Miami Horror - On The Horror Ball
Ajax’s buddy Miami Horror is making his own waves across the Australian musical ocean with the release of his debut EP, Bravado. 3D’s Cyclone goes for a swim.
Miami Horror’s Ben Plant isn’t too hot on word association. “What do I think of when I hear Miami Vice-” he asks earnestly. “Obviously just beaches and cocaine!” How about Miami bass, then- “I don’t know,” he laughs after a silence. “I can’t come up with anything for that... I think very visually and, if I can’t see a picture, I can’t really describe it.” Miami art deco- He gives up. “I’m really bad with that kinda thing!”
Plant may be a nervous interviewee, and not inclined to play a journalist’s silly games, but he’s an adept producer. His first Miami Horror EP, Bravado, which foreshadows an album due in 2009, should charm those Midnight Juggernauts fans craving fresh material.
Plant has DJed at nu rave hubs like 3rd Class in his Melbourne hometown, but Bravado is a sonic collage of Prince, circa Purple Rain, Daft Punk-filtered ELO, the Steve Miller Band, Metro Area, LCD Soundsystem... and the list goes on.
Indeed, Plant is distancing himself from the nu rave scene. That said the blogger’s hero (Pitchfork loved the song Don’t Be On With Her) isn’t worried about the connection, which he attributes to his remixes. Plant is confident that when punters hear his original recordings, their perceptions will change. “Now some of the originals are coming out, they’re obviously not club tracks at all, so it shows a new side to things,” he says.
“The album is by far better than the EP. I know what’s coming, but nobody else does. Once I release tracks, there won’t be so much confusion about the direction.
“The influences of the EP – and the album – are all kind of ’70s and ’80s stuff. It’s been converted to a modern dance production technique.”
At any rate, he identifies with a wider indie dance movement. To get away from nu rave, Plant has developed Miami Horror into a full band, although, while pushing “a band angle”, he’s coy about naming its members, said to include sometime Bumblebeez drummer Ooh-ee. “I’m the main writer and producer and I started it and everything like that, so I’ve done all the work – most of the work – up until now,” he says. “I’ve collaborated with a few people to make the EP and now there’s a full band performing live, which will change over time.”
Plant, who earlier this year plugged a Sweat It Out! mix-CD with Bang Ganger Ajax, has pulled back from solo DJ gigs. He’s also previously cut beats for Gameboy/Gamegirl but, again, his focus is now on Miami Horror.
Bravado is an impressive premiere, yet Plant insists that the forthcoming album will trump it. An EMI deal has even opened the possibility of Miami Horror vibing off international artists such as Yelle. “We’re aiming for the album mid-next year, with three or so singles dropped before then between late January and maybe March. It’s a concept album. It all fits together [but] every track works on its own. It’s what I’ve been concocting myself for three years and now I’m adding other people to it. We’re creating what’s meant to be an ultimate album for its genre.”
WHO: Miami Horror
WHAT: Bravado through Virgin / EMI / Plays The Supper Club / Plays Good Vibrations, Centennial Park
WHEN: Out now / Thursday 4 December / Saturday 14 February