Benny Tones - Chrysalis - out on BBE
Benny Tones - Chrysalis
(CD/Digital) Barely Breaking Even BBE167, 2011-04-04
Fondly considered as the 4th member of New Zealand future soul band Electric Wire Hustle, you may have already witnessed some of the audio magic of Benny Tones without realizing it. An obsessive collector of vintage music equipment Benny is a true audio artisan. His exquisite production is the result of hundreds of hours clocked up in the studio over the years and clearly his stunning ambient soul sound is infused by the beautiful Golden Bay community where he grew up. It was a natural progression from Djing that led him to start producing his own beats in 2002. This was the year he also moved to Wellington to immerse himself in the scene and to learn as much as he could about audio production and the music industry. He participated in 2 short audio courses but is largely self taught. In 2008 he set up OMW and has quickly built up a reputation as one of Wellington's best Audio Engineering facilities. After 4.5 years his solo album Chrysalis is finally finished and will be released in April 2011!
Benny Tones - Chrysalis
(CD/Digital) Barely Breaking Even BBE167, 2011-04-04
01. Aero:soul ft. Mara TK
02. On My Way ft. Mara TK
03. Home ft. Joe Dukie
05. Odyssey ft. LP
06. Fountain Of Youth ft. Shihan The Poet
07. Little City
08. Nevermind ft. Mara TK
09. The Centre ft. Adi Dick
10. Fire Fly ft. Mara TK
11. Chrysalis ft. Sacha Vee
12. Automatic For The People ft. Taay Ninh (bonus track)
Benny Tones feat. Sacha Vee - Chrysalis
Fondly considered as the 4th member of New Zealand future soul band Electric Wire Hustle, you may have already witnessed some of the audio magic of Benny Tones without realizing it. As Electric Wire Hustle's Sound Tech Benny has been responsible for mixing EWH's live sound since their first performance and having set up his own studio in Wellington - Organik Muzik Workz - also mixed the groups debut album last year.
As well as having chief responsibility for mixing EWH's live and studio sound, Benny Tones is also a DJ and full time Audio Engineer and has recorded and engineered for artists such as Pacific Heights, Julien Dyne, Iva Lamkum, Harbour City Electric, Solaa and Module among others at his Organik Muzik Workz Studio based in Newtown, Wellington.
An obsessive collector of vintage music equipment Benny is a true audio artisan. His exquisite production is the result of hundreds of hours clocked up in the studio over the years and clearly his stunning ambient soul sound is infused by the beautiful Golden Bay community where he grew up.
It was a natural progression from Djing that led him to start producing his own beats in 2002. This was the year he also moved to Wellington to immerse himself in the scene and to learn as much as he could about audio production and the music industry.
He participated in 2 short audio courses but is largely self taught. In 2008 he set up OMW and has quickly built up a reputation as one of Wellington's best Audio Engineering facilities.
Discography of albums Benny Tones has worked on :
- Electric Wire Hustle - 'Electric Wire Hustle'
- Pacific Heights - 'A Quiet Storm'
- Julien Dyne - 'Pins and Digits'
- Isaac Aesili - 'Eye See'
- Harbour City Electric E.P.
- Shihan The Poet - 'The Balance'
- Bohemian Thought - 'Magnificent Dislexic'
- Sacha Vee E.P.
- Jay Dubs - 'The Keynotes'
- Module - 'Imagineering'
Chrysalis Track by Track Information :
"All production, vocal/instrument recording & mixing was done at my studio 'Organik Muzik Workz' which I also run as my personal business." - Benny Tones
This track is all about free movement and distance from structure, the arrangement is very free without any conventional methods being used e.g 'intro/chorus/verse/chorus etc" The individual players I used were purposely not given any previous material to listen to so everything played would be spontaneous and free. I got each musician to just play whatever came out on the first runs through. And as for the vocals I said I didn't want any structured lyrics just scatting freestyle random words.
- On My Way
This track is a collaboration with fellow 'Electric Wire Hustle' members Taay Ninh (Production/Synths/Keys) Myele Manzanza (Drums/Percussion) Mara TK (Vocals/Gat) The track originally started out going to be an EWH song but didn't end up fitting in with the album so I took it and made some changes and it worked perfectly with my other pieces on my album.
For this track I wanted to try and push some more genre barriers, I have always wanted to mix some blues/roots sounds with the more futuristic electronic vibe. I chose Joe Dukie from 'Fat Freddys Drop' for the vocals as his voice sits in that range perfectly. So a strange tempo was picked some 808 drums programmed and some driven guitar parts laid.
I wanted a small interlude right in the middle of the album that was just something completely off the wall from outer space, to kinda jog the mind into a different spectrum and also to lead into the more futuristic side of the album.
This track was one of those tracks that morphed about 7 times throughout the production process going in several different directions before landing on the moon. It captured the vibe I was going for in the end which is kind of a mash of many different styles. I wanted something that had really big bangin drums but still stayed at a slow tempo and kept a more chill ethereal vibe to it. Vocalist Lisa Preston added some perfectly weighted vocals that suited the mood of the track perfectly. As the lyrics are about her father that passed away it lends that sense of somber yet it was beautiful at the same time.
- Fountain Of Youth
This track stems from a meeting with L.A's beat poet/lyricist 'Shihan The Poet' at one of his shows here in NZ. I loved his message and delivery so after the show I approached him and asked him if he wanted to make some music together. He was into the idea and we kept in touch. Later on in the piece he asked me if I wanted to produce some stuff for his new album, so I made a couple beats for that, one of them being 'Fountain Of Youth' I liked what came out of it so much that I asked him If I could put it on my album as well.
- Little City
This is another Interlude I wanted to create to slow the album down again and take it in another direction. It features the speech of one of my all time hero's 'Bob Moog' explaining some things I found hard to communicate in my own way.
This was the first track created for this album and has also been around for a very long time (5years) and gone through many changes. This was the track that kind of set the sound and direction of what I wanted the album to be like. It has all the elements that send me into that certain space & time. I also got in two friends and members of NZ's own 'Shapeshifter' to write some of the guitar, horn & cellist parts.
- The Centre
This track all revolves around a location recording I made on a dictaphone at the actual 'Centre Of New Zealand.' This is in a small city called 'Nelson' the sunshine capitol of NZ and also the closest city to where I grew up In 'Golden Bay'. The monument is a large pin made of metal about 3 meters high and a foot around that points to the exact centre of the country. The microphone on my small cassette dictaphone just fit under the very point of this. If you listen closely to the very end of the track when all the fx on the recording are automated to stop, you can actually hear a little kid say the words 'This Is The Centre Of New Zealand'
- Fire Fly
This track was all based around the main pad sound, it was one of those sounds that instantly got me and had to used straight away. This track again features the talents of Devin Abrams who with some help from one of my vintage synths created the bass sound I was after. He was also responsible for writing the horn sections. I also wanted to create an arrangement that changed from something very open and expansive to very heavy and driving with a lot of percussion, so thats where the change in the last section came from.
This was the last track to be made for the album so has a lot of influences from the sounds I have been listening to lately, a lot more on the futuristic tip. Wanted to put my own spin on the really FX heavy really produced sound but still keep the big spacious floaty vibe. I also worked with a vocalist by the name of 'Sacha Vee' who I had done some work for in the past. She's a jazz trained vocalist so wanted to see what happened when I gave her something way out of her musical spectrum. The result was this crazy fusion of styles that came out sounding quite different.
- Automatic For The People
I wanted to create a hidden track for the album that was a just a little teaser, something to keep people thinking. This track is based around a vocoder that fellow Electric Wire Hustle member Taay Ninh came up with.
Press & Artist Quotes :
" Benny's production can be big and expansive, sucking you in and creating it's own orbit for you or conversely, stripped back, raw and upfront. Either way, his tunes are always carefully crafted and considered, creating individual soundtracks that are both soul and space." - Taay Ninh (Electric Wire Hustle)
"It's fantastic to see Mr Benny Tones put his album out, as he has given so much to all the artists around him. This album is a true taste of all the talents Benny has!" - Devin Abrams (Shapeshifter / Pacific Heights)
"Benny has created an ornately detailed journey of expansive proportions" - Rip It Up Magazine, NZ
"This album smoulders away with slow-mo beats and dreamy synth-scapes. 4 Stars" - Real Groove Magazine, NZ
"Benny's style is of an electro-soul master...Every beat is perfectly produced, every bassline one to tap a foot to, every synth line has a smooth edge. 4 Stars" - The Waikato Times, NZ
"Tones is a hidden treasure..one of the best Wellington albums of the year. 4 Stars" - The Dominion Post, Wellington, NZ
French info :
Considéré en nouvelle Zélande comme le 4ème groupe de soul électro à l'avenir prometteur, vous avez surement déjà dû être témoins de la magie auditive de Benny Tones sans même vous en apercevoir. En tant qu'ingénieur du son Benny c'est occupé de mixer le son de EWH en live depuis leur première scène. Ayant installé son propre studio à Wellington - Organik Muzik Workz - Il a aussi mixé le premier album du groupe l'an dernier. Featuring Mara TK (Electric Whire Hustle), Joe Dukie (Fat Freddy's Drop), LP (Lisa Preston),Adi Dick et Sacha Vee