perfect dichotomy of darkness and light, jazz and electronics"
this album is pure ear heaven."
[Drum Media Magazine]
good as anything
coming out of Europe and beyond.
The production is superb, the execution breathtaking..."
Of The Week - The Brag Magazine]
strange and beautiful music.."
[The Canberra Times]
above image for hi-res images & cover scan]
ENS at his MySpace
page and say 'hello'
people are saying about 'Warp and Weft' by Ens
noir. That pretty much encompasses
the debut album by Brisbane electro-dabbler Ben Fairweather
aka Ens. Alluding to the grace and soulful structure of Massive
Attack's "Blue Lines" and the musicality of fellow
Groovescooter label folk Don Meers and amphibian, Ens creates
a space filled with smooth darkened electronica drywalled
by a collage of mostly elegant jazz elements played both by
hired hands and Fairweather himself, resulting in what is
ostensibly a rather attractive picture. For me, the highlight
here is the brooding ninth track Introvertuoso which, for
all its style and know how, appears to be rather a complex
musical production; with swirling loops, horns a pure, and
much of that dexterous subliminality that fills Warp and Weft
wafting throughout its walls."
In The Sky Zine]
ALBUM OF THE WEEK - The Brag
local release of slowly moving beats
and jazz influenced melodic lines is truly outstanding. Ens
creates such an atmospheric wash that the thick layers of
sound almost retreat into themselves to reveal a mix that
is delicate and shimmering, the broken beats colliding menacingly
with the trebly ring of the keyboards. The gentle lull of
the opening track, 'Tropic Of Cancer', paves the way for an
explosive drum intro to 'All In The Mood', before chimes and
sax intervene to add the melodic base. This is as good as
anything coming out of Europe and beyond. The production is
superb, the execution breathtaking. And when the last note
of the final track , 'Tranqulaise', drifts serenely into the
distance, it's an experience that needs to be repeated all
[Zolton Zavos, The Brag Magazine]
the Amon Tobin and generally Ninja Tunical
references are inescapable, but this debut album from Ens
is an original, a perfect dichotomy of darkness and light,
jazz and electronics. Imagine a soundtrack to a wandering
mind, leading you through shadows and back out into the beautiful
Brisvegan sun. Such is the melancholy feeling furnished by
'Warp And Weft'. He has a little help here from Metabass 'n'
Breath's Sloth on trumpet and rhodes, Nightswimmer on trombone
and the pair of vocal cuts featuring Inga Liljestrom and Georgie
Zuzak suitably keep the mood. The standouts for me gotta be
'Moonshine Sober' and 'Introvertuoso', but 'Warp And Weft'
is a fully realized album that will stand up along its European
equivalents. This is organic music woven on a digital loom.
Multifaceted but not mathematical Ens is definitely a man
to watch closely. City Hub's Chris Peken puts it perfick:
“Fear and Loathing in Brisvegas. One for the brooding lounge
[Gareth Richardson, Quanum Lounge.net
/ RTR FM]
that's seductive and intriguing,
textured and simple, smooth yet dark, is rarely found, so
when it is, as is this first full-length album from Brisbane's
Ens, it's to be savoured. And without doubt Warp + Weft will
stand a lot of savouring. This many faceted electro-jazz gem
repays repeated listening as few others of recent times. Finely
crafted layers of sounds, juxtaposed moods, deliciously listenable
production, all play their part, as does a well-chosen set
of collaborators, who enhance ideas-man Ben Fairweather's
original moods and rhythms. Trumpet from Sloth, trombone from
Nightswimmer, and some spiritual vocalising from Inga Liljestrom
and Georgie Zuzak, breathe organic life into a sampled body,
creating a hybrid creature that represents the best of both
worlds. Part real time and part digital, the melding of the
two halves into a single whole is seamless. More than that,
it's very much better than the sum of its parts, as all successful
art should be. For this reviewer the downtempo, meditative
and hypnotic elements here are simply breathtakingly beautiful,
and in the eternal yin and yang of Fairweather's conception,
their darkly downbeat counterpoints only highlight their rich
aesthetic appeal. Dig that Fender Rhodes sound, or the warm
slap of double bass. Sonically, this album is pure ear heaven.
Like an aural journey, the album unwinds across various sonic
landscapes. The rhythms and moods of each piece are a track
that moves deliberately forward, never meandering aimlessly
or towards dead-ends. It doesn't really matter what the individual
titles are, the effect is in the whole, though pieces certainly
stand on their own as perfect little vignettes. Tranquilaise
and Tropic of Cancer especially. On the strength of this outing,
and previous remixes and one-offs that have surfaced on Tim
Ritchie's Sound Quality 2 and elsewhere, Ens is an artist
with a finely tuned sense of the timeless truth that to be
truly beautiful art must nonetheless have an inner strength,
a complexity that belies its easily-appreciated outer self.
Warp + Weft has it all.
[Perry Kilmer, Drum Media Magazine]
nu-jazz electronica is strictly for the neck up.
The very best, however, hits you in the guts as much as it
gets you between the ears. Brisbane producer Ben Fairweather
has achieved a rare blend of heartfelt jazz-based music on
his debut LP. Played by humans, cut up by machines and overseen
by a talent to take notice of. Broody, wistful, deep, emotive.
And all good."
[Clive Smith, Bartender Magazine]
real name Ben Fairwether,
makes his debut with an album that charts a lush soundscape
somewhere between jazz and electronic music. Ens contrasts
the warmth of 'real' instruments, particularly the double
bass and some sparse Miles Davis-inspired trumpet, with a
digital landscape of loops, samples, electronic drums and
assorted electronic sounds. It's a fine example of what David
Bridie calls 'organica'. The chill factor is high on several
of the ten tracks, but this is no exercise in easy listening.
All in the Mood, for example, breaks the tranquillity
of the opener, Tropic of Cancer, with a rush of drums
leading to a battle between an ominous electronic undertow
and a frantic, squawking saxophone. Mr Esoterica is
film noir, while Fallen Faces (with a suitably detached
vocal from Georgie Zuzak) could be the bittersweet ending
of the same movie. This is strange and beautiful music to
get happily lost in."
Curry, Time Out - Canberra Times]
Fairweather aka Ens
weaves jazzy analogue sounds through the darkness of digital
loops with such fluid style that the mash of the electronic
with the organic becomes seamless. Warp And Weft, quite simply
put, is a thoroughly hypnotic take on the soundtrack-styled
electronica emerging from Australia at the moment. Hollywood
noir meets syncopated rhythms without clashing; instead, the
mixture creates a sound that is never abrasive, but also never
fails to be compelling. Wandering rhythmic studies in mood,
like Perspective, suggest a wealth of experience in front
of computer monitors, but Ens' greatest trump card is a natural
flair for atmos and the ability to arrange well-balanced compositions
like a live jazz combo. The term 'digital jazz' is accurate
but doesn't quite cover the depth of mood displayed on Sideways
Up and the blue feeling suggested by Tranquilaise. This isn't
one of those albums that inspires a hefty review. Suffice
to say that if you're looking for a mood-enhancing collection
of beautiful light electronic sounds with a dash of jazz,
you can't possibly get any better than Warp And Weft."
when you're contemplating,
reflecting or processing ideas your brain requires a soundtrack
to think to. 'Warp and Weft' offers those textures and layers
and provides a beautiful space in which to think. This is
certainly an interesting piece of work from Ens, a Brisbane
based digital jazz artist, who shows on more than one occasion
that he is not afraid to take risks. Vocals slide across liquid
like samples of drums and glockenspiels in 'Perspective',
while a smoldering stretched out trombone ponders moments
alongside haunting piano arrangements in 'Fallen Faces'. Ens
is an accomplished artist who shows a knack for creating thought
provoking soundscapes and 'Warp and Weft' has all the grandeur
of a cinematic orchestra or brooding movie soundtrack as it
meanders across unusual musical terrain... This is an exciting
piece of work that should please any discerning ear and mature
[SOS, 3D World Magazine]
really wonderful piece of work... with
...subtle weaving between the electronic and jazz sounds...
It makes for a really soothing listening experience [and]
reminds me of The Necks somewhat as well; the freedom in it."
[Chris Dewhurst, Blu FM]
+ Weft is that gorgeous
brooding jazz sound that crosses between organic improvisation
and digital manipulation that mirrors the work of our European
and British counterparts but stands alone as one of the definite
Australian contermporary jazz-electronic releases. Great stuff...
I'm totally blown away by it."
[Huw Ellis, 3D World Magazine]
very solid debut ...
Warp and Weft is dark, edgy digital jazz that draws its influences
from Cinematic Orchestra, Amon Tobin and probably Rob Mazurek's
Chicago Underground Trio and the Grassy Knoll. Featuring the
moody horn of Sloth, known best for his work with seminal
Sydney hip hoppers Meta Bass 'n' Breath, there are some wonderful
moments on this smoky record and the two tracks featuring
vocalists, Inga Liljestrom who has worked with The Baggsmen,
and head-Grooverscooter Georgie Zuzak remain suitably abstract
to keep the mood, and become more inviting with each listen...
A promising debut and worth seeking out."
[Sebastian Chan, Cyclic Defrost]
the most tender and lulling of introductions,
ENS aka Ben Fairweather slowly generates a lilting break pattern
with his opening track 'Tropic Of Cancer'. Rather than coming
off hot and sweaty as this title might suggest, Fairweather's
feel is colder – light and breezy with an occasionally faulting
counter melody interrupting what's otherwise a soft opening
to a welcoming record. Taking pride in his beat chopping,
ENS' sound is one that borrows from the traditions of jazz
with moments on the album bringing to mind a variety of traditional
artists. Using quite simple melody patterns that are looped,
this record doesn't aim for the complexity of jazz, but rather
seeks out the sentiment of the artform, crystallised on pieces
like 'Mr Esoterica' and 'Moonshine Sober'."
[Markus Fisher, Time Off]
it was getting dark,
but squint as I might, all I could see were these luscious
shades of orange between my fingers. Did the CD cover actually
have letters, or was it some sort of optical illusion? I had
to look closer to see that it was Warp and Weft by Ens. 'Tropic
Of Capricorn' opens this enchantingly sophisticated and mature
debut album; the track unfurls like the dewy petals of a flower
at dawn, unhurried and glistening with fragments of light.
Although the influence of Amon Tobin is noticeable in the
music, Ens' style is in no way a clone of his hero's. This
young Brisbane-based producer, jammin' entirely in the digital
domain, draws more from the world of modern jazz. The gentle
crooning of brass and horn over string and synth bass is tastefully
spiced with hi-hats, brushes, and the most restrained use
of samples. The samples and synth instruments often blend
with a track's vibe with such ease that their presence feels
only natural. The trumpet played by Sloth (ex-Metabass 'n'
Breath) is arguably the lead vocal of 'Warp and Weft'. At
the close of tracks on which it appears, there is a sense
of having heard a lyric that has just faded from memory. Vocals
of a more organic kind are provided by Inga Liljestrom on
'Perspective', whose beguiling delivery adds another level
of richness to the album. On 'Fallen Faces' Georgie Zuzak
duets with Nightswimmer's trombone to hypnotic effect. Ens
has created a work of such unity, the album is most rewarding
when listened to as a whole, rather than as individual tracks.
So the penultimate track 'Introvertuoso' is like the flower
coming into bloom in the sun; a denouement of a story. And
it is a story to be read time and time again. While most contemporary
releases are filled with soundbite-friendly hooks, this one
rewards commitment. Look closer and luscious shades of digital
jazz become modulating themes woven with the finest of skill
into the enveloping fabric of 'Warp and Weft'.
[Sid Kid, InTheMix.com.au]
Dean on the couch.
Primarily an instrumental exploration of the twilight hours
by Brisbane producer Ben Fairweather (aka Ens); the darkness
and the warmth, the order and the chaos, the beginning and
the end. Fear and Loathing in Brisvegas. One for the brooding
[Chris Peken, City Hub]
on the more traditional sounds of jazz,
Brisbane's Ben Fairweather skews just enough to the left to
create something more than just another chill release. Sure,
there are the long, languid horns, loose drumming and drops
of piano melody, but on closer listening there's something
more brooding below. Perhaps it's because of the frenetic
drumming that opens 'All In The Mood'. Or maybe it's down
to the softly pounding bass, which resonates with a touch
of electronic fuzz. These quirks separate this album from
your usual dinnertime muzak."
[Chloe Sasson, Metro-Sydney Morning
n.; pls. ent-ia 1. entity; being; existence; an existing thing
or person; hence, anything conceived of as existing 2. Power;
virtue; efficacy; essence
Name: Ben Fairweather
The best side of 25
Studied: Arts, Jung, Piano, Philosophy, Homoeopathy and
his PC's innards
Discovering Amon Tobin at university during the late nineties
Up On: An MP3 diet of Cinematic Orchestra, Soma, Peace
Orchestra and Fila Brazillia, having earlier toughened his
ears with industrial-like histrionics
To: Mix the organic with the electronic
His Own Words: "I guess my music is always about exploring
polarities. I love dark and chaotic sounds, yet I also love
warm sounds. I love simplicity and space, and I love complexity.
These are the ideas I want to bounce off in order to develop
and I guess Warp and Weft was always about that. The title
has to do with the weaving of fabrics from one side to the
other which mirrors the process of making sample based music,
but also mirrors the mood of the album; swinging from one
side to the other."
Release: Ens' first foray into jazzy sounds was picked
up by Radio National's Tim Ritchie for his 'Sound Quality'
CD series Further discography: Popkomm 2002 Creative Vibes
sampler; remix of amphibian for 'Adventures In Whistle Village'
double album; remix of Don Meers for the 'Track Works' remix
compilation; track on Evolutionary Vibes vol 5 compilation;
'All In The Mood' / 'Perspectives' radio single
soon from Ens: Collaboration with vocalist Yusuke Hayamizu;
remake of The Cure's 'Lullaby'; remixes for Martin Kennedy
(All India) and Inga Liljestrom
: Warp And Weft
Tropic of Cancer
2. All in the Mood
4. Sideways Up
5. Mr Esoterica
6. Fallen Faces
7. Slow Escape
8. Moonshine Sober
to Groovescooter Catalogue