Viben: “Pablo Picasso”

Lyrics are a fickle field. You can be wordy as hell, hoping that at least one line sticks in listener’s minds. Or, you could just loop the hell out of some barebones sentences – guaranteed to have a lot more hypnotic staying power through sheer repetition, especially in the realm of dance music.

Now let’s talk about Ben Fish, who operates here in Austin under a few different avenues: as a DJ, as frontman of his full band Viben & The Submersibles, and as the mononymous solo act Viben. Viben categorizes his stuff as “Scuba Funk”, a label that totally mirrors his liquid grooves, but doesn’t necessarily require a lot of deep diving in terms of lyrical accessibility. So while Viben’s sophisticated soundscapes have earned him a place on our local sonar since his start in 2018, his latest release proves that a more basic approach can be just as good.

Which reminds us of the great Pablo Picasso, who once said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” And that quote really resonates with the vibrant simplicity of Viben’s latest, “Pablo Picasso”. This super trendy, Euro-friendly piece of house chic translates Picasso’s genius brushstrokes into brilliantly swung drums, synth, rhythm guitar, and bass, while Viben’s vocals pine for an artistic ascent towards the tune’s namesake legendary status.

Will Viben one day become a celebrated painter? We don’t know. But will “Pablo Picasso” be remembered as an uncomplicated piece of genuine expression in Austin’s electronic oeuvre? No doubt.