Benji B has a better idea than most. Several years after his career as a radio DJ had taken off he started Deviation, the London based party where he plays as a resident alongside some of the world’s best selectors.
This year marks Deviation’s 10-year anniversary, with Benji’s considered curation helping to champion a sound that became synonymous with both the brand and its London hometown through the years.
As Benji prepares to brings Deviation to Farringdon this Bank Holiday Sunday as part of their 10-year celebrations through the year, we caught up to talk more about his selected cast of artists joining him at the landmark party.
“fabric has been a part of my clubbing and DJing life since it opened. I went to the opening, I’ve always been a huge fan, some of the core team from the early days used to be regulars at Deviation, and I’ve played regularly through the years. We’ve always had a strong relationship and have collaborated on a few unforgettable special events together in the past. Throughout 2017, it’s a 10-year anniversary celebration and we wanted to do special one-offs in light of that. I was lucky enough to grow up in a golden era of London clubs, and Deviation is simply my take on that for the now. Sunday Bank Holiday parties have always been a special thing for me in the capital and I’m excited to be able to curate one for fabric. Can’t wait.” – Benji B
I really admire artists that are true one-offs, and Actress is definitely one of those. You can hear 4 bars of a piece of music and know that it’s him straight away. I think he’s a really interesting voice for electronic music in the UK, and he’s always made progressive music. Certain tracks of his were always quite big at Deviation, for example Lost was really not easy to mix in, but it always used to go off! It’s more interesting when an artist is consistently developing and evolving, and I think that’s true of his musical output.
Lil Silva’s music is, in many ways, a big part of Deviation’s DNA. His development as a producer has happened at the same time that we have been doing Deviation and many of his productions are Deviation classics that people would associate with peak moments at our club. For about 2 years straight I couldn’t play Cheese N Bun without it getting reloaded 3 or 4 times. His music knocks really hard, but there’s an amazing swing to it. It’s totally progressive but also just lights up the dance floor. I felt strongly about pairing him with the guys from South Africa – I thought he would be the perfect Room One partner in crime.
I think the thing I’m most excited about for this Sunday is flying the guys over from Durban, South Africa. I’ve never heard of them playing here before. They’re super young, but they’re amazing producers and it’s just totally infectious dancefloor music. They’re making this music and it’s just so good and so pure. It’s free of the constraints of any influence; it’s just straight up dancefloor music.
I think having both Nan Kolè and Mafia Boyz is going to be a great introduction for London to the Gqom Oh! sound. There is a connection – the sound they make does translate perfectly with London. I’m really excited about that part of the night, and you’ll definitely be able to find me on the dance floor for that part.
Josey Rebelle is one of my favourite DJs. She always manages to introduce me to records where I have to go up and ask her what they are and then go out and buy the next day. I respect her hugely and know how well she understands club culture in the UK. You can hear that it’s a culture she’s lived through when she plays. It comes across massively in her DJ sets. Josey Rebelle is Deviation family and I’m looking forward to her being part of our Bank Holiday celebrations.
Judah is as much of a resident at Deviation as I am. We’ve done it together for 10 years, and I think neither of us have missed a session. It’s a passion project for us more than anything else, and I really can’t wait to be in Room One with him – it’s a special booth to play in, and this is a special night for us.