German producer Paul Beller aka Ben Mono has been doing damage the past decade with some killer releases on Exploited, Gomma, Ed Banger and Strictly Rhythm. Most recently, he’s won the respected approval of House legend Kerri Chandler, who snapped up his latest EP “Why?”, a release we can’t get enough of! The EP is full of rattling percussion layers and jammed with wobbles & hints of grainy bass hooks, Complimenting that are some dark synths to bring a tasty flavour to this well constructed release. To find out more about the EP, Ben’s recent exploits and what’s next for the producer, we caught up with him this week for a little Q&A action. Check it!
WWD : Hi Ben thanks for taking the time to chat! What have you been getting up to as of late?
Ben : Cheers for having me! it´s busy times right now since all the stuff that i´ve been working on for the past 9 months is coming out. Low Steppa´s Simma Black label just released an EP of mine and some other remixes just dropped or are in the pipeline for Love & Other, Xylo, White Widow, Montel, Exposure Music and more requests are coming in every day.
WWD : Having ‘Why’ released on ‘Madtech Records’, a label founded by house legend ‘Kerri Chandler’, how does that make you feel?
Ben : I wrote MadTech on Soundcloud, since it was one of the most reocurring labels in all my recent mixtapes and i really loved every single release. To suddenly get a response from Gaz was a dream coming true and it made me proud getting recognition from a scene that i’ve always looked up to from day one.
WWD : Was the release long in the pipeline?
Ben : hehe good question, as mentioned above certain tracks had to wait 9 months until they got released, but MadTech was about the fastest and pr-wise the most thorough label that i’ve worked with recently. initially I had a few tracks that i always reworked over the years since i wanted them getting signed so badly.
At some point i surrendered a little and thought why not just follow my intuition again and let new tracks happen on a more jam based structure, Madtech immediately approved 3 of my demos and there is a 4th track coming up on their next compilation alongside some of my personal heroes.
WWD : The E.P is banging, as always a very nice garagey/techy feel to it. Can you tell us a little bit about what you wanted to achieve with this release and what inspired it?
Ben : Thank you. Actually living in Berlin sometimes feels like living on some deserted island with just this one Techno and one Deephouse mixtape on your mp3 player (to exaggerate a little). So since 2-Step and UK Garage was kind of a bigger thing in Munich around 2002 (where i am from originally), i always wondered why that whole movement was over so quickly and i’ve craved for its renaissance ever since.
The idea of “Why?” was to amalgamate a good blend of that vibe that from back then and then add a tiny bit of fresh Techno ingredient to it.
WWD : For all of the production nerds reading this article what would be one of your most used plugins/vsts for the basses & synths in your projects?
Ben : I still love Massive but recently i started to do a lot of the more gritty synth bits by using Linplug´s CrX4 which has its own oldschool vibe and alwyas cuts through. Nontheless Ableton´s own Operator always surprises me when i get the nerves to really work my way through its envelopes and oscillators.
WWD : Is producing/DJing a full time profession for you? What do you think you would be doing if you had never found music?
Ben : The fun fact is that i never really intended to do this job on a longterm basis, it was more an accident and the right releases at the right time that created a demand – and since a lot of my friends have more “reasonable” jobs, i always thought that one day i would live a life far away from the club world. But somehow the older i get, the more i appreciate what i do and enjoy spinning and producing on a full time basis – on the other hand I always thought that i could enjoy writing articles and do more content based research in other fields.
WWD : Before we leave you, any big dates/releases/collaboration on the horizon?
Ben : Actually there is collabs that i’m not allowed to mention because of other artists being involved and then there’s another project which is top secret but on a constant way up into the higher spheres of institutions like Berghain and Sonar Festival. Last but not least i am planning on collaborating with Maximono from Hannover soon – and that´s not just because our names match so well 😉