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Bentley Rhythm Ace

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Biography

Based in Birmingham, Bentley Rhythm Ace are Mike Stokes (aka Michael Barrywhoosh) and ex-Pop Will Eat Itself bassist Richard March (aka Barry Island). The group formed in 1995 after Marsh was introduced to Stokes at the house party of a mutual friend where Stokes was DJing. Discovering a shared love for screwball novelty records and offbeat groove tunes, the pair met up afterwards to see if they couldn't make a go of a studio collaboration. To date, they've released two EPs and a long-player for Brighton's big-beat Skint label, attracting wide acclaim for their energetic, irreverent blend of hip-hop, funk, and the bizarre lounge, jazz, and exotica records that initially brought them together. The duo's head-scratcher of a name derives from their weekend habit — also commemorated on their first Skint twelve, "This Is Carbootechnodiscobooto" — of rare vinyl shopping at the ubiquitous car-trunk junk sales in their Midlands home; a good deal of the flavor of their material comes from their knack for fusing the fruits of those dusty weekend jaunts with tight, infectious rhythms and engaging arrangements. Following the release of their Skint debut, Stokes and Marsh took up a monthly residency at Heavenly's Sunday Social club (where the Chemical Brothers got their start), and their instant popularity has meant they've been something of a critic's darling ever sense. Their self-titled debut LP was released by Skint in 1997, and featured remixed versions of a few early tracks together with a number of new cuts. The pair have also cultivated something of a devoted club following through their campy live performances, which often involve strange and unusual costumes and props (probably originating from the same car boots as their records).

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