de-VICE #2

BEN SIMS labels for Andrez, September 2006

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BEN SIMS labels for Andrez, September 2006
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de-VICE #1

Q & A UNDERTAKEN BY ANDREZ BERGEN IN TOKYO, SEPT. 2006

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The first time I interviewed Ben Sims was on the occasion of his second visit to Melbourne, back in July 2000 - when he headlined at the Connekted party with Soul Of Man, and I scored the cheap thrill of supporting him as Little Nobody.
 
At the time Sims was on the verge of becoming a definitive somebody in the world of tech-house and electronic dance music - and yet, aside from some references to his memorable label Killa Bite, few people knew what to expect.
 
It's incredible what difference a few short years can make.
 
While in July 2000 Sims' name was the one increasingly appearing on everyone's lips, from those of Jamie Bismire of Space DJz to Claude Young, Steve Bicknell to Chris Liebing, six years later he's an established star.

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ben sims @ womb, tokyo

de-VICE:

It's now been almost a decade since you released the Killa Bite series through the label of the same name. They helped to establish your cred as a techno producer to look out for in the late '90s. How do you feel about those records now?

 

BEN SIMS:

“I'm still proud of them - they definitely helped spread my name a lot and I also learned a lot of lessons about the industry by releasing them - they sold really well, but I never really got any money from them as one of the other guys involved kind’a ran away with the project. Over the past couple of years I've gone back to the same concept with KB Records Inc., but this time running it how I initially wanted to: as a low-key edits and remixes project for DJs.”

 

 

de-VICE:

When you came to Melbourne in 2000 - which is the last time I actually had the opportunity to interview you - you were the new kid on the block; the up-and-coming tech/electro enfant terrible. Now you're a veteran... so, from your current position, who do you consider to be the new kids (DJs and producers) we should be on the look out for?

 

BEN SIMS:

“Hard question…! There’re a lot of producers I regularly support, though most have been around a while. I wouldn't say there’re a lot of “up ‘n’ coming” techno artists right now, as most new names seem to be making minimal or electro-house, but over the past couple of years I'd point to Joris Voorn, Shed, and Shinedoe [Chinedum Nwosu], who have been the most consistent and interesting out of the new breed.”

 

[For the record, Voorn released a record titled ‘Return To The Fountain’ through Sims’ Ingoma label in 2005, under the alias of Dark Science].

 

 

de-VICE:

Earlier this year you re-released the Remanipulator EP - with its excellent mixes by Adam Beyer and Mark Williams – plus the Kingdom Of Drums Vol. 2 sampler through your other label Ingoma. can you tell us about them?

 

BEN SIMS:

“The Remanipulator re-release was mainly done because the original label Primate had disappeared, and I was constantly asked about putting the record out again. I'm quite amazed that there’s still a demand for the track, as it sold crazy amounts the first time round. The sampler EP on Ingoma was just a collection of tribal-influenced tracks I had been spinning for a while from CD-R, and wanted to get it out; I'm currently compiling volume 3 in the series - which will be the last Ingoma release.”

 

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de-VICE:

Which records take pride of place in your sets at the moment? …and why do these records seriously rock?

 

BEN SIMS:

“Mark Broom’s Things has been getting the strongest reaction all summer. At present it’s still only on CD-R, but it’ll be part of the Kingdom Of Drums Vol. 3 compilation; I’ve started my sets at most big festivals with it this year. It has a simple but hugely effective and addictive vocal hook that just works so well - just classic club techno that there’s not enough of right now.”

 

[For the record, Broom released the record ‘Mod’ through Sims’ label Theory Recordings last year, and he previously remixed Ben’s track ‘Retrovert’].

 

 

de-VICE:

What non-techno or non-electronic music are you listening to at home these days?

 

BEN SIMS:

“I still collect a lot of records, from funk to disco to hip hop to soul, and that’s generally what I listen to at home or in the car. My current faves are: [J. Walter Negro and] Loose Jointz’s Shoot The Pump, a punkish funk track from 1981 that I'd been hunting down for a while; MC Mitchski’s Brooklyn Blew Up The Bridge, a mid ‘80s, sparse hip hop rarity; and Rufus & Chaka [Khan] with Any Love, a hands-in-the-air soul classic.”

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de-VICE:

Who in techno/dance music/electronica do you most respect?

 

BEN SIMS:

“I respect a lot of people. It's pretty hard to get on the circuit and stay there, so I really give props to the guys who have been around for years and stay on top of their game - many other names come through quickly and disappear just as fast, so anyone who manages to consistently deliver the goods and always have surprises up their sleeve really deserve respect.”

 

 

de-VICE:

How many times have you been to Japan now? And what fascinates you most about Japanese culture?

 

BEN SIMS:

“I think it's about seven times now. It’s my favourite place to play, the crowd response is always so positive and energetic, and it's a feeling that stays with you even after you've left. I've met some great people over there - including my girlfriend! - had a lot of fun, been to so many amazing restaurants, and there's some fucking good records shops there too!! I love the way the future lives so closely to tradition, how you can one minute be in a crazy area like Shibuya, then the next at a temple… It's such a cool place to be and to DJ.”

 

de-VICE:

What style and tone can we expect from one of your sets these days?

 

BEN SIMS:

“Right now I'm playing a lot of different styles, from the more up-tempo end of minimal to hard-groove techno; from acid house to ghetto-tech to occasional rave and house classics. I'm really enjoying mixing it up at the moment.”

 

 

de-VICE:

Which Japanese DJs/producers do you dig?

 

BEN SIMS:

“Ken Ishii, Shufflemaster, Hiroaki Iizuka, Atsushi Yano.”

 

[For the record Iizuka released the ‘Radiant’ EP through Ben Sims’ subsidiary label Symbolism last year.

Yano previously released a record through Sims’ other label Ingoma, and featured on ‘Kingdom Of Drums Vol. 1’.

And Shufflemaster (a.k.a. Tatsuya Kanamori) released the ‘Soul Survivor’ twelve-inch through Sims’ Theory Recordings imprint in 2002, and previously remixed Sims’ track ‘Storm’]

 

 

de-VICE:

And, finally - how do you like your mushrooms cooked?

 

BEN SIMS:

“Fried.”

 

 

EARLIER INTERVIEW WITH BEN SIMS BY ANDREZ IN 2000, THANKS TO TRANZFUSION.NET

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