The daddy of techno, playing for Meat Free on Friday, October 2nd, alongside DJ Bone and Fred P. Book your ticket now!
For someone who is held in such high esteem, you seem incredibly grounded. Not only through how accessible you make yourself on social media but most noticeably through your commitment to pushing new music through your new radio show Run it Red – which is an incredible platform for any aspiring producer to appear on. What was the catalyst for creating the Run it Red concept, and why is it important to you?
I know how important it was to have my music first played on the radio when I started out and, in many ways, it was more important than it was to hear it in clubs so I try to listen to everything I get sent and open communication with new artists.
Promoting has its up and downs, what motivates you to keep doing it with Machine?
We enjoyed your own interviewing skills when you recently grilled Rod ahead of Kabuki at Dance Tunnel. What do you enjoy most when playing B2Bs, what do you learn from your fellow DJs and are there any more Kabuki plans you know of?
Last year Truncate and myself did a last minute, mid-week, free entry, all night b2b set at Dalston Superstore and it was so much fun that I wanted to do it again asap, so Kabuki was born, although now at their excellent and slightly larger sister venue, Dance Tunnel.
Whilst we’re on the subject of B2Bs, you and DVS1 have taken it to another level of late! This isn’t just your standard B2B as you both play on 3 or 4 decks. How do you guys work this, what are the logistics and did you have to put in a lot practice to get it right?
We’ve only done it a couple of times and at present, there’s nothing else scheduled but it did get a lot of hype. We didn’t exactly chose the smallest events to do it at (awakenings and bloc), so that got us plenty of attention 😉
It’s a different kind of beast to the standard b2b – it’s a lot more technical and you need to be 100% focused throughout (far more than just playing alone) and you obviously need to trust the other DJs ability to not just keep in time but not to lose the groove or get self indulgent either. We had one practice session prior to our first set and it was pretty clear from a couple of minutes in that we’d be fine. I guess if you’re used to thinking beyond 2 turntable mixing then adding a few more but having someone you have confidence in technically to control them isn’t a massive step, you just need to remember to leave room for each other and take it in turns to lead – slave and master.
You’ve been involved in running at least 9 (!) record labels, and in 2014 after a monumental 17 years, you finally put Theory to bed. We’re happy to see that the Machine label has since grown from your clubnight. – would you say you’re a man that just can’t say no to the challenge of running a record label?
Instead, you create your own, compile it with music from artists you’re into or try to make it yourself.
At the end of the day, the labels are essentially for me, my collection and my sets, so it’s likely that I’m the most excited one about starting a new one anyway, I doubt very much that many record shops, after all the years and various projects are jumping up and down in anticipation of another fucking Ben Sims label, ha ha.
In your Machine Love interview from 2011, you talk about working with engineer Paul Mac and that the results were better when you worked with someone more clued up on technology. Do you still work with an engineer, or have the past 4 years seen you work more independently?
We were intrigued to listen to your recent Field Maneuvers podcast where you indulged your love of Roots Reggae and compiled a very different style of mix. Across the weekend, you played two sets at FM; one similar to the style of the podcast and one playing the music you’re known for. How did this come about? Did FM approach you or did you suggest it?
I tried to do it as authentically as possible by cutting fresh dubplates of exclusives and taking loads of original 70’s 45s, 2 dub sirens and 2 delay units.
Slightly OTT I know but I wanted to do it properly and really enjoyed it, hopefully I get to do it again sometime, especially at FM as its such a wicked, friendly and intimate festival.