MIXTAPE

BESHKEN

Image by Ruby Bateman

The Hook mixtape is compiled through a series of music related questions. Each artist who fills it out can answer as many or as few of the questions as they wish, and elaborate on their choices, or let them speak for themselves. 

Artist

Beshken (aka Ben Shirken)

Location

NYC

 

FYI

Previously part of DJ duo Partytime, Beshken has also worked with lo-fi favourite Gus Dapperton

Press Clippings

'Beshken makes the kind of lush, rhythmic electronic jams best enjoyed with your eyes closed' Vice

"White Gemini" kicks an adventurous beat over internal moods. It's steady and danceable, but there's a quietness at its heart, a beat made for dancing alone. - Billboard

The last piece of music you paid for (streaming doesn’t count)

I recently opened a dj set with the song “Phrocolli” by Gobby. I saw him play a couple of months ago and we had an interesting conversation about making music in bed. I also love the name of the song. 

 

Your favourite place to listen to music

In my car when I’m back home in LA. My car has incredible speakers (especially the sub), and I used to finish all of my mixes in it. Unfortunately, living in New York doesn’t provide me with the luxury of driving :/.

 

A song which reminds you of your childhood

“Under the Bram Brush (Bamboo Tree)” was a song that my mom would always sing to me when I was younger. I believe Judy Garland sang a version way back. We used to have a banana tree in our front yard and I would fall asleep underneath it while my mom sang nursery rhymes.

Your go-to karaoke song

Green Day - “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. This was like the first song I learned to play on guitar. It gets an incredible reaction every time.

A song which could change the world if everyone heard it

Big ask. I think that if everyone heard the song “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” by The Offspring, the entire world would turn to shit. Although, if everyone heard “Shinzo No Tabira” by Mariah, we would all live in peace and harmony.

A song you'd rather never hear again

Taylor Swift - “ME! (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco)”. I used to like Brendan Urie, still do, but now just a lot less.

A song which reminds you of someone you don’t see anymore

The song “Wav1” by Terekke reminds me of my oldest friend Dean. We rarely see each other anymore, but the last time we were together he played it for me on vinyl. It’s a gorgeous chune.

A song which gets you in the mood (for dancing)

“Myrtle Music” by Earth Boys gets me in the M 0 0 D. 

A song which gets you in the mood (for romancing)

Dwight Sykes - “Walk With Me”. Every time I hear this song I really want to make love. Usually I don’t. Ok, I never have. To this song I mean.

 

The soundtrack to your last holiday

I was listening to the album Camino Del Sol by Antena when I was just in Detroit & there’s a pretty eccentric cover of “The Girl From Ipanema” on it. It’s definitely a unique record, kind of weird, but also quite entrancing. I like how it combines jazz and electronic styles.

A song which has changed your mind

The first time I heard “Chrome Country” by Oneohtrix Point Never I was opened up to a whole new world of music. The song is very complex and at the same time not too difficult a listen. It not only changed my mind, but my life in many ways now that I think about it.

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, which is it?

*Pretentious answer alert* It would definitely be the first side of “Ambient 1: Music For Airports” by Brian Eno. It’s a 17 minute long song so I could savour each minute as its own individual track, and I could also put it on in the background or give it a deep listen. It has various uses.

A song which makes you cry

Triad God - “So Pay La”. Just listen.

A song which makes you laugh

Slackk - “Grime Starter Pack Ringtone”. Pretty self explanatory.

A song which tells a story

Nicolas Jaar - “History Lesson”. It seems to be about history repeating itself, humans fucking up over and over again and not learning from their mistakes. Sounds about right to me.

A song which gives you goosebumps

I’ll put on the song “Aegina Airlines” by The Dead Texan if I’m feeling emotional or in my head. The bumps emerge rather quickly.  

 

An artist you regret never having seen live

I had the chance to see Wu Tang Clan live at a music festival and decided to go to the techno tent instead. Classic mistake that I might make again.  

An artist you hope to see live soon

I’m looking forward to seeing Kedr Livanskiy at Visions Fest this year in London!

An album you know by heart

Evenings - Yore. My girlfriend bought me this record because I loved it so much and our song “Friend (Lover)” is on it <3 :O *cringe*. ​

A cover which is better than the original

Kirin J Callinan - “Life is Life”. Life is life is life is life.

A song you love in a foreign language

Helado Negro - Lengua Larga. I love him.

An instrumental song you love

“Première Gymnopédie” by Erik Satie. Instant classic.

A song which gets stuck in your head

Cate le Bon - “Home To You”. It’s so catchy that my bandmate won’t let me play it anymore.

A recent musical discovery

John Tejada has some fabulous deep cuts. I always knew of him but never listened. His song “Penumbra” is a treat.

 

A gig you'll never forget

You always remember the bad ones. One time in Toronto, at a show in front of like 400 people, I stepped on the power cable that all of my gear was plugged into. Everything shut off and it was really embarrassing. Although, the same night I went to a drag show and had a ball, so it ended up being a great night after all!

https://beshken.bandcamp.com/