Ben UFO has a few thousand records cataloged in his possession, but claims to have barely scratched the surface. The notion that his collection may not be much compared to others demonstrates pure devotion to his craft; he is able to present his personality through the music of others in an approach of which few are capable, and that will be on full display Thursday night, November 21, when he spins Middlesex Lounge’s weekly techno party, Make It New.
No wonder why he is among a select number of prevalent UK DJs that has yet to dabble in production, which tends to be limiting. When it comes to his genre spanning arsenal, Ben asserts that “It’s less about being worried about writing stuff off, & more about trying to keep yourself open to it after you’ve written it off, if that makes sense. People need their opinions & their identities, but if they can keep themselves open to reassessment then that’s cool.”
In an interview with Fact magazine, Ben notes that he “quite enjoys playing records that may seem stark & brave, until they become an accepted part of the set.” He purchases records but does not always feel the need to use them in his mixes; he treasures them as a collector, selector, and innovator.
Across the span of six years, his Hessle Audio label (co-founded in Leeds with Pangaea & Pearson Sound) has broken down the confines of UK bass music and exposed it to various house & techno influences, along with more experimental sounds.
Among their select discography include tracks from James Blake, Objekt, Blawan, & Joe. His radio show Thursdays on Rinse FM platforms new releases from his record label along with old school vinyl just purchased at the shop; yet it also features the music of his peers, friends, & mentors. Must feel good being sent unreleased tunes! In terms of where his label is headed he prefers to “keep things under wraps a little bit until they’re close… it’s good to have people focus on things step by step.” The music will speak for itself.
Listen to HES026, their latest release produced by Pearson Sound here:
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Mr. UFO has been on the radio airwaves for eight years & was slowly integrated into the club scene; this is no overnight success story. His work is captivating & though his youthful looks may fool you, his sets appear to age like wine. Acquaint or refresh yourself with the sounds of Ben via his recent BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix…
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It’s been a hectic year for Ben, his RA tour-date schedule has him jet-setting from New York to the Netherlands & back. He also just appeared in the Red Bull Revolutions in Sound spectacular on an individual pod of the London Eye last week. Catching him tomorrow night in an intimate Cambridge venue will be a treat.