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Go BackJOB SATISFACTION IS HIGH - But will Benny Benassi complete employment duties in Ibiza this summer?

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Mass ascension to electro-heaven is the mission of Benny Benassi, Italian production whizz. Hopefully he hasn't been short-circuited by tricky questions from alien author Lisa Loco.

It’s safe to say Benny Benassi, born in Milan 1967 and living in Reggio Emilia, Italy, has found true job satisfaction. Since the Italian peddler of electro house re-rubbed Tomcraft's ‘Loneliness’ to great effect in 2003, the dj/producer has experienced a significant swell in public profile and an associated increase in BB demand.

Long time music maestro Benny and cousin Alle Benassi (they often collaborate) are both allied to ‘Off Limits,’ the internationally acclaimed production unit run by Larry Pignagnoli in Italy. Following their popular production of KMC feat Dhany, the Benassis swiftly started work on ‘Benny Benassi Presents The Biz,’ which was fast to become a worldwide trade in dirty, electro house. ‘The Biz’ project meanwhile is also an alias for Paul French and Violeta, who add the robotic, Kraftwerk-esque vocals to the enormous hit ‘Satisfaction,’ and have an original approach to voice and movement.

In the sexy presence of ‘The Biz,’ Benassi’s creativity continued to soar, as demonstrated by his remixes of Sonique, Electric Six and Outkast; and reached a critical climax with the release of his ‘Biz’ album titled ‘Hypnotica.’ The second single from this album, and follow up to ‘Satisfaction,’ was ‘Able To Love’ and the third single, entitled ’No Matter What You Do’ is now out. This month the Benassi business extends across the pond to NYC as Benny presents his debut mix for mega monolith Subliminal (the ‘Sessions 6’) due out on the 22nd, and it’s a pleasant change. A new Italian angle on the longstanding US house label brings Benny and his filthy electro funk to the fore of stateside commercial dance.

Nominated for three 2004 DanceStar Awards, including Best International Act, Best Single and Best Video; Benny took home the trophy for Best Video (from Miami on the 9th March) for his ‘Benny Benassi Presents The Biz’ project and its vivid visualisation of his boundary breaking hit ‘Satisfaction…

In light of this news, we considered it our deck duty to bring you some ‘quotes of note’ from the Benassi one; we wanted some answers, and they came (thankfully translated) from South Africa, as Benny enjoyed a departure from his studio.

Hello Benny how are you?
BB: “Enjoying a quick break... I’m in sunny Cape Town. How are you?”

Where do you live & work these days, and what’s the music like there?
I still live and work in Reggio Emilia, Italy; in the ‘Off Limits’ production unit, but I dj all over. Being able to travel to spin my records now and then gives me the chance to absorb lots of music from all over the place.

You work with ‘Off Limits,’ the internationally successful production unit run by Larry Pignagnoli; has this helped you achieve your dreams musically on a grander scale?
Yes. It’s the combination of the studio, my cousin Alle and Larry’s production experience. Being in a hub like that naturally attracts singers like The Biz, Sandy, Dhany and all the artists I’ve been working with either on ‘Hypnotica’ or the ‘Pumphonia’ albums by the Benassi Bros.

You fused with fellow artists Paul French and Violeta on the project ‘Benny Benassi Presents The Biz,’ and with your cousin (Alle Benassi) on the ‘Benassi Bros;’ where do you foresee your combined electro, house sound progressing in the next year or so?
Good question!

After the amazingly successful gritty cross-over hit ‘Satisfaction’ do you ever worry about being perceived as a gimmick grouping with The Biz and having a stereotyped, bass heavy sound?
No, I’ve never worried about that kind of stuff. With Alle we make the music we like. If other people like it too, we’re on a roll. If they don’t, we’re on a roll anyway.

What is it with the retro robotic image you foster, do you always publicly dress like a member of Kraftwerk, or is it an association to your computerised style sounds?
Beam me up, Scottie. An alien is short circuiting me with difficult questions!

‘No Matter What You Do’ is your (darker) follow up single with The Biz and seems to share a similar undulating bass line to ‘Satisfaction’ with a catchy female hook, please tell us more.
Hypnotica’ (the album) is, if you like, a series of variations on a theme. Which gets more and more intense. ‘No Matter What You Do’ is more intense than ‘Satisfaction,’ but by no means the most intense track on the album. Our mission is to take you to electro-heaven.

How does it now feel to be part of the Subliminal Records monolith, what with the release of your double (‘Sessions 6’) mix album for them, it must have been flattering to have been selected from overseas?
I do believe it’s the first time a non-Subliminal artist has mixed the Sessions, and I am seriously honoured. Subliminal has always represented the hub of cool, for me. To get this kind of acknowledgement from my guru is... more than a passing thrill.

Benny on the Subliminal mix you unveil for the first time your new pseudonym project, ‘Bat 67,’ to be released on Subliminal/ Subusa very soon. How are aliases important to the artist, and how’s this one important to you?
Bat 67 is an experiment which gives me the chance to explore a raunchier rock influenced, porno style. Aliases are like different parts for an actor.

Your productions often allude to sexual situations… is it a case of ‘sex sells’ like in the video for ‘Satisfaction,’ or is sexuality really important to you in your music and life?
It’s just where I am right now. Sex sells? Yes but everyone’s selling sex. It depends on your approach, I think. That’s what really makes it interesting or not. But it’s about dancing in clubs... I wouldn’t over analyse it too much. They’re just dance records, not theories of psychology!

What’s up in your studio – How do create those incredibly squelching, gritty bass lines and sweaty compositions?
Now that would be telling.

As a DJ what are your influences, and what does your live set entail?
I am influenced by the masters, Paul Oakenfold and Erick Morillo, to name but two. Regarding the live set, my DJ set consists of me mixing records in clubs... There is also The Biz, whom function as a live act and Sandy (vocalist on the hit single ‘Illusion’ on ‘Pumphonia’) who is on tour in France.

What about the forthcoming Benassi Bros. album ‘Pumphonia’ mentioned on the ‘Off Limits’ site?
Benassi Bros. is more about the vocalists and more evolved melody lines. Check it out!

What are your plans for the summer, will you be in Ibiza?
I am planning on doing some stuff in Ibiza, but there is nothing set in stone as yet.

Benny do you have any more news or gossip for the readers?
Let me see if I can tempt you... I am working on a record together with a well-known dj/producer who has often collaborated with Subliminal... I have also remixed a track by a great group whose name begins with...

Oh, he’s such a terrible tease, but we still love him!

By the way, (BB) king of electro is currently looking for a female singer to produce for a new project. So, “If you are interested, wherever you're based, please send a CD with your vocals. It doesn't matter what songs are on the CD, as long as it's your voice (original material, covers, demos, whatever!) Also please send at least one photo, and write on it your name, age, address and contacts.”

Send your material to:
Off Limits
Via Sessi 8
42100 Reggio Emilia

Benny Benassi Pst. The Biz - "Hypnotica"
Benny Benassi Pst. The Biz - "Satisfaction"
Benny Benassi Pst. The Biz - "Able To Love"
Benny Benassi Pst. The Biz - "No Matter What You Do"
KMC Feat. Dhany - "I Feel So Fine"
KMC Feat. Sandy - "Get Better"
Benassi Bros Feat. Violeta - "I Love My Sex"
Benassi Bros Feat. Paul French - "Don't Touch Too Much"
Benassi Bros Feat. Sandy - "Illusion"
Benassi Bros Feat. Violeta - "Rumenian"
"Ghetto Musick" - Outkast - Arista - USA
"Dance Commander" - Electric Six - XL Recordings - UK
"Loneliness" - Tomcraft - Ministry Of Sound - UK
"J'ai Pas 20 Ans" - Alizée - Requiem Publishing - FR
"I'm Alive" - Sonique - Serious Records - UK
"No No No" - Ann Lee - Energy Prod. - IT
"Tu Es Foutu" - In-Grid - Energy Prod. - IT
"In-Tango" - In-Grid - Energy Prod. - IT
"Natural Woman" - Gambafreaks - D:Vision - IT

DanceStar Nominations 2004
BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT (Non US Artists) ‘Benny Benassi’
BEST SINGLE (Worldwide Artists) ‘Satisfaction’ Ultra Records
BEST VIDEO (Worldwide Artists) ‘Satisfaction’ Ultra Records
DanceStar Award 2004
BEST VIDEO (Worldwide Artists)
Winner 2004: Benny Benassi Presents The Biz - Satisfaction
Benny Benassi Presents The Biz – ‘Satisfaction’ (Ultra Records)
BT – ‘Simply Being Loved (Somnambulist)’ (Nettwerk)
The Chemical Brothers featuring The Flaming Lips – ‘The Golden Path’ (Astralwerks)
The Crystal Method – ‘Born Too Slow’ (V2 Records)
Kylie Minogue – ‘Slow’ (Capitol)

Words by Lisa Loco