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
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
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