The Turntable is blessed to have a team of staff who are passionate about great music and vinyl. No two days are the same at the café, as each member brings their own unique genre and style to the decks, keeping the inhouse vibes diverse and fresh. In celebration of this, as a new feature on the blog, we thought it would be a great opportunity to get to know the team and find out what they’re listening to and why.
First up is Ben Robinson-Wright. Ben has been at the café since it first opened its doors back in October 2020. Though you may know him as the king of latte art, Ben is also a folk-style singer/songwriter and guitarist who teaches lessons and gigs all around the Yorkshire area. We sat down with Ben to find out about the artist who has had a profound influence on his musical career so far:
- Which artist has impacted you the most musically?
Probably Ben Howard. He released his first album ‘Every Kingdom’ when I was just discovering the acoustic guitar. I was growing up and starting to develop my own music taste. I just really liked his fingerpicking style, alongside of the natural tones of his guitar and voice. I started learning his songs which then inspired my own style of playing. I also really like his experimental approach in more recent albums, including the open and alternate tunings he uses.
- Do you remember how you first discovered him?
It was during high school. Someone near me was listening to ‘The Wolves’ and we got chatting about it. I hadn’t really heard anything like it before, so I went home and started listening from there.
- Which particular album do you believe to be his most iconic?
It’s a tough one as I’m really torn between his first two albums. But I’ll go for ‘I Forget Where We Were’.
- Why do you like this album? What are its best features?
I remember listening to the album for the first time – it was on vinyl, actually. I’d just picked it up from the shop and hadn’t listened to any of it online yet. I was blown away from the first track. It can be hard for fully acoustic artists to transform their sound for a second album, yet he did it so well. There’s something about the energy of this album, it sort of hits you harder. It’s a darker, more electric sound that has a dramatic, raw energy to it, which is particularly noticeable at the end of the song ‘End of the Affair’.
- ‘My favourite song on the album is’... and why?
Small Things – It’s such a good album opener. It introduces you to his new sound really well (or his style at that time), and towards the end of the song, the guitar section has a tape delay (which is an effect that creates an echo effect) that perfectly accompanies his vocals. It’s a really moving, atmospheric section of the song. The delay is very similar to John Martyn, and you can really hear those influences in this album. As I’m also a huge John Martyn fan, I really like that you can notice these small moments of inspiration.
- What draws you to this genre of music?
I like this genre because it’s very similar to my personality. I’ve always been quite a chilled-out person, so I enjoy music that reflects that. Also, this kind of music is very much influenced by nature, which also appeals to me. For example, the guitar riff in ‘Conrad’ is just dreamy. He’s taken a really simple melody but used it in a way that makes you feel like you’re drifting underwater or through air.
- Why should other people listen to this album?
It’s a very moving, atmospheric and reflective album. If you enjoy great guitar playing and calm vibes, this is the album for you.
- If you’re into this style of music, who else would you recommend listening to?
If you’ve listened to this album and you want to see how he continues to push his sound in new directions, we’ve got his latest album ‘Collections from the White Out’ instore at the moment. It’s definitely worth a listen! In terms of other, similar artists, I’d definitely say John Martyn and possibly Jose Gonzalez – he’s got a new release out which is sounding great so far.
Written for The Turntable by Hannah Robinson-Wright. Hannah is a 24-year-old aspiring author and poet from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. After achieving a first-class degree in English Literature, she is now completing a Masters at the Manchester Writing School and spends her free time exploring Huddersfield's idyllic countryside, maintaining a vegan food blog and performing around the UK with various musical projects.