#FEELINGS is proud to present its 16th digital release: Ben Aqua’s “Don’t Play Dumb” single. This 4th release on #FEELINGS by label boss Ben Aqua is a maniacally playful, yet ecstatically dark and cybernetic nod to Detroit & Chicago-style techno and ghetto-tech. Aqua’s raw, pitched down vocal hook initiates a frantic call-and-response mind game against crunchy, minimal acid synths and distorted 808s that evoke the spirits of club legends DJ Godfather, DJ Assault, and DJ Rashad.
In 2010, Ben Aqua informally self-released a primitive version of “Don’t Play Dumb” via Bandcamp. The track gathered support from club music innovators such as Girl Unit, and was featured on the Goon Club Allstars’ “Layers” mix for DIS Magazine in 2014. A year later, Ben realized the irony of how human creatures like to “play dumb”, regardless of how “smart” their technology is. These #feelings spawned his decision to re-edit and polish up “Don’t Play Dumb” for a fresh 2015 release.
“Don’t Play Dumb” arrives about one year after Ben Aqua’s notoriously controversial Resident Advisor RA.434 podcast of 2014, which sparked an intense critical discourse on the state of internet-inspired club and electronic music, aka the “online underground”. A few months after the RA podcast drama cloud cleared up (somewhat), Ben performed alongside SOPHIE and A. G. Cook of PC Music - two prominent co-conspirators of the “online underground” - at the official Resident Advisor SXSW 2015 Showcase. More recently, Ben’s work has been featured in FACT Magazine, The FADER, VICE Thump, and Nest HQ.