Archives for March 2011

Sonar 2011

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Benji B Benji B | 20:03 UK time, Wednesday, 30 March 2011

I have been attending Sonar or many years and in terms of electronic music there is no bigger or more important festival in the world.

It's a great privilege to be asked to play and curate part of the line up of the Sonar Lab stage this year alongside Annie Mac and Toddla T, and we have all been asked to bring one guest each. Annie has invited Katy B, Toddla has invited his partner in crime Redlight, and I'll be joined by Ramadanman aka Pearson Sound.

The Sonar Lab stage is my favourite stage at the festival, with a capacity of 8,000-10,000 people partying outdoors under the night sky. The last time i played that particular arena was 2007 so i can't wait to return.

Sonar by day takes place in the centre of Barcelona in the June sunshine, and has a daytime festival feel with amazing live acts and guest DJs from around the world. After dark, Sonar by Night happens in a huge air hangar outside of Barca, which is basically the biggest rave I have ever seen in my life. The big indoor arena holds 30,000 people, and with two further stages holding 8-10,000, I would easily estimate that 50,000 people attend until 6 in the morning. Its a memorable experience just seeing it.

I have to say that the Sonar line up as a whole this year is the best I have ever seen it. In terms of the music I love, there is more of it representing my sound and my taste than ever before. I'm looking forward to hearing Magnetic Man, Janelle Monae, Gaslamp Killer, Hype Williams, Nicolas Jaar, Africa Hi-Tech, Nightslugs, Numbers, Mary Anne Hobbes, Floating Points, Little Dragon, Actress, DJ Zinc to name just a few!

I decided to support an emerging talent this year and invite a young producer that has huge potential and has already been unleashing consistently good records on the world at the age of just 22. As Ramadanman he created the massive "Work Them" which was huge across the board in 2010, and more recently as Pearson Sound the party tune "Working With". I'm sure he will smash it at the Sonar Lab stage.

If you like the sound of all of this I suggest you book your ticket now. If you can't make it, make sure you catch in on BBC Radio 1.

Benji B

:: Get more info on Sonar 2011

Dimitri From Paris' Essential Mix

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Dimitri From Paris Dimitri From Paris | 16:50 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011


I started as a radio DJ and from 1987 I had a 2 hour show running for 12 years. The best part was I could program it to keep the audience interested and entertained as opposed to keep it going on a dancefloor. This was allowing more freedom across styles and tempos, and although it was always "Dance Music" the range was wide and format free.

That time was a transitional one between acoustic club music (mostly Disco and Rap) and electronic (Boogie, Electro-Funk then House). My new compilation "Knights Of The Playboy Mansion" (with Bob Sinclar on Defected) narrows in on this same period of transition and its current legacy. I approached this Essential Mix the same way with a strong focus on actual songs (not dubs) and variety, a reminiscence of my original radio programs.

Hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think on this blog

:: Hear Dimitri's Essential Mix (from 0300 on the 19th of March 2011)

Soul Clap Smash the Essential Mix!

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Soul Clap Soul Clap | 16:57 UK time, Friday, 4 March 2011




It was 2pm on a sticky miami afternoon at our favorite club in America, the Electric Pickle and all of a sudden... wait, let's start at the beginning of this story. After the initial excitement that we actually were doing an Essential Mix had set in, we spent weeks trying to figure out what ours should actually sound like. We always try to have a theme or a concept to our mixes and of course an Essential Mix has to be the most timeless of all. Finally, we realized that this would be the perfect time to make our first all vinyl mix in years, a great chance for us to let the world know that vinyl isn't dead, but still going strong! It seems like most DJs (including us) make their mixes digitally these days, which makes everything come out perfect (almost too perfect) but mixing vinyl brings the human element back. Besides our DJ sets are 75% vinyl anyway. We've each been carrying bags full of records around the world (its like our cross!) and it's about time we share some of our favorite vinyl only jams, both classic and current, that have been killing it for us over during our shows. So we headed down to the Pickle, fired up the Dynachord system, cracked a couple Coronas and had a good old fashioned mix. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did...


Hard Dance Awards 2011

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Kutski Kutski | 11:00 UK time, Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Hard Dance Awards 2011

So last weekend we set off to the day-glow filled delights of Storm in Coalville for the 8th annual hard dance awards... and what a show it was! UV jackets, fluffy boots, and glowsticks as far as the eye could see, with ravers that had literally travelled the length and breadth of the country to be there!!

Unless you've been to one of these type of events, it's kind of hard to put across just what a great atmosphere there was in there, with no need for warmup culture, everyone hitting the dancefloor as soon as they had hung their coats up!! The awards were peppered between the DJs' sets throughout the night with all the winners receiving rapturous applause. I was lucky enough to pick up "Best UK DJ" for the second year running which was a great honour for me, knowing how high the level of competition is on the scene at the moment.

Although I do think all these music awards and polls have to be taken with a pinch of salt, it's really just an excuse to gather everyone involved in the scene together, DJ, producer, promoters and clubbers alike in one place, and just hold one massive rave, like a cup final for hard dance music!!

Make sure to tune in to my show this Friday to hear a mix showcasing the sounds of the winners as well as interviews with DJ's and clubbers on the night!!!

:: Listen to my show (from Saturday 5th of March 2011 at 0100)


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