Ben UFO

FABRICLIVE > FABRICLIVE.67

In a world where illegal downloads, cracked software and sync buttons are helping to create swarms of young DJs with bottomless libraries of digital music they’re vaguely familiar with, you might question the role and relevance of the specialist DJ in today’s musical landscape. Not everyone possesses the talent, care and breadth of taste required to project their personality through other people’s records, or to create narratives which transcend dancefloors; Ben UFO is someone who does. Over the years Ben has increased in confidence and proficiency, and in devoting himself to the pursuit of highlighting shared characteristics of 2-step garage, dubstep, classic house and techno, he has learned to expertly navigate and bridge tempos and genres in as natural a fashion as possible, allowing tracks from disparate areas to co-exist and function comfortably alongside one another to form a unique and well-defined aesthetic.

 

Moving to Leeds to study in 2004, Ben applied for a show on student radio but was declined a slot - a setback which he identifies as setting him on his path towards establishing Hessle Audio as a record label and DJing in club environments. As a result he pitched for a show on SubFM alongside David Kennedy (Pearson Sound) and Kevin McAuley (Pangaea), naming the show after the club night he and Kevin had started with several of their friends (Ruffage) in order to promote dubstep in Leeds, at a time when the genre had very little representation outside of London and Bristol. The radio show ran for three years, at which point they were offered a regular slot on RinseFM, where they continue to broadcast twice a month.

 

In 2007, after finishing university, the three friends started Hessle Audio. The label was formed with the idea of providing a platform for the release of Pangaea and Pearson Sound’s own records, but its scope quickly expanded, resulting in the release of genre-defying records by Objekt, Untold, Cosmin TRG, James Blake, Blawan and more. In May 2009 they started their residency at Fabric, which has been ongoing ever since. The club night reflects what they do as a record label and as DJs, showcasing expansive, varied lineups and drawing connections between artists as diverse as Kassem Mosse, Kode 9, Livity Sound and Randall.

"A release like this seems like a good opportunity to contextualise music for people at a time where information is spread pretty chaotically, and this mix is hopefully a good representation of how the music we release relates to the music we play in clubs."
Ben UFO

The primary purpose of this FABRICLIVE release is to represent exactly what Ben does as a DJ, and to give him the opportunity to showcase the different aspects of the music that he stands for. Accordingly, it is not a straightforward mix of house, bass music or techno; neither is it filled with exclusives or unreleased material. It is an indicator of where we are at and where we have come from, and a statement of intent. It is a considered and highly textured mix consisting of 28 tracks and traversing multiple styles.

 

 

Emerging from the moody introversion of Mix Mup’s “Before (Dub),” the mix starts in earnest with an aggressively distorted cut from Delroy Edwards, which bleeds into the off-kilter rhythms and sub-bass intensity of an exclusive from Pev & Kowton. From there we’re thrown into the bizarre future-tribal world of DJ Sotofett remixing Tim ‘Love’ Lee’s “The Tortoise” and onwards through tracks and decades, as Chicago Skyway’s “It’s OK” combines with K-Hand, Fluxion, Jam City, Pearson Sound and Mr. Fingers. There are truly inspired transitions here: the acid tones of “Zug Island” by Kyle Hall & Kero drip languidly over Shackleton vs Kasai Allstars’ “Mukuba Special”; the shattered percussion of A Made Up Sound’s “Malfunction” is pulled into line by the loop-driven techno of Grain’s “Untitled”; the dissonant bassline drone of Pangaea’s “Release” swallows up and consumes whole the kick-drum barrage which defines Blawan’s “And Both His Sons.”

 

With Hessle Audio releases represented heavily alongside labels such as L.I.E.S., Hinge Finger, Night Slugs, Hemlock and Eglo, there are clear indications of a tightly-knit community working collectively to push things forward. Ben is central to this movement, and with this mix he manages to communicate not just who he is and what he does, but ultimately where we are at.


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Tracklisting:


  1. Listen
    1
    Mix Mup - Before (Dub) [Mikrodisko]
  2. Listen
    2
    Delroy Edwards - Feelings [L.I.E.S.]
  3. Listen
    3
    Pev & Kowton - Raw Code [Hessle Audio]
  4. Listen
    4
    Tim ‘Love’ Lee - The Tortoise (Sex Tags Mania NYC Mix) [Tummy Touch]
  5. Listen
    5
    Elgato - Zone [Hessle Audio]
  6. Listen
    6
    Gesloten Cirkel - Twisted Balloon [Murder Capital]
  7. Listen
    7
    Chicago Skyway - It's OK [Eargasmic]
  8. Listen
    8
    K-Hand - Project 5 (Untitled B1) [Acacia]
  9. Listen
    9
    Fluxion - Pendoulous [Chain Reaction]
  10. Listen
    10
    Minimal Man - Consexual [Guerilla]
  11. Listen
    11
    Jam City - Club Thanz [Night Slugs]
  12. Listen
    12
    Herbert - Take Me Back [Accidental]
  13. Listen
    13
    Lowtec - Looser [Nonplus]
  14. Listen
    14
    Pearson Sound - Clutch [Hessle Audio]
  15. Listen
    15
    Mr. Fingers - I'm Strong (Instrumental) [Alleviated]
  16. Listen
    16
    Shackleton vs Kasai Allstars - Mukuba Special [Crammed]
  17. Listen
    17
    Kyle Hall & Kero - Zug Island [Wild Oats]
  18. Listen
    18
    Circuit Breaker - Ping [Plus 8]
  19. Listen
    19
    Osborne - Bout Ready To Jak (Shake Remix) [Spectral Sound]
  20. Listen
    20
    Juniper - Jovian Planet [Ominira]
  21. Listen
    21
    A Made Up Sound - Malfunction (Despair) [50WEAPONS]
  22. Listen
    22
    Grain - Untitled [FatCat]
  23. Listen
    23
    Bandshell - Perc [Liberation Technologies]
  24. Listen
    24
    Blawan - And Both His Sons [Hinge Finger]
  25. Listen
    25
    Pangaea - Release [Hessle Audio]
  26. Listen
    26
    Joe - Studio Power On [Hemlock]
  27. Listen
    27
    Floating Points - Danger (Locked Groove) [Eglo]
  28. Listen
    28
    Grown Folk x Main Attrakionz - I.C.E. (Kuedo Remix) [Templar Sound]
Show all 28 tracks.

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