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Damage Control!

Swansea has been best known in recent times for its football team and the exciting attacking football that they play. But Wales's second city also has a thriving music scene, and now a couple of electronic producers are putting it on the map in terms of dance music culture as well. 
“There's a lot of love for music in Wales, and a good electronic music scene in Swansea — given the size of the place,” Benjamin Damage tells DJ Mag.

“It's pretty small, so you get to know everyone if you're into it, because they all hang out in a small handful of clubs and venues.”

Benjamin immersed himself in the local scene along with pal Doc Daneeka, who he'd known for years. They had loads of mutual friends, and one day decided to try to make a track together. “We ended up making 'Creeper' as a spur-of-the-moment thing, and realised we worked really well together and it sounded good,” Benjamin says. They sent the warm-yet-detached minimalistic techno track to offbeat German techno crazies Modeselektor — “they seemed the most obvious people to check it out, and they really loved it” — and they offered the pair an album deal on 50 Weapons off the back of it.

Modeselektor had also been playing Benjamin's first deep rave single 'Deeper', penned with DJ Venom, and they cemented the relationship when Jackmaster introduced them in the smoking area at Fabric. “They offered their big and amazing studio to use, full of great synths and massive speakers, and a really nice flat to live in,” the DJ/producer says. “It wasn't a hard choice to move to Berlin after that.”

Using downtime in the studio, the duo came up with the acclaimed 'They Live!' album after a few weeks of intense recording and immersing themselves in the Berlin scene. Now, Damage has a new album, 'Heliosphere', about to come out on 50 Weapons, a phuture techno album that references the past while blasting off into the outer solar system.

A pummelling '010x' recalls the harder steam-train end of Detroit futurism — UR or Jeff Mills — until the shiny Orbital breakdown, and 'Delerium Tremens' is similarly metallic and panel-beating in nature, something jocks like Dave Clarke or Luke Slater would whip up a storm with. Yet 'Extrusion' is more shuffly and oblique, and 'Together' hints at a glistening Black Dog chilled piece. “I just thought every track should be something I'd really want to listen to, either at home or in a club, preferably both,” Benjamin says. “If a track doesn't do either or both of those things, there's no point in it existing.”

With a submarine-pulse bleep occasionally punctuating each track, and expertly crafted motorik moods weaving in and out of each other, 'Heliosphere' is perhaps the first great techno album of the year. The Swansea-bred producer tells us that he's prepping a live show right about now, which will be doing some damage later in the year, and that he loves every single DJ Mag reader!