Benjamin Muñoz‘s old band New Hands dropped their fantastic, first and final album, Leave With The Night, late last year. Now the Hamilton, Ontario-based musician is embarking on an experimental, beat-oriented solo career, marked by his debut single “Anchors.” Inspired by 2-step, jungle and garage vinyl as a teenager, his first effort is a sexy, turbulent dance track muddled with disparate sounds and eccentric textures.
Read a statement from Benjamin about “Anchors”:
A friend introduced me to electronic music in high school and for years it remained a quiet fixation of mine. It became an escape from the familiar genres I’d grown up with. Eventually, I met the owner of a record store called Dr. Disc. The owner, Mark, had thousands of electronic and dance records hidden away. They’d never made it to the store floor because they don’t sell around Hamilton (where I grew up) so they just sat in storage above the shop. Listening to those records I finally heard the world those electronic artists had been referencing, in particular that of the UK underground. Here was that entire world, hidden above Mark’s record store.Between that world and the portal I’d found to underground dance music (thanks to the w.w.w.), I came to love house, garage, 2-step, dubstep, drum and bass and jungle.
The main influences behind ‘Anchors’ are the Japanese animes Samurai Champloo and TekkonKinkreet. Many of the sounds are intended to mimic the visuals – for example, the hi-hats are meant to be loose and agile, imitating the movements of a samurai sword. I grew up loving anime and was particularly obsessed with a game called Jet Set Radio Future, which is based around Tokyo urban culture and dance music. Now it represents to me a bridge between worlds. My aim with my music is to create those bridges and coalesce the very different worlds I love; classical music, jazz, the UK underground and Japanese pop culture.
Stream the New Hands LP below.