1)As a consequence of the financial crisis of 2008, Peter Houben lost his daytime job. Coincidentally, the lay-off bonus was the exact amount needed to pay for the mastering of “Ufo Conspiracy Believer” – a collection of songs Houben had recorded
with The Syphilis Madmen.
2)With his first band, Nemo, Peter Houben had already gained considerable acclaim – showcasing their contorted interpretation of a high-speed rocktrio all over Europe, being invited to the New Music Seminar in New York even before the first album was recorded, drawing the attention of a.o. Brinkman Records (see also Bettie Serveert), subsequently recording their self-produced debut in a few days on no budget at all, getting hysterical press like “Nemo acts as if nothing has happened. Put up a milestone in rock, pff… 18 songs full of surprising angles and great ideas…” (Humo)
Long time admirer Mauro Pawlowski used to be their roadie and dEUS played as their support.
3)Meanwhile Mauro and Peter started Mitsoobishy Jacson, often labelled ‘the Belgian alternative lofi supergroup’ with a.o. Pascal Deweze (Metal Molly/Sukilove) and Guy Van Nueten (Tom Barman).
4)After three Nemo and two Mitsoobishy Jacson albums, Houben felt it was enough and he started to mess around with synths and loops in a duo called UltraCowboy, causing immediate consternation with a ridiculously melodic radio hit called “the song that says fuck you”.
5)After that, Houben said “fuck you” to the music business, bought an acoustic guitar, got a part-time job and filled his days with long walks and slow books about evolutionary biology, the philosophy of science and the possibility of artificial intelligence. He kept writing and recording music, having no intention however to release an album.
6)Two things happened recently to change the natural course of things: an email from Jezus Factory and the aforementioned lay-off bonus – resulting in the appearance of Benny Zen the Recording Artist.
Houben got some local musicians together, the marvellous Syphilis Madmen, and recorded 15 songs at home. Half the Belgian music scene – Mauro Pawlowski, Admiral Freebee, Tim Vanhamel from Millionaire, Pascal Deweze, … – dropped by to celebrate the new Houben incarnation by supplying the choir on the song “It follows what you do”. It took two days to clean the living room.
The album comes in a deluxe digi pack with artwork from the legendary designer Herman Houbrechts (Millionaire, Evil Superstars, Admiral Freebee etc etc) and was mastered by Uwe Teichert (dEUS, Public Enemy, Placebo).
1. IF YOU’RE A UFO CONSPIRACY BELIEVER (2’ 25’’)
2. I GOT SOME (2’ 34’’)
3. EMOTIONAL ROCKSINGERS GO HOME (3’ 18’’)
4. THIS VIBRATION IS NOT JUST A MOVEMENT OF PARTICLES IN THE AIR (2’ 15’’)
5. SMALL LESBIANS, ALONE ON THE PAVEMENT (2’ 37’’)
6. THEY DISMANTLED NEPHEW BRIAN (3’ 42’’)
7. YOU LOVE ME (1’ 38’’)
8. I GOT A SPECIAL HAMMER FOR THAT (2’ 16’’)
9. IT FOLLOWS WHAT YOU DO (1’ 48’’)
10. SEND ALL YOUR LOVING TO THE CHURCH OF ZEN (3’ 27’’)
11. NEW YORK CITY, HERE WE COME (3’ 01’’)
12. UP ALL NIGHT (2’ 20’’)
13. KEEP ON TRUCKING IN THE SUNSHINE (3’ 04’’)
14. THE GOOD LORD CREATED HYENAS AND I CAN SCRATCH MY BALLS (2’ 50’’)
“You’ll be hitting the play button time and again” Is This Music?
“Like Teenage Fanclub re-working of the theme from the film ‘Deliverance'” Loud Horizon
“Sonic Youth at their most accessible. I have the review copy here, but I’m still going to support Benny Zen and his Madmen and buy my own copy. I like it that much” The Dreaded Press