Since he took over Mary Anne Hobbs’ fabled Wednesday night slot on BBC Radio 1, Benji B has continued to pioneer the best in new electronic music. There’s been no compromise in his stylistic penchant since his move over from Radio 1’s sister station 1Xtra, with Benji leaning on earnest soulful compositions as much as he does fresh hip hop or current dancefloor centric productions. Much like with his predecessor, there isn’t anywhere on the station that you can get such a well rounded weekly view of electronic dance music and as a result he’s been a key part of helping to break new artists to a wider, worldwide audience.
It’s one of the reasons - the others mainly focus around the fact that he’s an incredibly able and devastatingly meticulous DJ (as anyone who’s been to his monthly midweek Deviation sessions can attest to) – that we sat down with him a couple of months back and asked him to put together a lineup of artists, DJs and performers under the ‘Benji B Presents’ banner for our Room Three session this Friday. The people he chose have either been supported on his radio show or met and DJed with on his travels but in an attempt to eek out a little bit more knowledge behind his choices, we asked him to tell us in his own words why he felt the need to put these people on in this manner…
“I wanted to pick Lapalux as he is an artist I have been supporting recently on the radio and super I'm interested to hear him live as I have never had the chance to do so. I like artists and producers that have their own sound and Lapalux has developed such a recognisable and unique feel to his music. I first heard his music when I received his bootleg remix of Gwen Stefani back in 2011. I played it on the radio so much that it made the end of year list. He has since been signed to Flying Lotus's Brainfeeder label and released an EP called ‘When You're Gone’.”
“I first heard of Mickey Pearce as his original guise of Shortstuff and his work on Blunted Robots. The Mickey Pearce name is newly minted for the releases on Swamp 81 and, again, he really has his own identity and sound. He’s got this particular groove and feel to his strain minimal club music; it’s just got that swing! He’s already produced two of the biggest club tunes in my record box this year. He’s definitely going to have himself a year in 2012.”
“I wanted to get Cinnaman over as I have been DJing with him for many years in his native Amsterdam and I feel he doesn’t get nearly enough recognition as a DJ over here. He used to work at Rush Hour which is one of my favourite record shops in the whole of Europe. That’s where I first met him but he’s best known for compiling the 'Beat Dimensions' compilations (alongside Jay Scarlett) a while back and for his current residency, Colours - which is one of the best nights in Amsterdam that represents the sort of music we play here. I like the fact that he plays everything from Hudson Mohawke to Robin S and Waka Flocka!”
“I first met Alice Moxie when she walked up to me in a club and told me she wanted to work for me! She was so persistant that after about six months it happened. Now she’s an integral part of Deviation and a key part of my team. I like her approach to club music; she’s active on both sides of the DJ booth. She’s always checking DJs, new music and club nights. She’s knowledgable about the heritage of it as much as the cutting edge."
Catch all of the above plus Benji B himself in Room Three this Friday. Photo: Ashes57