Dirty Knobs

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – From A Vantablack Heart

I sometimes have a difficult time remembering how I’ve made music. When I listen back to final mixes, it’s a mystery. I could never recreate what I’ve done. Not exactly. That doesn’t mean it was created in some sort of fugue-state. Quite the opposite. But a major component is experimentation and a sense of discovery. If you know exactly what you want to discover, then that’s not discovery. The journey is sometimes indistinct and difficult to recall.

I often have a quote from Warren Ellis’ Morning Computer in mind while working, a mental image of “places that were only ever designed to be passed through.” Maybe that’s what this music is. Music for places that were only ever designed to be passed through. Infinite anechoic chambers absorbing all vibration. Massive underground neutrino detectors catching a glimpse of the universe as it passes through their clear waters. Galaxies of dark matter and voids. Mental spaces where time stutters and anxiety flexes.

Music to be lost and forgotten. Music from a vantablack heart.

Everything by Zac Bentz (ASCAP)
©2017 Xero Music

Zac Bentz has been recording music for almost 25 years under various monikers. Dirty Knobs was originally a minimalist glitch project started in 1999. In 2011 it was reborn as an experiment in dark ambient and drone with the eight hour long Field Recordings from the Edge of Hell which received praise worldwide. Since then Dirty Knobs has released dozens of albums spanning all realms of ambient, drone, field recording, cinematic soundtracks and more, often exploring themes of deep time, vast space, hauntology, hermitage, and stillness. He lives in Duluth, Minnesota, under snow.

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – Do Not Let Your Kindness Be Weaponized Against You

Known around the world for delivering up massive (and massively long) slabs of dark atmospheres like Field Recordings from the Edge of Hell (8 hours), The Hermit Seeks the Stillness (12 hours), and 30,000 Days (24 hours), Dirty Knobs returns from the other end of the spectrum with Do Not Let Your Kindness Be Weaponized Against You, 5 songs clocking a relatively demure 30 minutes. From the robotic whispered warning of the title track set over a family’s shared laughter, to the reverential echos of “We Sing the Sun,” and the almost-not-even-there of “Endure,” these songs take a much more delicate, almost hesitant approach than the smothering walls of sound that Dirty Knobs is known for. But the analog pulses and wails in “Closed Horizons” and “Welcome to Ghostbridge” do remind listeners of the dread just around the corner.

Zac Bentz is a musician living in Duluth, Minnesota who has been recording and performing for over 23 years. Dirty Knobs was formed in 1999 originally as a glitch/electro experiment, and was reborn as a dark ambient/doom project with 2011’s Field Recordings from the Edge of Hell, an album that found international acclaim. Since visiting the north of Norway and recording True Norwegian Black Drone in 2015, Dirty Knobs has worked to incorporate music into nature with recordings and performances both in and of the field. Do Not Let Your Kindness Be Weaponized Against You uses field recordings from the Norway sessions, as well as sounds from his hometown.


“…I have little more to add…I swear I can hear organs playing from inside a pit…Wonderful.” —Warren Ellis, writer of Transmetropolitan, Gun Machine

“…relaxation music for Satan himself.” —Troy Sherman/Cornell Daily Sun

“An alternate soundtrack to a version of The Shining as directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, from the perspective of the Overlook’s otherworldly denizens, or The Haunting’s Hill House as occupied by a tired Dr. Phibes, his organ full of cobwebs and dust.” -April Larson / Ears For Eyes

“Listen to the aching, end of the world atmosphere in Låtefossen Tåke and imagine yourself climbing the hill posted in the artwork to take a final, knowing breath of air before the world permanently clouds over and snuffs away all life in oppressive blackness.” – toiletovhell.com

“…something quite extraordinary…haunting at points and shimmeringly beautiful at others. It sort of makes me want to listen to it forever.” —Andrea Swensson, City Pages/Gimme Noise

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – 30,000 Days

30,000 Days
by Dirty Knobs

NOTE: This album is 24 hours long.
You have been warned.

releases January 3, 2017

One song.
Twenty-four hours.
Forty-eight segments, each thirty minutes long.
Originally released exclusively to subscribers once a week across eleven months. Each original release has unique artwork.

(30,000 days is roughly eighty-two years, or one lifetime.)


©2016 Xero Music
Everything by Zac Bentz (ASCAP)

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – Stone In Focus (Live at Northern Isolation II)

Stone In Focus (Live at Northern Isolation II)
by Dirty Knobs

An excerpt from the set recorded live at Northern Isolation II, Duluth, Minnesota on 8/21/2016.
Performance and recording by Zac Bentz (ASCAP)
Photo by Steph Bentz
Original by Aphex Twin

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – A Moment of Noise

A Moment of Noise
Dirty Knobs

Everything by Zac Bentz. Performed and recorded live at Painted Moth Studio July 7th, 2016.

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – Live at the Red Room 7​-​23​-​2016

Live at the Red Room 7​-​23​-​2016
by Dirty Knobs

As part of the fundraiser for Northern Isolation II

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – Heliomori

by Dirty Knobs

Combining the Greek “helios” (sun) and the Latin “mori” (to die). Surfing the harmonic sounds of light, and sinking into its absence.

All tracks performed and recorded live (more or less) at Painted Moth studio.
Everything by Zac Bentz (ASCAP)
©2016 Xero Music

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – Live at Homegrown 2016

Live at Homegrown 2016
by Dirty Knobs

Recorded live at Amazing Grace Bakery & Cafe in Duluth, Minnesota, on May 7th, 2016, as a part of the Homegrown Music Festival.

Original photo by Steph Bentz.

Performed by Zac Bentz and Eric Anderson.

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – Live at the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium 4​-​8​-​2016

Live at the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium 4​-​8​-​2016
by Dirty Knobs
released April 10, 2016

©2016 Xero Music

Everything by Zac Bentz (ASCAP)


Lovesongs by Dying Supermachines
Performed and Recorded
by Dirty Knobs


Available to stream and download now.