19 May 2022
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Channeled - EP Review: Perception

12 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

As I have said previously, 2020 was a breakthrough year for Channeled, as Ben Ruegg recorded the second album and formed an operational live band to make it more than just a studio project. They made it through to the final of the Ding Dong Lounge Battle of the Bands and set up a headline show at the same venue with Cafe Fistfight and Mariner as support to celebrate the release of I Heard Penelope Sing, but then disaster struck with Ben being rushed to hospital following a Grand Mal seizure. He was close to dying that night and he has now shared that story in various forums, including a video on YouTube where he discusses what happened as well as this EP. He and I have spoken about this event often over the past year, and the impact it has had on him in so many ways. As with anyone who has been through a life-threatening event, and here I am also speaking from personal experience, it causes a total re-evaluation of what they have been doing, and sometimes even raises deep philosophical debate. That is what happened with Ben, and everyone was amazed at just how quickly he was back in the studio earlier this year when he released the EP Interpretation. Now he has returned with what he sees very much as the second part of the project, Perception, where again he has provided most of the instrumentation and vocals, with bassist Michelle Anderton just coming in for some takes.

The four tracks are just under fifteen minutes long in total, with opener Internalization being a short repetitive guitar-led riffing instrumental designed to get us into the mindset. This leads us into Your Love, a bass led number where he asks questions such as “why do I even exist?”. This is incredibly personal as he tries to come to terms with what happened to him, and how did he survive? Obviously in some ways it is down to the actions of his wife, that their neighbour is a paramedic, and that they live close to Ardmore and their emergency team, but why did this happen to him and how come he is out the other side? The intensity of the chorus where he riffs hard and cries to the heavens is immense. He then returns with In The Interest of the Quantum Realm, which is mostly an instrumental, plenty of riffs and a voice saying, “Everything in this world is made up of matter”. It may not have any vocals as such, but again this is driven by intensity as Ben drives hard into the guitars, trying to make sense of it all.

The abrupt ending catches us by surprise as we then turn to the longest song on the EP, and easily the most complex Ben has released to date, the title cut itself. At more than 5 ½ minutes in length, here we again find Ben asking questions, and although it starts just with electric guitar it soon becomes a full band sound (the bassline on this is warm and deep), moving in and out of different styles. Ben told me he believes this is one of the most ambitious pieces he has ever written, and it certainly has everything going for it, with stacks of emotion combining with the intensity, yet always being held in check with tremendous control. Ben has been through a great deal, but with these two EP’s he is sharing that with us, taking back control, and moving on. The future is bright, both for him, and for Channeled.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Channeled

Channeled is ready to release the new album entitled I Heard Penelope Sing.

The new album is truly a sign of the changes that have taken place in Ben’s life. Just listen to tracks like A Conversation With You, Is That Glass? or I Can’t Quite Put My Finger On It and you will know what we are talking about here. In fact, those who heard the album before it’s release were all surprised with the direction the new music went.

The name of the album is semi-inspired by his love of people not being afraid to sing their hearts out. Music is about the experience; one best shared. It's inspiring to hear others write songs and sing them because they love it. So many of us do this in our own homes.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Channeled

Releases

Interpretation
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Perception
Year: 2021
Type: EP
I Heard Penelope Sing
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Channeled
Year: 2019
Type: Album

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