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Dudley Benson - EP Review: Muscles

13 Jul 2015 // A review by Andrew Smit

Music in its many forms can conjure many feelings and atmospheres, it can induce a subconscious desire or dream, and be a welcome escape from reality, well I can tell you I found listening to Dudley Benson's Muscles EP a dreamy trip indeed, he has created a tantalising and atmospheric sound that draws you in and opens your ears and your mind. It’s quite tantric and surreal, a journey that is pleasant and enquiring.

The EP contains 4 versions of the first single Muscles from the forthcoming album Zealandia, with one other reworked song from a previous release I Lost My Voice, each track offers a sophisticated modern sensual soundscape with melodies and gentle rhythms that are fluid and clean. Amongst all this atmospheric sound is a very expressive and tender vocal performance from Dudley, a very brooding and clear voice, reminiscent of a soulful Michael Jackson no less.

With three remixes of Muscles for you to enjoy you may think it could be overkill, the changes are subtle, but each have their own flavour and feel showing the talent and desire of Mr Benson to experiment and delve into broader soundscapes. If you think there is nothing new out there then have a listen to Muscles and experience Dudley Benson's distinctive sound for yourself and I am sure you will agree that it delivers a tantalizing prelude to the forthcoming album Zealandia.

 

About Dudley Benson

Dudley Benson (Ngati Pakeha) has been unassumingly making a name for himself through composing and performing music that is both beautiful and unique. A former chorister at the Christchurch Cathedral, Benson released the Steam Railways of Britain EP and The Orders, Medals and Decorations EP through his own label Golden Retriever Records in 2006. Further public notice followed supporting slots for Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Animal Collective.

It was Benson's 2008 debut album The Awakening however, that announced his musical arrival in a subtle yet profoundly distinctive way. Deeply rooted in Benson's native Canterbury, the album weaves forgotten local stories, the Southern landscape, New Zealand's colonial past and personal history into an emotionally stunning song cycle. A testament to loss, the passing of time, and populated by ghosts from Benson's memories, The Awakening is also playful, redemptive and uplifting. Three years in the making and featuring choir, harpsichord, string and recorder quartets, the album was a critical success.

Its status was further confirmed by a breakthrough nationwide tour of New Zealand's most beautiful churches with Benson and his choir and string quartet accompanied by karanga manu authority Dr Richard Nunns. Following the 2008 tour Benson composed a choral piece for Barbara Morgenstern's Wassermusik festival performance in Berlin.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Dudley Benson

Releases

Zealandia
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Muscles
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Deforestation
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Live Series: Volume One
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
The Awakening
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Minerals & Rocks
Year: 2007
Type: EP
Steam Railways Of Britain
Year: 2006
Type: EP

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