South East London-based downtempo-electronica artist Ben Hayes announces his EP, ‘Hedonia’, set for independent release on 24th April.
Ben’s background is in jazz bass, having studied at Trinity School of Music, and playing throughout his time there with names such as Soweto Kinch, Mark Lockheart from Polar Bear, and Oren Marshall from Sons of Kemet. It was also during his studies that he released his debut self-titled EP in 2012. More content to compose music rather than to perform, in 2013 he made the move to study electronic music at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Ben describes his style as ‘punctuating evolving organic textures with evocatively lopsided beats, whilst bringing to the foreground the minute beauty hidden in sounds that would otherwise pass us by’. Ben demonstrates this through four very unique tracks – in ‘Did I?’, the synths gradually unfold before disintegrating, leaving just the beautiful tone of Naomi Banks’ voice, while ‘Pots’ shows off Ben’s hip-hop chops, before transporting listeners to the jazz-funk workout of title track ‘Hedonia’. However, it is final track ‘Maladjunct’ which is his most adventurous, displaying an excellent ability to balance the harsh timbres he creates throughout.
‘Hedonia’ is Ben’s first solo release since his debut, which established him as a key name in the South East London scene: a scene that has given rise to the likes of Shivum Sharma, Jamie Isaac, and King Krule. As a result, he has received commissions from Red Bull and the Team GB Olympic Ski Team. Ben is also actively involved in collaborations, having worked with singer-songwriter Oscar Laurence, as well as having produced SumoChief’s debut EP, which was described by Eye Know Hip Hop as ‘some of this year’s most interesting instrumentals’.
Ben also continues to perform on bass, and is part of Stompy’s Playground, an ensemble who rework electronic pieces primarily using acoustic instruments, and who were recently featured on FACT. Whether it be as a performer or producer, it is clear that Ben’s career has seen an incredibly exciting beginning, and things only look set to get better for this young talent.