John Bence employs music as a tangible expression of the immaterial. The British composer’s visceral and spiritual sound world probes the metaphysical. Raised in Bristol’s burgeoning underground electronic music scene and a graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, John Bence manages to employ compositional complexity to manifest potent emotions. Gregorian chant, orchestral arrangements, rippling synthesizers and field recordings are equally at home in his music.
John Bence is a composer and producer from Bristol, UK, whose work tackles epic narrative themes and uncompromising sonics with a juddering emotional punch.
Early releases for Nicholas Jaar’s Other People imprint and Yves Tumor’s label Grooming were engulfed in overwhelming emotion. Struggles with alcoholism and addiction found their outlet in brooding chamber atmospheres and caustic eruptions of choral aggression on the macabre Kill (Grooming, 2018), followed by Love’s (Thirll Jockey, 2020) stark minimalism and raw production reflecting the composer’s personal struggles with striking honesty, searching for the deeper meaning in human suffering.
Bence comes fully into his own as a composer on Archangels (Thrill Jockey, 2023), deftly threading together gauzy electronic atmospheres, brooding orchestral passages and minimalist piano meditations; revealing new surprises at every twist and turn.