Since his emergence on Amsterdam’s Rush Hour with an untitled sampler EP in 2010, Ben Thomas, better known as his latest alias BNJMN, has quickly established himself through a series of releases and remixes as part of a new wave of producers who were happy to straddle the lines between genres.
The Bournemouth-born, now London-based artist has demonstrated an approach to sounds that shifts constantly, imbuing his production with a chameleonic tone. Filling his music with dense, abrasive textures and colourful, futuristic, utopian synth melodies, his two subsequent albums ‘Plastic World’ and ‘Black Square’ (the former is his debut LP) from 2011 for Rush Hour’s Direct Current imprint shuffle between a subtle form of house and techno while also flirt with electronica and its deep space ambience. His other releases on Serbia’s Svetlana Industries, Chicago-based label Stolen Kisses, and many more under different aliases (including Jackhigh, Rewolf, 141, and Singing Statues) range from experimental, abstract beats to acoustic instrumentation, dubstep and downtempo electronics.
Earlier this year, BNJMN has released his second EP on Rush Hour. Titled ‘Unknown 2’, it is a gushingly rawer, far more stripped down record that displays a notable departure and lays asides his usual affair. It exhibits a great energy that moves from the digital rush of his previous material to a saturated roughness that’s adorned with looping, hard-edged drum patterns, which thrills and soaks with flushing sensations.
Much alike his latest release, what Ben delivered to Dummy is a mix packed with a bunch of unreleased tracks, throwing in a deep, swinging beginning with his own exclusive remix of J.Cub’s Crying Over You, which gradually moves into a darker, more shadowy territory, incorporating a heady selection of late night electronic atmosphere.
Hey BNJMN! How’s it going?
Good thanks! The sun is shining in London.
Can you tell us a bit more about this mix you’ve made for Dummy?
It’s a bunch of tracks I’ve been into lately, quite a few I’ve been playing in my recent DJ sets. There’s also a new remix from me and a few exclusives.
It’s been a little while since we last heard from you, what’ve you been up to recently?
I just got back from playing in North America, which was really fun. Other than that, I’m still settling into living in London, which I’ve really enjoyed so far. That, and making some new music.
What is exciting you about music at the moment?
Just trying to get better at what I’m doing day to day. In terms of what other people are doing – I think it’s an exciting time for people making experimental electronic music.
You finally moved to London this year, how’s things been for you so far?
I’m really enjoying it, there’s so many good nights going on. There’s a nice community of people here that I bump into, everyone’s really friendly. It’s totally different than living in Bournemouth but it’s starting to feel like home.
What’s the idea behind your new project Singing Statues? I noticed there are a lot more vocals used in the tracks. Is that you singing?
Yeah it’s me singing. Actually the material that came out on the free EP and the upcoming album was all recorded a few years ago. But I’ve just started making more song-based music again, so I’m already thinking about the next release after the album comes out. I divide my time between that stuff and the BNJMN material.
Who or what inspires you?
Apart from music I get really inspired by films, books, visiting new places and people. But I also think you can get inspired sitting in a room with nothing to do, it can force you to become creative and inspire yourself.
What’s your favourite colour?
Any forthcoming releases?
I have a remix coming out soon on Saints And Sonnets, and one for a band called Bear In Heaven. I’ve remixed myself on a forthcoming Singing Statues 7 inch and I’ve also started to think about the next proper BNJMN release.
What are you most looking forward to this summer?
Just looking forward to experiencing it in London really. I’m gonna miss being by the beach but there’s loads of lovely parks. Also really looking forward to getting the Singing Statues album out.
J.Cub – Crying Over You (BNJMN Remix) [forthcoming – Saints & Sonnets]
Patrice Scott – 2000 Black [Sistrum Recordings]
Fort Romeau – I Need U [100% Silk]
Terekke – 2chainsedit [Unreleased]
Alex Coulton – Brooklyn [Idle Hands]
Legowelt – Deepspace Gazing [Unreleased]
Lukid – Swingers Nhls 93 [Unreleased]
Jaydee – Plastic Dreams [R&S]
Synkro – Presence [Styrax Records]
Lone – Dream Girl / Sky Surfer [R&S]
Anthony Shakir – Perseverence [Rush Hour]
Sun Electric – :
) and :( [R&S]
Photodementia – Astrography [Photodementia]