Boomkat Product Review:
An unmissable invitation to peruse the poetically oneiric music of Benjamin Lew, extended by two of Belgium’s finest labels; Stroom and Crammed Discs.
Compiled by Brecht Van Dingenen and Ziggy Devriendt, ‘Le Personnage Principal Est un Peuple Isolé’ unfurls a sublime drift through Benjamin Lew’s singular sound world, where crystalline, analog computerised electronics meet a plethora of instrumental voices from the early ‘80s Belgian firmament; including among them his Tuxedomoon collaborator Steven Brown and Blaine L. Reininger, plus Vini Reilly, Marc Hollander, Samy Birnbach and many more. We long suspected that Stroom would apply their expert curatorial skills to Lew’s oeuvre and it’s safe to say the results do not disappoint, surveying Lew’s music in all it’s stately, esoetric, and worldly splendour. Purchasing this LP will make your life 100% more sophisticated, we practically guarantee.
“Benjamin Lew was an enlightened amateur, in the noble and almost Renaissance-like sense of the word: he dabbled with equal grace in photography, writing, visual arts ... and worked part-time as a cocktail mixer in a tropical bar which was one of the favourite watering holes of Brussels’ thriving artistic community of the early ‘80s. Tuxedomoon had just moved to Brussels, and Steven Brown was among the many musicians, designers & artists who patronized the bar. Benjamin had a secret passion: he wasn’t a musician, but had acquired a small analog computer, with which he had started creating these strange mysterious little pieces. Benjamin played them to Steven and asked him if he’d agree to record with him. Steven was taken with them and accepted. The Douzième Journée was largely created in the studio by both protagonists, with the help of Gilles Martin and myself, in the spring of ‘82. Listening to his albums (he went on to record four more with Crammed) is like embarking on a dream journey to the Sahara or the Far East. You’d think that some of the pieces feature non-European musicians or samples but: no... this is just Benjamin’s imagination, his synths, and his friends…” Marc Hollander, Feb. 2019”