MUDVILLE is the future-past, combining an ultra-modern electronic aesthetic with the classic sounds found on vintage vinyl. Think Curtis Mayfield’s weighty grooves, P.J. Harvey’s avant-blues passion, Roxy Music’s soaring, jazzy laments and the futurist soundscapes of Boots. Benny Cha Cha (aka Ben Rubin) skillfully combines fresh production (beats, samples, synths) with old-school instruments (double bass, Hammond B3 organ, whole orchestras) to create earthy, idiosyncratic music that spotlights Marilyn Carino’s keen prose and expansive wail.
After releasing an eponymous EP and two critically-acclaimed albums, 2005’s The Glory of Man Is Not In Vogue and 2007’s Iris Nova, Mudville is back with a new single, “Someone Else,” via Ropeadope Records. Composed for writer/director Nelson Kim’s feature film of the same name, the track graces the end credits of this intense psychological drama. Benny Cha Cha’s disturbing score highlights the tension and the songs “Joy” and “Duke” from Iris Nova are also featured.
The Glory of Man is Not in Vogue was hailed by Nylon as “an enchanting listen… a testament to the healing powers of rhythm” and the New York Post described it as “other-worldly… sultry vocals pouring out poetic lyrics filled with imagery”.
Their track “Wicked”, from Iris Nova, was awarded an Independent Music Award for Dance/Electronica Song of the Year in 2008. Critics called the album, “Smoldering.. a musical force… effortless, genuine, and unique” (Okayplayer) and deemed Carino’s contribution, “the vocal performance of a lifetime, powerful to the point of bringing you to tears, [with songs] that can rank alongside major-league acts like Radiohead, U2 or even REM” (Straight No Chaser).
Getting her start as a sweet crooner in bluegrass and alt-country bands, Carino has gone on to write, record and/or perform with such notables as R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, David Byrne and legendary producers Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. In 2011 Carino released a solo album, Little Genius, deemed by AllMusic Guide’s four-star review as “brave, assured electronic soul tunes, expressed with a voice that is free of artifice in its expressions of longing, struggle, empathy and desire”. Carino’s second solo effort, Leaves, Sadness, Science debuts on April 14, 2015.
Rubin has garnered acclaim as a producer, mixer, composer and bassist for a wide range of artists including Patti Smith, Karsh Kale, Courtney Love, Brazilian Girls, Marshall Crenshaw, Wu-Tang’s Killah Priest, Mary J. Blige, Alan Cumming and Larry Goldings. He co-produced Emilio Solla’s Grammy-nominated Second Half, has produced and mixed over 30 records for the SmallsLive label and has ranked high in the DownBeat critics’ poll as a producer for three years running.