Benjamin Bland

I’m Ben and I live in York where I spend most of my time pretending to be a historian or drinking interesting beers in one of the city’s many great pubs. Sometimes I do both at the same time. It really depends on how my day is going.

Music has been my major passion for quite some time now. It’s rare that I’m not either listening to it, making it, talking about it or thinking about it, and unfortunately I’ve garnered rather a reputation amongst friends for knowing more bands than is ultimately healthy for the purposes of casual conversation. This has become more troublesome over the past couple of years, when my interests have shifted ever moreso towards the realm of experimental music types.

I’ve been writing about music now for about three years, and over that time I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to hear, see and meet tons of great artists. My career highlights in that sense would probably be interviewing two of my favourite ever musicians in Scott Kelly from Neurosis and Steven Wilson from No-Man / Porcupine Tree. Two of the most nerve-racking but ultimately enjoyable experiences of my life there.

I create ambient / drone / noise music under the name Broken Machines. My first two records sound awful to me now but I’m working on some new stuff and I promise it is much better so keep your ears peeled for news of that. I’m also in an (as yet unnamed) ‘pop’ band, set to start recording some material soon.

Keep up to date with my ramblings on music here and with my drinking here

Articles by Benjamin Bland

Live: Hey Colossus, Lower Slaughter & Kogumaza – Electrowerkz, London. October 9th, 2015.

Are Hey Colossus the best live guitar band in Britain right now? You’d be brave to argue otherwise… – by Benjamin Bland

Disappears – Irreal

“… as gloomy as the album’s predominantly black cover suggests” ~ by Benjamin Bland

Interview: Boris

Ahead of the release of Boris’s new album Noise, Benjamin Bland meets one of the most enigmatic groups in the rock underground…

Live: Denovali Swingfest – Village Underground & Cafe OTO, London. 19 & 20 April 2014

“Disorientating more than disarming, Köner’s status as one of the world’s top current sound artists made him the perfect choice to close such an esoteric festival, one that I hope much returns to London in 2015.” – Benjamin Bland

Music vs Noise 09: How I Make My Music (Nick Gill)

Nick Gill (of The Monroe Transfer, Fireworks Night and more) enlightens us on his music-making processes…

Minibus Pimps – Cloud to Ground

“…a seamless collation of Deathprod’s icy dark ambience with retro electronic aural sculpting” – by Benjamin Bland

Music vs Noise 08 – Enter the Mirror: The Ontological Noise of Les Rallizes Denudes

“In the lowest of low fidelity, Les Rallizes Denudes ask: fidelity to what?” – Owen Coggins on the mysterious musical forms of the cult Japanese legends…

(((O))) Festival Preview: Denovali Swingfest London 2014

Benjamin Bland looks forward to Easter’s premier live music weekend for fans of experimental music, London based Denovali Swingfest 2014…

St. Vincent – St. Vincent

“St. Vincent is almost distressingly effortless in its brilliance, distilling Clark’s talents more potently than ever before…” – by Benjamin Bland

Max Richter – Memoryhouse

“The fact is that, whilst Memoryhouse is just as easily accessible as its more illustrious successor, it is nowhere near as powerful…” – by Benjamin Bland

Destroyer – Five Spanish Songs

“It’s hard not to see Five Spanish Songs as a slightly contradictory step…” – by Benjamin Bland

Mannheim – Super-Empowered

“What a beast of a band” – by Benjamin Bland

Live: OM – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds. November 28, 2013.

A communal exhibition of devotion – by Benjamin Bland

BLK w/ BEAR – The Final Mapping of New Constellations

“As a challenge to the artist involved this has produced stupendous results” – by Benjamin Bland

Echoes of the Future 87: Envoys

“We’re planning a reet Yorkshire do” – Benjamin Bland talks to yet another brilliant new band from Leeds…

Echoes of the Future 86: Mannheim

“To be honest, I think the end product is pretty unique” – Benjamin Bland talks to his new favourite band, Dutch jazz-inflected noiseniks Mannheim.

Interview: Jarboe

“I ‘read’ people and sense their sincerity and motivation and ability to follow through in addition to skill level” – Benjamin Bland sent some questions to former Swans vocalist and living experimental music legend Jarboe…

Echoes of the Future 85: Repo Man

“The point is you can never ‘make it’ as that would spell complacency…” – Benjamin Bland talks to Bristol quartet Repo Man

Satelliti – Transister

“Somewhere at the meeting point between jazz and rock music is a place where you can do pretty much anything you like without anybody raising an eyebrow or their voice in stern consternation. On Transister that’s roughly the place where Italian duo Satelliti have ended up…” – by Benjamin Bland

Music vs. Noise 07: The Crescendo and the Climax (Pt. 2: Levelling Out)

Has the crescendo really disappeared, or it just that our understanding of it needs to change? Benjamin Bland gets (unnecessarily?) theoretical…

Echoes of the Future 84: Your Favourite Enemies

Canadian sextet Your Favorite Enemies are a fairly esoteric, dare we say eccentric, bunch, as Benjamin Bland found out when he shot some questions to them across the pond…

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