Benedikt Frey crafts a musical aesthetic that (much like the ESP Institute) might only be seen in its true form from a birds-eye view—a whole greater than the sum of its parts. His playful indifference to genre specifics and pre-prescribed instrumentation or production techniques makes for a loose and refreshing collection of work, and this debut for the ESP Institute, The Lobbyist, serves up an incongruous three tracks so bewildering and narcotic we’re already
impatiently fiending for more. On side A, the title track is no less than a medieval assault. Led by a stomping war drum and a blasting bass synth that might literally have caught the studio on fire, an erratic array of clanking percussion, hi-hats and cymbals push us into a sinister corner where his whispering chant grants us the smallest bit of humanity before continuing with the beating. On side B, Cupids Delight (ft TCB) and Gravel both explore variations on beauty—the former in a blur of ghost-like vocals smeared in harmony across a low-slung machine drums, and the latter evoking a tropical affair gone psychedelic, complete with drawn-out disorienting marimba and ritual clave/tom arrangements. Welcome home brother Benedikt, what took you so long?
Published: 9th February 2016