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Bent invite you to Stay The Same


Story: Jack Foley

"WELCOME back my friends, to the show that never ends!"

So said the mighty Emerson Lake & Palmer, back in the prog-addled mists of the '70s.

And it also applies here to sonic physicians Bent, whose new single, Stay The Same, which is released on June 30.

Following their popular second album, The Everlasting Blink, and satellite single, Magic Love, Bent have put together another dancefloor filler.

Stay The Same samples '70s brace-twanger, David Essex, and, in the process, makes him sound rather like a Lazyitis era Shaun Ryder.

The result is a melancholy, yet uplifting, track, with Essex's voice swathed in haunting electro-beats on a bouncy mattress of pneumatic bass and beats.

In addition to the original, fans should certainly have fun checking out the mixes, from Tony Senghore and Themroc.

Senghore's 'Horehaus Vocal Remix' is seriously massive, a huge dancefloor classic in the making from this up-and-coming fresh talent - so much so that it takes pride of place on the A-side.

Themroc's mix is also striking, being a stripped down, bass-dominated monster rejigging of the original.

So why not check out Stay The Same in our AV room?

Tracklisting 12":
A1. Tony Senghore's Horehaus Vocal Remix
B1. Themroc Remix
B2. Original

About Bent

Bent are described in their publicity as 'the quintessential English sonic pirates'.

Since their debut album, Programmed To Love, in 2000, choice tunes like I Love My Man, Always and Swollen heralded a new direction in leftfield dance.

A modern day musical Jeeves and Wooster, the pair still carry on like playtime never finished. Dressing up as doctors while churning out a deep sonic sea of sound, squirming with xylophones, panpipes, lush electronic and, on their latest outing, even Seventies crooner, David Essex!

Having achieved worldwide recognition and record sales, the duo are back with a bang in 2003. The current album is called The Everlasting Blink and is their second contribution to the cause.

Bent made their first appearance in 1999, and proceeded to fill their Nottingham bedsit with dodgy secondhand records to sample.

"We've done so much random buying that we've got every shit record you can get", chuckles Simon Mills. "I mean how many versions of Mantovani do you need?"

Now the proud owners of a suitably vague 30 or 40 synthesisers to tinker with, Simon and other Bender, Nail Tolliday (ex outdoor rave controller) are in danger of coming over all cerebral. Take the new album title, for instance, The Everlasting Blink.

"It's just a phrase that popped into our heads", shrugs Simon, before adding: "It's about birth and death and this album is talking about preservation of life."

"In fact", continues Simon, "the opening track, King Wisp, sounds like birth, while the last track, The Everlasting Blink, sounds like death. It's not a concept album, although it has seemed to have created a theme for itself as it came together."

In between, listeners can experience collaborations with the likes of David Essex (on Stay The Same), fleeting Seventies pop icons Captain and Tenille (on Magic Love) and Billie Jo Spears (on the country hoedown of So Long Without You), as well as BJ Cole's legendary pedal steel guitar twangs and Nail's newfound talent on the drums.

With their second album now available, Bent look set to prove again why they're the daddies of the dance scene.

"We're just really happy how it has all come together," explains Nail. "Programmed To Love was never really a straight up artist album, more a collection of nice tracks. This is really our first proper album."

"The main thing with this record, that's hopefully similar to our first album, is it sounds quite optimistic and hopeful", sums up Simon. "We're sick of hearing moody shit."

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