We speak to the Hessle Audio co-founder about mixing his diverse influences for the esteemed radio station and label's compilation series
Rinse: 16, the latest compilation to be released in Rinse FM’s acclaimed mix series, has been put together by Hessle Audio’s co-founder and Rinse FM regular Ben UFO. Having helped unearth artists such as James Blake, Ramadanman and Pangaea, as well as having made a name for himself solely as a DJ, playing at nights across the UK and Europe – including FWD>> and The Warehouse Project – Thompson mixes a huge range of material to create sets that are uniquely diverse and brilliantly eclectic.
Whilst a lot of his work is driven by a strong, deep bass-line, he also mixes elements of house, jungle and 2-step as well as dubstep, dub-reggae which really pick up the pace, shifting between both 120 and 140 bpm to keep things interesting. We caught up with him to find out more about his upcoming European tour with Hessle Audio and his biggest influences on the new compilation.
Dazed Digital: What have you enjoyed most about putting together the Rinse mix? Any themes you've tried to stick to in particular?
Ben UFO: It's been an opportunity to showcase a different side of my DJing. When a mix or podcast is going up online it's competing with a huge amount of material. Why should people give you an hour of their time if something doesn't grab them straight away, when there's plenty of mixes online which will? If people have gone out of their way to purchase a mix that someone's put together on a dying format, hopefully they'll be willing to spend time with it, and focus their attention on it in a way which would be more difficult online. As a result this CD is probably less immediate, its themes take longer to develop. I aimed to produce something that would reward multiple listens, and hopefully it'll be something that people keep returning to.
DD: Ever been tempted into production at all?
Ben UFO: Of course it's tempting. Making a piece of music that people value must be an amazing feeling. At the moment though I feel justified in dedicating my time to DJing. It's an intensely time-consuming activity, and I still feel that there's a lot I can do to keep moving forward.
DD: Anyone you're following closely at the moment? Track/release of the moment?
Ben UFO: In terms of new producers, Objekt and Helix are the two guys I'm most excited about. There's a tune by Objekt on the CD called Cactus which has been getting the most amazing response in clubs, and it's been a real effort to hold myself back from totally overplaying it.
DD: What are you most excited about next for Hessle Audio?
Ben UFO: Our current tour. It's the first project of this size that we've put together, and I'm really looking forward to seeing people's responses to what we do all over Europe. We've all travelled a lot in the past couple of years, but to an extent the atmosphere of each show is always dependant on the other DJs you're playing with. With this tour we're in complete control of the musical direction of each night.
DD: Who would be your ideal/dream signing for the label, if any?
Ben UFO: Someone completely new, making music unlike anything I've ever heard before with no thought for how appropriate or inappropriate that music might be for the label.
Photography by Jane Brodie