Identity Crisis

by 86plot

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The debut full-length album from 86plot is a dynamic mashup of original electronic music and dialogue from Pirandello’s 'Six Characters in Search of an Author', creating a stimulating blend of experimental influences ranging from conscious hip-hop to postminimalism.

Balancing brash meditation with self-deprecation, Identity Crisis weaves philosophical nuance into a sonic fabric of personal and social awareness. From the heartbreaking reality of dependence to candid commentaries on society’s collective indifference, each track peels back a layer of discovery and unites the pleasure and pain that is inextricably tied to the unknown.


released February 22, 2019

Music and lyrics written, produced, recorded and mixed by Bob Benson.
Dialogue written by Luigi Pirandello and recordings distributed by LibriVox.
Mastered by Local Legend Recording.


all rights reserved



86plot Iowa

86plot is the solo project of Bob Benson, a producer and composer based in east central Iowa.

Broadly categorized as 'electronic music', each release from 86plot intends to push the boundaries of traditional genres, blending elements of cinematic scores and experimental compositions with conscious hip-hop and commercial pop.
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Track Name: Crisis
... who are you?

Let us pray
Blessed is the virus that divides us
Indeed the mindless shall inherit this
And spread the carelessness of caustic prophecy
A proud hypocrisy
A hivemind in denial

We believe in American idols
And follow those whose fame is but a title
Used to influence the masses
And propagate the cycle of indifference
Indoctrinate the youth
More disciples

A pittance for your ignorance
You wanted bliss?
Repent - seek forgiveness for sins you've committed or witnessed
And hid beneath this facade of perfection
Do I have your attention?

This confession's the legacy you leave behind
The choir to which you preach won't pass judgment
And it ain't about them anyway - it's about you
So c'mon, out with it
Who are you?

--- a man / nobody
... let's get on with it - it's sure to be a glorious failure, anyway
Track Name: Bite Your Lip
No apologies
No goodbyes
No slamming doors
Just taillights

On the verge of a relapse
Step back, relax
Take a breath and count to..........

It's out of reach, but I have a hold
Of what took so long to let go
So go on and take it all, take it off
Take this love - or what it is you call it
It's too late, I'm all in
I've already fallen

Face down on the floor
And wanting more

Seriously, is that the best you got?
Little do you know that I can't stop
I wanna be damaged, open
Hoping you'll bite your lip and come back to haunt me
Can't say that I'm sorry
If only you saw me

Face down on the floor
And wanting more
Why'd you have to go?

Sinking deeper for the chance
That I might be hanging onto what I just ain't got
Ever closer to the edge
When habits bend, but don't break
It's too late
Why'd you have to go?

Can we begin again?

--- nature uses the instrument of human fantasy
--- in order to pursue her high creative purpose
--- it is in us
--- each one of us has within him a whole world of things
--- each man of us his own special world
--- every true man does not live for the sake of living
--- but he lives so as to give a meaning and a value of his own
--- to life
Track Name: Red-handed
We've hit a critical mass of halfwits
Look at the stats
In fact, it's practically becoming symptomatic
Passive-aggressive tactics
Impetuous armchair activists
I'll see your 'temperamental' and raise you 'rowdy'
Then drink y'all under the table
Bet - you doubt me?
Ain't a matter of vanity
Got everything but apathy left
And envy has kept my ego in check

Walking the fine line between motivation and impediment
That's some sentiment - thinking that they're separate
Just for the hell of it, get perspective
The divide between us actually keeps us connected
Hold up, I had my head in the sand
I submit that, yeah, we're more similar than different
But I don't know the half of it - right?
Well, let me play devil's advocate
Take me away

Ready, set, take me away

Delicate sensibility is used to confuse us
To convince us that relevant questions are just illusions
Public displays of inflection
Follow the 'N' on your moral compass, you'll find nonsense
Let's process what it means to be conscious of consequence
Believing in a golden heaven that gave us a grey world
We regrettably choose to view in black and white

Pay no attention to the man behind the message
If sheep outpace the skeptics
We'll be left with entire generations completely complacent
And overindulgent arguments adjacent to the issues that matter
But whatever
I turned a blind eye to that when sunset met city lights
Vicariously hiding proof of another life
I'm guilty, alright
Take me away

--- if we could see all the evil that may spring from good, what should we do?
--- how can we ever come to an understanding
--- if i put in the words i utter the sense and value of things as i see them
--- while you, who listen to me, must inevitably translate them
--- according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself?
... where are you going? what does that mean?
--- we think we understand each other - but we never really do
Track Name: Til You Got It
--- can you tell me who you are?

Say it again til you got it
Say it again til you got it

Commit this to memory
Say it again til you got it
It's the same old game but
Play it again til you got it
Say it again til you got it

Say it again til you got it
Hate it again til you want it

Spin a broken record
Say it again til you got it
It's the same old song
Sing it again

If you're going nowhere
Say it again til you got it
Over and over
Say it again til you got it
Say it again til you got it
Til you got it

... we've had all this over once before
... do you want to begin again?
Track Name: Silhouette
Leave me hangin'
Leave me wanting more
Save your breath
Don't spell it out for me

Spare me the details, darlin'
Keep me guessing all night long
Don't you know not knowing what I got
That's what I want

I just wanna see your silhouette

Leave it to my imagination
That's it, just gimme a hint
Be the thorn in my side
My angel
With your crooked little horns holding up your halo

Ah dammit, I wanna see your silhouette

... i can't see
... let's have a little light, please?

C'mon baby, just let me see your silhouette
Track Name: Abandon Ship
Sniffing lines of cocaine sun
Taking hits of wind we can't outrun
Drowning to survive

The tightrope we walk everyday
Feels like it could break
Tattoos of sin
Disaster under our skin
Itching for a breath of fresh air again

Oh, to be the dust that settles on
Faded photographs of first and last laughs

I ain't afraid of commitment
I'm ashamed of it
Track Name: Whirlwind
--- don't you feel that the very earth under your feet
--- is sinking away from you
--- when you reflect that, in the same way - THIS you
--- all this present reality of yours
--- is fated to seem a mere illusion to you tomorrow?

... do you understand?

(closer to the edge)
(pay no attention to the man behind the message)

... you, as yourself, cannot exist

(commit this to memory)
(wanting more)

... you represent the shell of the eggs you are beating

(it could break)
(thorn in my side)

... the puppet of yourself!

(over and over)
(i don't know the half of it)

... i don't understand this

(relevant questions are just illusions)
(why'd you have to go?)
(take a breath)

... well - where does all this take us, anyway?

--- the conscience that i have, that each one of us has
--- we believe this conscience to be a single thing
--- but it is many-sided
--- there is one for this person, and another for that
--- DIVERSE consciences
--- so we have this illusion of being one person for all
--- of having a personality that is unique in all our acts
--- but it isn't true

--- i should like to request you to abandon this game of art
--- and to ask you seriously once again
--- who are you?
Track Name: At the Bar with a Wise Man
I saddled up to the tap and ordered a Captain and -
No, wait - scratch that
You know what happened the last time I had rum?
Neither do I - shit
Make it a Tito's and Diet
There's fewer toxins in vodka
Or so I've read
Either way, there's less regret when demons ain't hangin' overhead
And though I say that now
I might feel differently by tomorrow
No matter though

"Ya know that's American made," said dude to my right
"I like to ironically make my Black Russians with that, but not tonight"
He was chillin' with a pint
I asked him, 'What you packin', man - Golden Light?'
He said, "Ya know it, right?"
I'm like, 'You're my kinda guy - I'll drink to that'
He said, "Hey, I served in Iraq - I have pride for my country
But one thing I can't understand is how we treat our own

"If homegrown is fine for food and wine, why do we export pity?
'Spose we're forgetting the domestic soldiers out on the strip
Stripped of the freedom we claim to emit
Some are homeless - a few of them I served with
Hopeless - trapped in a system that ain't perfect
Others peddle opioids and herb shit
Cut from different cloth, but soldiers nonetheless
Oppressed by the constructs of the street
Imprisoned by the hands they were dealt or bad beats
They rely on weed as their refuge
And that's homegrown, too!
Literally, in a basement - it's so easy to do
Didja know that kids in school can get their hands on chronic
Faster than this beer here that I'm drinkin'?
Let that sink in
Won't call it a gateway, but they ain't smokin' the schwag we used to
Bitchin' 'bout GMOs in their Fruit Loops
Yet their souped-up grass has got God-knows-what's-in-it
Hold up - gimme a minute"

He raised his glass - paused
Wiped away the condensation it left on the bar
Held a conversation under his breath
Drank his beer, what little was left
And went on

"Speakin' of homegrown - DIRTY politicians
Redundant, but I specify for emphasis
Reluctant to represent the impoverished
Malicious fiction drippin' from their lips
And honestly, the dishonesty is hardly new
It grew from strong roots that meant better a while back
Now the fruit we bear is rotten - reconcile that
We've forgotten 'bout the art of compromise
And if all we'll ever do is label issues a 'red' or 'blue' thing
Then imagine a pendulum swingin' outta control from left to right
Couldja stop that clock from breakin' by windin' it tight?
No - ya let it settle naturally
Back to the center, gradually
Ya can't force change, it takes time
But the resistance you provide is the catalyst

"So stand your ground
Don't get distracted by analysis
Some folks never change, but they may change their minds
Immutability is malleable
Ergo - the future is salvageable
But only if we reign in the madness
Don't leave each other bandaged and broken,
Soaked in what we know won't stop bleedin'
And for what reason?
Because we can?
Goddamn, we're better than this!

"Look at our kids!
We used to trade cards - they're tradin' bullets!
And at one time, even THAT would make headlines
Now it's parenthetical
We're desensitized to this new brand of evil
It's spreadin' like cancer
Ain't no answer to this 'cept the one that I'm givin'
But no one will listen
What I gotta do, paint ya a picture?
A mixture of truth and implicit bitchin'

"Oh, what's my source?
Me, of course!
I cut the cord long before your cable prices soared
Don't need no news outlet jib-jabbin' tellin' me what's goin' on
I've been there - I see it every fuckin' day!
Because with action comes experience
And from experience - perspective
And through perspective - reflection
And in reflection - wisdom
Get off your asses or kiss 'em goodbye
Change the world!

"Do something - anything!
Buy that wedding ring - don't take love for granted!
This shit ain't handed to ya - earn it!
Learn to walk in another's shoes!
What it means to lose someone 'fore it happens to you!
Sympathize with each other!
Reach across the aisle!
Choose substance over style!
'Cause once this is over there ain't no comin' back!
Remember that!
Save a life - create it - live it!
Have compassion, find your passion!
Lest you wish you had and don't, trust me
Why the hell else ya think I'm sittin' here alone?"

His words resonated unmistakably
Lately I've taken to deeper thoughts and philosophies
And simple as they may be, they make you think logically
And objectively
Everything he said to me was true

I said, 'Man, I just met you
But I gotta know your take 'cause I respect you - alright?
What's the meaning of life?'
He sighed and said, "To provide one"
I asked him to clarify - 'A meaning, or a life?'
He leaned back, closed his eyes
And simply replied, "Yes"

Huh - now it all makes sense
Track Name: Identity

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