Welcome to the only official site for People Like Us and Vicki Bennett
Since 1991 British artist Vicki Bennett has been working across the field of audio-visual collage, and is recognised as an influential and pioneering figure in the still growing area of sampling, appropriation and cutting up of found footage and archives. Working under the name People Like Us, Vicki specialises in the manipulation and reworking of original sources from both the experimental and popular worlds of music, film and radio. People Like Us believe in open access to archives for creative use. In 2006 she was the first artist to be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive. People Like Us have previously shown work at, amongst others, Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, The Barbican, Centro de Cultura Digital, Maxxi and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. She has an ongoing sound art radio show 'DO or DIY' on WFMU. The People Like Us back catalogue is available for free download hosted by UbuWeb.
In 2015 Vicki completed a new A/V performance CITATION CITY, a project using techniques of Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project in relation to London-based feature films. This premiered at transmediale Berlin, and Flatpack Film Festival Birmingham UK. Nothing Can Turn Into A Void – a documentary film about People Like Us has been screening in cinemas and festivals since Autumn 2015. Currently, Vicki is focussing on expanding both audio and moving image work for a multiscreen and multi-speakered environment with Recombinant Media Labs, and the new Expanded Radio commission Optimized! broadcast on WFMU in June 2016. Her most recent commission No One Is An Island, for WDR, broadcast on 9 April 2016.
As you all know there are a lot of displaced beings on the planet and that does not exclude People Like Us. As a result we are not going to be able to perform in Barcelona on Thursday 22nd April and are waiting to find out if we can reschedule once people are not trapped all over the place. At present there’s not much we can do except enjoy being somewhere else, but we obviously were very much wanting to play in Barcelona. But what can you do about a plume of whatever it is?
Update: we are now back and trying to reschedule the Barcelona concert for July and will keep you posted by updating the old concert announcement when it is confirmed.
405 W. Franklin Street
Baltimore, MD 21218 Directions and tickets
Doors Open: 8:30pm
On Saturday, April 17th, the Transmodern Festival will continue major installations in Whole Gallery, Nudashank Gallery, Gallery Four, 5th Dimension. We will be featuring a stage based performance and experimental music program at the critically acclaimed Floristree space. The night will feature an eclectic mix of local and international artists including Carly Ptak (Baltimore), Robby Rackleff (Baltimore), Joseph Keckler (NYC), People Like Us (UK) and Blues Control (NYC.)
People Like Us
We are very pleased to announce that we are now giving a download of our album Perpetuum Mobile (by People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz) away for free! This is still available as a CD with beautiful packaging, from our shop but if you like your mp3s then here they are…
Here’s the press release for this wonderful offering by People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz:
“Perpetuum Mobile” is the result of a uniquely schizophrenic “open source” compositional process: the UK’s finest collage composers Ergo Phizmiz and People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett) uploaded files to a shared server, downloaded and processed each other’s work, and flung the resulting fragments back at each other. The result is an interpenetrating audio-collage so intricate that neither party can recall who did what to whom. So far, so avant-garde; but what makes this record different is that Ergo and Vicki then wrote and sang their own vocals on top of their Frankenstein creation. Here you will find slyly absurdist lyrics replete with monkeys, carousels, trousers, apple trees, tinkling bells, dogs, sausages, whiskey, and cannibalism. No matter how fraught with trauma, these ballads and ditties are sung with a straight face and mixed front and center, and the results feel like 1930s British music hall standards from an alternate universe: half Ivor Cutler, half George Formby. The astonishing thing is that for all this jiggery-pokery, “Perpetuum Mobile” makes for an exhilarating, remarkably fresh pop album. It works. On “Ghosts Before Breakfast” Ergo and Vicki proudly declare that they’ve got “quite a selection of pastry”, and if the profusion of cuckoo clocks, gunshots, horn farts, string vamps, and digital malfeasance which go hurtling through this opening track is any indication, that’s no idle boast. For sheer cornucopia of sonic raw materials, this track’s avalanche of information sets the tone for the overflowing, manic record that follows. There’s far too much to fully parse, but among the highlights: “Beyond Perpetuum” pushes off from the Comedian Harmonists’ take on the 19th century compositional craze for “moto perpetuo” runs of continuous notes at a rapid tempo, and folds found piano, voice and strings into an interlocking array of M.C. Escher harmonic stairways. “Air Hostess” is detourned lounge pop that stitches together Nelson Riddle’s “Ya Ya” theme to “Lolita”, “Walk Right In”, light operettas, organ, bachelor pad cha cha and mambo, and nervously twitching shards of Louis Armstrong. “Pierrot’s Persecution Mania” bravely explores the possibilities of a Montparnasse-via-Dixieland hybrid of can-can and bluegrass, with ridiculous canned strings colliding with jew’s harp boings, while “Soggy Style” rides banjo twangs, a digital bossa nova breakdown, and the “whooo-ooes” nicked from Terry Stafford’s “Suspicion”. Living up to the perpetual motion of its title and cock-a-hoop cover art, this is a frantically energetic music whose layered repetitions become cumulatively more disorienting and preposterous as they loop back. “Perpetuum Mobile” goes beyond the stealth-oldies nostalgia of the mashup scene and the “culture-jamming” rhetoric of plunderphonics, and shows Mr. Ergo and Ms. Vicki to be a potent, if Surrealist, songwriting team, and together they braid oddly affecting vocals and their trademark stolen audio into twenty-first century pop. Like the perpetual motion machines for which it is named, this collaboration will run and run and run and run and run and run and run… – Drew Daniel