Colin Benders is a Dutch musician and composer known best for his work with modular synthesizers. His music tends to be difficult to classify because it is not restricted to a certain style or genre and he has experimented with it all.
Benders was just 18 years old when he founded the Kyteman Hip Hop Orchestra, a collective of 25 professionally trained musicians including 10 rappers. The group was known for creating a unique concoction of sounds with hints of hip hop, drum and bass, opera and a wide array of other genres. Though short-lived, the Kyteman Hip Hop Orchestra won a variety of prestigious awards after touring for about a year. After the end of the first Kyteman Orchestra era, Benders decided to take a different, more classical approach with the Kyteman Orchestra number two which he said was “lacking soul” and so the third Kyteman Orchestra project came to fruition through a series of completely improvised performances called “The Jam Sessions.”(Bender’s TNW Conference speech) “The idea was to do an entire tour with nothing but sign language and trust in each other’s musical capabilities. Chords, melodies and interactions are all decided upon on the spot,” Benders wrote in the description under a video of one of their rehearsals.
In 2011, Benders started creating music on modular synthesizers. He dropped everything else and never looked back. In 2016, Benders started livestreaming his sessions playing around on the modular synthesizers and coined these sessions “Modular Mayhem.” These livestreams started on Twitch and eventually expanded to YouTube (Bender’s TNW Conference speech). Modular Mayhem has become quite a large community with its own Discord channel amassing upwards of 6,000 members and still growing daily.
Benders’ debut album “Floaty Things” was a vinyl-only release in October of 2020. Just a short year later, Benders released his five-track sophomore album, “Rigmarole.” Both albums share the fact they were produced in lockdown during peak Covid era.