Following Logos Recordings label showcase, mixed by main man Samoil Radinski we now bring you one of the UK’s biggest and most in demand techno exports – ladies and gentlemen - Mr. Ben Sims! Delivering a taut and energized mix, Ben mixes up a frenetic and funk-fuelled set featuring the likes of Surgeon, Robert Hood, Armando, Fix, James Ruskin, Fast Eddie, Steve Poindexter, Paul Mac, Mark Broom, Planetary Assault Systems, DJ Rush, Lee J. Malcolmand of course Ben’s own productions.
Ben Sims had his first decks at age ten. Schooled on mix tapes by the likes of Bambaata, DJ Cheese and Froggy, and with his musical roots in reggae, funk, disco, electro, rare groove and hip-hop, by his mid teens he was spinning at after-hours 'blues' houses and a few years later came the acid house explosion with pirate radio and clubs. Skip forward over 20 years and you’ll find he’s one of the UK’s biggest techno exports and a much in demand producer.
Ben has been involved in running 9 labels over the years, (Theory, Killabite, Hardgroove, Native, Ingoma, Symbolism, Assembly, KB Records inc, Split Music), and his productions have gained widespread attention, influenced a generation and feature regularly in the boxes of his own personal favourites like Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Jeff Mills and Rolando, whilst also attracting crossover appeal from the likes of Carl Cox etc. He has remixed Jeff Mills, Green Velvet, Kevin Saunderson, Blake Baxter, DJ Funk, Marco Bailey, Funk D’Void, Chris Liebing, Adam Beyer plus many more and has had his tracks and remixes featured on mix cds by Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, Francois Kevorkian, DJ Rush, Joey Beltram, Dave Clarke, Umek, Luke Slater, Sven Vath, Richie Hawtin and hundreds more.
The past 15 years have seen Ben constantly touring and tearing up dancefloors at legendary clubs & parties like- Liquid Room, Tokyo, Sonar, Barcelona, Limelight. NYC, Rex, Paris, Zouk, Singapore, I Love Techno, Gent, Tresor, Berlin, Awakenings, Amsterdam and Atomic Jam, Birmingham plus hundreds of others with his tight, energetic and skilful brand of 3 deck wizardry. In recent years performances as FREQUENCY 7 with Birmingham's Surgeon and KILLA PRODUCTIONS with Paul Mac have also been a regular feature on Ben’s international calendar and on the stages of some of globes most respected festivals and clubs including Fabric, Monegros and Bloc.
2011 will see the birth of a brand new low key night in London co-hosted with Kirk Degiorgio called “Machine’ focusing solely on upfront music and in addition to the ESSEX RASCALS ‘Way Back Wednesday’ show Ben presents with Tony Anderson, there’s ‘Funk You!’, a new monthly techno flavoured podcast + radio show that will take over where the long running ‘Split Radio Show’ left off, a remix of EPM artist and Vessels guitarist Lee J. Malcolm’s cover of Yello’s ‘Oh Yeah’ and last but by no means least the release of Ben’s debut album is scheduled for imminent release on Adam Beyer’s mighty Drumcode label, so there’s certainly no sign of things slowly down any time for soon.
EPM Podcast 21 – Ben Sims
2.ARMANDO - 100% OF DISIN' YOU/ARMANDO'S DIS MIXX - WAREHOUSE
3.FIX - FLASH - NIGHTVISION
4.BEN SIMS - WORK THAT BODY - HARDGROOVE
5.STEVE POINDEXTER - COMPUTER MADNESS - MUZIQUE *
6.BEN SIMS feat BLAKE BAXTER - I WANNA GO BACK - DRUMCODE
7.DJ SKITZO - IMPACT ZONE/PAUL MAC EDIT - THEORY
8.SURGEON - BADGER BITE - DOWNWARDS**
9.JAMES RUSKIN - WORK/STEVE RACHMAD REMIX - BLUEPRINT
10.BEN SIMS - SPECTRUM - UNRELEASED
11.ROBERT HOOD - THE FAMILY - M-PLANT
12.MARK BROOM - SATELLITE/MIX ONE - BEARDMAN
13.PAUL MAC - DRY RUN - THEORY (LATE 2011)
14.BEN SIMS - BULLET - DRUMCODE
15.FLOORPLAN - LIVING IT UP - M-PLANT
16.BEN SIMS - LOVE AND HURT - HARDGROOVE (LATE 2011)
17.PLANETARY ASSAULT SYSTEMS - RAISE UP - PEACEFROG
18.PAUL MAC - DVD CRASH - THEORY
19.FAST EDDIE - CAN U DANCE - DJ INTERNATIONAL*
20.DJ RUSH - FACE THE BASS - KNEE DEEP
21.JAMES RUSKIN AND MARK BROOM - BLACK LINES - BLUEPRINT
22.MARK BROOM - REDIAL - BEARDMAN
23.BEN SIMS - THE AFTERPARTY - DRUMCODE
24.LEE J MALCOLM - OH YEAH/SIMS ROLLING DUB - EPM MUSIC
25.SCAN MODE AND ISSIE NIXON - DEL REVES/BEN SIMS REMIX - THEORY
26.ARMANDO - WORLD UNKNOWN/MY MIXX IS DUNN - WAREHOUSE
27.JULIAN JUMPIN' PEREZ - STAND BY ME/JUMPIN' DUB - DJ INTERNATIONAL
28.FREQUENCY VS ATKINS - INDUSTRIAL METAL – NIGHTVISION
* PAUL MAC EDIT
** KILLA PRODUCTIONS EDIT
EPM Music www.epm-music.com. You can subscribe to all of EPM’s podcasts for free via iTunes.
Q&A with Ben Sims (Theory / Killa Productions)
1. Please give us a quick walk through your selection. Why did you choose these tracks for the mix?
It’s kind of an EPM mix up really, the bulk of the tracks or labels are distributed digitally by EPM and there’s serious classics in there, great new cuts and some of my personal club favourites too so it was fun to just choose from the wealth of music on offer and (of course) throw in a few bits taken from my forthcoming album plus some cuts that are upcoming on my labels.
2. How did you first get involved in dance music?
Mostly from an early obsession with mixing and collecting records, for years it was a proud hobby but I also got to do a lot of parties for friends, local promoters and pirate radio etc, things just progressed slowly and naturally really. 25 years later it’s still my hobby, it just pays the bills now too ;-)
3.What were your first clubbing experiences in Essex?
The first clubs I went to were outside of Essex to be honest, I didn’t really do the typical Friday night fight clubs or slut factories, hated them, could never understand why people would want to hear the same fucking music you could hear on commercial radio stations all day (still don’t).
4. What elements do you look for as an A&R for the label when new artists approach you with music?
I just have to really like it and it has to be something I’d buy and play myself, my labels have always primarily existed to fill my record bag, I’m not that business minded when it comes to what should be released and when, it just has to work for me and I hope other people like it too.
5. You’re new album is about to come out on Drumcode. Is the production process you went through in making the album different to making tracks for an EP? At what point do you decide – I’ve got an album here?
I actually approached it far differently to how I do ep’s, rather than my usual process of making beats in between weekends, specifically for my sets, for the album I took time out from dj-ing and just went to the studio every day to experiment and enjoy myself, over the period of 2 months the album took shape, it’s far more of a balance of styles than anything I’ve done before and not just about the sounds I’m typically associated with.
6. You have just remixed Lee J. Malcolm’s cover of Yello’s ‘Oh Yeah’ for EPM Music. How do you approach a remix and the deconstruction of an existing production as opposed to the making of an original composition?
Pretty much the same way really, with everything I do I’ll have an idea in my head and work towards it, I hear something in someone’s track or a sample or a riff and do my best to create the track I’m thinking about, it doesn’t always come out as planned and sometimes my idea just doesn’t work but the process of getting there is usually the same.
7. ‘Frequency 7’ is your live project with Surgeon. How do you split who does what when you play live together. Is it planned or just spontaneous?
It’s mostly off the cuff, we might discuss recent tracks so we don’t duplicate anything but in general we just jam and vibe off what the other one is doing, obviously there are moments that work too well not to repeat, like any good DJ set but essentially it’s spontaneous, the Killa Productions sets I do with Paul Mac are similar in that respect, although we go for more of a special edits and classics feel than F7.
8. To someone who has not witnessed the ‘Essex Rascals’ in full flow, how would you describe the experience?
Admittedly it’s pretty rare we go out on the road, the project is mostly about our monthly radio shows now (hosted by deepfrequency.com, housefm.net and back2back2fm.net) that are presented by Tony Anderson and myself. We have done shows at a few clubs/festivals around Europe and they were usually a bit crazy but the essence of ER is the music, the sounds we grew up with and the beats we love, new and old and internet radio/podcasts etc is a great way to showcase that.
9. After your various club promotions across London, including some legendary Split nights with the Flux boys, you are back for more with ‘Machine’ – a co-production with Kirk Degiorgio. What’s the ethos behind your new club venture?
The focus is on new music and the tracks/artists that excite us, there’s so much good shit out there right now and ‘machine’ is really a celebration of that. We hope to establish it as THE place to test new material and projects, the crowd at the first 2 have genuinely been amazingly, so open and enthusiastic to music they’ve never heard before, it’s totally restored my faith in promoting again.
10. Please give us your top 5 ‘All Time DJs’.