Forty one improvised ideas were tracked at Sound & Motion Studios, Cape Town by Simon ‘Fuzzy’ Ratcliffe on the 6th & 7th of December 2012. Two great days spent throwing down as many sounds as could be wrangled from our respective instruments of bass (double, fretless & electric), guitar (a few electrics, ebow & bouzouki) and drums - even adding in a little synth and theremin for good measure.
Temporarily shelved during the release and promotion of our previous album ‘Adrift’ - selecting, editing and overdubbing started and continued throughout 2015/16 by the drummer, in secret. It was in fact the sound of the little Korg synth and how we reacted and played to that which became the core sonic that guided the choices for this album. Something that sounded fresh within our creative collaborations over the last twenty-four years.
The first eleven tracks were shared with the guitarists at some point, who reacted strangely in favour despite this deception. Joy, celebration and then a few more years work. We added two overlooked wild-cards, two short ‘palette cleansers’ and a bunch more overdubs (including some brilliant sax parts by Luke Townsend). We then mixed the hell out of it, lost all sense of direction, mixed it again (and again) and then finally took it back to its home at Sound & Motion to be mastered.
Throughout this lengthy birthing, the music has kept its head above water, insisting that it be thrown out into the world.
A1 Breathe 06:34
A2 Bamboo Heart 05:51
A3 The Bog 04:42
A4 The Rub 03:02
B1 Bones Beneath the Building 05:04
B2 Lift in Quilmes 03:39
B3 For the Birds 11:12
C1 Hard Brexit 04:23
C2 Louise for no Reason 01:46
C3 M is for Mastectomy 02:11
C4 Varkpan 04:16
D1 Lion’s Head 05:04
D2 Muscles you Never Knew you Had 08:14
D3 Are you Awake? 10:32
“Tenacious levels of technical proficiency. Intricate cadence. Tough yet tender. Warm and deep. The music unfolds and then folds back on itself. At times I felt like I was underwater.” - The Sourcerer
“Benguela have recorded one of the finest South African albums of 2010. It’s just going to take some time to digest it all. Black Southeaster is sprawling music for the adventurous mind.” - Lloyd Gedye for the Mail & Gaurdian
“The great strength of Benguela is that they never overcomplicate things, always keeping the music within the grasp of the listener. Spontaneous compositions that are as likely to be dark, dense and churning as ramblingly, languorously, billowingly atmospheric.” Richard Haslop for Audio Video Magazine
Benguela: Sui/Chopsui (Open Record) “The latest from these Capetonian rhythm rebels is a humdinger, a smorgasbord of beats, riffs, intense grooves, melodic signatures and musical textures, all carefully captured on one of the most atmospheric albums of the year.” - Pretoria News review by Craig Canavan
“Benguela’s sound is an atmospheric, uncompromisingly adventurous fusion of constantly shifting elements..”. “Allow Digital Inability to work it’s magic, and you won’t be able to get enough.” - James Garner (Big Issue) 8/10
“Spine chilling. The combined forces of the Benguela threesome create heart-core, deep listening music that bestows the ultimate respect on the listener by allowing them to wander freely through the sound field without prescribing a melody or beat to them.”
“Digital Inability is a victory of improvisation and experimentation.” - James Webb (SL magazine) 5/5
“Listening to jazzy post-rock improvisational trio Benguela’s latest album is like reading the Kama-Sutra while watching Mulholland Drive - a melding of the cerebral and the visceral.” - Miles Keylock (GQ) Album Of The Month