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Ben Wa

Although their names are utterly ridiculous, Dr. Ware and Butthouse -- known together as Ben Wa -- make some of the best nu-school breaks this side of the Atlantic. Their first full-length release, Devil Dub, on Black Hole Records, featured the unholy psychedelic rhythms of Buckethead, Brain (Primus/Praxis), and DJ Disk (Invisible Skratch Piklz). They followed that with their Born To Synthesize EP, also on Black Hole. Then they hooked up with Bill Laswell, who featured the Ben Wa tracks "Re-Dub" and "Ephedream" on two of his full-length projects, Reanimator: Black Market Science and Tetragrammaton Submerge, respectively. This grabbed the attention of Felix The Dog and Darkhorse, A&R heads at Three Sixty/Arcade America Records, who promptly licensed another Ben Wa tune, "Tuvan Tube Top," for their hugely successful compilation Black Diamond.

Now riding high, Ben Wa have become hot property on the nu-breaks market. Both "Automatic Brain" and "Destroy All Lines," taken from their Elektro-Krazy EP on Malvado, demonstrate their complete mastery over the machine. "Destroy All Lines" in particular bridges the gap between Detroit techno and funky dance floor breaks in a most ingenious way. Warm and driving, this is breakbeat at its finest from two of the scene's leading exponents.

In contrast, the "Granite Mix" of "Break That Stone," taken from the BSI Records compilation Docking Sequence, is richly textured dub in the vein of Jah Shaka and Sound Irritation.

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