Benji Vaughan Video Interview & Younger Brother – New EP “Vaccine” (Electronic Version) Review

LostinSound recently had the pleasure of Skyping with Benji Vaughan (a.k.a. Prometheus, also in Younger Brother and The Zap) of Twisted Records. It’s no secret that Benji and crew (Simon Posford, Raja Ram, Ott) are a huge part of why we exist, and they remain our most reviewed artists to date. In fact, the first time Ranchsauce handed out Use Your Head pins was at a Prometheus/Younger Brother show in Philly, at the TLA in 2009. Benji sent us a pre-release of Younger Brother’s upcoming EP, the remastered electronic version of their album Vaccine. We’ve been eagerly awaiting this release for a long time, and our teammates who have heard it so far have been THRILLED. Needless to say, Benji’s work has been a major influence on my life, so I was delighted to get a chance to pick his brain. – Caeli La

A Wiki recap for the n00bs:

“(Benji) has released three albums as Prometheus; Robot-O-Chan (2004), Corridor of Mirrors (2007), and Spike (2010). The albums have been well received by the trance community for their innovation, dancefloor appeal and their incorporation of non-traditional influences. Robot-O-Chan features two down-tempo tracks, whereas Corridor of Mirrors maintains a consistent trance bent. Vaughan is currently working on a new album, which will feature genre-less tracks under his own name.

Younger Brother have released three albums to date, A Flock of Bleeps (released in 2003), The Last Days of Gravity (2007) and Vaccine (2011). Younger Brother’s musical output is much more varied than that of Prometheus, with tracks ranging from the psychedelic French ballad, ‘The Receptive,’ to progressive breakbeats such as ‘Weird on a Monday Night,’ to sounds reminiscent of Pink Floyd on their recent album.

The album A Flock of Bleeps, released on Twisted Records, became a cult classic in the underground electronica scene and included such tracks as ‘Crumblenaut’ and ‘Finger.’ This led to a massive demand to see them live, and they have played shows from London to Tokyo, New York to Moscow.

Inspired by the live shows, Simon and Benji decided to move away from the pure electronic sound of the first album A Flock of Bleeps and create a more organic sound. Having no band, they played the instruments themselves and recruited long-time friend and former Leftfield vocalist Ruu Campbell to perform the vocals. The resulting album was Last Days of Gravity (with artwork made by the legendary Storm Thorgerson whose work has graced albums by Pink FloydAlan Parsons, and Led Zeppelin, among many others).”

Prometheus LIVE @ Solaris Festival 15th July 2011

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=true&show_comments=true&color=0ac4ff”]http://soundcloud.com/twistedmusic/prometheus-live-set-solaris[/soundcloud]

Younger Brother – Crumblenaut

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=true&show_comments=true&color=0ac4ff”]http://soundcloud.com/twistedmusic/younger-brother-crumblenaut[/soundcloud]

The Zap (Raja Ram & Benji Vaughan) – ‘Because’ (Beatles Remix)

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=true&show_comments=true&color=0ac4ff”]http://soundcloud.com/preset74/because-the-zap-remix[/soundcloud]

 

Vaccine‘ (Electronic Version) Review

In 2007, Younger Brother became a five-piece band with the additions of Tommy Hamilton on guitar, Joe Russo on drums, Ruu Campbell on vocals and Marc Brownstein on bass, along with original masterminds Simon Posford and Benji Vaughn. The Last Days of Gravity and their most recent release Vaccine have shown the willingness to experiment with their sound and move outside of their comfort zone in the psy-trance genre. I, for one, absolutely loved the progression and transition the band took, and would put Vaccine up there as one of my favorite albums of 2011.

With that said, when I heard there was a re-mastered electronic version of Vaccine coming out, I was ecstatic. For a brief moment in time, Benji Vaughn and Simon Posford have brought Younger Brother back to the roots of their eclectic, psychedelic dance beats. This remastered EP does just as the name sounds, taking those near perfectly recorded studio tracks and evolving them.

Just as on Vaccine, the tracks could not be any more different, showing off Benji and Simon’s wide-range of production skills.

“Train, which was my favorite track on Vaccine, due to its Pink Floyd-like Psychedelia, does not disappoint. Where the song originally highlights a spacey groove that allows the guitars and vocals to blast off into space, this new version takes that same groove and adds a beautiful down-tempo bass that is mixed with the twisted sounds that we all have come to know Younger Brother for. The true skill of a producer comes out when they can take a track that is recorded with a live band, take away all of the instruments, and still produce a classic. Bravo, Benji and Simon, Bravo!

The next track on the album is “Spinning into Place,” where they take a drastically different approach and produce the most psy-trance like track that Younger Brother has released in a long time. For any psy-trance lover, this song will surely hit the spot, as the constant bass keeps you moving throughout the whole track. Just as I said on my album review, I love Ruu Campbell’s vocals throughout Vaccine, and it’s great to hear his voice still work so perfectly over such a different beat.

“Pound a Rhythm,” which was one of the more slow, vocally oriented tracks on Vaccine, really highlighting the lyrics, is kicked up a notch on the re-mastered edition. The dub-like bass rhythms on this song take the “Pound a Rhythm” title and make it a reality, as I find myself slowly bobbing to the rhythm of this song as I write this review! Once again, taking a song like this and completely changing the tone of the track is such a blessing. My favorite part of this EP is that now I have another take on songs that I have played hundreds of times in my library.

To wrap up, a song entitled “Delina Did It” beautifully takes the EP to a close.”‘Delina Did It” quintessentially sums up Younger Brother in a nutshell, and that is music that is constantly pushing the boundaries and exploring. This downtempo groove takes the listener to a beautiful place. Whether you became a fan of Younger Brother back when A Flock of Bleeps was released, or you’re a fan of the new sound, this album has something for everyone! –Groovin Grecs

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