DJ Mag grabs a chat with DJ/producer Ben Pearce just before he takes the 20-minute walk from his Manchester home to his studio. He's got a few things on the go and will probably dip into whatever's inspiring him when he gets there.
“If a remix has got to be in then I'll work on that,” he explains in the week post Glastonbury and prior to his three gigs at Secret Garden Party. Two more dates in Ibiza will see Ben playing for Defected at Booom and then at Ushuaia, before he starts a two-pronged tour of the States and then returns to play Fabric on his birthday on 10th October. “It's been really amazing this first full year touring properly.”
What is the track that reminds you of your childhood?
“There is one by Brahms 'The Hungarian Dancers - Number Five', it used to get played all the time and there's a video of me when I was really young, I don't know whether I remember the video or I remember the actual thing, but my dad definitely played that all the time.
It's obviously classical music but it really got me interested in music, that's one from right back in the archives. He had a record collection for a while but then he moved onto CDs, he's still got loads of CDs, so I'm going to pinch some when I can. Music was definitely present all the time.”
What's the first record that you ever bought?
“Vinyl? Well I got given a load of vinyl when I was learning how to DJ, lots of really old banging house and electro, like Josh Wink and stuff like that. It was a local DJ in Manchester at the time who I was working and promoting for that gave it to me. I can't really remember the first record I bought, I probably should for these kind of things. I remember having a Popular People's Front track that was really early.
I don't think I bought one straight off, I think I went to the store and bought quite a few to have my own little collection, and at that time I was warming up quite a lot in clubs, so it was quite downtempo, disco kind of stuff, along those lines. But there was definitely Popular People's Front tracks.
I started off playing bass, house and electro in studenty type clubs just to get to grips with it, but when I first started seriously doing it under my own name it was in a couple of clubs around Manchester. My girlfriend says I have far too many records. I need to sort them out. I don't know how many I've got, there's quite a lot of piles of them, but they're not in any order. My cat keeps clambering over them all.”
What is the cheesiest record in your collection?
“It's like a guilty pleasures-type thing and it always comes down to your taste. I've got quite a lot of disco, which I guess you could label as cheesy. I'd say Dan Hartman 'Relight My Fire'. I don't think you can get much more glaringly cheesy disco than that.
I've played that quite a few times. Actually when I played the Dan Hartman version there was a rumour going round that I'd played Take That, which is kind of funny but also harrowing at the same time.”
What's a track that's guaranteed to make you cry?
“I don't know about guaranteed, I suppose Death Cab For Cutie 'I Will Follow You Into the Dark' is pretty emotional I guess. If it caught you on a wrong day. It's an acoustic song, they're really good. I'm into quite a lot of acoustic bands when I'm travelling, I don't really listen to house when I'm going from A to B.”
What's an album that you're currently into?
“The newest one is Wild Beasts 'Present Tense', which I came across about a month ago, that's amazing, quite emotive and electronic, something between electronic and a band. They're out on Domino and Lone mixed 'Simple Beautiful Truth', and then from there I started listening to their original ones.”
What's the record in your collection that you most treasure?
"There's an Isolee remix of Manuel Tur's 'Make the Most of This Moment' that my girlfriend bought me as a present because I said I wanted it ages ago, and I couldn't afford it at the time. That's the one that's a bit special. It's an amazing track, I really should play it more but I don't want to take it out, in case I lose it. I've taken vinyl to more gigs than I need to at the moment, I've only just bought new turntables at home, customised ones that I can start to rip vinyl. They're like the Technics 1210s but a company in Leeds called Master Sounds have modified them and improved the wiring so they sound and play better. Really good, really happy that I've got them.”
What's your all-time favourite track of all-time?
“Tricky, tricky. House music? It changes all the time. I guess I'm really obsessed with this Dark Sky track called 'IYP' at the moment, and it's not really a big classic or a massive vocal, but it's just an analogue bass funk kind of jam and it just keeps coming back, and it just makes me really excited.”
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