The Phantom Tollbooth

In the Bag Secret X-remixes
Artist: Benjamin Antell
Label: W.A.A.M. 002
Time: 9 tracks/26:59

Benjamin Antell makes some weird music.  It's cool stuff, but it's weird. The best way to describe the overall sound would be techno-rock, with samples and all kinds of strange stuff thrown in at odd times.

The songs tend to keep you off-balance, waiting for the next sample or drum loop to kick in.  With songs like "The Money Song," which consists of samples saying "money makes the world go round" over a background of drums, piano, and bagpipes, and track 8, which consists entirely of an Englishman telling a joke, you quickly learn that this is one record that doesn't take itself to seriously.  There are serious moments though, like the song "My Darling Daughter," which is about the singer's daughter losing her faith.
While the record tends to be a little self-indulgent at times, overall this is interesting stuff.  If you enjoy listening to Beck, Passafist, and Situation Taboo, then you'll probably enjoy this record.

By Joe Rockstroh (09/03/98)