Review of 2004–2009 by THEM (Benjamin Siebert and Frank Naumann)
Benjamin Siebert, aka BenadDicted, has produced a prolific body of work over the past decade. He specialises in bleak yet quirky electronica that shifts across a rollercoaster of moods on each album. Siebert is a home studio hero; instrumental in the mixing, producing, re-mastering and re-releasing long out-of-print underground music through his label Cathedral Music.
The final recordings that make up THEM was a side project alongside his BenadDicted work. This is the product of a long series of nocturnal jams between Siebert and Frank Naumann. The best of these recordings have been mixed down into a deluxe package of four discs presented in a vinyl-sized case. The bare packaging works well with the music’s consistent minimal sound.
Both parties link well to produce synthesised heady, beat dominated works that are complimented and emphasized by a minimal palette of sounds. They used an Electribe MX and Reason with a Yamaha MG 10/2 as mixing board. A modern day psychedelia permeates the album, rhythms shift across loops and soundscapes. Distorted noise, bongo beats, 70s synthesizers and angry samples are used to catapult tracks into different areas and shift mood accordingly. Siebert’s mixing and rearranging of the tracks demonstrates his usual excellent attention to detail. The fourth disc is made of a lot more challenging compositions and is by far the best.
Listening to THEM seems to work best late at night, it’s great as a soundtrack to reading and surfing the web. The music comes alive to visuals; it is even further complimented by being involved in something else. This album is a vessel, an impressive night’s soundtrack waiting to happen.
THEM Bandcamp: https://them0409.bandcamp.com/merch/4cd-box-set.