Benedict Sinister emerges as a breath of fresh air, especially for someone like me, with an affinity for words (it’s my bread and butter, and indeed cheese if the money is right, after all) and an intrinsic fascination with the trajectory of art and its capacity to reflect the ever-evolving world around us—an endeavour that all art should inherently strive for.
This French/Australian luminary employs a fascinating arsenal of techniques to craft the lyrics of his songs, leveraging the art of dissection, slicing and dicing quotes and excerpts from music autobiographies, peppering the sonic landscape with the banters of raucous Cockney geezers set against a pulsating techno backdrop, and even concocting his own lyrical slang to breathe life into his musical narratives. The latest art attack, “Only Sixteen,” embodies the essence of someone grappling with the reminiscence of a lost first love, an introspective tale that assumes a haunting poignancy under the shadow of his Waitsian drawl—a narrative as stark as it is oddly enchanting.
What truly distinguishes Benedict Sinister is his embodiment of the archetypal post-genre artist—one who seamlessly flits across sonic landscapes and musical stylings, seemingly at the whim of his creative fancy. He deftly weaves threads of high culture with the colloquial jargon of the streets, juxtaposing the profound with the profane. He is as adept at crafting new soundscapes as he is at revering the timeless echoes of the past. Digital technologies find a natural ally in his creative arsenal, coexisting harmoniously with the more conventional, analogue approaches he masterfully wields. What’s striking is the enigmatic shroud that envelops the artist—a profound anonymity that seems incongruent with the sonic realms and lyrical reference points he so deftly navigates.
Imagine if Banksy were to transmute his artistry into the medium of music. Well, this is not only what he might sound like but is also the approach that such a project would take regarding profile and promotion. Guerilla tactics music? Why the hell not?