Boomkat Product Review:
Ben Vida follows an acclaimed run of solo recordings on the Shelter Press label and collaborations with Marina Rosenfeld with this delectably low-key set of undulating rhythmic experiments. Like Jan Jelinek or Andrew Pekler buried in an underwater cave, it's deceptively simple music that rewards the deepest listeners.
Dusty and hard to define, "Rhythms Fields" is another winner from NYC mainstay Ben Vida. While he began his musical career performing in bands, at this stage anything resembling traditional rock forms has been dissolved completely, leaving traces, breaths and gentle suggestion. This six-track set explores rhythmic territory, but there are often only vague gestures towards any kind of drums. Rather, Vida sets out to make subtly shifting rhythmic variations from unusual loops, letting our perception of the repetition create the beat.
Sometimes these moments are completely textural, conjuring an almost dubby soundscape ('RF1'), while other tracks are more obviously percussive. 'RF3' for example, sounds like the grinding gears of a machine or a ticking clock, while 'RF4' sounds like traditional wooden percussion. But whatever the source, it's Vida's distinctive looping that grabs our attention, as he shifts the emphasis and creates aural illusions, tricking the brain into creating its own rhythms. The result is hypnotic and completely engrossing - Vida doesn't need much, but his deep understanding of sound and technique allows him to create magical universes of clanging, groaning gorgeousness. If Czech animator Jan Švankmejer's "Alice" were to have a soundtrack, this would be quite perfect.