Creepy drone pop for midnight
Benedikt burst onto my ears in 2016 with his superb debut EP Soma. His dark electronica meshed avant-garde weirdness with genuine emotional melodies and creepiness and had me hooked. He returns in 2018 with his new EP Fascia and it’s a wonderful progression towards something a little more melodic. My overall impression was “If Thom York decided to do downbeat dreamy electronica instead” and this is a good thing.
“Break Me” kicks off the EP with everything you’d want from a techno track but each instrument is subdued down to a trance-like tremor. The synths are rubbery and soft but still buzzing along at speed – just at 2am volume. Benedikt himself, whose voice is very similar here to the aforementioned Thom Yorke, works catchy spoken loops and bigger vocal verses. It’s one of those tracks that knows it’s going to be catchy and annoying so keeps those hooks to a minimum so they stay fresh and fabulous. “Oh Dear” reminds me of Bjork’s Vespertine era. Not so much in sound, although it’s similar, but in its mood and style. Its gentle lulling beauty is in its hazy synths, clicky percussive beats and wave-like nature. “Havana Nights” and “Dreams and Blood” both push their feelings towards vaporwave in their drone synths and dark miserable undertones. The former track has plenty of bounce to its bossa nova 80’s keyboard percussion which goes at odds with its darker melodies and the latter is like a shamanic choir calling with a dark organ synth underscoring the layered voices. They are great tracks and close out an EP that refuses to give you straight up hooks and instant gratification. Fascia demands more of you than that. First listens will give you spooky feels, then you’ll fall for the lyrics and the layers of weird undercurrents sonically.
Benedikt has done it again. Whilst slightly less diverse than Soma, this slow-burn-drone-pop is excellent and perfect for the witching hour or just laying your own demons to rest.
Recommended track: Break Me
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