Tenmoth Electron

by bens pens

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1.
Hi 02:11
I took a polaroid picture of a horse but when it came out it was a picture of a forest on fire hi hello how are you? it’s great to see you! what have you been up to? you look… you look… it’s so good to see you again! my earliest memory of school was running out into the playground with my best friend bonnie. she had her big blue mickey mouse plastic bag with her swimming things with her. and i asked her why she was taking her swimming things into the playground and she got embarrassed and went back indoors. 1 2 1 2 3 4
2.
Bathroom 03:35
I turn both the taps on to full and adjust the water temperature with the lever on top of the taps. I take off my t-shirt and shorts and step into the bath. The first thing I do is pick up the old-fashioned, telephone style showerhead and rinse my hair. I then put some shampoo on my left hand and rub it into my scalp with both. I immediately wash this out and put some conditioner onto my left hand and then rub it into my hair with both. I leave thIs to work its magic and in the meantime squIrt between 5-8 squirts of shower gel onto my left hand and step away from the water to work up a lather in this order - chest, shoulders, pits, belly, arms, cock & balls, thighs & calves. At this point I move further down the bath so that I can see if I am fatter or thinner than I remember from the day before. I have to do this before the mirror steams up. I then return to the tap end of the bath, pick up the showerhead and wash off the shower gel. I then do a daring reach across to the sink, hold the sink with my left hand and squirt some liquid soap onto my right hand. I then push myself back and balance myself in the bath and wash my hands. Then I squirt 3 foaming tea tree and witch hazel squirts of facewash onto my left hand rub it between the 2 and apply to my face. I rinse off the facewash & conditioner at the same time. I then squat in the bath and shower my arse clean. Sometimes even though I've finished I keep rInsing myself with hot water as I l like the feel of it and also think back to see if I’ve missed anything and feel a bit disappointed that I've run out of things to wash. Sometimes I start to dry myself and realise I've forgotten to rinse the conditioner out my hair and have to turn the taps back on. This is a drag as it means that when I dry myself the second time the towel is not only already wet but the water won’t’ve had time to have dripped from my head so it will be even wetter. If I remember, which I rarely do, I put the towel on the radiator before I shower so that it's warm when I dry myself. I stand in the bath and work down. First my hair. Sometimes I dry it thoroughly, sometimes just I dry it off a bit so it's not too drippy and then return to it later. I then move to my arms, working from shoulder to hand, left arm 1st then the right one. I then pat my chest and belly. I rest my left foot on the side of the bath and towel my left leg then the right one. I don't dry my toes. I pull out the towel in front of me with both hands (landscape not portrait) and flip it over my head so it's like a cape over my shoulders. I then rub it from side to side, shoulders to back to bum. I then step out of the bath onto my t shirt and shorts and curl the t-shirt up with my toes to dry them. I step off the t shirt and pick it up and us it to dry my pits and crotch so as not to make the towel as smelly as I imagine it could become if I dried my crevices with it. i then wrap the towel around my waist and and tuck the right end in front of me either above or below my belly button depending on how fat I feel.
3.
IF YOU NEED A FRIEND GET A DOG. THERE’S NO NOBILITY IN POVERTY. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BUCKS KID. THE REST IS CONVERSATION.
4.
Sketch 02:53
i’m not much of a travelling person. if i end up someplace i don’t investigate it much. when i was in france for a year all my other friends would visit people who were staying in different towns like toulouse or grenoble or wherever but i stayed in lyon the whole time and even then i would rarely change my route from the turkish quarter to the centre and back again. now I’m in south london it’s the same. i rarely explore the area about me. i can do a cheap train change at balham so i look around there a bit. actually no that’s not really true either. i just go to the same shop that does really great tea. everything about the place is done just right. there’s a water jug on each table and the tables are all different and they have many cakes with exactly the right variety - chocolate lemon macaroons pastries. but even on these visits i don’t vary the menu much. either a bacon sandwich or something sweet. and then maybe either a coffee or a pot of tea. i don’t think I’ve ever had anything else to eat there and maybe i’ve been 5 or 6 times. i like doing extravagant things once only. for example i went to sketch off regent street. but only once. it was great to spend £20 on tea & cake and have the bill slipped inside an old book and the surroundings made you feel like you were living in another world where everyone would be saying the most amazing things. i can’t remember what we were talking about or overhearing anything particularly wondrous so what i’m left with is a bad…what’s the opposite of a memory? an unmemory? a forget? an unmemory of what happened.
5.
Birthday 01:52
Yesterday it was my birthday. And last night i went up the local heath and found myself on my knees sucking a guy off. Halfway through the guy panicked and started scrambling around on the grass looking for something. I presumed it was a wallet or car keys or something and asked him what it was. refusing to give a straight answer and failing to find it he made his apologies and fidgeting with his baseball cap made a hasty exit. i looked around on the grass but couldn’t find the mystery object. when i got home i took off my jacket and threw it on the sofa and something fell out of the breast pocket. on closer inspection it turned out to be a prosthetic ear. i think it was what the guy lost but it fell into my pocket rather than onto the grass. i didn’t know what to do with it so in the end i threw it away.
6.
Boring Times 01:39
body failure boring times the worst play or film i ever saw bad at sports making mistakes in a foreign language failed relationships failed singletons elderly failure
7.
Call Centre 02:16
i worked for a while in a call centre. it was horrible but it paid well. well quite well for 2004. £8 per hour. it was a telesales job so you had to call people and sell them card insurance. basically it was a scam. i did it for 1 year. no one really needs this insurance but erm you’d have to convince them. you’d say ‘hello i’m calling on behalf of the halifax’ and even though you had their details in front of you you weren’t calling from them. you are the most vilified person on earth. ‘hello!’ ‘fuck off fuck off’ BEEP. i mean it was £30 so every now and then someone would go for it and there were bonuses too. there was a thing that gave you no more than 30 seconds between calls. unless you pressed a button so you could go to the loo or on a break or something. i left after this one call. it was this woman in her 60s and she said ‘oh it’s funny you called just now i was just about to kill myself’. she said her husband of 47 years had just left her for another woman and she was going to take an overdose. i had to stay on the call and was waving for my manager to come over but i couldn’t hang up. they were saying ‘keep her on the phone! keep her on the phone! try and convince her that life is worth living!’ and i didn’t know what to say. actually most of the time she was doing most of the talking and i didn’t have to say anything. it lasted about an hour. I’ve no idea what happened afterwards if she killed herself or not. i was really freaked out by it actually and left the job after that call. i didn’t try and sell her any insurance.
8.
Monster 01:01
my past is a monster the monster is now really a fantasy that i keep alive at some level as those who made it are no longer around my present can be full of good things when i don’t let the monster whisper lies to me
9.
Tripod 03:17
the plan was that I came into town, picked up the tripod and took it over to chris' house. but, just after i headed out, he called to say he had to head across town himself in 2 hours time so maybe it would be better to see him tomorrow. I considered getting off the bus crossing the road to the bus stop on the other side and going straight home but I have a this yearly travel pass now and thought it had been such an effort to leave the flat to begin with that I should carry on. I sent out some texts from the bus to friends I thought might be about but none of them were. The weather was nice after being grotty for a while and everything looked as if - or rather I thought it looked from the top of the bus - as though the buildings were putting some kind of show. Like actors who've been doing the same play for months and are tired of doing the same performance but are still professional enough not to show it. I decided I needed more pages doing for this thing. I decided I would write about loss of confidence. the way everything suddenly leaves you - your feeling of having friends, your life motor, time...I went through all the places I thought I'd feel comfortable getting my laptop out and stayed on the bus till I alighted near Piccadilly. I was listening to the 6ths album wasps' nests on my battered ipod headphones. it's my fault they're on their way out - I have them in my jeans pocket the whole time. the wire's showing near the bit that plugs into the ipod and the cap of the right-hand headphone sticks in my ear when I take the rest of the headphone out. the volume level is only audible on a few albums (classical music isn't worth listening to at all unless you're in the country in the middle of the night). anyway the first place I went to wouldn't take card payments so I went across the street to take some money out of the machine. I went back and ordered a tuna melt, a coffee and a small cube of nougat. at the end of the counter was a small glass shaker with some ground nutmeg inside and another one containing chocolate powder. I sprinkled some on top of my coffee. it was the first time I've tried this and it tasted great. actually just now as I was about to really get into writing this the waitress has come upstairs to say the area i'm in is now closed. I think i'm going to go back home now as I haven't really got enough money to go and have any fun.
10.
Fun 01:39
11.
Will Young 00:53
there was an awards ceremony and I was standing beside the stage. will young walked up to me with a girl and asked where the toilets were. i was so excited i sent them in the wrong direction.
12.
Work 06:06
My dad's advice to me was work outside. He'd been a miner. I used to do my Grandmother's gardens and grow vegetables in her garden and eat them on a Sunday. Cabbages, beetroot, carrots - all your common garden vegetables. My Grandma had this rhubarb patch and we'd make rhubarby things. The thing about a rhubarb patch is it...you don't have to plant it - every year it just grows and grows. It’s probably one of the easiest things you can grow. And tree surgery - because I was a gardener - it was a natural progression. In fact there was a point where I wanted to become a farmer but that quickly changed when I found out that farm workers were the most poorly paid workers in the country. I was the chargehand of a small group. We had a big red van. We'd go and prune trees and cut down trees and use those cherrypicker lifts. One tree stands out. It was a big old elm tree. It had to be felled because it was across a main road. A big mature elm tree and it was dead. And we had to we had to do it on a Sunday so I got paid overtime. We used a huge four foot guidebar the biggest chainsaw we had and we felled this tree. After we felled it I was responsible for this huge thing coming down. It was a lovely Sunday morning. People started gathering round, We were under pressure because we were blocking a main road. But we got it down and sawn up. It didn't take long to reopen the road. It was a very lonely job and what I missed was working with other people. As a tree surgeon you can work for days on end and never see anyone. Its quite a solitary life. In my Grandmother's shed my Uncle had a big metal toolbox. And I'd empty the tools out, put it in the middle of the garden with a string attached to the lid, put bread around it and then go and sit in the shed. I'd watch the starlings eating the bread and hopping around it and then when one'd hop in I’d catch the starling. Then I'd go into my Grandmother's bathroom and let the starling out and then I’d have to catch it. And eventually I'd let it go. Whenever I smell a wood fire now I think about my grandmother's garden. I was brought up with death which sounds a bit weird but seeing dead people from an early age...I guess that's a Catholic background for you. And so when I’d taken a year out to study music a couple of years ago at college I was in the Job centre looking for a job and there was one there for a funeral director in Chelsea. And I thought 'I could do that'. I was an undertaker for about eight months and that was something I was er quite comfortable with. It was actually something that I think enhanced my life experience. I could recommend it as a life experience. I've actually looked for hospices in the local area but the only one was miles away and I've only got a bike. It kind of deepened my belief in something more. As in the first time I saw someone embalmed the person’s face looks like they're asleep but the chest cavity just isn't there and when you see it in front of you you think there has to be something else. Bodybuilding. Winning. I won a competition. I won two. I only did three. They were spaced a year or two apart. It was a really strict diet and I was strict on myself because I wanted to win and I did. To be honest I can't believe I used to do that now. After work I'd go to the gym. 5 nights a week. Basically you'd do compulsory poses then a couple of minutes freestyle posing to a piece of music of your choice. I remember posing to Carmina Burana. And another time I posed to (I forget the guy who wrote it) but the theme to Chariots of Fire. I was into opera then. Bodybuilding's not something I would recommend. It kind of does your head in. You only think about food all the time. And your body. Which can only be a selfish thing. I had a training partner Kevin. But he didn't compete. He was my mate. My best mate. He was a singer. He still is a singer. He goes around and sings in Tenerife. And we used to go out Saturday and Sunday night and get bladdered. We’d call it the carbohydrate overload. That was our excuse. During the show all you’d be thinking about was all the chocolate you could eat afterwards.
13.
Tomatoes 02:00
LAST NIGHT ON THE TELLY I SAW A PROGRAM THAT SAID IF YOU EAT LOTS OF TOMATOES IT MAKES YOUR SKIN MORE RESISTANT TO U.V. LIGHT
14.
Games 03:16
Games 1. Music Soothes the Savage Beast You had to go like round the room around the room like you were some maniac and then the person who was on the stereo would play a piece of classical music and drop the stylus on the record. Then you just acted all floaty or calmly or kitten-y or serenely or...anyway it was called Music Soothes the Savage Beast. 2. Magic Powder I would be a magician and my sister would be my assistant and I used this Brut33 talc dispenser for smoke and one day I was making my sister disappear in this puff of scented talcum powder when I squeezed the thing too hard and a load of it went all over her face and in her mouth. I had to make her promise not to tell mum or dad as I knew I'd be in trouble. 3.Torture The game was called torture. I would sit opposite my sister cross-legged and we would take turns pinching each other and the the other person wasn't allowed to wince. If you winced you lost. 4. Typewriter My cousin used to play typewriter with me. I'd have to lie on the floor and she’d pin my arms down with her knees and then she'd type on my belly and she’d say ‘TYPEWRITER! TYPEWRITER! TYPEWRITER!’ and I'd just lie there screaming and then she’d slap me round the ear and say ‘ping’. 5. Get Lost My grandmother’s sister’s er pile I guess. A little mansion and a huge amount of ground around it near a nuclear power station in Bradford. Hills and trees and ponds and quite neglected. And when me and my sister and my 2 cousins would get together we’d say in unison ‘GET LOST’ but it was a singing thing and then we’d all run off in different directions. Maybe they just did it to lose me I don’t know. 6. Suffocation We used to put pillows over each other’s faces and see how long you could go with a pillow over your face. 7. Firemen It was a girl. I used to live on the same street as her. My friend was Lisa. Her and her brother are about 2 years apart and the youngest Charlotte about 5 years younger. One day they we playing. It was really sunny and their mother was sunbathing outside. Her brother said ‘I know. Let’s play firemen.’ So they got their sister Charlotte. And they opened the window and said ‘FIRE! FIRE! LOOK OUT BELOW!’ and threw her out the window. She landed on her mother who was sunbathing in the garden.
15.
Sunbathing 01:18
16.
Cake 00:46
I could stop being fat quite easily if I could just stop eating three portions of cake a day. But like Anna said, you only used to eat cake on special occasions and now every meal is a special occasion. Or, if you find yourself between meals, that’s also a special enough occasion to be a cake occasion. Also, because I tend not to remember anything either, I always forget how many cakes I've actually eaten. I can't remember anything much at all generally. The best I can muster is maybe an idea of a smell or perhaps a few lines of something that might have been said.
17.
E.A.A.H. 04:15
My Nanna is taking a plane to South Carolina at the end of the month. I've been a bad grandson for years. I always thought I would take my grandparents out for picnics in the car but after I passed my driving test I didn't drive anymore so the picnic never happened. And then my Granddad died and I moved to London and now my Nanna's going to America so now it’ll probably never happen. It's odd how time ends up making you feel foolish for having these good ideas and then not doing anything about them. Nanna moved up to London from Wales in the 1930s as there was more employment there. She was beautiful and chatty and had a lot of boyfriends. She never had a Welsh accent and she doesn't know why as both her sisters never lost theirs even though they all travelled to London at more or less the same time. She is 84. Some of her boyfriends were killed in the war as they were soldiers or sailors or in the RAF. She said how as they never had to grow old they were somehow perfect because they died in their prime before they had a chance to spoil. She taught me how to make pastry when I was very young. 4oz flour 2oz butter a spoonful of water. Use the leftover pastry to make jam tarts. My Granddad used to read bedtime stories to my sister and me and would always try and persuade Nanna to let us have chocolate and crisps and so I used to like him more than I liked her. Now that he's dead I like her more and more each time I seen her. She never tells the same story twice - the result of being extrovert with a jealous husband. Somehow I've inherited this even though I don't have a jealous husband. He could be really horrible to her at times but said he told her he loved her every day. She misses him but said it would've been cruel to make him stay - he was so ill. She has to have a constant supply of oxygen because she used to work in an office where everyone smoked. She'd make an ideal poster girl for passive smoking as she herself never smoked and now she has chronic heart and lung failure. It’s been like this for a few years now. How can you still be alive with chronic heart and lung failure? Anyway she is for the time being. She says she was a bad mother and yet she’s done the best out of all her contemporary relations - no one's put her in a home yet. She has a carer who comes twice a day and a cleaner as well but I don't know how often the cleaner visits. She had some beautiful clothes. She stayed in the Plaza Hotel in Madrid when Granddad was a cameraman on that film shoot when Tyrone Power died of a heart attack. She said the director made him re-do this take where he had to run up a staircase 100 times and then he dropped dead of a heart attack. Gina Lollobrigida had a fur coat. So Granddad bought Nanna one too. It’s odd what seems to happen when you get old. Your whole life gets reduced to a few stories you're happy to tell over and over. Things that stuck. Things people said. Embarrassing moments. lt’s funny how these moments of embarrassment are so awful at the time but then they’re probably the things you remember most when you get old.
18.
I feel as though I'm spending my whole life looking and trying to work out how everything is done but I'm worried that I'll get to the end of my life and still not have worked it out. And then instead of doing it I'll have wasted my life trying to work it out how everything works.
19.
Let me think. Hang on. I go to bed late. I always think I’m going to go to bed early but I always look at the internet until 1 or 2. I have to brush my teeth and take my lenses out. I have a routine for that. I have to turn the tap on and wait for ages for the hot water to come through and then have to put the cold on ever so slightly to stop it from scalding. Then I have to soap up my hands and it’s a bit medical because it has to be when you’re touching your eyes. Then I have to rinse them really well so I don’t get soap on the lenses. Yes. I always start with the right lens then pop it in the case but you’re always supposed to do that anyway. Once the lenses are out I turn off the hot tap and the cold one’s still running and I do my teeth like that. Then I put on my glasses so I can see. That’s about it really. I’ll probably go back to the internet for a bit. I have 2 duvets and 6 pillows. Is that too excessive? How many pillows do you have? I can never sleep if i only have 1 pillow. It must be at least 2. I’ll either fall right asleep or…I have this thing when I’m trying to sleep. I have to visualise myself in small enclosed pod thing. Like a sleeping chamber inside a huge industrial construction of some sort. It seems to help me fall asleep.
20.
I was helping out in the sushi department of the Royal Opera House box office as they were very busy. They called me back to the regular box office and as I was leaving a new guy asked if it was ok to have raw meat and raw fish on the same chopping board. I said when in doubt separate everything. As I was leaving the head of box office told me off for leaving a door open. I asked how was I supposed to know as I'd never been here before and he said that was no excuse I should know this by now. Interestingly, the sushi department of the Royal Opera House box office is based at the Barbican and I took the lift down. The interesting thing I remember about the lift was that it had no door which looked really spaceagey but I was aware that it could be dangerous for children. I was trying to save the world from large killer rabbits. They were like the ones from that cartoon of Watership Down. Except it they weren't cartoons and pretty scary really. The strange thing was we were a little community of humans and rabbits living in peace and I had to dress up like a rabbit and hop down the hole of these evil rabbits to find out what they were up to. They had a human inside making complex war machines and he raised the alarm. I managed to get out and get all the little good rabbits out of the large mansion we were now in onto the roof. Because of course the evil rabbits couldn't survive in the sun. AlI the good little rabbits started to get hot in the sun and insisted on going back inside to certain death. I couldn’t save them! It was very distressing. Then I ran off and had to cross a river to save my life (water also fatal to evil rabbits). I couldn’t make it so I turned into a ladybird and crawled into a little hole to hide. Last night my friend jason asked me to write a satire of britney spears in which she was about to drown because in reality she had been caught in a flood and some of her family had died. It seemed a bit of a cruel thing to satire to me. I was being interviewed as part of some political TV program. The other men I was with one was 6'4" the other was 7'10" me being 5'1''ish we commented on how we were like a set of dolls, what do you call them, they sit inside each other and get progressively smaller? Anyway we thought it would be funny if the next person who joined the debate was even smaller. But the next was a female spirit without a head and we were disappointed. I was prince William on the day of my coronation. The Queen was still alive but it had all happened very suddenly & I hadn't been told exactly what was going on. The Queen & Prince Phillip were very relaxed as they didn't have to do any more reigning and kept deliberately telling me the wrong things to do and then getting giggly. The ceremony took place on the balcony of Buckingham Palace which had been redone to look like a 60s concrete version of a roman villa. There were 1000s of onlookers (not well wishers) but these were all invisible to me behind the concrete window. The thing that surprised me the most was that you had to bathe first in front of everyone and were then crowned wearing a small white towel which was a bit too small to cover you properly. I bathed without a hitch and tried my best to emerge regally from the coronation pool. I was then at a loss as to what to do next. I walked past Prince Phillip and asked him what to do but he was having another fit of the giggles and wasn't much help. I went up some stairs and into the post-coronation reception. No one recognised me at first and would waft me away with their hands before suddenly coming to and realising I was their new sovereign. And then they'd be sycophantic and overly pally. It was then I understood how important good friends must be if you're royalty. Or even if you’re just a bit famous.
21.
STAND OR SIT ERECT WITH CHEST OUT GUT SUCKED IN AND ARMS RELAXED AND NOT FLAILING ABOUT. TAKE UP EXTRA SPACE WITH YOUR BODY LANGUAGE AND TERRITORY. DON’T LOOK SCARED OR LIKE YOU ARE TRYING TO BE SMALL AND HIDE. SHOW THAT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE AND CONFIDENT WITH RELAXED FACE AND BODY. MOVE ONLY WHEN NECESSARY AND MOVE SLOWLY AND DELIBERATELY. PICTURE IN YOUR MIND THAT YOU HAVE A BIG FRIENDLY ENERGY FIELD AROUND YOUR BODY THAT GLOWS AND EVERYONE LIKES LOOKING AT IT AND IS ATTRACTED TO YOU.

credits

released December 1, 2017

TENMOTH ELECTRON

BEN PENS // TOM LOFFILL // ATLI GUNNARSSON

BOREDOM! EMBARRASSMENT! FAILURE!


MUSIC

BENS PENS & TOM LOFFILL


TEXTS

BENS PENS
DAN HARLAND
STUART HOBGOBLIN
BEN ELSEY
ALICE BREWER
HELEN WARDER
DAVID PARKER
JOHN FOLEY
MARKUS RUDLAND
ROBIN WATSON
JESS BURN
TOM LOFFILL


VOICES

ATLI GUNNARSSON

CAROLINE BENJAFIELD
JACK BENJAFIELD
JAMES BENJAFIELD
BARRY CREASY
SAMANTHA BLANEY
OWEN DUFF
OTANAS MAKARAVICIUS
MARIA PITIUSA
RICHARD BARNARD
SCOTT KEIR
MICHAEL HUBBARD
SEAN BRUNO

ATLI GUNNARSSON RECORDED BY TOMASSO PEREGO

MASTERED BY OWEN DUFF

ASSEMBLED OUT OF HOURS IN VARIOUS BACKSTAGE CHORUS/BALLET REHEARSAL ROOMS AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE COVENT GARDEN

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bens pens Margate, UK

bens pens started off as a concept band where ben just asked people if they wanted to be in his band. at one point it had 7 flautists and no rehearsals performances or songs. often it's just him. tenmoth electron is the result of almost 10 years slowly turning a self published magazine into a piece with his friend tom loffill and voice of icelandair atli gunnarsson. ... more

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