Last seen dabbling in some Ballard-referencing song-based material as Singing Statues, UK producer Ben Thomas returns to the more familiar BNJMN guise and the label for whom he's arguably done his best work with this Hummingbird EP for Rush Hour. Seemingly directly inspired by the humble hummingbird, the three original tracks here demonstrate a wide appreciation of tempos, with the glistening 140bpm techno of the title complemented by the shifting, sludgy sonics of "Slowwave". The final BNJMN production "CRVD" feels closest to previous BNJMN material, whilst the title track is blessed by the first ever Xamiga remix from Lowlands forest techno exponents Legowelt and Xosar.
Having released his Plastic World album just earlier this year, BNJMN spoils us with another sizable package in the form of this 9-track treat. There's something pleasingly arcane about the way he uses the tried and tested 4/4 formula as a secondary backbone to the rich layers of textures. At times he can be gentle, at others quite manic, in the way that he triggers the elements in his tracks, but the harmonious tones always reach a sweet-natured conclusion. 'Wisdom of Uncertainty' is a prime exponent of the fairy tale sound he has cornered in which to express himself.
Rush Hour's Direct Current series has already struck gold on several occasions - most notably the back scratching endeavours of FaltyDL and Cosmin TRG - however a shift upwards in ambition and a swerve in focus towards these shores has delivered a truly startling full length album from BNJMN. The latest alias of Ben Thomas, a young UK producer whose work has featured under a variety of names for labels such as Svetlana Industries and Tirk, Plastic World could feasibly be conceived as Thomas finding his true musical identity. This is an album that's covered in a glistening sheen of utopian futurism; from the grinding amphibian machine funk of "Wheels In Motion" to the more upwardly mobile jacking acid melodies of "Tunnel Flight", BNJMN seems to posses an innate and auspicious talent for creating music that's just as suited for the floor as your headphones. Whilst "Blocks" has been most commonly claimed as the track that will draw you in, it is perhaps "See Through The Stars" that leaves the most lasting impression, throwing together frosted soundscapes with throbbing bass and tingling percussion and washing them with rich sounding shafts of upwards electronic melody with jaw dropping results.
Dutch label Delsin's 100th release celebrations continue, albeit in a typically understated fashion, on this fifth instalment. BNJMN's beautiful but brief opener "Dive" sets the scene for the release as does the dreamy but serene "Radio's Mutterings" by Herva. While the pace picks up on Delta Funktionen's "Petrol", a fusion of robust broken beats and dreamy chords, the overall tone here is mellow and melodic. This is audible on Bleak's "Keep Me Close", where dubbed out drums and a trancey bass prevail, and on the standout track from John Beltran. The US producer may be known primarily for his home-listening sounds, but on "Return to Nightfall" he copper-fastens his dreamy, melodic textures to a pulsing, hypnotic groove.
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