Back in April The Particle People were visited by Ben Klock. While on a short visit to the US (NYC and Minneapolis only) with a special night at BLACK we were able to find out why he was on the tip of everyone’s tongue. He was modest, nice and simply blew the dance floor away with an amazing mix of new and classic techno and house. This set was a perfect example of the raw gritty underground sound of US (mostly Midwest) and German dance music coming from Berlin at the moment, most noticeably a little club you may have heard of recently called Berghain.
While in Minneapolis Ben not only was able to see what the Midwest was about, Ben even took home a little piece of Minneapolis by signing our very own DVS1 for KlockWorks005. While here he interviewed for Tanya Norman from IPR and recently with us at Jack The Box for a followup. What Follows is the followup interview and below is the original interview from Tanya and Ben Klock from April.
To top it all off we were also able to get hold of a recording of that night for JackCast002 Ben Klock Live@BLACK…
You recently visited Minneapolis, What were your impressions of the American Techno scene before coming and what are your impressions now? Specifically Minneapolis …
Well I have to say before I had the impression that it’s a very small scene there and this was approved. But in the end it’s more about quality than quantity. And there were some people who were really into it – especially in Minneapolis. And it was great fun playing there, because people seemed to really appreciate.
Your latest release on Klockworks (klockworks 005) is from one of our own locals and is very exciting for us. Is klockworks005 the first release from artists other than you?
Yes it’s the first release from someone else. So it’s something special for me too. I was really impressed by Zak (DVS1). He is minimalistic in it’s original sense. And very energetic. I loved his short but intense performance he did at that party in Minneapolis. And I’m glad I didn’t go straight home after my set and had the chance to meet this guy. I will bring him over to play at Berghain in February.
Do you plan on bringing more artists into the Klockworks roster?
Always depends on the music. If I find something that really fits into the concept that I have in mind for Klockworks then maybe there will be other artists. In fact I’m just planning something with a new artist but it’s to early to tell more.
Do you plan on visiting the US in 2010?
I’m not sure about that yet. We’ll see.
You are known for playing a very wide range of records. I remember hearing a number of classics in your set from your visit. What is your favorite dance floor track, the one you almost never leave home without?
Yes I like mixing old and new stuff. But it always changes. I can’t tell you the one favorite classic. There are too many great records. But if you ask me which one never left the bag since I bought it in 1995 it’s Tyree on Dance Mania: Nuthin Wrong.
Are you currently working on any new music projects that we should keep an eye out for?
I’ve only been doing remixes since my album came out in February this year. Brand new in the stores is a remix for Function on Sandwell District.
And then there will be a record on Deeply Rooted House, distributed by PlanetE with two older tracks of mine coming out before the end of this year.
One of the things we love to talk about on this Blog is gear. Some people are gear enthusiasts and some are minimalists. What is your current preferred DJ and music production set up?
I’m sorry to disappoint you if you expect a large analog production park. For my productions I’m using Logic Pro on a Mac and lot’s of digital plug Ins. That’s all I need at the moment. For me it’s more about music than loving machines. My DJ set up is two turntables and two Pioneer CDJs 1000 and a Soundbite loop player.
Thank you Ben! Interview by Aaron Bliss for Jack the Box.
Below is the interview by Tanya Norman the night Ben Klock Played in Minneapolis.
Particle People Bring Ben Klock To First Ave VIP Room by Tanya Norman
On April 4, 2009 local promoters Particle People welcomed Ben Klock to the First Ave VIP Room. Coming to the USA all the way from Berghain Club in Berlin, this respected producer and deejay was here to promote his new album One and EP Before One out now on BeatPort and where vinyl is sold. Ben was kind enough to grant Tanya Norman an interview opportunity, allowing a glimpse inside his world of Berlin techno and sharing insight into why sometimes less is more…
TN: Who inspires you? Mentors in music?
BK: I don’t know where to begin. I’ve been making music all my life. I listened to all kinds of music. In the 80’s I loved Prince. In the beginning of the 90’s I was beginning to look for new sounds. There are some heroes: old US guys, Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Robert Hood. Basically, that’s where it comes from.
TN: What kind of technology and tools do you use? Describe your studio.
BK: It’s not that interesting. [laughs] I changed to complete digital. I really like total recall recording. When I worked on my album I worked on different tracks at the same time. I don’t want to have to reconnect cables…..with digital you can really do a lot of things. I use Logic, a little Ableton… usually a Logic user. And some plug-ins.
TN: Your current record label, Ostgut Ton, how long have you been with them?
BK: Since I’ve been a resident DJ at Berghain, about 3 years. Ostgut Ton is the label of Berghain. The venue they had before the Berghain was called Ostgut, that is why the label is called Ostgut Ton.
TN: You’ve been deejaying for over 10 years now?
BK: For a little over 10 years. The international bookings started about 4 years ago, coinciding with the beginning of my residency at Berghain.
TN: Did you play any instruments as a child?
BK: When I was a kid I played piano. Before I became a DJ I also played in a band and did some songwriting, playing guitar and singing…
TN: Did you find those experiences helpful with your current productions?
BK: Yes and no. Sometimes it is not helpful when you are too educated in music and you want to make a good techno track…you don’t want it cluttered with too many solo parts, well, iIdon’t want it… [laughs]
Be sure to see Tanya’s post for video and pictures from the night.