Benny Boeldt 8 of Cups
8 of Cups is the beginning of a new chapter for Benny Boeldt, the Baltimore artist also known as Adventure. It’s the first record under Boeldt’s own name after releasing three albums as Adventure on Carpark Records. 8 of Cups veers from wacky to beautiful to chaotic; using gorgeous melodies, hyperactive noise, and off-the-wall samples. The title is a reference to the tarot card, which Boeldt found to be an accurate representation of his life as he made the album. The 8 of cups card embodies the start of a new journey, a transition, growing apart, and accepting one’s faults to move on.
The foundation of this strange, gorgeous, other-worldly record is made of VHS tapes. Boeldt began 8 of Cups by culling through tapes of anime, horror, sci-fi, even instructional videos, and collecting hundreds of samples; then arranging them on a digital sampler. Songs like the stuttering “Have A Pizza” and “Valley Amnesia,” with its lovely piano, got their start here. Boeldt began composing via MIDI and altering the samples through various hardware filters, effects, amps, and microphones in his Baltimore studio. With Baltimore artist Sydney Spann’s (aka Sunatirene) contribution to “Phone Call,” the process was almost like the lost-in-translation game of the same name. Using a small part of Spann’s vocal take, Boeldt pitched each sound into a new note, making her voice almost unrecognizable. For Boeldt, the process of making 8 of Cups felt similar to drawing or creating a collage. Working toward an amorphous image in his mind, the result is something unexpected but welcome.
Since moving to Baltimore in 2007, Benny Boeldt has made three full-length albums under the name Adventure. His self-titled 2008 debut LP earned notice with its naive yet catchy song structures and a minimal sound palette inspired by sources such as video game themes, movie soundtracks, techno, and IDM music. In support of the record, Boeldt toured with a slew of fellow Baltimore acts such as OCDJ, Dan Deacon, Ed Schrader, and Future Islands, as well as performing as a part of the Baltimore Round Robin tour in 2009. Also during this period, Boeldt toured as a member of the Dan Deacon Ensemble, traveling the U.S. and Europe where he was given the opportunity to perform a number of opening dates as Adventure.
In 2011, Boeldt followed up with a second LP, Lesser Known, in which he made his first—and so far only public—attempt at writing a pop record. In order to perform the new songs in a live setting, Boeldt hired Baltimore musician Dave Fell to play additional keyboards and sing back-up vocals. Also on board to perform live visuals was friend and collaborator, DJ and video artist Mark Brown. This formation lasted for only one U.S. tour with Carpark labelmate Toro Y Moi in the spring of 2011.
Adventure performed a minimal number of shows over the next few years, either performing solo or with Karl Ekdahl on synthesizers. Adventure’s third album, Weird Work, released in April 2013, was a return to Boeldt’s instrumental songwriting. The songs were influenced by various forms of electronic music, most notably IDM. In the time since the release of Weird Work, Boeldt has focused on learning more about sound production and computer composition. Most exciting for Adventure fans, he has been busy creating a new collection of songs known as 8 of Cups, Boeldt’s first record released under his own name.
• Released three records on Carpark under the name Adventure
• Previously toured with Dan Deacon and Toro Y Moi
• Toured as a member of the Dan Deacon ensemble
• One of the original members of Baltimore’s Wham City
• LP includes free digital download
1. Blue Sky
5. Have A Pizza
6. Phone Call
7. Valley Amnesia
8. Living Dream