Percussionist and producer Ben Sloan looks set to continue his confident step out into the spotlight with an incoming second release, the EP ‘muted colors live’, due 27th October via NY’s New Amsterdam Records. Sloan’s decade plus as collaborator and contributor, drumming with the likes of Moses Sumney, Beth Orton, WHY? and The National, may hint at his musical range and rhythmic sixth sense but his solo debut from the beginning of the year revealed much more.
The ’Muted Colors’ album was a stunner on all fronts. Deeply personal but emotionally outgoing, intriguingly experimental but never obscure, genre fluid but always coherent, it rightly pulled in the plaudits. Spun from audio-memoirs of sessions, live recordings, jams, field recording and voice messages, Sloan wove together tunes with an alt-pop shimmer suspended in an inventive percussive web.
Aside from input by Sumney, WHY? drum buddy Josiah Wolf and Dirty Projectors’ Felicia Douglas, the album was distinctly solo and it’s that singularity which has inspired the approach taken on the ‘muted colors live’ EP. Now Sloan has decided ‘to open things up to a full ensemble’ and revisit three of the tracks from his debut album at a time of added poignancy. The recording of this new live session marked a farewell chance to play with friends on his goodbye to Cincinatti before a move west to Denver .
No surprise then that ‘Philistine’ the audio-visual signpost to the full ‘muted colors live’ release crackles with a communal momentum, all intuitively preserved in Biz Young’s honest and crisply natural live filming. From pensive flutters to a widescreen Celtic sweep, from searching jazz voices to snatches of post-rock release, it’s a song that reignites the original with probing new perspectives. Somehow ‘muted colors live’ feels like it’s going to be much more than an epilogue.
Pre-order your copy of ‘muted colors live‘ by Ben Sloan from New Amsterdam Records HERE
Watch full live video from the ‘muted colors live’ session on New Amsterdam Records YouTube Channel from 27th October HERE