John Bence is the young, electrifying composer and producer who has released via Nicolas Jaar’s Other People imprint, and Yves Tumor’s label Grooming. The Bristol-based composer is known for tackling epic narrative themes via uncompromising sonics, delivering a juddering emotional punch.
His Disquiet EP (2015) is rooted in a composition in three movements for soprano, voice, and cello. The piece was funneled through multiple iterations of scoring, recording, and sculpting, ultimately forming something different altogether. Disquiet sees Bence layer and sculpt many crystalline textures, replete with tectonic drones and flickering vocals. Cacophony dissolves into harmony on a record that’s at once “[w]ickedly unique and ultra-abstract.” (Dazed)
More recently, Bence shared new composition Kill. Composed for self-made percussion instruments, prepared cello, and voice, the dark opus tells the story of a man who murders his lover, commits suicide, and is then judged by God. Kill was recorded at ETOPIA, Centre for Art and Technology, Zaragoza, Spain, where Bence held a six-month residency.
Bence’s releases show off his background in classical composition, and his adventurous drive. Just in his early twenties, he has already cemented himself as a prominent figure in Bristol’s experimental music scene.