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Named after a Nigerian capital, Benin City is a fused genre band fronted by Joshua Idehen (vocals), who has previously collaborated with Hyperdub’s LV, Theo Buckingham (drums) and Tom Leaper (tenor saxophone/synths/samples).
After a successful 2012 that included two single releases on indie label Audio Doughnuts and a six date support tour of Dan Le Sac (Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip) Benin City are back with a new single that bears the trademark of their distinctive blend of post-dubstep, electro and brass. Remixes from Spoek Mathambo’s Nicolaas Van Reenen, Dan le Sac and Paper Tiger are also available to stream on Soundcloud now.. LitroTV viewers can download My Love and its remixes here for free.
The outfit are set to release their debut album Fires In The Park in 2013, preceded by immersive single, My Love: a synth addled marching beat anthem produced by pop experimentalist Marc Pell (Micachu and the Shapes),with an unforgettable brass melody that unravels and soars, and an emotive Super 8-esque video directed by video artist Charlie Behrens (featured on It’s Nice That). The group are fans of the melodic assurance of Metronomy, the vastness of Cinematic Orchestra, the instrumental experimentation of outfits such as Beirut and the lyrical dexterity of Roots Manuva.
My Love is a testament to the band’s maverick nature with its repetitive rhythms, cascading over each other. A dark, playful call to arms is enacted through a regal sounding horn pattern that keeps increasing in volume. My Love is more a truthful manifesto on love than ode: “it’s nasty, it’s fiesty, it’s vicious, it’s conniving, it’s crazy, it’s petty, it’s callous, it’s cunning…it’s warm.” The synths interact with the horns to create a sound that is hard and bright; the traditional instrument being made to sound more metallic, more befitting of the urban sprawl Benin City’s tales are set.
Upcoming album Fires In The Park was produced by Marc Pell (Micachu and the Shapes). Josh formed a close relationship with Marc two years ago through mutual friends. The band were originally meant to work on 3 songs with him but after seeing how naturally Marc understood their eclectic vision, they ended up working on the entire album together over the space of 18 months. My Love will be released via Audio Doughnuts in the wake of extensive support across BBC Radio 2, Xfm, and BBC 6 Music for their previous two singles via DJs such as John Kennedy, Tom Robinson, Huey Morgan, Mark Lamarr and Craig Charles.
Single of the Week – Metro
Mercury Prize Recommends featured
John Kennedy’s Hot One of the Week – Xfm
Featured on Tom Robinson BBC Introducing Mixtape
“A sultry piece of afro dub blues” – Q Magazine
“Subtlety soaked in that modern trifecta of electronic, bass and soul” – Pinboard blog
Emma Cooper is editor of Litro's visual arts channel LitroTV. She is a Bedfordshire based writer, passionate about films and books and in particular short stories. You can see more of her writing at www.skewedstories.com and www.readwave.com.