Much like the rest of the artists who have released EPs with DJ Shadow’s Liquid Amber imprint, Benji Illgen, aka Mophono, formerly known as DJ Centipede, is a forward-thinking producer who makes beat-driven music that pushes genre boundaries and is at the cutting edge of the modern electronic scene. He frequently uses vintage analog gear to make new sounds, and his style is, as he puts it, “like driving a vintage European sportscar through a futuristic Tron soundscape.”
On this release, you will hear a variety of unworldly sounds mashed against a mix of loud, distorted rock drums and vintage drum machine beats. Mophono draws from a wide variety of influences including the musique concréte of early 20th century Parisian composers like Pierre Henry, early Jamaican dub recordings, and artists like Portishead, Laurie Anderson, Squarepusher, and DJ Premier. XLR8R called lead single “VL MONO” “a smorgasbord of sci-fi bleeps, coarse sound design, and unrecognisable samples,” and the rest of the EP is similarly frenetic, from the chanting and frantic melodies of “FLOTSAM” to the disjointed beats of “THIZZ BITS.”
Like DJ Shadow, Mophono is from the Bay area, and has been a staple of the music scene there since the early 00s, where he ran the infamous weekly party Change The Beat for many years, alongside fellow resident DJs The Gaslamp Killer and Citizen Ten. During that time they took the sound of LA’s post-Dilla beat movement and mixed it with the free-spirited philosophy of San Francisco, creating self-styled “psychedelic insanity.” Mophono has played alongside countless DJs who he brought in for Change The Beat nights, including Bonobo, Diplo, Amon Tobin, Squarepusher, and Nightmares On Wax. He also was responsible for booking Low End Theory staples like Flying Lotus, Eprom, and NastyNasty for some of their first shows outside of LA.
‘M.O.3’ EP Tracklist:
1. VL MONO
2. THIZZ BITS
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