Mana ‎– MANA 2
4 Track Vinyl, LP. Beautifully sleeved, with a double-sided A3 risograph poster.

The debut LP of this collaborator with Rhodri Davies and Chris Watson, evoking the knockabout, visionary, English humour of Jeff Keen and Bruce Lacy, spiked here with massive, steaming dollops of contemporary political outrage and disgust. 

The debut LP of this collaborator with Rhodri Davies and Chris Watson, evoking the knockabout, visionary, English humour of Jeff Keen and Bruce Lacy, spiked here with massive, steaming dollops of contemporary political outrage and disgust. 

‘Sounds are slurpy, runny, fizzy, spongy, hard as rock,’ says the label, ‘recalling long improvisational sets, floor-sucking dubwise psychedelia, plunderphonics and tight GRM-era electronic sound design.’




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«It’s a kind of image, this country submerged in sticky gloop excreted by the neo-liberal machine. And us crawling around half blind through the sludge searching for refuge under a huge mountain of ill fitting Primark clothes. We nest in the synthetic fibres gasping for breath.

Something like that anyway.

Seems like reality to me.»


Working at an intersection of sound, video, performance, installation, and visual art, Benedict Drew is known for a shifting multi-format practice that engages with social and political concerns, piecing together narratives that pulse with the anxiety, comedy and tragedy of an ever stretching reality. Crawling Through Tory Slime is his debut long-playing record.

With empty stomach, vapour-filled pasty, vacant retail unit; each vessel and space Drew conjures over the record’s run-time rattles with a nakedly visible and politically-motivated abjection. In these sonic landscapes the strange and the surreal emerges in a wild and pictorial orchestration, just as frequently silly as sharp or sour, luridly manifesting in caked mud and cow pats and slime and toads. Sound shimmers, purrs and coalesces into a vivid psychedelic pasture, a material presence colliding with ad-hoc digital rendering to hark at electroacoustic physiognomy, science-fiction, and the very outer rim of rhythm and machine music caught in a state of near collapse.

The fear of the real, the dispossession of the fantasy. An emotional tide of anxiety rises to sweat gravy and dread all over.

Born in 1977 in Australia, Benedict Drew is an artist working with film, drawing, sculpture and music. His practice provides broad and eccentric viewpoints into the chaos and humdrum of modern living, fluidly moving between the mediums of art and sound to create pieces that present an immersive, critical and conversational approach.

Having graduated from Slade School of Fine Art in 2011, Drew was a LUX Associate Artist from 2011-12, and is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London.

Amongst others, he has held exhibitions at the Derry Centre for Contemporary Art, Cell Project Space London, Walker Gallery, and Norwich Outpost. Participation in group shows has included exhibitions at the ICA, Jerwood Space, Adelaide and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

Beyond a strong presence in the visual arts, Benedict Drew holds a long-standing and unique reputation in London’s experimental and underground music scene. For nearly five years he worked as a producer for the London Musician’s Collective — including the curation of the LMC's annual festival for several years in the mid 2000s, programming artists like Otomo Yoshihide, Keith Rowe, Andrea Neumann and Bernard Parmegiani.

Drew has participated in a diverse number of collaborative settings. In 2008 he provided a soundtrack to Emily Richardson’s film Cobra Mist using field recordings made by Chris Watson. He performed a series of sculpturally inclined experiments with Sachiko M at the Tate Modern and for the Dundee Kill Your Timid Notion experimental festival in 2008. He has collaborated as a musician and video artist with improvised music trio Cranc, formed by Angharad Davies, Rhodri Davies and Nikos Veliotis. With Decentred, a quartet featuring himself alongside Angharad Davies, Tom Chant and John Edwards, he explored contemporary compositions from an improvisational perspective playing works by Michael Pisaro or John Cage. Decentred released their collaborative explorations on record label Another Timbre in 2009. He was one of an initial 100 artists who provided sound for Mat Jenner's rolling Foam project, an archive of one-off commissioned dubplates that began in 2013.

In 2015 Drew created De Re Touch for the Art on the Underground project, commissioned by Transport for London. An ad-sized video artwork by the artist played on digital screens in over 60 London tube stations over 5 months, embedded within the standard frame of commercial advertisements. He also created an imaginative soundtrack for this unique environment.

He also participated in 2016's British Art Show 8, a major showcase of emerging artistic talent touring the British Isles every five years through cities like Leeds, Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton.

A recent solo musical performance from January 2017 at Cafe OTO is archived on his bandcamp page alongside several other self-released works. He released a cassette tape via patten’s record label Kaleidoscope, Dreamspace of the Burger King Commuter, in 2016.

Drew’s solo exhibition for the Whitechapel Gallery in London, The Trickle Down Syndrome, promises large-scale installations ‘comprised of five connected yet distinct rooms drawing on wide-ranging references, from the stage sets of classic Hollywood cinematographer Busby Berkeley to the Surrealist worlds of artist Max Ernst.’[1] It runs from 7 June - 3 September 2017. A band of experimental musicians convened by Drew will perform within the exhibition space on 1 July as part of Art Night 2017. His debut LP for Mana was developed alongside the exhibition and will be available at the gallery for its duration.

Drew currently teaches at the Slade School of Fine Art, and lives in Whitstable where he maintains a studio art practice.