PREMIERE: BÊNNÍ is Here to Remind You That the Gulf Coast is Really Freaky
California and Germany ain't the only places making new-age music.
Interplanetary New Orleans weirdo (but then, I repeat myself) BÊNNÍ claims to originate from “an H Class planet far across the cosmic highways,” and also from “the Gulf Coast.” That would imply that that astrological freeway is none other than LA/MS-90, which cuts just along the coast through Pass Christian, Gulfport, Biloxi, and a handful of other small, confusing towns along the beach. It’s a region best known for being home to one of George W. Bush’s favorite metaphors, and whose largely genial weirdness is overshadowed by, like, most of what happens further north in the state.
How else to account for BÊNNÍ? Using vintage keyboard rigs (“no soft synths were used in these recordings,” he pointedly says on his Bandcamp), vocoders, and arpeggiators, he departs from the same sci-fi sounds that made S U R V I V E famous. But while that group of Austinites found a way to spin those dated sounds into the modern day with a slick and menacing confidence, BÊNNÍ’s sound is swampier, dirtier; you get the sense that there’s duct-tape residue on a lot of his gear.
And that’s part of the charm of “Stardance,” whose video we’re premiering today. The suitably lo-fi assemblage of uncomfortable visuals accompanies a track that sounds more at home in a scene populated by the swampy Prince acolytes in Sexy Dex and the Fresh and established by underground noisemaker Quintron—who calls BÊNNÍ a “Musician with a capital M” that “began to influence the local landscape as much as any of us who had been here and doing it for decades” within a year of his arrival. That’s high praise indeed—the kind of thing worth writing to your home planet about.
Check out “Stardance” below, and if you happen to find yourself in Europe and in need of some hi-NRG new age vibes, you’re in luck; a big string of European (and a few North American) dates are below, too.
“Stardance” is taken from BÊNNÍ’s I & II LP, which is out July 28 on Goner. You can preorder it here.
BÊNNÍ tour dates
7/29 — New Orleans, LA — Poor Boy’s w/ Quintron
8/26 — Hamburg — Get Lost Fest
8/27 — Aarhus — Tape
8/28 — Helsingör — Elvärket
8/29 — Copenhagen — Stengade
8/30 — Stockholm — Human Audio
8/31 — Tampere — Vastavirta
9/1 — Turku — TVO
9/2 — Helsinki — Bar Lepakkomies
9/3 — Uppsala — TBA
9/4 — Göteburg — TBA
9/5 — Malmö — TBA
9/6 — Kiel — Alte Meierei
9/7 — Groningen — Vera
9/10 — Kortrik — Pits
9/11 — Brüssel — Le Chaff
9/12 — Mannheim — Kurzbar
9/13 — Münster — Gleis 22
9/14 — Frankfurt — Dreikönigskeller
9/15 — Kassel — Goldgrube
9/16 — Berlin — TBA
9/28 — Memphis, TN — Gonerfest 14