It’s been an odd and long week for me. With my birthday starting it and a sickly son taking up most of my time, I’m now the mere knackered shell of the man I was last week. I’ve not been able to really concentrate on music so for the last few days I’ve been listening to albums – specifically the collection of Benny Sings, and wanted to blog the track that first brought him to my attention.
From his first 2003 album “Champagne People” released on Jazzanova’s legendary Sonark Kollektive label “Party” is a nice little, uhm… party song. I first heard it on a mix tape from Fourbearsjnr and was instantly compelled to seek out more. I ended up buying the entire back catalogue of his music. Oddly enough the thing that attracted me to his broader collection, Melancholy, is almost completely absent on my favourite song, as “Party” is pretty much make you smile from ear to ear balls out fun. A straight up drink waving, swing your hips and sing along romp.
Champagne People, and Benny sings other albums, are all an interesting combination of Hip Hop production, Jazzy lounge style vocals and catchy pop songs, which I guess “Party” perfectly illustrates, but it’s certainly a break from the more mellow and darker tracks like the albums opening gambit “Twist you around”.
From Dordrecht in the Netherlands (it’s in the South if you look at a map) Benny Sings aka Tim Berkestijn in some ways reminds me of Chilli Gonzales in that it’s a pop/hip hop/dance music hybrid that, while Benny is the focal point for, has a lot of contribution going on behind the scenes from a broader collective. For example he has been a long time part of the Dutch Hip Hop community as part of both Abstract Dialect and the Dutch language Hip Hop collective De Toffen, he also organises and records with the “We’ll make it right” collective, all of who’s output is worth checking out, and all who appear in some form over the course of his many albums.
It’s easy to understand why Sonar Kollektive signed him, Benny Sings fits perfectly with their ethos of never one style, he’s since moved to the, also excellent, Dox label where he’s released another strong album called “ART”, and delivered two Albums as part of the “We’ll Make it right” project, which I believe is a similar concept to Josh Hommes “Desert Sessions” where a group of musicians, in this case organised by Berkestijn head off to spend a week lazing and recording together – obviously with a drastically different output and lacking the Rock’n’Roll background of the Joshua tree “We’ll Make it Right” chose to record their first album in Amsterdam, and the Second in the Ardennes of Belgium – leading to a slightly mellower output.
Anyway, enough blathering from me, enjoy the track
*picture from http://www.bennysings.com/