If your first exposure to BENJAMIN DANKLIN dripped through the headphones in the recording entitled “FREE TAPE”, then you too would have experienced the experimental trip hop world that envelops your senses. A world that articulates the reflexive use of technology’s growing dominance in music. Dark, slick, and even scary in places, the recording relies on wavy samples and slow-burning beats to braid together disparate threads in the music’s amalgamation.
The mixtape blossoms in enormous space, bigger and deeper than the tight channels electronic music usually tends to fill. This is instrumental stoner music aimed not at clubs but at headphones, music concerned with inducing a personal mood or general vibe.
Unlike the mash-up genre that sounds like it, “FREE TAPE” doesn’t hopscotch from one source to another. Nothing’s slapped together. It just doesn’t want you to recognize its roots. BENJAMIN DANKLIN ropes together music not by genre, but by an idea no one has thought of before.
Here, BENJAMIN DANKLIN accesses the kind of emotional register that can’t be qualified as positive or negative, only intense and euphoric. Maybe it’s that ambivalence, that refusal to be pinned down, that lands “FREE TAPE” so squarely inside the circle of alternative and experimental sounds. Throughout this mixtape BENJAMIN DANKLIN’s musical DNA is scattered everywhere.
From the opening track, “THE $OUND OF BENZO DREAM$” it is clear that BENJAMIN DANKLIN comes defiantly from left-field with his spacy ambient sound. The tracks here are predominantly instrumental with a few voice samples interspersed between the songs. You’ll feel like drifting off blissfully, yet fully aware of everything around you, your mind buzzing – rather than just being bored to tears, while listening to “LIVE FROM THA TREEHOU$E”.
Trip-Hop is an interesting genre that some aren’t brave enough to give a chance to. Most fans, stumble upon it accidentally. It’s generally not as abrasive as industrial, but far more tranquil and verbose than electronica. Fusing down-tempo hip-hop beats with atmospheric soundscapes and sometimes elements of jazz, soul, and funk, trip-hop is ambient’s younger, brooding brother.
A place for everything and everything in its place seems as good a way as any to sum up standout tracks “FIRE FLOWER”, “NATURE NETWORK” and “FLOATIN’ THRU WAVY WORLD”. This recording can relax your body and soul completely, especially listening to a spaced-out track like “TY LIL UGLY MANE”.
Throughout, this mixtape is a tight collection of songs utilizing all the elements you’d expect from a trip-hop producer: excellent production value, loops and samples, and voices used as instrumentation rather than vocals. And everything is pieced together perfectly.
Nothing is excessive and nothing is left wanting. This is the first time I’ve heard of BENJAMIN DANKLIN so I really can’t give much opinion of all his works, but after hearing what he brought to the table on this mixtape, I’m excited to hear what else he has to offer down the line.