Benin City are the London-based three-piece comprised of vocalist and poet Joshua Idehen, vocalist Shanaz Dorsett with multi-instrumentalist Tom Leaper.
Clubbing is a source of euphoria: a weekly, often daily escape, a respite from the grind. That culture and its landmarks – some of London’s best venues and many countless pubs - are slowly disappearing for good. On Last Night, which was recorded in all four corners of London with Marc Pell (Micachu and the Shapes), LV, Rob Marfarlane and James Anderson, Benin City take an album-long look at the dual nature of London’s nightlife. With a sound and mood that locates itself in a small sweet spot between Faithless, Metronomy and early Stromae, the album’s narrators draw on the last decade of their collective experiences as ravers, bar workers and observers. These reflections are primed for the dancefloor: a hook-laden blend of Afro-dance pop, hip-hop, spoken word and electronica that is both infectious and poignant.
Speaking of the record, Joshua said:
“London nightlife has been our way out, our release, our daily escape. We’ve been clubbers, ravers, barmen, part / full-time drinkers. We’ve served cocktails and downed shots. We’ve found ourselves on dancefloors and lost our dinners on nightbusses. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve engaged in dumb drunken squabbles and we’ve found ourselves in strangers’ houses. We’ve danced to songs we didn’t know the name of. We made landmarks out of hidden corners of London: Passing Clouds, Ghetto, Trash Palace, Plastic People, Vibe Bar, Cable, Crucifix Lane. Those places, and the stories they held are gone for good as London becomes pricier and ever more grey. On this album are some of those stories: this is an ode to London’s nightlife.”
Maybe my favorite album of 2020 so far- unexpected as normally 90% of my listening is extreme metal. I'm very impressed with the variety of styles and sounds that still manage to feel cohesive. Chris Pikula