The ‘wonky techno’ sound is one that has completely grabbed me since I first heard it a few years ago. I can’t really explain it but whenever I hear it, it instantly makes me wanna dance and puts a smile on my face. It’s definitely my favourite form of music and there are so many good producers on the scene and hopefully as the years go on, more people will start making it. One producer that really sticks out in this sub genre is Ben Pest. I first heard his productions on a 3 hour mix he recorded ( still my favourite mix ever) and I’ve listened to everything he’s done since and it’s always quality. He’s got such an unbelievable sound. It’s fun, banging and interesting all at the same time. He’s also a member of Ninja Tune act Pest a band who’ve constantly made savage tunes. He’s without doubt one of my favourite producers of the past couple of years and I’m thrilled that he agreed to do an interview. If you don’t know his stuff then your in for a treat!
I suppose firstly, what got you interested in music? Were you always into the electronic side of things?
It’s hard to remember what got me into it now – it always seems to have been there. Stylistically I’ve been interested in electronic stuff since i discovered samplers in our school music dept (20+ years ago!). But no, I have been into so much different stuff over the years – metal as a teenager, then funk, jazz – name it really!
You’re also known for playing in the band Pest. How did the band get together and what role do you play in it?
We met in the late nineties around the London underground techno party scene. Tom and Matt are from up north originally and have known each other for years. I play keys in a live capacity, and co-write a fair old chunk of the material with the other guys.
You released one of my favourite records with Cristian Vogel under The Black E. Is this a collaboration that’s going to continue again in the future?
Well I’d certainly like to think so – Hey Cristian!? Are you listening?!
You play solely with hardware live. What pieces of kit are you using and which couldn’t you live without?
I couldn’t live without any of them! Korg Electribe ESX1, Yamaha DX200 and a nintendo DS, plus occasionally a nord lead 1 rack- my new addtion is an electron monomachine.
What producers/music are you digging at the moment?
Too numerous to mention really! Tom (Pest)’s stuff as Fedka the Irritant – especially the new track on Horror Boogie.. Squires Of Gothos and Kanji Kinetic are my favourite of all that bassline wobble stuff around at the moment.
Your 3 hour mix for Fun In The Murky is one of my favourite mixes. Was this something that you did at a gig or solely for the blog?
I think the mix you are referring to is actually a gig in Leipzig, Germany – thats the only 3 hour recording I can think of anyway..
Download: Bleep Radio 214 by Ben Pest
How do you approach writing a tune?
There is no one single rule basically – also, I am a fan of working with gear with limitations (the nintendo DS being a prime example) – it forces you to be inventive.
Have you any tour/releases planned for your solo stuff and/or Pest?
Pest has this ongoing 3rd album project which will be finished ONE DAY.. I am currently working on a new release for Victim & hopefully Bonus Round and Horror Boogie.
What are your three favourite tunes ever?
Impossible to answer this question – sorry!! No, it really is – it hurts my brain just to contemplate.. Actually, 3 of my favourite musicians of all time are Frank Zappa, Jamie Lidell and Miles Davis.
Finally who do you think would win in a fight you or Mr Luke Sanger?
Well, Luke is taller than me – plus he has more heavy objects in his studio to throw..
Thanks a million to Ben for the interview, what a legend! Watch this space for news on his releases etc.
[Edit] Here’s an exclusive mix he made for us later in the year. Check it out: