Preamble | Benny Ill

We caught up with Benny Ill, a multi-genre producer and DJ, who first came onto the scene over 20 years ago during the early dubstep and UKG days, to discuss his journey and till now

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Yewande Adeniran
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Preamble
Published On
March 21, 2023
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Published By
Yewande Adeniran
Published On
May 9, 2023
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For those who aren’t familiar with your journey, how did you get into producing?

Having had a strong interest in music since childhood, after being offered a cheap used drum machine I began to experiment with programming. Shortly after a friend showed me tracker software on his home computer and we began to attempt creating entire tracks

We’ve seen a resurgence of UKG hitting both underground and mainstream charts, what do you attribute this nostalgia to?

Whilst Garage has enjoyed a good following since the early 90s there seems to be a cycle in which genres are rebooted and or reimagined for new audiences. This is particularly prevalent in the last 10 years when many genres have experienced a resurgence or appropriation 

You’re known for not only your genre spanning solid productions but as a prolific DJ too, what are three tracks from your record bag you can’t leave the house without?

Underground Resistance "Hardlife"

KMA "Cape Fear" (remix)

Satin Storm - Satin Storm

 

As a producer, are you a software or hardware geezer or a bit of both?

Both

Over the last two decades, you’ve released on a plethora of labels from Tempa to Swamp 81 to Deep Medi Musik, and have collaborated with everyone from Kode 9 to DJ Hatcha to Falty D, how do you approach working with other producers while remaining true to your sound?

That's a good question as it's not always easy for some but personally I adapt to fit as best as possible with the techniques preferred by my collaborators. As far as a personal sound, there are tropes but generally I try to originate every time

Your latest release on GD4YA was a lockdown saviour for us all, making us all miss the club. How did you balance between being dancefloor forward and pushing your own individual style on “Who, Me? / Acre Lane Skank”?

Individual style is something hard to avoid when creating anything, actually I try to keep things as fresh as possible but of course due to the limitation of skills I possess certain tropes are inevitable.

Believe it or not, at all times I try to make music for a dancefloor of some kind

Talk us through the track you last [cmd] ‘S’d ? ([ctrl] ‘S’ to PC users)?

Funnily enough I never use control S to avoid keyboard error so I always save from the file menu. The last project I worked on was a mixdown for a client. In this particular case I had decided to supply a variation in playback version. The artist had mentioned something offhand during the first session, and I'd made a mental note to make a VIP for the client's promotional usage. Usually when mixing it is important to stay true to the artist's vision and simply mix, but it's often nice to add creative touches or additional production by providing alternate mixes or specials, time and budget allowing

What can the CDR audiences expect from your time with us?

I am hoping they will learn something! And find answers to technical or music industry questions they have

And finally, for those just getting to grips with producing and keen to get their Works In Progress out there, what advice do you have for them?

That's another hard one! Works in progress firstly need to be completed as well as possible using the best of their abilities or external resources available such as mix engineers or executive producers. Once the track is ready it's all about putting it in the right hands - the best DJs and labels they can find to give the tune to - or finding other ways to get club/radio play such as self release/website uploads   

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