T & Sugah – Time (ft. Bensley & C.)

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Taken from Destinations, Vol. 1 out now on Pilot.

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Bensley – Do It Again (ft. Armanni Reign)

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Bensley recruits Armanni Reign for Do It Again, out now on RAM.

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Bensley – ‘Ascension’

Bensley – ‘Ascension’

Bensley’s ‘Ascension’ opens yet another door for the Ram Records producer’s coveted story. It started with an online demo being passed along to the imprint’s head Andy C and his debut single being showcased on Zane Lowe’s primetime BBC Radio 1 slot. The newcomer’s debut LP ‘Next Generation’ was soon to follow, and was met with critical acclamation throughout both press and radio. Bensley’s namesake has only grown, with the producer becoming a pinnacle part of leftfield DJ sets and symbolising the next generation of the Ram Records roster.

On his forthcoming single, Bensley aims to further broaden his creative repertoire as he explores yet another avenue unheard by his fans: strictly dancefloor. In terms of its production, ‘Ascension’ highlights an incredibly hardwired sound design which can be heard right through to the track’s skeleton. Touching on themes of constant build and suspense, the track pulls you down on a much darker journey to those that Bensley might usually lead you. Whilst drawing from his already solid foundation in musical engineering, ‘Ascension’ unveils a new dimension to Bensley’s identity.
With another digital single adding to a discography which stands strong with his more longstanding predecessors, Bensley returns alongside a refreshing take on his original moniker.

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Bensley – Under The Sunshine

Bensley – Under The Sunshine – Out Now

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Bensley was an artist picked from relative obscurity – a name which was absent from cyberspace, with no music available to stream anywhere online. However, when his intricately crafted, stunning sonic demos landed on the desk of Andy C’s esteemed Ram Records imprint, he soon rose to infamy within the drum & bass world. His release ‘Fandango’, the first snapshot into his impeccable production standard, was met with critical claim, from press to radio. Pedestalled on the revered UKF platform and on tastemaker Mistajam’s Radio 1xtra show, his story became legendary. The nineteen-year-old was an anomaly within dance music, grafting alone in the studio only to be picked up by one of dance music’s most definitive imprints.

Shortly after his exclusive signing to Ram, he released his debut LP ‘Next Generation’. For an artist that young to release such an impressive body of work, over such a small period, was almost unheard of. And in the years following, he followed up this album with single after single of unrestrained talent. His next offering comes in the form of ‘Under the Sunshine’, once again returning to a more vocal-lead style which resonates more outside of the club. With dreamy synths, beautifully rolling beats and Charlotte Haining’s vocal overtones adding to the track’s strident melody, ‘Under the Sunshine’ flexes Bensley’s full production might. It’s a crossover electronic track layered by his penchant for song writing.

The story continues for Bensley. ‘Under the Sunshine’ represents his evolving sound and with the guidance provided by Ram, he’s looking to develop his artistry throughout an array of genres. Drum & bass was the beginning, but his multi-faceted skillset continues to grow with every release; this single is a testament to that.

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Bensley – Slither

Bensley – Slither – Out Now – https://www.ramrecords.com/download/ramm276d-1

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With ‘Slither’, Canadian Producer/DJ Bensley unleashes an epic, yet beautifully crafted and layered track that demonstrates why he has won so many plaudits since he burst onto the scene in 2014.

As Bensley says, with ‘Slither’ he challenged himself “to make a track that would sound large in the club while retaining my style musically.” Thanks to Bensley’s recent fascination with synthwave and analog/lo-fi music qualities, the end result is an explosive, euphoric and tightly woven instrumental that slinks and slithers around to create a truly unforgettable track.

Never before in RAM Records’ 25 year history has a story as unique and exciting as Bensley’s unfolded. No previous releases. No previous DJ shows. The then 19-year-old Canadian sent a demo to his favourite label in December 2013 and was signed exclusively within weeks. Embodying the spirit of ‘letting the music do all the talking’ with an added aspirational emphasis that talent really does get spotted amidst the oceanic pools of internet creativity, Bensely’s productions blew the roof off RAM’s Hornchurch HQ on first listen.

Digest Bensley’s sounds and you’ll understand just why RAM Records snapped him up so quickly. His compositions capture the essence of everything that’s exciting in drum & bass right now. Instantly resonating like you already know them, yet sounding like nothing you’ve heard before, Bensley’s productions convey a contemporary energy and dynamic that’s instantly distinctive.

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Bensley – One Last Chance feat. Skyelle

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Despite its extensive history, Ram Records has seldom seen a story like Bensley’s. After a mysterious demo fell into the hands of its A&R team, the nineteen-year-old producer began his speedy rise to fame. Whether it was via premieres on Radio1 or Apple’s Beats online radio station, showcased by the likes of Mistajam and Zane Lowe, the boy wonder became a buzzword for the genre’s newer generation.

From first listen, it’s easy to see how Bensley was lifted from the internet’s deep pools. Fighting his way through a tide of baying competition, his music stood out and became an anomaly. And since his meteoric climb, the producer has gone from strength to strength. With tightly woven instrumentals that divulge a completely different paradigm to what we’re usual exposed to musically, he’s become celebrated for a sound which is difficult to imitate.

For his next output, Bensley flexes an even wider range of skill. He takes on the vocal talent of Skyelle, who utilizes her ranges to add an emotional flare between each layer of noise, delivering another notch to his bedpost whilst offer something completely different.

Juxtaposing his debut album on Ram, its impressively divertive yet still channels the sonic personality he’s overseen from the beginning.
Here’s a single yet to open more doors for the artist… One only just beginning to blossom, despite his already significant prominence.

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Bensley – One Last Chance (ft. Skyelle)

Out this Friday on RAM Records.
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Bensley – TipToe

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The story of Bensley’s rise to fame within the drum & bass community has become infamous. One of the scene’s most prolific to date, the emerging Ram stalwart was pushed into the agenda’s forefront without any prior music being available to stream online. Having been signed to the revered imprint based on a few mysterious demos, the LP that followed demonstrated the thought process behind label-head Andy C’s decision.

And next single ‘Tip Toe’ only goes on to solidify Bensley’s position. One set component from the last eighteen months that has created nearly as much hype as his ground breaking first single ‘Fandango’, it again hones in on the artist’s signature production standards. Hollowed drums and building note arpeggios bring you forward on top of a reverberating bassline; quickly cut then propelled forward on pounding subs, clacking percussion filters between carefully composed loops.

Hailed by radio tastemakers Beats1’s Zane Lowe and 1xtra’s Mistajam as one to watch, this next single adds another milestone to his journey. Whether it was on the dancefloor across his European tour last Autumn/Winter, or through personal headphones, Bensley is beginning to dominate playlists globally. ‘Tip Toe’ solidifies why.

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Flux Pavillion – Emotional (Bensley Remix)

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Flux Pavillion – Emotional (Bensley Remix)

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Skankandbass – Top 15 in 2015

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In no particular order, here are my favourite 15 tracks of the year:

00:00 Dimension – Whip Slap

It all started with a video on social media causing hype havoc. Undoubtably one of the biggest tracks in drum & bass this year – simple yet highly effective, this one’s been tearing down dance floors worldwide throughout the whole of 2015. Having taken himself to the top competing with some of the best producers in the scene, exciting prospects are in store for Dimension in 2016.

00:17 Noisia & The Upbeats – Dead Limit

A tried and tested winning collab combination. This track was a few years in the making and it was worth it for that reese that kicks in after 48 bars alone. Possessing incredible production and impact, it’s no surprise ‘Dead Limit’ has received heavy rotation throughout Summer and the tail end of the year. It’s a tight one between this and ‘Whip Slap’ as track of the year!

00:35 DRS ft. Jubei – The Puppeteer

DRS is always there to deliver a strand out track. This time partnering up with Jubei, the collaboration has a perfect balance of rolling darkness and a vocal hook which is as catchy as always. One of my favourite tracks to hear dropped in the dance this year – bouncy!

00:48 Lynx – Clap Track

The man who gave us ‘Disco Dodo’ re-introduced the unique style with ‘Clap Track’ – designed for djing, this one’s an absolute hurter once deployed on innocent gurning ravers.

01:11 Xtrah – What Would You Do!?

Another example of simple yet effective – my love for this track is very strong – gunfinger inducer. Xtrah’s had a sensational year and is no doubt now considered one of the best producers in the scene.

01:44 Dawn Wall – Angel Field

Yes, we all want to know who Dawn Wall is/are, but I honestly hope we never find out! Two EP’s on Integral in the bag and a huge impact left within the drum & bass scene. Angel Field and Lose Face are my favourite from the EP’s, but Angel Field just tips it – I can’t wait to hear the debut LP in 2016.

Side note: I commissioned Dawn Wall’s remix for Nero – Into The Night, does that mean I know who they are? Ooooof.

02:17 Break & DLR – Human Error

One word for this one – ‘mixdown’ – jesus fucking christ. I dropped this at The Nest when I was warming up before Spor’s set earlier this year and rest assured, the dance floor turned in to a zoo. So many tracks you could pick from these two producers separately.

02:50 SCAR – Caged

SCAR aka Survival & Script have been churning out some huge rollers on Headz in the last two years. ‘Caged’ is certainly the stand out track which turned heads within the scene. I dropped this in room 2 fabric recently and the system had a bit of a work out. Gunfingers were raised.

03:14 Hive – Repentance

It’s always good to hear new music from Hive and ‘Repentance’ definitely delivered. I love the delay in drop and progression of the track which makes for a wicked listen and journey when experienced on a dancefloor.

03:36 SpectraSoul – Always

SpectraSoul delivered us a sensational and versatile album via Shogun Audio this year – ‘Always’ is definitely my pick of the bunch. Vibe-o-meter hitting a solid 10, I haven’t heard a track like it in a while – very cinematic. Good work chaps.

04:07 LSB – Walking Blues

LSB is one of the best liquid producers hands down. Output has been incredibly strong for Luke in 2016, including ‘The View’ with DRS and Tyler Daley, but ‘Walking Blues’ on his Soul:R EP definitely takes the biscuit for me. INCREDIBLE.

04:31 Joy Orbison – Hyph Mngo (Vandera Remix)

This one surfaced at the start of the year and I’ve been playing it on repeat ever since. Being a big fan of the original, Vandera has done it justice with effortless execution.

05:04 Bomfunk MC’s – Freestyler (Teknian & Zero Zero ft. JFB Remix)

Quite a late addition to the year. Having been a massive fan of the original in my youth, seeing this track title alone got me excited and I’m happy that Teknian & Zero Zero did the original justice with a headsy approach. The intro is a perfect tease in mixes and the drop is very unexpected, yet satisfying! Free download vibes.

05:38 Ivy Lab – Sunday Crunk (Mefjus Remix)

I don’t really need to say much about this one. Absolutely stupid mixdown – with that build up you’re expecting a two step drum pattern, but the half time element and piercing bass create that ‘shock’ element which really turns the dance in to a frenzy.

06:00 Bensley – Next Generation

Bensley came out of no where to drop an LP via Ram Records. Although I’m not massively in to the LP as a whole and I think his production can improve, this track has undeniable musicality which is extremely difficult to dislike. I’m excited to see what this guy’s got lined up in 2016.