The term "ennui" is a loanword borrowed from the Old French for "to annoy or bore." In its modern application, it's developed a spiritual, existential connotation: a listlessness attendant being itself, the Grand Boredom.
For Hamilton-based producer Benjamin Muñoz (of the late synth pop act New Hands), it refers to "a kind of meaninglessness waiting at the end of any logical train of thought," "a sentiment or feeling surrounding the fact that there is no meaning to life, unless one chooses otherwise." But music stands outside that, he says. It is evocative. "You listen to music, look at art, read, watch films, whatever, and it moves you. To me, ennui is a sort of paradoxical, underlying truth that I find interesting, but that doesn’t bother me much, because either way, if you put on UKG, I’ll dance."
Benjamin Muñoz's debut record, Dear Ennui, is a four-song collection of UK house, underground dance, and its subsets, exploring the inner chatter of ennui, while musically balancing melancholia and a childlike sense of wonder, partially spurred by his recent rediscovery of anime.
"UK garage and 2 step have this quirkiness that I see in anime. Cowboy Bebop, FLCL, Tekkonkinkreet and JSRF all have incredible soundtracks, but when I watch those anime I hear this quirky, retro-futuristic type of music in my head. I’m trying to create that sound with these tunes, and the UK underground is the closest thing I know to that sound."