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Premiere: Dudley Benson Shares Alcs Remix Of 'Cook Beleaguered'

Premiere: Dudley Benson Shares Alcs Remix Of 'Cook Beleaguered'

Photo by Phoebe Lysbeth Kay / Thursday 1st November, 2018 10:15AM

Dunedin singer and producer Dudley Benson's stunning new album Zealandia was a significant undertaking. Created over an eight year period, the record features over one hundred and sixty contributors, including the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand Youth Choir, and even beats made with GNS Science geologists from rocks and minerals within the Zealandia continent. Benson has described the collection as "twelve alternatives to the national anthem," and today he's unveiled the latest in a series of remixes for 'Cook Beleaguered', a song reconsidering the heroic status of English navigator Captain James Cook, who first sighted Aotearoa in 1769.

Auckland via Melbourne producer Alcs' remix of 'Cook Beleaguered' puts a club-friendly, futuristic spin on Benson's narrative while still retaining the song's haunting tension and latent horror. Benson generously shared some of his ideas surrounding 'Cook Beleaguered', read his words and listen to Alcs' rework of the song from a remixes collection dropping in November, along with a recently released beat-driven reimagining of the work by Dunedin's Death & The Maiden below...

"The starting point of Cook Beleaguered was the idea of melting the narrative of Cook as a hero. I think he's become a plastic figurine, not really human anymore and his agenda not to be questioned. I named the song after the painting by Nigel Brown [shown below], which to me represents the horror of the coming Empire: alcoholism, venereal disease, guns - colonisation, basically. But I also felt that Cook deserved some humanity, so the song has become his thoughts as he's on the Endeavour, bringing Britain to the Antipodes. He was actually somewhat enlightened as an explorer so part of me is giving him the benefit of the doubt - that he may have had regrets.

I gave the song to some artist friends to remix - Death and the Maiden, Alcs, and three other (surprise!) people. The Cook Beleaguered Remix EP will be out in mid-November, with a music video we've been filming over the last three years."


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