Ben River

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Ben River
Birth nameHicham Bensassi
Born (1981-12-27) 27 December 1981 (age 37)
OriginLondon, England
Occupation(s)Musician, Singer, songwriter, composer, poet, record producer,
InstrumentsSinging, Guitars, songwriter
Years active2003–present
LabelsNew Antique Records, Universal Music Group, Artefact Records
Associated actsThe Moonlight Convention,

Hicham Bensassi (born 27 December 1981), better known by his stage name Ben River, is a British singer, songwriter, poet, composer and music producer whose work includes music on the satirical BBC animated series Monkey Dust in 2003, remixes including Howard Marks and The Mystery School Ensemble in 2005, also most recently a collaboration with playwright, publisher and spoken word artist Lee Harris released on Genepool/Universal Music Group in 2009 the album Angel Headed Hip Hop.


Aside from vocal, and lyrical duties, Ben River's musical contributions to projects he has been involved with has included Guitar, both acoustic and electric. Also Bass guitar and Piano/Synths. He also incorporates many electronic elements to his work. programming beats and manipulating samples.[1]

Solo work[edit]

Ben River released three Ep's in a series of three musical vignettes over 2015. The first EP 'When The Sun Ate The Moon',[2] the second EP 'Frontier' [3] and the third EP 'Tomorrow's Child' featuring the song 'Monday Love' [4] The song "Carried Away" was included on the film Gold Fish Bowl, which was screened at the Portobello Film Festival 2010. An acoustic version of the song Sheffield/Tunis and remixes of the song Carried away were included on the podcast series on New Antique Records. He is working on a new untitled album with various musicians.

The Moonlight Orchestra[edit]

The Moonlight Orchestra is an experimental music collective founded in 2009. The debut album 'Traipsing Bloom' was released in 2015 and featured poetry from Daevid Allen,[5] John Sinclair, Lee Harris, Youth and Ben River as well as musical contributions from Hawkwind founder member Nik Turner, Ben River co -composed the music and produced the album.[6]

Angel Headed Hip Hop[edit]

The first meeting took place during the time of an event "Terra Firma" where Lee Harris and Ben River had both performed separately. A few years later Hicham invited Lee to record something for a project he was working on and quite organically the album Angel Headed Hip Hop (Album) was born.[7] They brought in special Guests such as writer Brian Barritt, rapper JC001 and Hicham wrote the music, performed vocally on four of the album's songs and remixed the song "Three men in a boat with Howard Marks originally released on the previous album "30 Years of Counter Culture" The album was released in 2009 on Genepool/Universal Music Group.

The album has been described by Upsetter Magazine as "the 21st century equivalent of the early experiments with beat poetry and improvised Jazz" and the K&C Daily Times said "a heady mix of both spoken word poetry and fractured samples. The album is recontextualising the beat poets into the modern age".[8]


  1. ^ "Ben River". Laurel Canyon Music. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  2. ^ "FolkWords Reviews". Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ "Ben River // Frontier EP | New Antique Records". Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Indie Obsessive: "Monday Love" by Ben River – A Song Review". Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Q&A with Lee Harris, Ben River & Daevid Allen (The Moonlight Orchestra) - journey of sonic and aural fusion". Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Hail Mary Jane - The Moonlight Orchestra". Archived from the original on 8 September 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  7. ^ "Angel Headed Hip Hop - LEE HARRIS MEETS RIVER STYX". Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  8. ^ "The beat goes on for ex-hippie Lee". Retrieved 25 April 2016.[permanent dead link] viewable on:

External links[edit]