever breaks.

Netlabel: Thinner
Release Date: 2007-07-23
Release-ID: thn096
Music Style: DUBTECHNO – DUB
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