Monday, October 20, 2014

EIC's 10Q's w/ Benjamin Finger

"..freeze time and everything around you.."

Benjamin Finger
Leisure Phonic Inquisitions

Benjamin Finger Bio:
Benjamin Finger is a composer, Electronic music producer, DJ, photographer and film-maker based in Oslo, Norway. Since his 2009 debut solo album 'Woods Of Broccoli', he has produced a prolific output of films and music with a healthy disregard for genres.

Hello, how are you?
Fine man, thanks for asking! Thrilled about all the positive response my latest album ('The Bet') have been receiving lately. Also, finishing up the last touches on some releases that are planned for 2015. Directing some new music videos as well. Things seem to float quite well at the moment. So, all in all, feeling quite positive these days. Also very psyched about my US trip in Sept/Oct!

What are you currently listening to?
Hm, let´s see, a whole bunch of records really. I can mention a few; Flying Saucer Attack ('Further'), Shabazz Palaces ('Else Majesty'), Glenn Gould ('32 Short Films Soundtrack'), Insides ('Euphoria'), Millie and Andrea ('Drop The Vowels'), Grouper ('Alien Observer'), Pram ('Museum Of Imaginary Animals'), Derek Jarman ('Blue Soundtrack'), Phoenecia ('Randa Roomet'), Brian Eno ('Discreet Music'), Stereolab And Nurse With Wound ('Simple Headphone Mind'), Melvins ('Hostile Ambient Takeover'), Sun City Girls ('Eye Mohini: Singles Vol. 3'), Vladislav Delay ('Anima'), Jessamine ('The Long Arm of Coincidence), Sonic Boom ('What Came Before After'), Actress ('Hazyville'), Butthole Surfers ('Psychic…Powerless…Another Man´s Sac'), Zbigniew Preisner ('Trois Couleurs, Bleu'), Autechre ('Garbage'), Christoph Heemann & Andrew Chalk ('Mirror Of The Sea'), Trumans Water ('Godspeed The Punchline'), Amp ('Stenorette'), The Residents ('Duck Stab!'), Broadcast ('Future Crayon'), Fantomas ('The Director's Cut'). I think that should cover the last few weeks.

Was there a specific sound you were going for when you began this project?
No, not really. Benjamin Finger is supposed to be a project that is really open to everything when it comes to influences. And where I basically can do whatever I want on each record. I mean in terms of styles, mood, working methods, production etc. I tend to be inspired by so many music styles that I have different goals in terms of production, which instruments to choose, sound wise etc…on each of my albums. Especially since every album seems to be different from the previous one. But I may have a specific sound I´m aiming for on a particular album. I often ponder quite some time before deciding on which path to choose for a specific idea behind a sound.

Whom/what are you most influenced by when it comes to writing music?
Many things, I guess. Think I´m most influenced by writers. The Surrealist movement may have inspired me to a certain degree. Writers like André Breton, Alfred Jarry and Georges Bataille. Also films by directors such as Hal Ashby, Jim Jarmusch, Roy Andersson, Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky and Louis Malle have been important to me. But seriously, influences can be anything really. Field recordings, people I meet, some picture or painting I see or places I travel to that makes an impression on me. Also, I'd like to point out that my girlfriend is a huge influence in the sense that she has the kindest soul I have ever met. I am am very grateful for having her in my life . She has turned me into a much better person.

Care to shed some info on your latest release; theme, favorite track(s), etc?
Yes, sure. 'The Bet' took me more or less a year to finish. It's very much inspired by the painting (called 'The Bet', which is were I got my title from) that you see on the front cover by Christer Karlstad. Please visit his page for great works here: So I was looking at this painting that I had downloaded on my laptop a long time ago and all these different characters and stories started coming to me. And I was musically looking for a mood where I could translate all these stories behind the characters into some sort of story in sound. Some days I found the picture very harmonic and others I kept seeing something very dark in there. So this dualism really fascinated me. And I slowly started to think that I would need a "big" theme on the album to capture my interpretation of it. That´s why the instrumentation contains many different elements like cello, guitar, pump organ, piano (soaked in reverb) etc…I was throwing all the instruments I could get my hands on into the mix. Field recording and loops also played an important role as well. My favourite track today (this changes constantly) would be "Nasal Breakdown", there´s something comforting about it. Maybe it´s Lynn Fister´s angelic voice, not sure.

Will you be touring extensively for said release?
Yes, I will be doing some gigs in SF, Portland and Seattle in october/september. Look me up if you're in the neighborhood;]

Got any other projects we should know about?
Check out my other band Beneva Vs. Clark Nova on Soundcloud here: Or listen sound clips from the albums here;

What movie would work best on mute while listening to your music?
Ha,ha…That´s a tough one. Many different ones I guess, also depending on which of my albums you are listening to. Let´s choose; My first album 'Woods Of Broccoli' (2009) might occasionally fit with 'Harold And Maude' (1971) by Hal Ashby. 'For You, Sleepsleeper' might suite a kaleidoscopic film, not sure which one actually. But the film should contain many stories, moods and be quite colourful visually and story wise. 'Short Cuts' (1993) by Robert Altman, maybe? 'Listen To My Nerves Hum' could perhaps work in 'Le Feu Follet' (1963) by Louis Malle. 'The Bet' might be suitable for Ben Wheatley's 'A Field In England' (2013). This is of course, all wishful thinking.

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
I would choose Arthur Russell's 'World Of Echo' or Nick Drake's 'Five Leaves Left' today. But it could be a different album tomorrow. 'EP7' by Autechre perhaps?

Are you living your dream?
Hm? I guess that depends on how I should define a dream. But yeah, guess I´m quite content with what I have accomplished in terms of getting my music out there. But one should never get too satisfied, it´s important to keep struggling and stay hungry!

Thanx Ben!

Benjamin Finger recently released this beauty, OH! and this one too (I just got it a little bit ago..) I haven't soaked it in yet, but I certainly look forward to it..;]

REVIEW: Benjamin Finger - The Bet

8 out of 10
Find it here.

While writing music for the better part of this current decade Benjamin Finger has had no problem adopting himself to random resonant territories. For his latest release ['The Bet'] (actually, he's pretty prolific so maybe not "latest") Mr. Finger dives into Grouper's territory of perfected Pastoral Dream Folk, he then melds those tones with the layers of sonic experimentations (think of Lee Noble maybe?) , and witty nods towards classic musique concrete met with dizzying whimsy and organic sound transformations. Or (without sounding pretentious); "Yo. This s#!t is  ballin'. Even if it confuses my ear holes."

'The Bet' is (in this music lovers opinion) Benjamin Fingers best offering yet. The focus on stronger song layout met with Benjamin's willingness to experiment wit a vast array of noise (found and/or created) is exactly where this artist should be at this point in his career. From here on out he [Mr. Finger] should (in-theory) only be getting better and better at his craft. 'The Bet' is a a bit of a mood-base piece, you won't be able to just play this record for any crowd at any given moment. But, when you have the time, and perhaps your chum whom also has distinguished taste in exploratory sound, I would recommend throwing this in for your score of the moment;] Warm drones, broken down beats (sometimes melodies as well), minimal piano arrangements, a few monotone (yet rich) strings, as well as a few other abstract noises and heavenly (but sparse) vocal reverberations (that remind me of LLC at times;) make up for most the albums atmosphere. I recommend sticking with the album as a whole though rather than just breaking it down to individual tracks (although there are definite highlights), as it tends to have a bit of an abstract yet cohesive narrative. 'The Bet' is a gorgeous piece of ambiance that shouldn't be missed by those in need of a hug from their headphones and it really would be a shame if you missed out..

Highly "..if you could possibly freeze time and everything around you while soaking in this release and walking through said slow-motionless/possibly moving crowd how rad would that be?" Recommended.

Standout Tracks: Rosencrans Exit A, Sulfurous Fog A (Ny), Nasal Breakdown B (Ny3), Time Steps B

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cool Video Funtime #458 - ♋ ☯☯☯ ☚ 8( Ω † Ω )8 ☛ ☯☯☯ ♋NO GIMICKS♋ ☯☯☯ ☚ 8( Ω † Ω )8 ☛ ☯☯☯ ♋ (+ Bonus Video)

+ Bonus Video ..cuz' these two go together;]

Friday, October 17, 2014

Good (FREE) music laying around the interwebs.. Pt. 2