In an impeccable fusion of g-funk, jazz and house, Peoples Potential Unlimited (P.P.U) boys Benedek and Moon B lit Oscar Bar and its patrons last night. Cranking thick grooves reminiscent of distant 70’s to 80’s beats, the California boys tore through Thursday and taking Oscar for the ride. In keeping with the increasingly live (and cheap) underground music scene, Red Bull Music Academy graciously put up the multidextrous musicians for free. So yeah – kick yourself for missing this one dude.
Benedek, aka Nicholas Benedek, began the instalment with some silky disco groves akin to Waverunner. After watching Benedek sway to the wood-panelled interior of Oscar, I now know songs like these need to be heard on a yacht or a wood-panelled interior. It’s just too easy for his hazy freeform to flow from one mojito to the next.
Benedek also enjoyed physically dipping into the crowd while grooving to hip-hop/house beats like JMZ. In an interview, the producer told us says his wide variety of styles come from growing up in Los Angeles. “I was listening to a lot of G-funk – basically all the classics – DJ Quik, Dam-Funk, Snoop Dogg and Nate (Dogg), and (Doctor) Dre… I think a root for me was hip-hop and jazz-funk too”, he says.
His hip-hop beats glittered amongst Oscars 70’s interior too. The modern finishings and LED display only heightened the resurgence of these resurrected flavours, because every time Benedek crooned a chord to the kick n snare of 99 Ranch he brought the club back into another time.
As he charmed the guitar on a mantle made of amps, he later admitted that he learnt the instrument from young age. “Both my two uncles were into music and I started playing with them then learning guitar lessons. I also learned jazz-guitar”, he says. Benedek also claims he found a real affinity with jazz-funk like George Duke and George Benson before hip-hop. Watching the Californian pour his soul into each live guitar lick made the performance easily likened to these gurus; and hid ability to convert the crowd into a hustled dance floor was only tantamount of the requirements hip-hop culture thrived on.
When asked about the Adelaide music scene, the musician reassured me that he likes it and he’d love to come back. “It’s been dope. It’s nice going to another continent. I’ve never been out here”, he says.
“It’s cool, there’s a lot of support for P.P.U which is the label Moon B and myself have been releasing with.” The DC label owned by Andrew Morgan preserves dance tunes and boogie-funk from the 80’s. “For us to be put out along the guys we look up to – Robbie M, George Smallwood, Dwight Sykes – well, it’s pretty inspiring”, he says.
As we said goodbye to Benedek’s set, Moon B styled lofi, proto-house to the intimate crowd. As he tentatively bumped Green Sky from behind the decks, each bubbly beat caught at your shoes and pulled you into it’s two-step – transforming the dance floor into contagious bliss.
Similar to Benedek, this Southern-Statesman isn’t wholly retro and instead pulls P.P.U flavours as well as foraying into new and proto-house; and as Moon B plays with his contemporary synths and snaps, tracks like Oof bubble nostalgia in Oscar’s conducive haze.
The night drew to a close with a strong end for the powerful pair – an ultimate good time – 80’s dance disco. Finally, big ups again to Red Bull Academy for continually bringing the international underground to our country town and making it inexcusable to say no international talent ever visits. And finally a big thank you to the talented and timeless Benedek and Moon B.