Ben UFO, de son vrai nom Ben Thomson, est co-fondateur du stupéfiant label anglais Hessle Audio qui a vu émerger des artistes talentueux et singuliers comme James Blake, Untold et Ramadanman. Ben Thomson au civil, s’est fait une réputation en béton avec sa technique irréprochable et ses DJ sets pointus mélangeant jungle, jazz, techno, garage,… Ce véritable digger annonce promet des lives captivants !
Over the past five years, Ben UFO has acquired a deserved reputation as one of contemporary dance music’s most daring and wide-ranging selectors, with his keen ear and razor-sharp technical abilities enabling him to cut between eras, lineages and mixing styles with dazzling ease and fluidity.
Having cut his teeth in early dubstep and drum ’n’ bass, his roots lie in UK rave culture – yet his selections cast the net wider, drawing new mutations of this culture into the orbit of house, techno and other global dancefloor sounds. In the club, his sets somehow manage to be simultaneously considered and raucous, sliding from sidewinding broken rhythms into an irresistible four-to-the-floor groove, or broadsiding you with unexpected tangents, old favourites and bizarre secret weapons.
Thomson’s development as a DJ has been inextricably linked to the maturing of Hessle Audio, the label he co-founded in 2007 alongside Pearson Sound and Pangaea. Just as dubstep was starting to unfurl into a sprawling, globalised festival sound, Hessle Audio, in stark contrast, emerged with a strikingly focused, spacious and percussive aesthetic. As the scene continued to unravel, they went on to become one of the most coherent focal points within a rapidly diverging UK dance music community, through their DJ sets, label releases and radio shows on London station Rinse FM. Listening back to Ben’s two official mix CD releases, 2011’s Rinse:16 and 2013’s Fabriclive.67, you can hear snapshots of that evolutionary process in action; they plot subtle and often surprising connections between the pirate radio-borne genres he grew up with, and the worldwide house and techno scene.
From their early years in Leeds, Ben UFO and Hessle Audio have evolved into core figures in an increasingly globally-connected dance music scene. Having provided an early platform for music from kindred innovative spirits such as Blawan, Peverelist, Untold and Joe, the label continues to release new music from both its founders and emerging new artists. This openness marks the cornerstone of Ben’s approach: drawing connections, exploring new ideas, and feeding some of Hessle Audio’s energy and enthusiasm back into the musical communities of which they are an integral part.