Under his Ben Benjamin alias, Midwest Product/PostPrior auteur Ben Mullins constructs effortlessly engaging musical narratives – genre-less instrumentals that have more in common with oddball film scores and classic pop songs than electronic dance music, even as they utilize elements of all three. Ben Benjamin's The Many Moods of Ben Benjamin Vol. 1.5 EP is a five-song epilogue to his Ghostly debut, The Many Moods of Ben Benjamin, Vol. 1, and a fine testament to the artist's production savvy and songwriting skill.If Vol. 1 was Ben Benjamin's melancholy glance inwards, Vol. 1.5 is his nervous peek into the future. "Hirsute Airports" channels early Michael Jackson while exploring a kaleidoscope of themes, sending its Motown strut (and Benjamin's breathy everyguy vocals) past wiggly slide guitars and hissing organs towards a gorgeous, string-drenched coda. "(Swords Will) Cut Wide Open" uses a gonzo synth and slice 'n dice vocals to hilariously funky ends, while "Somnium State of Mind"'s patient melodies and pin-pricks of contrapuntal guitar perfectly evoke the song's titular dream-state. "Calorie Committee"'s brief, caffeinated jolt is a blast of jittery pop energy led by an echoing surf guitar, and "Mentors of Temperature" shoves the listener onto the dance floor for one last go-round, all skittering high-hats and bouncing-ball basslines.
The Many Moods of Ben Benjamin Vol. 1.5
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