Palmistry on how his father’s death inspired ‘Afterlife’ and working with SOPHIE on Rihanna material
Ben Rymer has appeared Zelig like across dance music over the last 15 years. He came to prominence as one half of Sheffield electro band Fat Truckers who had cult hits like Teenage Daughter and Super Bike. As part of Gucci Soundsystem with Riton he released on DFA and his London club night Druzzi’s (circa 2004) has passed into legend. He is now a solo artist and has a release upcoming – La Trinciarice – through Serge Santiago’s Arcobaleno, is part of the Disco Bloodbath production outfit and has recently started his own label Channel 83 with Damon Martin.
You seem quite the fan of vocal phrases usually intoned by blokes with deep voices. I swallowed too much bass on this mix for example. What’s the ultimate Deep Bloke Intoned Vocal Phrase?
A lot of deep male vocal phrases are seminal in house records. Girl I’ll house you, house music all night long, Jack the groove, I’m gonna diss you right now etc. There’s probably a DJHistory.com book coming out cataloguing them all. A very large section would be dedicated to Curtis Alan Jones a.k.a Green Velvet. My personal winner would be his opus, ‘It’s time for the perculator’.
How much of the mix is new stuff and how much is vintage?
I just checked it and 17 out of 32 tracks are new so that’s 54 percent new.
What are the ingredients of a perfect house track?
A load of vintage Roland gear and Curtis Alan Jones is probably a good bet.
Is vintage house the new disco?
Well a lot of “disco” that people are listening to is just house music and a lot of classic house was just old disco tracks replayed/sampled/looped so it would make sense that it’s coming back round again.
What was your first DJ gig?
That’s a really hard question to answer because I really can’t remember. If I’m trying to be clever I once took Jam On It by Newcleus into a music lesson at secondary school. In reality it was probably round someone’s house in Sheffield playing bleep and bass techno.
You have a fine beard. What is it with beards and disco?
Sheer laziness and a lack of having a proper job.
You have been working with the Disco Bloodbath boys on remixes. Which is your favourite so far and why?
I have to say The Aliens remix because I think it took a lot of balls for me and Damon (Martin) to send them a 13 minute mix which doesn’t do anything. It works and people seem to really it and also it is very reminiscent of a lot of the old psychedelic influenced dance records very close to my heart.
What happened to Gucci Soundsystem?
Henry Riton is travelling the world playing loud clattering music to lots of people half my age and I’m not. We have done some more music together though.
Do you agree with the following phrase: Bored of cowbell? Bored of life.
Not really, cowbells are quite dull. I prefer bored of East London, bored of haircuts.
What are you most proud of from the Fat Truckers catalogue? And fave moment with the band?
The track Multiplex because it managed to sum-up life in Sheffield very succinctly. My fave moment would probably be going on stage at the Barrowlands in Glasgow supporting Pulp. Glasgow is the most music savvy city and the Barrowlands is a really magical place.
When are you most happy a) Walking your dog b) Making and then consuming a pork pie c) Deep in the jacking zone.
You’re asking which is better: Love, Food or Music. They’re all in essence the same thing.