Brydon Bolton (double bass), Alex Bozas (guitar), Ross Campbell (drums)
Benguela have been playing improvised music together for over fifteen years and have just successfully crowd funded their 5th full length album, due for release in early 2014. Every show they play is a spur of the moment creative cesspool that straddles both the ambient and angular. Their collaboration with Tony Cox won the SAMA award for Best Instrumental Album. They have also collaborated with cultural anarchist Koos Kombuis and internationally renowned poet Breyten Breytenbach. They have played most of the music festivals around the country more than once, including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Oppikoppi, Splashy Fen, Up The Creek and the Standard Bank Grahamstown Arts Festival as part of the New Music Indaba.
The name ‘Benguela’ was taken from the cold current running up the West Coast of Southern Africa and reflects both the flowing nature of the music as well as being geographically representative of where the band came together and the climate in which they live.
“People think of improvised music as Jazz because it has been marketed as Jazz. A lot of performers you can’t classify get put into Jazz, but Jazz has a style, rules and common practices, and Jazz musicians improvise within those boundaries. Improvised music - true improvised music goes beyond that. It has no preordained language. It entirely creates it’s own form and genre. It just creates, which is beautiful. What’s interesting about an improvising band is that everyone in it is changing all the time, listening to new music, seeing new things, experiencing new emotions, developing.. so your perspective on life is changing. And because you’re never playing the same chords or singing the same lyrics, you’re never acting: it’s always a true and immediate expression of who you are.”
BRYDON BOLTON (Double Bass) has recorded and performed with many projects including Hilton Schilder, Robbie Jansen, Bomvu, Fred Kuit & Kopano, Blacky Swart, Frank Mallows (Adamastor), Chris Letcher & Matthew v.d. Want, Niklas Zimmer, ‘ELX’ with the late great trumpeter Alex Van Heerden and together with Derek Gripper as the Sagtevlei trio, has scored the music for Jackie Job’s dance “Spirit” which toured to Dusseldorf and has more recently been touring world wide with Yael Farber's “Mies Julie”. He has recorded with his own Brydon Bolton Trio and the critically acclaimed Acoustic Knot with Mark Fransman. He teaches double bass at the Beau Soleil music center.
ALEX BOZAS (Guitar), Sound man and professional photographer by trade, he has been in and out of the music scene around South Africa for many years. Starting with the Mike Smith band in Durban in the late eighties, The Zap Dragons in Cape Town around ‘94 who recorded a single “hard and heavy” and shot a video for it’s release. The Dynamics around ‘95 who released an album “Organic” and with Mark Harris performing as ‘Cool Bananas’. Alex also performed in and created the soundscapes for Jackie Job’s dance production “Daai ZA Lady”.
ROSS CAMPBELL (Drums) has been recording and touring with bands since the late 80’s. Celtic Rumours, Landscape Prayers, Urban Creep, Fetish have all released critically acclaimed albums, three of them nominated for SAMA awards. He’s worked for Sheer Sound Record Company and set up his own record label under the name ‘Open Record’ which released albums by Derek Gripper and Felix Laband. He currently plays drums with Farryl Purkiss, Coal and Simon & The Bande À Part. www.myspace.com/campbellross
"By the time the band bring the album to a close with Spitzkop, it has become clear that Benguela have recorded one of the finest South African albums of 2010." - Lloyd Gedye (M&G)
"The stuff of headphone reverie." - Mikedotcom (Muse Mag)
"as likely to be dark, dense and churning as ramblingly, languorously, billowingly atmospheric" - Richard Haslop
"fuck me with the still-frozen head of Walt Disney – the new Benguela CD is stupendously good!" - Brandon Edmonds (Mahala)
Benguela: Sui/Chopsui (Open Record) “The latest from these Capetonian rhythm rebels is a humdinger, a smorgasbord of beats, riffs, intense grooves, melodic signatures and musical textures, all carefully captured on one of the most atmospheric albums of the year.” - Pretoria News review by Craig Canavan
“Benguela’s sound is an atmospheric, uncompromisingly adventurous fusion of constantly shifting elements..”. “Allow Digital Inability to work it’s magic, and you won’t be able to get enough.” - James Garner (Big Issue) 8/10
“Spine chilling. The combined forces of the Benguela threesome create heart-core, deep listening music that bestows the ultimate respect on the listener by allowing them to wander freely through the sound field without prescribing a melody or beat to them.” “Digital Inability is a victory of improvisation and experimentation.” - James Webb (SL magazine) 5/5
“Listening to jazzy post-rock improvisational trio Benguela’s latest album is like reading the Kama-Sutra while watching Mulholland Drive - a melding of the cerebral and the visceral.” - Miles Keylock (GQ) Album Of The Month