He’s done it again…
Exactly six months since his remix of John Holt’s Police In Helicopter became the first ever drum & bass tune to hit the top spot in the Beatport overall chart, Benny L is number one on the leading download store’s Top 100 releases chart once again with Vanta Black.
Released on Metalheadz, the EP, which also includes the Inja-fronted vocal version Vanta Blackin and a VIP of his first tsunamic anthem Low Blow, topped the chart yesterday Thursday June 13. It sits above albums by the likes of Chase & Status, Avicii and John Digweed.
“I’m over the moon mate,” Benny tells us. “I knew it would do well but because of the early release on the Metalheadz website I didn’t think it would chart that high on Beatport. I can’t believe it to be honest.”
Believe: Vanta Black is the third major scene-spread smash for Benny in as many years and the hype and support for it has happened in the same way: Through original dubplate dispersion and early support from key selectors over the last 18 months.
“Yeah I first dropped it at Breaking Science in February 2018, so it’s been around for a bit,” he explains. “I sent it over to Randall. He sent it to Goldie and Goldie rang me saying he’d just played it 10 times in a row.”
Goldie – who also suggested the name Vanta Black – is not the only one. Those outer-planetary opening chords, that unmistakable purring bass that sounds like 23rd century motorbike revving up ready to mow you down. The bare minimalism. In the case of Vanta Blackin, Inja’s pin-point lyrical prowess. All of this and more; Vanta Black is one of those tunes that’s captured a vast majority of the scene’s attention and imagination.
“I was buzzing when I was first making it,” grins Benny. “I’d just got my Virus synth and a valve EQ. I was messing around it, put loads of reverb on it and that intro pretty much made me cry. There’s loads of emotion in it.”
What makes the tune even more remarkable is that it was made for Inja; all that space and the stripped-back dynamic was tailored for Inja yet it works just as well as an instrumental, effectively creating two completely separate tunes.
“Inja was there from the start,” states Benny. “I was writing it to have him on it. But it’s one of those ones that’s made for a vocal but works just as well as an instrumental. I think that’s quite rare.”
Not quite as a rare as hitting Beatport number one twice in six months, though. The only thing rarer would be for a day to go by on DNB Talk without people making a foghorn gag when Benny’s mentioned. This has yet to happen.
“I don’t make foghorns mate, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” says Benny wryly. “It’s a reese bass that grabs you in the rave and makes you go mental. That’s what I’m doing; trying to make sounds I want to hear on a big rig in a massive arena. With Vanta Black I was actually envisioning a spaceship taking off. Horns were not on my mind at all.”
We’re going to need a bigger spaceship: Vanta Black is another landmark victory. Not just for Benny but for Inja and for drum & bass in general. Beatport has never seen such an onslaught of drum & bass and jungle heads. The fact Chase & Status and Halogenix are in the overall top five and releases on 1985 and Sofa Sound are in the overall top 10 is further evidence that our sound has more influence, relevance and prominence than it has in years. Huge shouts to everyone making amazing music right now.