Bengalfuel: Sprague

Lou DiBenedetto left a memorable mark on textura's last issue in the form of his Dentist full-length Cuts and now leaves another by collaborating with Joe LiTrenta (aka Doc Deem) under the Bengalfuel name for the also satisfying EP Sprague. In the first of what's intended to be a four-part series, the three-inch disc (100 copies available) presents four pieces that were produced during the friends' first session together (for the record, the duo established Bengalfuel in 2009 and have since issued Durban on the Polish net-label Isolationism and a Rural Colours EP called Feldspar). By their own admission, the duo takes inspiration for its output in spiritual entities and regards its music as an offering to bring peace to tormented souls. There's no need to fear such high-mindedness, though, as the music speaks perfectly well on its own lush terms. With one exception, the EP presents gorgeous ambient soundscaping produced using gear such as analog synthesizers, drum machines, and a vocoder. Very much in the Dentist mold, “Vaporized” more than lives up to its name in its five-minute setting of lighter-than-air swirl, while “Forest Ghost” and “Concentrate” are both beautifully celestial in character. “Polo Technician (Rat Trash Mix),” on the other hand, proves to be a different animal altogether, as it merges ambient cloudscapes with a driving, cymbal-laden beat pulse and robotic punctuations. That second cut might have been better positioned last, given how disruptive its anamolous presence turns out to be in the EP's context; even so, it doesn't negate the strong impact the three more purely ambient pieces make.

June 2011