Imagine Bernie Worrell jammin’ on a Gameboy, and you’re kind of close to the unique sound of Ben Butler & Mouse Pad. Taking cues from chip-tune, jazz-funk, video games, electro (old and new), 80’s soundtracks, progressive rock and years of formal piano lessons, it references lots of music from the past but sounds like it only could have come from the present.
Ben Butler & Mouse Pad is essentially the work of one man, Joe Howe. Having previously produced an album for the Scottish indie guru Momus (Joemus) and been a part of the Glasgow-based art-spazz electro/trash duo Gay Against You, BB&MP sees Joe focusing on the music he loves the most. Heavily influenced by the Scandinavian Skwee scene, and filtered through his uber lo-fi set up of two tiny keyboards and a laptop, it’s synthy, it’s dirty and it’s ridiculously funky to boot. This guy is like a Herbie Hancock for the Scott Pilgrim generation.
So I should get the nepotism aspect out of the way - I sang the vocal on Ben Butler & Mouse Pad’s debut single “Infinite Capacity (For Love)”, which was released on LOAF in the UK and online in November of last year. But I really don’t care - I would write about Ben Butler even if he hated my guts, as he and his music are the absolute shit. Other vocalists on the upcoming debut album include the main man again, Momus and San Fransiscan rapper Hawnay Troof. You can listen to “Infinite Capacity (For Love)”, with remixes form Dam Mantle, Fulgeance and Dolby Anol, over on Niallism. In the meantime, here’s a video for ‘Supermotion’ made by Charlotte Carden and Gavin Laing:
Ben Butler & Mouse Pad are currently touring the States as support act for the equally awesome Deerhoof. If you get a chance to check out one of these shows, then do. A full list of tour dates are here.
Infinite Capacity (For Love) EP is available now to download via Amazon.co.uk.
There are more releases for sale or just listening on the BB&MP Bandcamp, including the recently released Worm EP, recorded at Worm/CEM Studios, Rotterdam, June 2010 on all analog gear.