There might not be a collective who’ve instigated more “Okay, what the hell is this track?” reactions in the past year than French label and collective, Forest ill Records. Idris Bena‘s “Pantei Rah” EP, released on the label last year, was one of the most attention-grabbing releases of 2019. Somewhat surprisingly, it was the Parisian’s first release on wax, which quickly led to more questions than answers for how his future productions would develop.
Those questions have been answered very swiftly, with Bena stepping up for his debut album, “Lankivei”, released on Forest ill. He’s mostly associated with head-spinning, high-energy tracks such as Green Area but Lankivei’s fourteen tracks have allowed him to explore a wider range of musical ideas. From blissful home listening to those signature peak-time tracks. So we’re very pleased to announce the premiere of “Rosa” from his forthcoming album.
Bena’s work undeniably takes heavy inspiration from more vintage sounds, yet his tracks always feel firmly rooted in the future. The Frenchman’s penchant for glossy synths is evident throughout the album but Rosa’s melody feels particularly blissful. The kicks flirt between breaks and 4×4, playful stabs of a 303 work wonderfully in tandem with the idiosyncratic pads and keys whilst the rumbles of bass cap Rosa off to be a wonderfully chaotic track.
The tracks which actually shine the brightest on Lankivei are those which employ the hectic and bustling production techniques that the likes of Bena, Nemo Vachez and Nadir Sanchez have employed on their tracks for the label.
“Don’t Let It Go” on the A-side may be the best example. The enigmatic vocals, the eccentric chord progressions which feel as though they intensify after every bar, the bizarre bloops and zaps of hardware, even the light bongos and the xylophone inspired-keys. On a descriptive level, the track may sound overcrowded, but Bena is masterful in walking the tightrope and ensuring his productions are bursting with a plethora of musical influences to create this chaotic sound without going into the territory of being tumultuous.
The album isn’t just about crowd-whooping peak-time tracks, as previously mentioned. “Train To CDC” and “Sunset Philosophy” are beautifully crafted downtempo tracks which, if listened to at the right time, could evoke just as much as an emotional response as the belters of Don’t Let It Go and the bass-loaded “Waghoba”.
Unfortunately, Forest ill have confirmed that Bandcamp pre-orders are being delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A few copies of the limited 300 press of Lankivei will be available via selected record stores in due course.
Idris Bena was also featured on our ’12 must-see artists on the rise in 2020′ piece earlier in the year. See the full list here.