Indie electronica -- '80s anthemic synth-rock meets traces of present-day trap beats and churns out a tidy dose of vitriol particular to the current American predicament.
“I realize this whole business of people writing about themselves, promotionally, in 3rd person is all a bit preposterous,” says Benson.
So, let’s roll.
J.J. plays a fairly mean-and-loud electric guitar (sometimes he plays unfairly). In the parlance of repellent corporate jargon, “it’s in his wheelhouse.” Last year, he bucked that easy chair and released a marathon, intimate album of acoustic-based, lovelorn balladry (Clutching At Straws). This, quick on the heels of a sample-heavy instrumental electronica record without a lick of guitar (Vairagya).
You might say he’s being difficult. He contends your marketplace is fraught with certain difficulties. It operates under the hornswoggle that people who create stuff ought best be put in reassuringly tidy cartons for easily digestible consumption. He thinks the crux of creative endeavor is more aptly about doing whatever the f**k you want. Which is often about delving into the unknown, not the predictable.
As such. Here’s a recent rummage through the indefinite. Benson wrote it on acoustic guitar, then mapped it into electronic format, then sang into a microphone with the air conditioner whirring in the background. Then he ditched the guitar part. Again.
It sounds like who-the-eff knows. Oscar the Grouch goes EDM. Loverboy meets TV on the Radio. Howard Jones meets Molecular. Beck in a synth-metal time warp. Peter Murphy if he was a soprano with a sinus infection. The singer-dude from Midnight Oil on a bad hair day. Richard Ashcroft doing a collab with that Scandinavian savant who came up with the epic earworm in The Final Countdown.
“An orange 45 for Orange No. 45,” says Benson, “with the subtitle: piss in the wind. As in 'feeble, ineffectual, fruitless, hopeless.' Thanks, John Wayne, for the True Grit. And thanks, Don, for your indomitable shame complex."