Ben Bennett


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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.

"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: Spoilage

Have You Ever Considered Taking A Break From Listening To Music For A While? Ben Bennett 52''
What If You Just Got Rid Of Your Records And Stereo Equipment? Ben Bennett 1' 03''
All That Stuff Is Pretty Cumbersome When You're Trying To Seriously Drop Out. Ben Bennett 42''
If You're Wondering What To Do With Your Life, Woody Agriculture, Primitive Skills, And Draft Farming All Seem Pretty Promising. Also, It's Not Too Hard To Get Emt Certification, And Then You Could Potentially Save Someone's Life In An Emergency. Ben Bennett 2' 24''
I'll Call You When I Get Creamed By A Motorist. Ben Bennett 2' 04''
Would You Say This Music Warrants The Manufacture Of A Polyvinyl Chloride Disc? Ben Bennett 1' 07''
If You Want To Hear Some Definite Pitches, I'm Sure You Could Make Some Yourself Pretty Easily. Ben Bennett 4' 37''
Everything / Everything / Everything Ben Bennett 1' 10''
If Your Bike Gets Stolen, It's Probably Worth Putting Up A Sign Offering A Reward At The Scene Of The Crime. I Actually Got My Bike Back That Way. Ben Bennett 1' 33''
How Do You Think The Last Human Will Die? Ben Bennett 7' 01''
Bike Stolen From This Bus Stop. Brown Trek 520. Worth More To Me Than It Is To You. Reward Please Call 314-0153. Ben Bennett 3' 48''
Born Atop A Hubbert Curve. Ben Bennett 9' 55''
If I Expressed Enthusiasm For Your Cause Which Would Help To Proliferate Industrial Civilization, I Was Just Being Polite. Ben Bennett 8' 34''
Biocentric Bigotry Ben Bennett 2' 03''

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