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DJ Times: What are the most vital pieces of your studio? Hardware? Software?
Benjamin: I love my UAD Apollo interface and the UAD plug-ins – for mixdown. It’s such good quality. Software? Apart from Logic, which I use most of the time, I am always changing the plug-ins I use to create and play sounds with.

DJ Times: What’s the biggest change for you as a producer/remixer, in the way you approach a project?
Benjamin: Now, I stop wasting time writing fresh house beats and just get a simple rhythm going with some great-sounding loops, and just get on with writing the music itself. Before, I used to spend hours and days on the drum tracks. House music is a feeling, not an exam [laughs]. I am also now working with a vocalist friend of mine on an album of actual songs, rather than tracks aimed at the dancefloor. They’re songs people can sing along to, rather than tracks that go bleep. But, I still do those, too!

DJ Times: As a DJ, what are you using in the booth – software and hardware? Why do you choose this route?
Benjamin: I use USB with music recorded from vinyl and WAVs of my new productions and promos. There’s no special hardware—I have gone back to basics. For me now, all that matters is what is coming out of the speakers, and I make sure it’s quality music.

DJ Times: What advice would you give an up-and-coming DJ who wants to make music? Are there some do’s and don’ts?
Benjamin: Take what inspires you and make it your starting point, then run away with your imagination. Feel the music – don’t stare at the laptop.

DJ Times: Can you give our readers three DJs who had the most impact on you and your career – and why?
Benjamin: Mr. C because he showed me the way to stick to my guns, go against the system, experiment, and believe in myself. Carl Cox for always being the best DJ, best personality, and best friend to me, all in one – and treating me like part of the family. Richie Hawtin, for inspiring me with his incredible sound, leading the way technologically, and being so innovative.

DJ Times: What are your favorite venues of all-time and why?
Benjamin: The End. It’s an obvious choice – our home in London and the best club the city has ever seen. It was my partner’s club [Layo Paskin] and my monthly residency for 13 years. Space Ibiza – I’ve played some of my best sets there, and the sound system was incredible. Had so many amazing nights and days there. Also, The Underground in Ibiza. The best club in the world that runs with no advertising, no promotion, no nonsense, and no gimmicks – and it’s the space we have thrown some of the craziest parties in.

DJ Times: Anybody from the producer world who’s impressing you these days?
Benjamin: I’m trawling Spotify regularly, searching for new things – nothing has blown my mind for a long time, except the time-honored godfathers of the hip-hop scene – De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. The production there is so, so, so good on their new albums.

DJ Times: For someone who has experienced a variety of global scenes over the years, how do you view the health of dance music today?
Benjamin: I think its exploded and now imploded a bit. There are 50 times as many festivals now just in the U.K. as there were 10 years ago. It’s nuts! But people want to go out. They want to dance. For me, I love to play, and to make music. I think that for DJs doing well, it’s better than ever; but for producers, it’s a nightmare to sell music.

DJ Times: Obviously, the festival scene is still going relatively strong, but the most interesting offshoot I’ve seen—in America anyway—is the rise of the underground again, and much of it has come from the kids who started at the festivals. It’s a long way from the renegade Acid House days in the U.K.—and certainly not a perfect analogy—but ultimately do you believe that the U.S. EDM scene been an entry point for fans to discover more challenging/interesting sounds?
Benjamin: No, I think it’s the work of the devil! I think that most of the people that go to listen to that music are going to listen to pop music – hits, Rihanna, etc., with a dance beat. And they don’t really care – but they are having a great time and, of course, statistically there will be some people that will get into other stuff. For me, when I was 10, I listened to pop music; when I was 11-12, I listened to electro, hip hop, and Depeche Mode; and when I was 16, I listened to DJ Pierre and Derrick May. It was a different experience.

DJ Times: What impresses you about a DJ and his/her performance?
Benjamin: The energy. The connection with the crowd. And keeping it real…

DJ Times: What do you think a DJ’s job is?
Benjamin: To select great music and put it together in a way that makes people want to dance, and come together.

DJ Times: What’s next for you?
Benjamin: Tour of Asia and Australia, then back to the studio for a few weeks. Then Brazil, then more studio and preparing for summer 2017.

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