Benny V – [Interview] – Dance Concept

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Following up on the review we did for Dance Concept’s “Generation Hyper” release we thought we should have a word with the label owner regarding the production of this Album. Here’s what Benny V had to say…

BFTR: Firstly, please introduce yourself to the newbies of the D&B/Jungle world;
and to those who are still in the dark about who Benny V is.

BennyV: I am the label manager and original Dance Concept promoter. Been DJ’ing professionally from the age of 16, my first residency being at Labrynth in London alongside the other residents like Kenny Ken, Ratpack, Nicky Blackmarket & Stevie Hyper D & played in the main rooms at all the major events such as One Nation, Breakin Science around the UK & Europe. And still going strong, wouldn’t change it for the world!

BFTR: With Stevie D’s highly anticipated ‘Generation Hyper’ release upon
us, what was your involvement/role in making this project possible?

BennyV: I brought out the first album, The Legend, on Dance Concept in 2004. I was going to produce the entire album along with Stevie’s original producer, Dfrnt Lvls, but opted in the end to bring in others to contribute too. So as well as myself, people like Aphrodite, Kenny Ken, Brockie, Child Support, DJ Phantasy all made tracks. The profits of The Legend went to Stevie’s mother Aida, who has sadly passed since. It became apparent that not all the lyrics were originally used and after talks with Stevie’s Nephew, Darrel who was in the process of setting up a Foundation in his Uncles name, I started the task of a second album. This time with all profits to the Foundation. All the artists who contributed did so for NO FEE whatsoever. Amazing stuff. This was a massive task. It took a great deal of time & effort to get this done. Absolute mission, trust me! As well as producing another track, I got a few remixes done of some of the original tracks and gave out the new lyrics to various artists to do their work. A real jigsaw puzzle which ended up being a monster, 24 track album!!!!

BFTR: Whilst still making the album, what obstacles and problems did you and the
rest of the artists who contributed come across?

BennyV: When dealing with such a large scale album, and I have pointed out, all done in the artists own time the major issue was getting mixes in, in a timely fashion. Some people contributed their mixes almost straight away. Others…. Well… not so quickly! Lol This was coupled with the ‘good problem to have’ in that I had producers knocking on my door asking to be involved. Some massive names who I just couldn’t turn down. It got to the point where I had run out of lyrics so in the end had to supply hooks that had been discarded when earlier artists had made their tracks. Mad stuff.

BFTR: Would you say that you are unconditionally satisfied with the finished
product without the slightest doubt, and therefore trust that this
collaborative initiative is indeed sufficient enough to honour the legendary
Stevie D
?

BennyV: I have NO doubt that the effort put into this album is totally worth it. The vast styles of artists involved really brings something for everyone. You have Jungle, DnB, Nuero, Liquid, Rollin and every subgenre in between. This is definitely the last Stevie project that is coming out on Dance Concept so it had to be right. The only thing that frustrated me on the first album was some people saying things like ‘its not like Stevie live’. Well of course it isn’t. It was recorded in a studio lol I’ve not heard anyone say that this time, so fingers crossed.

BFTR: Tell us in detail when exactly, and what sparked the idea that gave birth
to ‘Generation Hyper’?

BennyV: A few people had come to me and said to do another album. I loved the first album but there was a few politics involved and I was a little constricted with what I could do so it had always been on my mind to wonder how it could have gone had I had full artistic license. I guess the final factor was when Stevie’s nephew un-earthed some un-used lyrics. That was another factor because I was really against the idea of people thinking ‘oh ANOTHER mix’. Was really against overkill. Once it became apparent that I had new material and confirmed I would have full license on this, I asked Nicky Blackmarket & Dfrnt Lvls if they had any objections. Once they gave their blessing, I started work. The whole ethos of ‘Generation Hyper’ is exactly what the name suggests. Stevie passed nearly 16 years ago. The 18 year olds of today were 2 years old! I wanted to get some tracks involved that had a feel of every era and hope I got that across.

BFTR: And approximately how long did it take to complete it?

BennyV: That is the magic question. I did not know how much of my life this would take over. It has been easily the single most time consuming and epic project I have ever undertaken. To say had I known how much at the start, I might not have taken it on gets squashed by the quality of the product and the fact that hopefully I have really given something back to Stevie’s family and the Foundation they have set up. Beginning to end you are looking at nearly 2 years to complete.

BFTR: Name three of your favourite tracks in the album, and briefly explain why
you favoured each.

BennyV: It’s a tough one to narrow 24 tracks to 3 as I will no doubt change my mind on the 3 by the time you guys read this. But I would say the following:

Benny V & Dfrnt Lvls – Junglist Soldier (Serial Killaz Remix)

This track has received some of the biggest love of any of the tunes on the album. Serial Killaz really are at the top of the Jungle game for me so I was really pleased they remixed this track. And boy did they take it to another level. This one goes OFF in the dance. I also love the way they grabbed live samples of Stevie working for the second drop half way through.

Heist – Wanna See You Bubblin

This track surprised me as it wasn’t what I was expecting from Heist. The way it rolls raises the bar on how some tracks can infiltrate multiple genres. I have heard DJs of EVERY style drop this, and has been played by DJ Hype on Kiss, Friction on Radio One & Crissy Criss on 1Xtra, Fabio & Grooverider on Ministry of Sound Radio as well as many other of the top DnB DJs on radio and in the events.

Savage Rehab – No Surrender

Another track that gained so much support. Great sub bass line, interesting twists and turns, subtle but great use of the Stevie samples. I love this one in the mix as well as a stand alone tune.

Its frustrating to only name 3 when Congo Natty’s mix has so much vibes, Triptonites is a great jump up tune and Aries & Pappa G’s tune literally tore the roof (tent) off when I dropped it at Sundance Festival!

BFTR: When can fans from the rest of the world expect a tour of the album,
hopefully with all the artists involved?

BennyV: We have booked a night at Area in Vauxhall on Easter Sunday the 20th of April. We had original ideas of a tour but this has been shelved due to request of Stevie’s family which we have respected. Dance Concept is still going ahead with a line-up consisting nearly entirely of producers on the album so I am sure you will hear plenty of tunes on the night but as for a specific launch and tour, nothing in place just yet but you never know!

BFTR: From this year on, with the release of ‘Generation Hyper’, should the
fans expect this already classic album to be the only piece of work that
preserves Stevie Hyper D’s musical legacy?… if not, please whisper in our
digital ears what Dance Concept has in store for us in the future
.

BennyV: There is talk that the family may venture into new genres of music but there are no more plans for Dance Concept to release any further Stevie Hyper material. For DnB/ Jungle, this is your last chance! Theres plenty of stuff forthcoming on Dance Concept however. There are 2 remixes of the Prisoners of Technology classic, ‘Delikutt Beats’ from Jaydan & Voltage. The Jaydan mix is doing the rounds in the raves as we speak. And Sub Zero is remixing one of my tracks with Fresh Kutt called ‘End Game’. Plus a host of new material from Triptonite & various other producers I cannot disclose yet!

BFTR: Lastly, what would you like to say to Stevie D’s fans from across the
globe concerning this album? And is there anything else you would like to add
maybe?

BennyV: Remember this is your chance to not only own a piece of DnB history but to give something back to Stevie’s family and the Foundation. Not 1 person has made money on this album. The label, the producers, even the excellent work by Jesse Holborn (married to Stevie’s sister). We are strongly trying to get ‘Generation Hyper’ across as exactly what it suggests. This guy receives love from artists from nearly every urban industry. Grime, Garage, UK Hip Hop and of course Jungle, DnB. If you remember Stevie, you will know what Im talking about, but if you are of the newer generation, check the internet, ask your older friends and listen to as much as you can to find more about The Legend…

Well we’d like to say big up for taking out the time to chat to us and running this project. Major respect. All the best on the future concepts 🙂

For more info follow @DanceConcept on Twitter or myself – @BennyVDC

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Dance Concept – Stevie Hyper D – Generation Hyper – [Review]

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All great artists and figures that have helped in shaping their respected fields deserve to be commemorated and celebrated in order for their legacies to live on…
Generation Hyper does exactly that with this 24 track collaborative album, a project for the Drum & Bass masses to remember the legendary MC, Stevie Hyper D.

The project begins with Stevie stating how he represents Jungle like a pro in ‘What We Want’. Here, the legend displays great lyricism in his well-known Ragga flow to the 1-2 Steps of the drums. The track is very uplifting because of Stevie D’s conscious, positive rhymes; and the high-pitched horns do well in keeping the mood up.
The tunes in this album are very well done, and the legendary MC’s new lyrics and vocal samples were well used. From tracks like ‘S-T-E-V-I-E’; and ‘6 Million Ways to Funk’, to ‘Vibes Through The Fingers’, and ‘No Surrender’ whereby he features V Recording’s recently signed duo Savage Rehab, just prove it why and how this MC “Got the flow to make the good times roll.”.

‘Congo Natty meet Stevie Hyper D’ is one the best joints in this collaboration. As to “why”, shall be a mystery for the listener to figure out.
As part of the project, the guys at Dance Concept deemed it wise to include two heavy hitters where he is featured, ‘New Generation’ with Triptonite; and ‘On The Rampage’ which was produced by Minotaur Kill (Jilted Generation).
And to spice it all up, there are four remixes of his stuff, with ‘Junglist Soldier’ remixed by Digital Sound Boy’s very own, the legendary Serial Killaz being a banging number to watch out for.
It so happens as well that Jungle/D&B isn’t the only genre in this album, a different direction was taken in the last two tracks. The first is in the form of a “bouncy Urban” bass lined Electro Mix flavour by Misdemeanor, an Electro House/Drum & Bass duo from the UK, titled ‘Right About Now’. The other is a quite harmonious Dub-Step treat titled ‘Stevie Too Much’ by Sub Freq Records owners Bluesy & Chef as the cherry on top to round up this beautifully crafted project.

With well over twenty; well-known artists in the game coming together, for this one of a kind initiative that is seldom heard of in the Jungle world, for the sake of preserving a timeless legacy to honour this legendary pioneer.
Expect to hear more ear smashing; body possessing music, and considering what Stevie Hyper D was capable of on the mic; and for him to be able to rock the crowd like no other MC at Raves already says something worth giving a listen if you already didn’t recognise.
Generation Hyper has a forward-moving force with its rawness. Simply put, it is a raw fusion of Jump-Up bangers; and active Apache breaks complimenting the Jungle vibes. The bass lines are deep and growling on another level, there is no room for a thorough-bred Junglist to be sceptical or indecisive on whether they dig it or not. This is a proper hyper album, suitable for all generations of Junglists, cooked and served by the likes of Jaydan; Heist; Lion Dub; Kenny Ken; as well as a few others, all put in an artistic hand to make this possible. Benny V, who co-initiated this project, also contributed into the production.
Those that never knew about Stevie D or Dfrnt Lvls will get to understand what the hype was about; and see how this album is so hyper.

The debatable question on whether this work is sufficient enough to remember Hyper D by (or not?) becomes invalid as soon as you press ‘Play’. It is undeniably a classic in the making. It will be a relic for the future hyper generations to come.

Stephen Austin A.K.A Stevie Hyper D was without a doubt the crown holder; and still departed as the King MC.

Ink Punk.

Release: March 2014

Check out the SC link below:

Thrash Pilot – [Interview]

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We got the chance to have a lil’ chat with Killscreen recording’s Thrash Pilot, talking about the latest offering from the label which is the Nightstalker EP, and what’s been up. Here’s what he had to say…

BFTR: Sup, Jim. Care to enlighten us on who and what you’re all about?

TP: Hey up there, well, I’m all about the beats and the breaks and the bass I’m afraid. Nothing changes. Killscreen is a modern event to take back dnb to its core values. Experimentalism and pushing boundaries.

BFTR: You’ve got this EP dropping, Nightstalker, how has it been compiling the selections for this EP, what was your direction, the intention for this?

TP: The whole thing just sort of fell into place really, at first they were all going to be separate releases… We decided the vibe was so similar, that we’d put the tunes together as an EP.

BFTR: How did it come about getting these artists on board?

TP: Well I’ve known the people involved for years. Jamac and Fractals are old friends and DJ Sappo is a massively cool chap who agreed to help us out. It’s taken a long time to put this one together I can tell you, but I think It’s worth it. The product is great and value for money.

BFTR: How soon are we gonna get to hear you and anyone of these artists showcased here compiling a tune together or any other other artist out there for that matter?

TP: I’ve already started a couple of things with Fractals, nothing finished as yet, Jamac is pretty busy with his own label and Guidance Sound System so he might be a one off. Hopefully not but it’s up to him. Our contracts with our artists are very open, you won’t have seen one like it, they are funny.

BFTR: And the DJ support so far on this EP, how’s that been?

TP: Amazing, people seem to have really taken to it, Dillinja, Grooverider, Ray Keith, Futurebound and Matrix, Doc Scott, loads of the big guns, we couldn’t believe it when Randall dropped the firewalker remix on Bailey’s show. Randall is a hero of mine, man. The best technical DJ out there in my opinion, well him and Doc Scott.

BFTR: How would you define your own sound as it is somewhat different, not really conforming much, which is good.

TP: Yep it’s not influenced by what’s happening in the charts, it’s neo dark core, or neo tech step or something… With a minimal vibe and the haunting. Ha. I’ve no idea what I’m talking about.

BFTR: Are you you gonna keep this sound consistent, is that the concept with killscreen though?

TP: Things might change, we’ll just keep releasing anything that sounds different, and pushes the envelope. I can see us dropping any wobble bass anthems anytime soon. If we wanted to make money, we’d make edm, you know? Dnb is about moving forwards, we certainly not to the past but we try and keep things interesting. Hopefully anyway. I’m waffling again.

BFTR: How has it been running Killscreen?

TP: Hectic, it’s amazing how long everything actually takes, however, Fractals is officially on board now so that’s twice the power! Hopefully that will help, he’s a great hand.

BFTR: Are you working on anything else perhaps that might see a release on a different imprint?

TP: I am working on an EP for NB Audio at the min, I’ve got 2 tracks finished but am still working on the others. I’m also producing a hip hop album which I’m currently trying to sell to a more suitable label. Busy busy.

BFTR: What are we to look out for regarding you, the imprint and everybody else that may be be involved on the label this year?

TP: Onwards and upwards, this is our year, watch out world…. Etcetera times infinity.

BFTR: Big up for taking out the time to chat to us, man! All the best vibes!

Check out the SC link to the snippets of the EP:

Killscreen Records – Nightstalker EP – [Review]

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Thrashpilot’s Killscreen imprint sees another release on it’s vibrant attire of releases with a few collabs on this one and receiving proper support from the majors in the scene. This is the Nightstalker EP

What’s Next” you ask? is a little cheeky number from “Jamac-Guidance SS” with mellow jungle influence that has you steady rocking sort of prepping you for the rest of the EP. Old skool baseline hits with a guttural sound to get your chest vibrating. From that “Jamac-Guidance SS” moves us to “High Crimes“, swift percussion, another talking baseline and effects morphing in and out of shape but still fitting in the process.

Next up is “Midnight” inspiring awe/tranquil on the intro but soon altering into a devastating modulation, still has that feeling that keeps you on the edge as if there’s a more demented drop to come by but keeps it on a suspended grunge. Bringing us out of that a bit is still “Fractals” with the track Illusion that brings that funk with playful percussions and a soothing baseline. This is that nod your head music.

We also hear what’s new from the man behind the label, “Thrashpilot”, on “Binary 10”1 with a vocal that triggered a certain band in my head, can’t bring myself to remember what it is. Anyway, Thrash’s production has always been known to flip the script while in motion, man. When this track drops for the 1st time from the vocal sample I lay back and chill to bask in it but nasty does it get?? That ‘official’ drop is illegal, as we know, most illegal stuff is that good stuff… This is well played.

Jumping onto “Defender 2”, another by Thrashpilot. This man fears not to dabble with whatever comes to mind, employing all alien sound form and looping your intrigue. This tune engages a mellow, playful manner before getting onto the edgy drum work that we know him for as the track subtly breaks away…

Firewalker”, track that saw it’s first release on the 2 track release by Thrashpilot sometime last year, now sees some reincarnation from “DJ Sappo” on the refix. Keeping it grimey! Be on the look out!

Release Date: 3rd March