On March 31st techno don Ben Sims will be performing a world first – THE TRIPLE!!! That’s right, third time at Meat free! He joins Sandrien and Head Front Panel live… if you don’t want to miss out, make sure you…



Ahead of his next Manchester visit we sat down with Ben (digitally) to pick his brains on his top 5 tracks from Manchester-based artists. It’s a great journey through music, enjoy!


T-Coy ‘Carino’ [Deconstruction]
One of the earliest authentic UK house tracks I ever heard, this was played heavily all over and is still a killer. It has an almost ‘trax’ or ‘dj international’ feel to it and, for me, forever linked Manchester’s early house sound with the more piano lead side of things than the heavier gear after hearing it at the hacienda in my teens.

A Guy Called Gerald ‘Blow Your House Down’ [Rham!]

Kinda impossible to think of the Manchester music scene without Gerald, he’s such a huge influence on the global scene, not just the local one. This is still my all time fave of his (narrowly ahead of classics like ‘Emotion Electric‘ and co-produced masterpieces ‘Dream 17‘ and ‘Flow Coma‘). I even, proudly, got to have a crack at remixing it many years later; it’s simply a straight up wicked DJ tool that I still often play nearly 30 yrs later (for me it was always preferred over the far more applauded ‘Voodoo Ray‘ on the flip).

Arnaldo ‘I Keep Doing This’ [UntilMyHeartStops]

Perfectly executed and emotive modern house music, much like a lot of his music I’ve picked up. It has that after hours feel, a dreamy vibe that’s difficult to capture without falling into the trance-hell that sadly many producers seem to be aiming for these days. Will (aka Arnaldo) actually only recently told me he was born in Argentina, so maybe he shouldn’t be on the list but fuck it, I met him in Eastern Bloc and once slept on his sofa in Manchester, so that works for me 😉

52nd Street ‘Tell Me How it Feels’ [10 Records]

Simply one of my fave 80’s records from a band that started out recording jazz-funk on Tony Wilson’s factory label at the start of the decade and peaked with this 808 blessed soul gem in 85. It reminds me of the era I first started DJ-ing at friends parties and school discos where purist hip hop or electro sets simply weren’t an option so groups like this, Loose Ends, SOS Band etc became a big part of my early education of black dance music and my record collection too.

Trevino ‘Tracer’ [Substance]

For me, Marcus Kaye’s alter ego has always fused the key essentials of the modern sound of techno with welcome hints of the golden era of drum n bass and this is my fave cut from him. That killer reese-ish, warm but unnerving bassline that cuts thru so heavy on a proper system. Played this as my last cut at Berghain recently and it was definitely a one of my biggest goose bumps moments in the club, amazing stuff.

(We can’t find this online to stream, so…)

better on vinyl


Thanks Ben for your top 5 – see you on March 31st! 🙂




Featured photo credit: https://www.list.co.uk/article/41545-interview-ben-sims-gets-ready-for-rockness-2012

Bringing Techno to Manchester. Democratising dancefloors.