Bengalfuel’s music is their gift to the ghosts or at least it seems that way with their recent work which you can checkout via their Bandcamp. Bengalfuel consits of Lou DiBenedetto (also known as Dentist) plus Joe LiTrenta (Doc Deem) and they make ethereal and atmospheric pieces of pure bliss and beauty. The music oscillates between melodic soundscapes, deep droning elements and shimmering high frequencies. We rolled them over our 10 x 4 to find out some more.
Most influential person?
My older brother, Tom. He’s held Bengalfuel together when Lou and I might have retreated to our solo projects. He’s the most sensitive person that, to a certain extent, he has to turn himself off or he would feel everything. He’ll text sometimes to tell me something, and it’s absolutely psychic; he’ll know what’s happening, and he’ll drive over and help at 5 in the morning. He’s the first person I ever saw cry watching a movie, or listening to a song, or a speech. That’s something I am really fucking grateful to have learned. He’s also the funniest person I know, if I’m having the worst day he’ll straighten me out by making me laugh my balls off. He raised me when my parents were too fucked up to know what to do with me.
First musical love?
If I go back far enough, I’m pretty sure it was Public Enemy. I used to wear a clock around my neck to look like Flava Flav when I was in kindergarten. I only listened to what my brother and sister played me, for years. So it was rap and Zapp, or Paula Abdul and The Bangles. I remember I had a tape of Bel Biv Devoe’s single, ‘Poison’ and I would put headphones on and sing along. That was my shit. I was in love with this girl who held my hand in kindergarten. ‘Poison’ was my track to play for her.
Last musical love?
My friend Billy has a song called ‘Wall Street Bailout Blues’ and we shot a music video for it just recently in New York City. I listened to it probably 50 times when he first gave it to me. He’s got these honeycomb Beach Boys harmonies in there, and I couldn’t even believe it was him. Every song he does is so catchy, I get it in my head after hearing it once. I don’t know anybody else like that.
Korg MS2000. I’m looking at one right now. Lou has one at his place in Brooklyn and I’ve got its brother. This is where it all started in terms of Bengalfuel. If there was nothing else, we could make Bengalfuel forever with just this synthesizer.
Your biggest break so far?
I don’t know if it qualifies as a break, but I was working on a movie called “Shot List” and I needed music for the final scene so I could send it to Cannes. I was listening to Aphex Twin and decided to call Chrysalis and see about using his track, ‘Beetles’ with two days before I had to mail the DVD. I sent my idea and he approved it the same day and I was able to finish my movie with some of my favorite music.
The creation of Bengalfuel was a genuine Eureka moment. It was almost an accident, really. I was just fucking around with one of Lou’s synthesizer works that he didn’t even like. I was trying to deal with living in a haunted house and needed some peaceful music to play loud to fill the house. I tried a few things to make the track more dreamy and my jaw was on the floor. Pretty soon everybody was at my house listening and standing around with joints like, “Wow. This is the good shit.” And the ghosts love it.
Love of your life?
For me it’s a gal named Aimee. She left me recently and I’m still picking up the pieces. My heart aches and I feel crazy, on fire. Feeling my feelings. I realize now that she was the one. I wouldn’t even be alive if it wasn’t for her, so there’d be no Bengalfuel. She’s in the first Bengalfuel music video, ‘Concentrate.’ We were out food shopping in the middle of the night and just came up with it in a moment of pure inspiration. It took five minutes to shoot.
Sophia Casanova, she’s in one of my movies. She’s one cool cat.
A place to create?
My house. Mostly all of the recording is here, for any of the projects, Doc Deem or Bengalfuel, and a new project with Lou and I doing stuff similar to Bengalfuel but balanced by my brother and bigger beats. A lot of the Bengalfuel videos are shot in my house, with one of the different colored walls as a background. I will wreck the arrangement of the place to shoot a scene for a movie here. I’m currently building a set in my living room. My cats have to find new spots to sleep.
Last thing that inspired you?
A headshot from an actress. I get as many as two or three thousand headshots for a part. Sometimes I look at someone’s photo and I know immediately and pick up the phone. When that happens, everything is charged with electricity and ideas are flowing. If I never felt that feeling, I wouldn’t make anything. It’s what it’s all about.