Ben is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist songwriter and composer based in both London (UK) and Berlin (Germany). He has released 28 (twenty-eight) full-length albums' worth of Pop, Folk, Rock, Progressive Rock, Neoclassical Music and anything in between.
Ben has composed music for The Gate Films (BBC, Sony, McDonalds, Kellogs, Unilever, Hoover, Barclays), Tsunami Music (Audi, Coca Cola, Warner Bros, Saatchi & Saatchi, Honda, Sky), The Sound Works (Siemens, BT, Goodyear, Canon, Sainsbury's, MTV), Cosmo Wallace (Panasonic, Simply Be, SPCA, Jacamo, Ubisoft), the Photolink Creative Group, Sweet Thunder Productions, Karmaloop TV, the EDUCAUSE association, unfiltered.tv, the Ed Tech podcasts, Transfodesign and many others.
Ben's music has been featured in several hundred TV productions around the world.
In addition, Ben works as a recording artist with the Magnatune and Vandala Concepts labels in the U.S. and Canada.
Songwriting awards and related accolades include:
** "Architects of Time" album nominated for BEST FOREIGN RECORD at the international 2010 Prog Awards
** Runner-Up in the 2010 Tennessee Concerts Song Contest, Nashville, with the song "Where The Wild Things Are"
** Finalist in the 2010 Great American Song Contest with the song "Where The Wild Things Are"
** Finalist in the 2010 Great American Song Contest with the song "We Fell Away"
** Finalist in the 2010 international songwriting competition Expose Yourself with the song "Your Eyes Are Like Fire"
** Finalist in the 2010 Show Me The Music international songwriting competition with the song "Fissile Isle"
** Finalist in the 2010 Show Me The Music international songwriting competition with the song "Where The Wild Things Are"
** 2 Honorable Mentions in the Nashville songwriting contest SongDoor 2009 for the songs "A Small Selection Of Things" and "Your Eyes Are Like Fire"
** Honorable Mention in the 2010 Great Lakes Songwriting Contest for the song "Time To Go"
** Semi-Finalist in the 2010 Song of the Year songwriting contest with the song "Architects of Time"
** Semi-finalist in the 2010 UK Songwriting Contest with the song "Until The Coast Is Clear" (also "Song of the Day" on FM 102X Radio in June 2010)
** Artist of the Month on the Italian Music Blog Anakina Musica
Over the years, Ben played several hundred live performances and was picked up by magazines and broadsheet newspapers around the world, such as IAE - I Am Entertainment Magazine, Lipstik Indie music magazine, Inanna Naked magazine, Skope Magazine, Music Now on Junior's Cave, Wildy's World, LaserDog's Music Hour, Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal Magazine, Merlin Prog, the Progarchives and the Next Music Blog. Two of Ben's albums are also featured in "the bible of progressive music" - Progression Magazine. He was also one of the artists selected for the "Hot Seat" feature presented by L.A. A&R veteran Holly Hutchison (Capitol Records and Atlantic Records).
Songs from the 27 albums have been played on terrestrial radio stations (SWR, RPR, Rockland Radio, Germany) and on a large number of internet radio stations, e.g. Gen X Radio, KTEP radio El Paso, Progressive Positivity Radio, the Amazing Folk and Roots Radio Show, Rhubarb Radio, Insomnia Radio UK, Maximum Threshold, the progressive fusion radio show Dancing About Architecture, The Songwriter's Network, Indie 104 Radio LA, Breakaway Radio, Pongid Radio, Radio Crystal Blue, Banana Peel Radio, Air Scarab, Indie Life Radio, Leaf Pile Radio, Underworld Mix Radio, BandRadio, Radio Rock Cafe, AiiRadio, mvyradio and many, many more. They have also been featured multiple times on some of the most highly rated music podcasts in the world, including the Prog'opolis Podcast, the Dark Compass podcast, the Indie Launchpad podcast and the DigiVegas podcast. Ben is also a participating artist of the Audiosyncracy podcasts and radio shows.
Live instrumentation: acoustic guitar and/or piano
Studio instrumentation: piano, guitar, bagpipes, mandolin, violin, double bass, flutes, percussion, saxophone
(1) The masters of calculated noise
(2) Dry Hard
(3) Ben Rusch I
(4) Ben Rusch II
(5) Tales From The Troglodyte I
(6) Tales From The Troglodyte II
(8) (K)einen Schritt Weiter
(9) Ballads Soaked In Whiskey
(11) The Schopp Concert
(12) Grale for Sale
(14) sBENt II
(15) sBENt, the Third
(17) OH, YES!!
(18) "4" - an instrumental album
(19) The story of what happened on the day when the girl in the blue dress decided to stand alone in the rain
(20) Architects of Time
(21) How About Now?
(22) Sonic Graffiti
(23) The Truth Of All Love
(24) Acoustic Levitation
(25) A Definitive Collection of Lucid Dreams
I will love you for a long time because you're holy
Where The Wild Things Are
We Fell Away
Out of Time
In a thousand years
Until the coast is clear
Hand Me A Jet Pack
Time to go
Until The End Of Days
How Long Must I Wait Until The Ocean
The Ballads Are Soaked In Whisky
And She My Vision Will Again Be Known
Your Eyes Are Like Fire
In Loneliness And Wine
The Pop Diva Trajectory
The Cool Fugue (instrumental)
Fugue for three pianos (instrumental)
Blues with a (B) minor twist
Riding on horizontal lightning bolt
Tiger with tail on fire chases after antilope
I will love you for a long time because you're holy (instrumental version)
Where the wild things are
In Digital Ink
The Most Tender Embrace
Intriguing, gorgeous, wonderful, brilliant and highly inventive
[+ Show ]
Ben Rusch is a London-based award-winning singer/songwriter. You might not have heard of him if you ...Ben Rusch is a London-based award-winning singer/songwriter. You might not have heard of him if you don’t live in Western Europe, but he’s cranked out 16 full-length albums as an Indie artist, won or nearly won several major songwriting awards, and enjoys extensive radio airplay in Germany. Rusch draws on a wealth of influences and perspectives to create nuanced, balanced Rock N Roll that not only entertains and provides great melody but also tells a story. Nowhere is this clearer than on Rusch’s latest effort, Oh, Yes!!
Rusch opens with Fissile Isle, featuring an intriguing piano-based Rock sound that's not too many steps removed from Ben Folds. The low-energy vocal style is a matter of necessity for Rusch, but works perfectly with his non-conventional writing style. The Daily Mail displays so highly inventive song construction and a brilliant keyboard solo during the bridge. The Daily Mail might not grab you on the first listen but will keep picking at you with each successive spin. Ray By Ray is an absolutely gorgeous tune framed by piano and guitar. These two instruments create a safe space for a melody that will haunt your subconscious to come out and play. It's a love song that eschews current trends and revisits love as a romantic concept in terms of time and place.
Ode To Your Body is a brainy love song, ala Big Bang Theory. This song is ridiculously catchy. As Good As It Gets will sound familiar to anyone who’s ever involved with someone whom you've suspected is secretly psychotic. Lost any time lately? This song will frighten you. Metaphor Pilot is a love song ensconced in deep imagery that doesn't neglect the more difficult aspects of love and relationships. The song is wonderfully written.
The Lament of Catskin Arnold is a collegial lament for the prodigal son, where the family is the cast of characters at the local pub. The Ghost Of You Is In The Heart Of Me is a highly personal and literate memoriam in song. It's the Poet Laureate of Indie Rock at his most explicit. Maud's Ecstasy At The High School is a transcendent song. Rusch casts aside the petty whims of genre to create magic. This is one of those tunes you never shake; twenty years from now you'll be walking down the street somewhere and this melody will suddenly run through your head. You might not remember who Ben Rusch is or where the song came from, but the song is utterly brilliant. Rusch gets inside what might have been the crowning moment in one woman's young life with a prescience that's mystifying.
Rusch hits a wonderfully angular sound reminiscent of Ben Folds on Parachute Of Sound before sliding into a satire of the "American Idol" culture and the one-dimensional pop stars it engenders on The Pop Diva Trajectory. Rusch is too smart for his own good and funny to boot (and it's not a bad arrangement either!). The next two songs might indicate a serious penchant for the band Yes. Bass Guitars in Heaven finds Rusch channeling Chris Squire on what sounds like a Yes outtake. The End Of Time features Steve Howe-style guitar work in rhythmic pop tune about how to spend the waning moments of life. It's a great listen. Rusch winds things up with The Masochist Song, a humorous tidbit from a wonderfully disturbed mind. This one dances right over the edge of novelty, but it's definitely worth dancing on the edge for.
Ben Rusch brings high-brow Pop music to the fore with a collection of stultifying and illuminating songs on Oh, Yes!!. Rusch manages to build things up even as he tears them down, taking things apart and song and subtly rearranging them in your understanding. Humor, intelligence and deviously good song craft inform the process in one of most original albums I've had the honor to listen to lately. Make sure Oh, Yes!! is on your to-do list.
Finalist, 2010 international songwriting contest "Expose Yourself"
[+ Show ]
Ben is a unique and noteworthy multi talented artist, song writer, composer, lyricist, arranger, sin...Ben is a unique and noteworthy multi talented artist, song writer, composer, lyricist, arranger, singer and multi-instrumentalist. His sound is unique, interesting and intelligent in a world of bland.
Ben is a unique contrast to many musicians that feel they must follow the well beaten path , instead Ben goes off-road and forges his own path guided by his heart we suspect. Based in London, UK, Ben has 19 releases…that’s correct 19, no one has ever accused Ben of being short of musical ideas.
His music is hard to describe - its a melange of classical, contemporary, rock, theater score and more. Ben’s musical education comes through loudly and clearly with complex and interesting arrangements and timing in all his work. Comparison is almost impossible. We urge you to check out Ben Rusch at his website to check out his indescribably good music. Ben Rusch is a true “Music Man” and well liked here at the Review Posse.
Also be sure to get Ben’s new release “Time” available at Amazon.com -> Time
Visit Ben at his website -Ben Rusch
Video Below: Ben Rusch – Your Eyes Are Like Fire
Amazing, impressive, unique, unforgettable - absolutely wonderful
[+ Show ]
Ben is a songwriter and composer based in London (UK). His songs embrace and blend a broad spectrum ...Ben is a songwriter and composer based in London (UK). His songs embrace and blend a broad spectrum of musical genres - Indie / Progressive Rock / Pop / Folk / Jazz, as well as classical music. His principal instruments are the piano and guitar, and he plays a number of other instruments on his recordings, including the mandolin, the bagpipes, percussion, double
bass and saxophone.
Two of Ben's songs received honorable mentions in the international songwriting contest SongDoor 2009; with his former band Wet Desert, Ben was a finalist in the German Rock Music Competition, won Second Prize in the Southern German Rock Music Competition, as well as First Prize in the South-Western German Rock Music Contest. As a classical pianist, Ben won
two first regional prizes in the national young musicians classical music competition (Germany), as well as two awards from the city of Kaiserslautern, Germany for outstanding achievement in the performance of contemporary classical music. At Oxford University, Ben held the Sir
Adrian Boult instrumental scholarship for two years.
Over the years, Ben has played several hundred live performances and written 16 (yes, sixteen, no joke) full-length albums, of which “OH, YES!!”, the most recent, is for sale on iTunes, amazon.com and other major online music stores worldwide. Ben's music has been picked up by music magazines (Inanna Naked magazine, Wildy's World, LaserDog's Music Hour), played on major radio stations in Germany (SWR, RPR, Rockland Radio) and on internet radio stations (e.g. The Songwriter's Network, Indie 104 Radio LA, Breakaway Internet Radio, Pongid Radio, Radio Crystal Blue, Banana Peel Radio, Indie Life Radio, Leaf Pile Radio, Underworld Mix Radio,
BandRadio, IM Radio) around the world.
And now that you have the picture painted of the incredibly talented Ben Rusch, let's give his newest album Oh, Yes!! a listen shall we?
1. Fissle Isle
2. Until the coast is clear
3. The Daily Mail
4. Ray by Ray
5. Ode to your body
6. I'm still here (at least I think so)
7. As good as it gets (the Wicked Witch of the West)
8. Blue Forest
9. Pop Diva Trajectory
10. The Lament of Catskin Arnold
11. Parachute of Sound
12. Bass Guitars in Heaven
13. Maud's Ecstasy At the High School Prom
14. Metaphor Pilot
15. The ghost of you is the heart of of me
16. The End of Time
17. The masochist song
Oh yes!! is a very creative and interesting approach at a classical/rock album that has me listening over and over again trying to hear the elements that have been tastefully used through out this creative piece. Most notable, not to mention most impressively, is the use of break beat styled rhythms and dissonance chords to really hype up the dramatic presence of the song. The 60's psychedelics, the 70's heart of rock and roll, the 80's synth pop, and the 90's grunge and rock all make unique appearances throughout the album. The most impressive part of all these different genres mixed in to one album is the fact that they all sound very unique to Ben's impressive and finely honed playing styles. Is there nothing this man can't do? Not to mention the wide array of instruments used through out, including electric guitar, classical guitar, piano, bass, synths, bag pipes, and mandolin to name a few.
With some songs being much more progressive then others, the use of chorus is no longer needed as Ben Rusch's unforgettable voice will be stuck in your mind. Tracks like Ray by Ray are beautiful ballads that don't need a catchy hook as the entirety of the song forms something the binds to the memory with its clarity and beauty. With that said, the chorus for Fissile Isle is forever implanted in my mind. It's also impressive to note that their are 17 tracks that are all very different from one another, yet still make up one very solid piece.
The lyrical content of the album will definitely make an impact on you. Ben's very creative and artsy lyrics provide a whole new level to the album. With a very Pink Floyd ( circa Syd Barret ) styled voice, the lyrical content isn't far off either. Imagery, symbolism, and at the same time some very straight to the point lyrics make this a colourful album to listen to.
The con of this album, and I only have one, is that this album would have exploded with success if it would have been released earlier in a more relevant time for his genre(s) of music. Having said that, it is an absolutely wonderful piece and I enjoyed listening to it very much. I hope it gets the attention it deserves, as art this well polished should be delivered to everyone's door step for an amazing combination of something new and something old.
If you wish to purchase Oh, yes!! by Ben Rusch, it is made available at iTunes, amazon, Rhapsody, LALA, ShockHound, eMusic, LimeWire, Napster, Nokia Music Store, etc, worldwide for $9.99 CAN or $6.99 US.
Make sure you check out his website http://benrusch.com
If you wish to contact Ben Rusch, feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Technically astounding and melodically beautiful - absolute musical genius
[+ Show ]
Architects of Time couldn’t be a better title for this album. Technically astounding and melodically...Architects of Time couldn’t be a better title for this album. Technically astounding and melodically beautiful, Rusch has crafted something on his own that is rarely reached by an entire band. Rusch sets his own style, that has influence of a variety of genre, yet doesn’t really fall anywhere. It goes from Jazz, to prog, to something that West End theatre would make millions from.
Time signature changes and numerous instruments intertwining [...] absolute musical genius. Nothing on this album is constant, meaning that everything is a small surprise that keeps you listening intently...
Rusch won’t appeal to your run of the mill pop music fan, but those with an interest in the depth and variety of music in existence will be amazed by this album.
Spannende Spurensuche (German press)
[+ Show ]
Die musikalische Welt des "Wet Desert"-Gründers Benjamin Rusch ist vielfältig. Ungewöhnliche Musi...Die musikalische Welt des "Wet Desert"-Gründers Benjamin Rusch ist vielfältig.
Ungewöhnliche Musiker produzieren ungewöhnliche CDs. Der aus der Pfalz stammende, heute in England lebende Komponist und Musiker Benjamin Rusch (einst bei "Wet Desert") hat im Juli seine erste offizielle CD vorgelegt. Und wie es zu erwarten war: Die 13 extravaganten Titel auf "Time" fallen auf hohem Niveau aus jeglichem erwartbaren stilistischen Rahmen. Genau das macht diese nicht alltägliche Produktion so spannend.
Anhänger der allzu leichten Muse werden wenig Freude an der Scheibe haben. Er es indes ein bisschen anspruchsvoller (und dennoch unterhaltsam) mag, liegt hier genau richtig. Dabei ist man in keinem Stück auf einen bestimmten Stil festgelegt; reichlich Folk, ein bisschen Indie-Sound und ein paar Rockanleihen, stellenweise auch ein wenig Weltmusik, dazu hier und da sogar mittelalterlich anmutende Klänge und immer wieder Avancen an die klassische Musik – typischer mehrdimensionaler Rusch-Stil eben. Der wird nie langweilig, offenbart umso mehr Facetten, je öfter und intensiver man sich in die reizvollen Verwinkelungen der Titel hinein begibt.
Bemerkenswert ist dabei, dass Ben Rusch absolut alles, von der Komposition bis zu Aufnahme, selbst gemacht hat. Vor allem hat er auch sämtliche Instrumente im Studio nacheinander eingespielt, die eigene Singstimme (oft mehrfach) hinzugefügt und das Ergebnis sauber abgemischt. Das klingt dann manchmal wie ein ganzes Orchester plus Chor.
Durchweg eigenwillige und komplexe Nummern finden sich auf der neuen CD.
Dabei wirkt interessanterweise trotz der Vielzahl an Einflüssen und Tonspuren nichts unsauber zusammengezwungen. Dem steht allein schon das schiere Kompositionstalent Ruschs entgegen und darüber hinaus die ebenfalls nicht alltägliche Gabe des Hineinfühlens in Aussagekraft und Zusammenpassen von vordergründig ganz unterschiedlichen Komponenten. Rusch bemüht sich bewusst um diese Abrundung nach außen und innen: Seine Musik, so sagt er, solle keinesfalls eine "Fusion mit dem Vorschlaghammer" sein. Das ist ihm gelungen.
Schon das erste Stück hat es in sich. "Nocturnal Flight" beginnt mit extra-tiefem Bass-Gesang und geht über in polyphone Klavier-Soli. Die findet man so in der Unterhaltungsmusik kaum (noch), womit prompt einkompositorisch unerwarteter und dann auch virtuos gesetzter Höhepunkt erreicht wird.
Auch die treffende Aussage von Melodien ist Rusch wichtig. in "6 am" etwa repräsentieren verschlungene Jazzharmonien und ruhige Gitarrenlinien die noch herrschende Verschlafenheit eines frühen Morgens. Am Ende ist der frische Morgen gänzlich erwacht, und die Melodie om Anfang erscheint jetzt flott und vital.
So ließe sich nun jedes Stück auf dieser komplexen Scheibe interpretieren und man könnte jeweils den durchweg eigenwilligen musikalischen Spuren des jungen Komponisten bis ins Detail nachspüren. Man würde auf unorthodoxe Taktwechsel (in der Nummer "Your eyes are like fire") auf wenig gebräuchliche Instrumente (Tin Whistle in "Silence") und sprachlich fast schon literarische Qualitäten erreichende englische Texte stoßen.
A propos Sprache: Die ist nun einerseits tadellos in Grammatik und Ausdruck (wen wunderts, schließlich arbeitet Rusch seit Jahren hauptberuflich als Anwalt im Vereinigten Königreich), andererseits auch oft sehr phantasievoll und gehaltvolle Ideen transportierend. Thematisch geht es da schon mal ganz realistisch um die Finanzkrise ("Hobo´s Brief Moment of Moral Victory") und einigermaßen nachdenklich machend um den besonnen Umgang beim drohenden Weltuntergang ("Last Picnic"). Einmal wird sogar auch ganz märchenhaft –surreal von der Rettung einer gefangenen Seele berichtet. Dabei spielen wilde "Oger"-Ungeheuer genau so eine Rolle wie (als Bestechungsmittel) guter Pfälzer Weißwein. Man sieht: Ganz gleich, wo man sich aufhält und was man tut – so ganz lässt einen die Heimat nie los. Prädikat der Scheibe: empfehlenswert.
CD: "Time" gibt´s bei amazon.de, iTunes und MEmusic (www.memusic.metro.co.uk) zum Runterladen Weitere Informationen und Hörbeispiele unter www.benrusch.com
Featured Artist Of The Month (Italy)
[+ Show ]
ARTISTA SELEZIONATO - Marzo 2010: Ben Rusch. Questo mese ho il piacere di presentarvi davvero un gra...ARTISTA SELEZIONATO - Marzo 2010: Ben Rusch. Questo mese ho il piacere di presentarvi davvero un grande cantautore e compositore, residente a Londra, ma di origini tedesche, e che ha all'attivo ben 18 album.
Ben Rusch è un artista dalle influenze eclettiche che spaziano da pop, folk, jazz alla musica classica, ma sempre con una base di musica rock, che lui esegue dal vivo principalmente con il piano e la chitarra. Ma Ben suona moltissimi altri strumenti, che troviamo nei suoi album, come il mandolino, la cornamusa, le percussioni, violino, flauto, sassofono e il doppio basso.
Numerosissimi i riconoscimenti ottenuti nella sua carriera, tra cui uno dei più recenti è la menzione d'onore al concorso internazionale di cantautorato SongDoor 2009. Ben è anche stato finalista nella German Rock Music Competition, ha vinto il secondo premio nella Southern German Rock Music Competition e ha vinto il South-West german Rock Music Contest. In passato ha vinto due volte il primo premio regionale nel concorso per giovani musicisti di musica classica e ha ricevuto due premi dalla città tedesca di Kaiserslautern per gli eccellenti risultati nell'esecuzione della musica classica contemporanea.
La sua preparazione musicale vanta due anni all'università di Oxford sotto la guida di Sir Adrian Boult.
Inoltre Ben in tutta la sua carriera ha suonato a centinaia di concerti ed è stato recensito da magazine di tutto il mondo, tra cui Lipstick Indie, Inanna Naked, Skope Magazine, Music Now in Junior's Cave, Wildy's World, LaserDog's Music Hour, Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal Magazine, Merlin Prog e Next Music Blog. Recentemente è stato riportato nell'IAE Magazine e due suoi album saranno recensiti nella prossima edizione del Progressive Magazine, che è considerato la bibbia della musica progressive.
Nel 2010 Ben Rusch è già stato presentato come band della settimana nella Leaf Pile Radio (marzo), artista della settimana su NRG Theory Management e Music Now, sempre su Junior's Cave (febbraio).
La sua musica che stata e tuttora è in onda sulle principali radio terresti tedesche (SWR, PRP, Rockland Radio) e in numerosissime webradio e podcast.
In questi ultimi giorni Ben ha terminato il suo diciottesimo album. Si tratta di un lavoro strumentale, il terzo della sua carriera, questa volta però eseguito solo col pianoforte. Esso è costituito concettualmente da quattro parti da cui deriva il titolo "4". Il genere varia da musica neoclassica al tipo di musica ambiente che ricorda le colonne sonore di un film. Sicuramente un'opera notevole.
Ben Rusch però è autore di diversi album in cui ci delizia anche con la sua voce, sicuramente particolare e con uno stile decisamente alternative, che sicuramente cattura con facilità gli amanti del genere, e non solo, e che li porta ad ascoltarlo ancora ed ancora.
The OH, YES!! album - original, genial, musical indulgence - 5/5 stars
[+ Show ]
Is this album the best thing since sliced bread? No, because sliced bread has never been anywhere ne...Is this album the best thing since sliced bread? No, because sliced bread has never been anywhere near as good as this.
With this album, Ben Rusch, musician/genius extraordinaire, reaches the latest peak in his musical journey.
'Fissile Isle' kicks off the album strongly, dissonant piano merging with urgent percussion and powerful lyrics as always. After a few humourous and sometimes personal songs, such as 'The Daily Mail', 'Ray by Ray' and 'Ode to Your Body', we reach full blown comedy in the Norwegian Wood-style 'As Good As it Gets', before 'Metaphor Pilot' and the concept-based The Lament of Catskin Arnold take us into a more profound realm of classic sonic beauty, joining 'Maud's Ecstasy At the High School Prom which was also co-written by Anamitra Deb.
As is to be expected with Rusch's work, the harmonies are perfect and multilayered, his knee deep tenor maintaining the depth of his choral style. 'Blue Forest' is a great example of Ben in full Irish jig mode, showcasing his top notch instrumental skills.
'The Ghost of You is the Heart of Me', cowritten by Simon Charlton, is pure musical poetry, the music following the lyrical lead.
Finally, this album has a lot of instrumental work, such as 'Bass Guitars in Heaven', through which you can sense Rusch's playful nature, made even more engaging by his exceptional talent.
If you're looking for real music, for something different that's special and deliciously satisfying, buy this album now.
David Lewis, BBC Worldwide
OH, YES!! Det flotte sveipet gjennom de forskjellige tiårenes mest utpregede artefakter noe som vi applauderer med kraftig applaus (Norwegian)
[+ Show ]
A review in Norwegian by Merlin Prog, member of the Prog Awards Jury ------------------------ En...A review in Norwegian by Merlin Prog, member of the Prog Awards Jury
English Translation kindly contributed by Katerina Cumberland Jacobsen
Ben Rusch - OH, YES!!
Ben Rusch is regarded as one of Tellus's most creative and talented singers/songwriters, and in fact, this album here is his seventeenth. That fact in itself is not necesarily something to write home about, but when the previous 16 albums are of such good quality then you can hardly help but be amazed. More than 60 minutes of quality music is what “Oh, Yes!!” offers. Ben Rusch is a London-based musician who appears to have been completely neglected in our secluded part of the world. That is a criminal omission as the great artist has a huge amount of arrows in his musical quiver that go “smack, smack, smack” when they hit home. For the slower readers amongst you, it means that the music of Rusch hits you right in the heart with all its emotions and feelings. Rusch bases his songwriting on a great number of influences, and both rock, jazz, folk and pop are an integral part of his musical portfolio. They add up to a sharp and interesting musical world, which reveals itself after listening to “Oh, Yes” a couple of times. The main instruments are piano and acustic guitar but on the recordings he uses a much broader selection of instruments. Among others, we count, in deep amazement, the saxophone, mandolin, violin, flutes, bagpipes, double bass and percussion. Truly impressive when it also sounds so good. The title of his first album is also pretty heavy: “The Masters of Calculated Noise”. Ben Rusch uses the chance to tell a story in the various numbers, and it is evident here. Just listen to the text of the fine “Pop Diva Trajectory”, where quite elegantly he takes on the American version of X-factor. Satire at its best and funny in our view, with its extreme scepticism for this programme spiced up perfectly and tastefully. Right on the edge (and beyond it for those who are hidden psycotics) is the song “As good as it gets”, which would frighten the devil himself if you listen to the lyrics. Likewise, if you are in the least bit online you can hear the great variety in instrumentation that enriches this album. The great sweep through the different decades of music is something we applaud greatly. Elements of psychedelic music from the 60's, pure rock from the 70's and grunge from the 90's have been put together into a tasteful whole, which is what makes this artist special. Rusch is also at home in more progressive terrain, and some of the numbers have a lot of progressive elements in them. In his previous album, “Time”, this is particularly evident in the first two numbers. Via this link, you can confirm that for yourself http://benrusch.com/Music.php. “Oh, Yes”, is an album with a lot of creativity and substance, which grows the more you listen to it and the voice of Rusch is really good throughout the album. An album which is often dramatic, and this is developed among others with sharp rhythm and dissonant accords. The album is also very varied and a beautiful piece of music with a fine combination of past and present.
Ulf Backstrøm, creator of Merlin Prog
Ben Rusch – Oh Yes!!
Ben Rusch regnes om en av Tellus sine mest kreative og talentfulle sanger/låtskriver, og er faktisk her ut med sitt album nummer 17. I seg selv er ikke dette nødvendigvis så mye å skive hjem om, men når de 16 foregående jevnt over har hatt god kvalitet kan en knapt annet enn å måpe. Mer enn 60 minutter med kvalitetsmusikk er hva ”Oh, Yes!!” gestalter. Ben Rusch er en Londonbasert musiker som så vidt vi kan skjønne er nærmest totalt neglisjert i vår avskjermede del av verden. Det er en unnlatelsessynd av dimensjoner da denne flotte artisten i sitt musikalske kogger har et utall av piler som sier, ”smack, smack, smack” når de treffer. For de mer tungnemme så betyr det at musikken til Rusch treffer en midt i hjerterota med all dens stemninger og følelser. Rusch baserer sin låtskrivning på et vell av influenser, og både rock, jazz, folk og pop er en integrert del av hans musikalske portefølje. I sum gir dette en ganske så snerten og interessant musikalsk verden som etter noen gangers avspilling av ”Oh, Yes!!” åpenbarer seg for oss. Hovedinstrumentene til Ben Rusch er piano og akustisk gitar, men på innspillingene trår han til med et mye bredere utvalg av instrumenter. Vi kan i fleng og total ydmykhet nevne saksofon, mandolin, fiolin, fløyter, sekkepipe, dobbelbass og perkusjon. I sannhet rimelig imponerende når det også lyder så bra. Tittelen på hans første skive er også ganske heftig, ”The Master Of Calculated Noise”. Som det høyst oppegående menneske Ben Rusch er benytter han sjansen til å fortelle en historie på de respektive skivene sine, og dette er ganske så tydelig på denne skiva. Bare hør på teksten på den ellers så fine låten ” Pop Diva Trajectory” hvor han på en temmelig elegant måte tar et oppgjør med den amerikanske versjonen av ”X-factor”. Satire på sitt beste og en morsom sak hvor vår ekstremt store skepsis for nevnte evenement blir krydret til det fullkomne og ytterst smakfulle sett fra vårt ståsted. På grensen og gjerne over denne hva gjelder de som er skjulte psykotisk syke, er låten ”As Good As Its Gets” som lett kan skremme fanden på flatmark om en følger med. Likeledes om en er litt online i det minste, så må alle merke seg den store spennvidden i instrumentasjon, som beriker dette albumet. Det flotte sveipet gjennom de forskjellige tiårenes mest utpregede artefakter noe som vi applauderer med kraftig applaus. Elementer av psykedelisk musikk fra 60 årene, ren rock fra 70 tallet, og 90 tallets grunge er skrudd sammen til et smakfullt hele som gjør akkurat denne låtskriveren nokså egenartet. Rusch føler seg også hjemme når vi kommer til mer progressivt terreng, og noen av låtene her har mye prog i seg. På hans forrige skive, ”Time” viser de to første låtene denne holdningen til fulle. Via denne linken kan dette ved ”selvhør” bekreftes, http://benrusch.com/Music.php . ”Oh, Yes!!” er et album med masse kreativitet og essens som vokser ytterlige når det får tid i spilleren, og stemmen til Rusch er virkelig god gjennom hele albumet. Et album som ofte er dramatisk stenket, og denne tilstand utmeisels med blant annet med snerten rytmikk og dissonant akkorder. Skiva er også meget bra variert, og er et vakkert stykke musikk med en fin kombinasjon av fortid og nåtid.
New Music Spotlight - Weekly Featured Artist - February 2010 Edition
[+ Show ]
He has an amazing voice that is full of life and energy. He is also an accomplished songwriter who w...He has an amazing voice that is full of life and energy. He is also an accomplished songwriter who writes beautiful and meaningful lyrics. In this recent spotlight with our Webzine, Ben Rusch speaks candidly about many matters of the heart. Want to learn more about this talented artist? Read on in this ultra chic spotlight.
Isaac: I just listened to one of your songs titled, "Until The Coast Is Clear". What was the inspiration for making this song and your new album?
Ben: I wrote the song for two friends of mine - thinking about the obstacles that some people face simply by choosing each other, loving each other, when their particular choice of person or gender is unpopular with others. The lyrical concept of the song is that two people are out at sea, withdrawing in moments when things on land are against them. It's a play on the tension between the metaphorical world in the song on the one hand and the real world on the other, where people take refuge on land when the sea is rough. The song is in a 5/4 beat throughout, to give it a steady marching feel that is soft at the same time. That's the idea anyway.
Isaac: Who were your influences?
Ben: In general terms, aside from the undeniable debt that every musician owes to The Beatles et al., there is Jethro Tull, who, in my personal opinion, is one of the best things that ever happened to popular music, and I can't help thinking that that belief has rubbed off on my own songwriting. Knowing that there are people who love songs as interesting and complex as theirs is wonderfully reassuring, so I've never felt I needed to dumb down my music at all. In the more contemporary vein, I really like Sigur Ros, although their sound is so idiosyncratic that they're perhaps more of an inspiration than strictly an influence on the music as such. Also, a big fan of Irish Folk and of progressive Bluegrass - I think they call it "Newgrass" sometimes - from the Gillian Welch or Chris Thile neck of the woods.
Isaac: What do you consider to have been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date?
Ben: I'm deeply and profoundly grateful to have the chance to share my music with people who appreciate music, so the last two albums were definitely high points because I'm happy with the way they turned out and people have said kind and nice things about them. The two albums are the twin peaks of my career thus far, so to speak, and apologies for the silly pun and "product placement". I'm firmly intent on making the next album the next highlight so we'll see how that goes.
The lowest moments were corporate gigs we were forced to play simply because we needed the money so badly, like I remember playing a show for a pharma company on New Year's Eve, rather than celebrating with our friends and/or other halves. Just miserable and not to be repeated...
Isaac: Brief history about your background plus the style of music you play.
Ben: Classical piano to begin with and then things just got out of hand, with more and more instruments in the mix - slightly eclectic ones as well like the bagpipes, the bodhrán and the mandolin . Over the years, I've written songs for quite a few bands, and then turned all selfish so I record the songs myself instead. The music has been described as being outside any conceivable stylistic framework and I'm sometimes not sure whether that's a compliment, but I certainly invest a lot of energy in trying to make each song sound unique. If you wanted to describe the albums overall, you could say that the unifying theme is a progressive rock root with nods to classical music, folk or acoustic music, and perhaps world music in places. Live performances sound entirely different though because the orchestral sound is substituted with whatever you can squeeze out of a single instrument.
Isaac: How easy is it to gets gigs for you as an artist? What is the live music scene like in your area?
Ben: London - UK, that is, not Ontario - where I live comes quite close to being the Indie nirvana for audiences, with an unfathomable number of bands and venues to choose from every night of the week. The slight downside for bands and performers is that getting gigs at larger venues can take time with so many bands in the mix competing for spots. So getting the right kind of gig can be challenging for sure, but there's a liberal sprinkling of smaller venues available depending on how desperate you are to play. As I focus on songwriting, it's not so much of a hindrance or an issue for me personally but I know that new bands struggle to get a foothold in that market, so they need to rely on other ways or promoting their music concurrently. New Indie bands seem to me to be quite technology-savvy as a result.
Isaac: What do you think of the state of Indie music at the moment? Do you listen to radio much at all? Has the Internet helped music grow or hindered it in your opinion?
Ben: When I'm in the thick of writing songs, I never actually listen to any music at all but when I have days off I'm definitely a fan of Internet radio. There's nothing quite like the incredulous, resounding joy you feel when you come across music you really enjoy that you've never heard before, music you didn't even realise existed. Online radio stations and the Internet generally have made that process of discovering new music a great deal easier. For Indie bands, this has meant that it's easier to get exposure, particularly exposure beyond a band's immediate geographical reach. It's helped Indie musicians to establish a counterpoise to mass-produced muzak. Of course, you can argue that the proliferation of music overall has almost become so extreme that bands feel there's no point unless they carve themselves out a narrow niche because they're competing with bands around the world. In some cases, I feel that when bands have found that niche, their songwriting can stagnate a bit as a result. This is why blogs that highlight good songwriting are so crucial to the development/progression of indie music - encouraging good songwriting and giving songwriters an incentive to keep writing fresh music; you could call it quality assurance. Driving songwriters to write the songs they would write if they had the world's best musicians at their disposal.
Isaac: If you could create a fantasy band - what would be the line-up and why?
Ben: Oh dear, oh dear. So many fantasy line-ups to choose from! How about Monte Montgomery on the acoustic guitar to make jaws drop. Christophe Godin on the electric guitar to add humour. Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull on the flute to add musical excellence and glamour. Ringo Starr on the drums - Ringo is the undisputed drummer in all my fantasy line-ups. Sarah McLachlan and Alison Krauss contributing angelic two-part harmonies. Yo-Yo Ma on the bass guitar. Yes, I know he plays the cello but in this fantasy, he'll be just fine. And myself on the piano just so that I can be a part of it all. Oh, yes, and Penelope Cruz on the maracas or the triangle. I would probably make sure the fantasy band would record an album as well.
Isaac: What CD's do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?
Ben: The last two albums - "Time" and "OH, YES!!" - are on sale as mp3 downloads from iTunes, Amazon, ShockHound, lala, LimeWire, Napster, Rhapsody, the Nokia Music Storeand a few others are forthcoming, so there's a few options.
Isaac: Where can fans access your music, videos, blogs, and anything else about you online?
Ben: Easiest to go to http://www.benrusch.com and have it all in one place. People with MySpace pages can get in touch at myspace.com/musicwithinstruments too.
Isaac: Message to your fans?
Ben: A thousand thank-yous to the fans. Actually, that's a bit effusive and un-British, isn't it, so let's say "multiple" thank-yous to the fans for listening and for spreading the word. I'm lucky to have very music-loving and discerning fans who keep me on my toes and I wouldn't have it any other way.
And thanks ever so much to you, Isaac, for having me.
Different set list every gig, depending on location, audience and Ben's own whims. Since Ben has written more than 200 songs, he could happily play a 24-hour marathon of original music without ever repeating one song.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.