Daniel Bennett has been active in the UK experimental and noise community for a good number of years, first as a member of the band Hunting Lodge which he shared with Seth Cooke and Clive Henry, and later as a collaborator to the likes of Stephen Cornford, Dominic Lash and Stuart Chalmers. He has also been part of the Bang the Bore collective promoting concerts, records and related activities. His solo work previously appeared under the Skjølbrot moniker, with the project’s 2010 cd ‘Maersk’ garnering him a fair amount of critical attention.
In Roil, his new album for Organized Music, he offers four brutally-minded pieces of electronic synthesis that manage to beguile as much as they confront the ear with their stark sound and clear sense of purpose. Alternating between segments of cold clinical drones and eruptions of tangibly physical noise clusters, they develop situations where the line between materiality and abstraction appears to be very thin.
Intricately constructed on computer, from performances on electronic and analogue equipment feeding back into each other (oscillators, equaliser and a Revox B77 reel-to-reel tape player), Bennett extracts nuance and clarity where others would have mostly exhibited chaos, and achieves an immediacy in his sounds that transcends the alien nature of their synthetic textures.
Similarly to the deep foliage imagery that accompanies the CD’s artwork, Roil displays delicacy, detail and depth that is not too often seen in this combination. And despite the sombre black that frames the flora in the cover, it remains warm and inviting throughout.