Follow up album to his hugely limited cassette debut The Purge in 2016, London based multi-instrumentalist and improviser Ben Vince is especially adept with the saxophone. Working with loose improvisation but with a progressive drive, Monuments doesn’t stick in a loop builds and develops in front of you with stunning drones and bass tones that’ll make your heart melt.
Limited Vinyl LP £13.49 BETBC006 / NEG006
Limited LP in reverse board sleeve on Blank Editions / Negative Days. Includes inserts, art print, stamped envelope and download card. Edition of 300 copies.
- Limited edition
- Includes download code
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- Monuments by Ben Vince
It is nice to be in a room with a saxophone. Do not lie to me, team; it is great. Ben Vince likes it so much that he’s seemingly spent a whole semester alone with his reeds, conversing with his instrument in a low and teacherly voice. This record of free-flowing frequencies shows Vince creating something hectic in a minimalist space, improvising high-octave freakouts, bassy drones and a proggy marriage of the two via repetitive but growing song structures.
‘Monuments’ is a testament to how much you can extract from one particular sound source -- it sounds like a descendent of Colin Stetson’s circular-breathed folklore or John Coltrane’s “sheets of sound” in that it creates its own passage of sax playing, laying down the concept of drone and then spraying melodies, rhythms and whole laments over the surface. A densely texture record emerges, one that makes every note count in as much detail as possible -- the reverberations that carry the short riffs of “Trinity” are as clear as the prettiest river, Vince following through with his breathing to create the most smooth of ominous sounds you’ll ever here.
What he does is totally enveloping: at some point you’ll forget you’re listening to woodwind and just feel like you’re listening to a surrounding environment. The minimalism is what makes the record’s setting -- a deserted and anonymous plain of nothing -- but Vince’s playing creates its awesome and frightful weather.
8/10 Tony Allan 1st March 2017
Picked up the debut tape Blank Editions put out last year, The Purge and loved it...this LP is even better, beautifully haunting and great for late night sessions. Longer more drawn out songs that have a unique weight of maturity, rarely seen in an artist as young as Ben. Total sax control in a desolate landscape of sound...Ben Vince is part of the Blank Editions family of artists that are all very local to Hackney, London and very collaborative, Ben has recorded with Housewives and Tomaga in the past who are both associates of Blank Editions. This whole thing that is developing in Hackney with these artists really reminds me of the tight, like minded sport of Montreal based Constellation and other regional labels like Dischord in Washington DC ect...Great Album, highly recommended and really excited to see what comes next!
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