Music Like Dirt Sessions

#2: BENIN CITY – Website / Facebook / Twitter

With their single “Baby” firmly established at the summit of MLD’s Top 200 tracks of 2012, and a debut album “Fires In The Park” due on June 24th, Benin City were kind enough to record a session for MLD. New single “My Love” is also out as an album teaser.

Joshua Idehen (Vox), Theo Buckingham (Drums) Tom Leaper (Tenor Sax), Rob Peterson (bass), Rebecca Nash (Keys) and Faye Treacy (Trombone) crammed themselves into a comically small room in a glamorous corner of Walthamstow to perform “Crush”.


For the first MLD Session we headed to the Pure Evil Gallery in deepest Hoxton.  Down in its basement, surrounded by sculpture, spray paints and a buzzing tv set, we recorded three songs from one of our favourite artists, James Mathe aka Barbarossa.

Introduced via The Daily Growl blog back in late 2006 when recording under the guise of “Barbarossa” (“Red Beard” in Italian), James’s latest EP gave a taster of what to expect on his eagerly awaited LP “Care Cracks“. It also featured a Terence Trent D’Arby cover which is never a bad thing!

It was a real privilege to have James and his band play, in the past Ive compared his vocals to Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor (a comparison reinforced when they played after each other at one of the final Luminaire shows). Thankfully he also shares the Chips gift for melancholic lo-fi electronic beauty coupled with beguiling melodies.

First up the beautiful “Bloodlines” (Update: as used as the closing tracks on the 2nd episode of the US version of Sherlock, ‘Elementary’ on CBS). Thanks must go to Pure Evil for letting us film after hours.

James Mathe / Barbarossa – Facebook / Myspace / Website

For the second track James put the Omnichord to one side, grabbed a drumstick and joined the drummer for the urgent stripped down sound of “Turbine”. Lovely guitar work, especially as the guitarist had only learnt the songs the previous day!

James Mathé – Heaven Help (Music Like Dirt Session)