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. Nothing Can Turn Into A Void – a doc film about People Like Us has been screening in cinemas and festivals since Autumn 2015.
Currently, Vicki is focussing on expanding a/v work for a multiscreen and multi-speakered environment with RML Cinechamber, with 10-screen work "Gone, Gone Beyond". Also a new People Like Us live performance "The Mirror" premiered at Onassis Cultural Centre Athens in Spring 2018 and now tours worldwide. October 2018 saw the release of a new CD/online album also called The Mirror. Vicki is a participant in Sound and Music New Voices 2018 programme, a-n Artist Bursaries 2019 recipient, and is Hallwalls Artist in Residence from 2019-2020.
Courtesy of our friends Discrepant, our album The Mirror is now out on vinyl! Buy direct from us throughbandcamp – Click on the link below and scroll to “The Mirror Vinyl LP” in the left hand column and click on that to buy. Shipping date is expected for 18 October 2019. Includes digital album of The Mirror. Also available on CD from the same bandcamp page.
Tracks on the vinyl version of The Mirror: A1 The Mirror A2 Do You See What I Hear A3 Step Inside B1 Free My Prayer B2 The Other Side B3 Forever B4 Till The End of Time
Previously released on CD accompanied by “Gone, Gone Beyond”, “The Mirror” is the dreamy soundtrack of an a/v project from collage artist extraordinaire Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us. With ‘’The Mirror’’ Bennett continues her eternal disassembling of popular music by exploring how the narrative of familiar sounds/songs can change dramatically under a new context, with that context always changing, in a never-ending flow. Each song is singular. And each song is a collage of and undefined number of other songs from other artists. It sounds familiar because that has been the modus operandi of People Like Us since the early 1990s. But “The Mirror” plays with the notion of familiar, driving around a collection of famous pop songs/artists, messing around with the memory of the listener and, of course, his unique comprehension of those specific songs applied in a new context. Because of the use of familiar pop sounds, “The Mirror” is often grandiose. Like an epic film only with highs, never letting the listener down or letting him doubt the power of pop. Even, of course, when the coordinates are twisted, mixed, over or underrepresented. Each moment feels like something that could only happen in a parallel universe. Although that may sound naïve, it’s just a lost thought of reaction to the beautiful collages of People Like Us in “The Mirror”. This mirror doesn’t reflect an image of ourselves or an image of pop. But an image on the way memories drift and are being constant rebuilt. An unfinished collage. — Discrepant
Pressing Information One time pressing of 500 units Mastered by Mark Gergis Cut by Rashad Becker
Discrepant Sucata Tapes (CS72) SUC19 On Pre-Order. Shipping mid-October 2018
Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us returns to Sucata Tapes with another epic radio collage from the archives. You can buy the cassette (with a digital download included from us or Discrepant, and if you want just the digital download then get direct form Discrepant.
“The work of People Like Us rests gingerly between two dangerous positions: on the one hand, the risk of fashioning merely stylish pastiche out of borrowed finery for the sake of self-conscious kitschiness; on the other hand, the risk of making simplistic, heavy handedly “topical” audio-jokes at the expense of one’s raw material to a smug effect. If the lounge creeps uncritically snack on their sonic ingredients and coast on being “groovy”, the cads of pseudo-critique take cheap shots at straw men and call it subversion. Happily, Vicki Bennett has yet to fall down either precipice, but yodels down contentedly from her own Alpine audio-cottage. There, with loving care, she snips and tucks at the lycra jumpsuit until the fit is snug, places every plastic shrub on the Happy Valley Ranch just so, and throws another dance record on the bonfire. Undercutting her own utopian mirages with formal breakdowns and sneaky semantic pranks, Vicki Bennett is One Funny Lady, with a deadly sense of comic timing that puts her in my personal pantheon of edit intensive music makers: -Steinski and Mass Media, Hank Shocklee, Tod Dockstader, Teo Macero, the Hanatarash, John Oswald, Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock. Serving her birthday cake with a turd, her gags are always lined with a virulent creep factor. You get the feeling that the vacancy and pointlessness of empty speech is being lampooned and mourned in equal measure. In sticking to this balance of celebration and critique, People Like Us genuinely hates and loves People Like You. The least you can do is head up to the Happy Valley Ranch for a spell and have a listen.” – Drew Daniel
People Like Us / Matmos / Wobbly “Wide Open Spaces” LP (CREP52) Release Date: 23rd February 2018 (taking pre-orders now) Discrepant is pleased to announce the reissue of a “Wide Open Spaces”, a collaborative LP by Wobbly, People Like Us and Matmos. You can purchase directly from us through our bandcamp site:
On Discrepant: PEOPLE LIKE US & POREST – OPTIMIZED! [CREP49] People Like Us “All On A Beautiful Day” Porest “The Parallel Broadcasts” Shipping November 2017 You can purchase direct from our bandcamp page:
The Parallel Broadcasts presents Porest’s recordings from the covert sector of his archives. Culled from shortwave and FM broadcasts, these selections were intercepted via prepared radio – finely tuned to receive what is known in certain circles as parallel broadcasting. Content explores the trauma of emerging global consciousness, acute cultural antipology and the urgent placement of democratic music today. Recorded on location in Jan/Feb, 2016 – Featuring contributions from Paul Staufenbiel and Michael Darr
All On A Beautiful Day was recorded in Spring 2016 by People Like Us for “Optimized!” – a week-long online a/v radio station programmed by Vicki Bennett, housed on WFMU.org which experimented with ideas of what radio might be in the world of high speed internet broadcasting. The content included 26 new a/v artist works, including both this and Porest’s Parallel Broadcasts, where people were invited to respond to the word “optimized”.
We are very pleased to let you know that we have another release on the wonderful label Discrepant. Brave new old work by Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us. A journey into her early radio experiments with some dating back 20 years!
Vicki Bennett’s People Like Us began life as a three hour radio show on Brighton’s Festival Radio in 1990 called Gobstopper. She went on to release around 20 solo albums based on her radio sound collages, and after a decade working primarily with sound, has increasingly worked with film and images. She has recently produced collage and multi-screen, multi-speaker work, including 2013’s touring film and performance piece Notations, a film used as a score for improvising musicians, and Gone, Gone Beyond (2017++), a 10 screen, 8 speaker immersive cinema work for Recombinant Media Lab’s CineChamber.
Thanks to all those who have pre-ordered Abridged Too Far on vinyl LP – we now have it here to deliver and these will be posted imminently. If you would like one then please do go and order one now! Thank you Discrepant!
PEOPLE LIKE US – ABRIDGED TOO FAR [Discrepant LP CREP41] Release date 31st March 2017 – available now!
ABRIDGED TOO FAR is the first of a series of vinyl by Discrepant to celebrate this being the 25th year of People Like Us publishing albums. First released in digital-only form in 2004 exclusively for UbuWeb, this album includes Vicki’s John Peel session and performances for WFMU, amongst others, both from 2003, and now comes packaged with brand new artwork designed by Vicki Bennett.
DISCREPANT PRESENTS: PEOPLE LIKE US, MIKE COOPER + TYPHONIAN HIGHLIFE (SPENCER CLARK) at CAFE OTO, LONDON
TUESDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2017, Doors open 7.30PM
£12 (door) £10 ADVANCE£8 CAFE OTO MEMBERS
People Like Us will perform at Cafe Oto in February as part of an evening hosted by the label Discrepant, to celebrate the release of LPs by People Like Us, and Mike Cooper. People Like Us will be doing a combination from four different previous performances, commencing at approximately 8.30pm. Full listing here.
“Abridged Too Far” is the first of a series of vinyl by Discrepant to celebrate this being the 25th year of People Like Us publishing albums. It has only ever been available in digital form on UbuWeb.
OR… IF you come to the concert you can fill in your email address at the merchandise table to exclusively purchase Abridged Too Far for £10. This is exclusive to this concert only. The Mike Cooper album is already available on Discrepant’s site.