Ahead of his performance at this year’s Visions Festival, we caught up with Beshken to find out what makes him tick…

Hailing from LA and now based in New York, this year’s Visions Festival marks Ben Shirken AKA Beshken’s debut European performance. His inclusion on the lineup follows the release of his debut album, Aisle of Palm, out now via new label 29 Speedway.

Beshken explores the boundaries between acoustic recording and digital production, his debut record produced with synthesisers and manipulated field recordings. Aisle of Palm marries together the wealth of Beshken’s interest and influence, an electronic-leaning project that’s a hybrid of ambient, experimental electronica, psychedelic soundscapes and dream pop.

Ahead of his performance at Visions, get to know Beshken In Short…

Three words to describe my music…
Organic, tempestuous & sleep-deprived. These are also three words to describe myself.

Last photo on my phone…

Favourite Instagram account…
I thought you would never ask. It has to be @countlips, but a close second is @4fucksakebabes

The best venue I’ve played…
The Chapel, San Francisco. We were given an incredible spread of vegetables and dips. I felt like a king for a day. It was also our last show on tour. The next day was rough.

Earliest song you remember…
Supertramp’s ‘The Logical Song’. My mom used to play it all the time when I was growing up and I still love it. 

The worst job I’ve ever had…
I worked as a food delivery person for this app called Postmates when I was in high school. One time I had to deliver three containers of soup, and when driving to drop it off the soup spilled all over the back of my car. The customer gave me a two star rating even though I tried my best. The only perk was that if the restaurant messed up the order, I was able to eat it. I quit soon after the soup incident.

Favourite food on tour…
It is always a struggle to find good, cheap food on tour. As a native Los Angelean, I’m always trying to find the best Mexican food wherever I play. I like to compare the Mexican food in other cities to LA’s because I know it will never be as good, and for some reason this makes me feel better about myself. It’s probably a pride thing, maybe a little pretentious too. Secretly, and I don’t tell this to anybody, the breakfast tacos at Tyson’s Tacos in Austin, Texas were the best I’ve ever had.

My favourite word…
Harlequin.

Things that cheer me up…
Memes, baked flaming hot cheetos, coffee, Yorgos Lanthimos movies, modular synthesizers, talking to people about my dreams, MUSIC, pillows, and sitting on my couch. Sometimes weed. Always hugs. 

If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…
It would be a dream to play in Tokyo! I went to Japan for the first time last year and bought tons of records. I went to this shop called Flash Disc Ranch that has been in the neighborhood Shimokitazawa for over 30 years and they clearly take such great care of their collection. They even invented their own record cleaning solution, and I found so many rare records there. Also, the first time I pressed a 7” vinyl record, somebody from Tokyo purchased four. I’d like to play a solo show for them because I’m not sure they know how much their support meant to me. Music heads in Tokyo seem to be some of the most diligent collectors, and those who I met while travelling were also quite open minded. As someone who takes months to complete a single song mix, I would love to play somewhere where this is highly appreciated.   

I think you should listen to…
The record Heart by Earthly. I’m so sad that they broke up :*(, but this record has become a staple of mine in the past few months. The album is perfect for a late night ride home on the subway or when you’re alone. The atmospheres that Earthly creates are unparalleled, and I love music that makes you feel a good kind of weird, you know? It puts you on edge and raises your self awareness. Capturing that emotional state is complex, because it is both comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time. It is full of doubt and imperfection, and to me those two traits are intrinsically human.  

If I could see anyone play live it would be…
At the moment I’m into the new ambient record Water Memory / Mount Vision by Emily A. Sprague. I’m actually listening to it right now. The first time I heard it, I was a little bit drunk and it felt like the music was surrounding and hugging me. It helped me through a difficult transitional state in my life when I was graduating from college, and seeing her live would be an absolute treat. Ambient shows are not always easy to sit through because they require a great deal of attention and focus, but I tend to learn something new about myself when I have time to think and my mind is adrift. These types of shows are often very insular experiences.  

Beshken plays Visions Festival on Saturday 3rd August.