Benin City – “Wha Gwan”

Benin City

London electro-bass trio Benin City tout a striking sound with multiple stylistic references. The flourishes of brass on their second single “Wha Gwan” remind of Matthew Herbert’s highly orchestrated, late-night production theatrics, while the almost mechanical clockwork of the rhythm section compares to sturdy electronic acts like Burial and The Field. Then there are the highly distinctive vocals, reminding of the highly accented and gravelly nature of King Krule. “Wha Gwan” begins with almost hip-hop minimalism, but the aquatic spurts of playful synths quickly lead the track into more pop-geared territory, especially at 00:37 when the relaxed chorus starts to recount fun whiskey-soaked times of youth. Like King Krule, there’s a touch of British street youth that adds to the track’s atmosphere, full of grey clouds but ably prepared for a burst of sunshine at any time.


Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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