Electric Ape is the alias of Brighton producer, Simon Bennett. Electronics and hardware are at the heart of his analogue-edged set-up, with a delight for all things synthesizer, and a monstrous modular at the core.
What or who inspired you to start making music?
Kraftwerk, TD, John Foxx, German kosmische, Can, Dave Clarke, Aphex Twin, LFO, Steve Reich, Brian Eno, Derrick May, DJ Shadow, Terry Riley … all the usual suspects really. Plus nights at Brighton’s Zap club. That was an epiphany. Then Ben Sims, Surgeon, Photek, Luke Slater, Green Velvet, Daft Punk…
But also: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Muddy Waters, Serge Gainsbourg, Boban Markovic, King Crimson, The Necks, Public Image Limited, Isaac Hayes …
I’ve always wanted to hear music I’d never heard before. And that’s still the case today. I’m always excited by new ideas and fresh music.
Can you say a little about an artist or two that have influenced your music, but in an implicit random or surprising way, that might not be immediately obvious through listening to your music?
Terry Callier ‘You Goin' Miss Your Candyman’ … heard this on Radio Reverb. The production, the possibilities, the funk. Made me think about arrangements in a new way.
Morton Feldman ‘Rothko Chapel’ … an amazing use of space in his music. Highly personal and contemplative. Beautiful.
These New Puritans ‘Field of Reeds’ … fantastic album, incredible sound and ideas. Although both these tracks/albums are non-electronic they have had a deep impact on my approaches to music.
Can you name a couple of albums that you’ve particularly enjoyed recently?
Venetian Snares ‘My Love Is A Bulldozer’ …. The man is a genius. Pure and simple. A fantastic producer, love everything he’s done.
Shackleton ‘Freezing Opening Thawing’ … a bass/post-dubstep musician really going his own way.
This reminds me of ‘Shri Camel’ by Terry Riley which also ain’t a bad thing in my book …
Fort Romeau ‘Insides’ …. Coming from a more techno angle, I’d assumed that Deep House wasn’t going to offer much. I was wrong. Mike lets the music breathe, again with a great attention detail, and some lovely warm analogue synths.
Can you give us a clue as to what else you’re working on at the moment?
Working on the remix, then a few things in the pipeline. The #postlaptop live thing is challenging but fun. Plus I’m working on a few other other tracks which may fit the Electric Ape approach, or could mutate into something else.
Can you name a record label that's been catching your attention?
What, apart from a certain indie electronic Brighton label? Everything on Hinge Finger has been brilliant, not many releases but what there have been, have been amazing.
I also love Death Waltz for the quality vinyl release and care they put into the music.
Anything else to add or recommend…?
Although making money from music, especially for small labels, is getting more and more difficult, there has never been a better time for music in terms of access and technology (both software AND hardware). Original music will never disappear – it’s natural, exciting and vibrant. And I love it.
Euphony in Electronics
Various - Euphony in Electronics 1.1
Kin;Aesthetic / Various:
Second First Impression (Remixed)