Just over two years ago Bensley was propelled into our collective conscience with an entire debut LP – Next Generation. Precision lockdown tactics by Ram, and a move that’s yet to be repeated in drum & bass, Bensley’s arrival into the game was as unique and distinctive as his sounds.
Back to the future and his signature is still as arresting, dramatic and evocative as before. If Slither is anything to go by, he’s exploring some darker places, too. His first original since last October, he’s not holding anything back…
“Slither was my attempt to make a club track that doesn’t compromise any of my style or musicality,” he explains. “This is one of many challenges I set for myself as a musician to explore the outside of my comfort zone. I experimented with more aggressive bass sounds and drum hits than can usually be expected from my work, and I’m happy with the result. I was also listening to a lot of synthwave and lo-fi music around the time of writing this, which heavily inspired the intro and middle sections of the tune.”
He’s not just listening to synthwave and lo-fi, though. Bensley is also neck deep in beats as he enjoys a summer on European soil with a series of key shows. Fresh from bowling us over at Liquicity Festival over the weekend, he’s now set for performances at two more high profile festivals: Tomorrowland and Let It Roll and he promises to be packing the freshest and most exciting of material.
“There are absolutely loads of exciting producers breaking through at the moment, and so much forward-thinking music is popping up as a result,” says the Toronto-based artist. “To avoid the genre from stagnating, it’s important that we support the people who are keeping things interesting. I thought it would be a nice change to use this top 10 feature to spread the love to some of the underrated artists I support.”
Dan Dakota – Glow
Big tune from the guy who’s pretty much single-handedly representing the D&B scene in western Canada! I think Dan and I draw inspiration from similar places, and I can really appreciate his music.
1991 – VHS
1991 is the one to watch at the moment. He’s consistently putting out quality tunes, and I’m always impressed with the variety from track to track. On his latest Lunar EP, it feels like he’s really embracing the 1991 brand, in the form of a shift towards lo-fi style. The record is peppered with vinyl hisses, vintage drum machine sounds, and distorted & detuned synths. Vibes.
Benny L – Low Blow
This guy is making such huge moves at the moment, and it’s really cool to see him getting more support with the major heads recently. This tune is sounding lethal, can’t wait for its release!
Joe Ford – Guess What
Such a smooth and forward-thinking tune! I loved ‘Off Centre’ when it came out a few years back, and this definitely taps into some of those same elements. This definitely has some of the most creative sound design I’ve heard recently.
Muzzy & Priority One – Break Away
I think the drum & bass scene really overlooks Muzzy and the quality of the music he’s been putting out recently. His latest EP is incredibly well arranged and produced, and it’s amazing to watch how much he’s grown as a producer in the past couple of years. I absolutely love Break Away, and shout out to Priority One and Skyelle, who also deserve lots of love for this track.
Flite – Be Still
It’s a rare thing to see uplifting D&B being pushed from Texas of all places, and it’s nice to see this guy getting a bit more of a spotlight around the scene as of late. Great stuff!
Phaction – Ever Present
Super impressed with Phaction’s take on jazzy drum & bass. Ever Present in particular incorporates light-hitting drums with a swung, bouncy groove, and the result is something very unique. Can’t wait to see where his career goes!
Keeno – Enigma
Enigma showcases the full potential when classical training meets drum & bass. I’ve enjoyed Keeno’s music for a long time, but I think this tune taps into some extremely interesting techniques and style blends, and that puts him on another level in my opinion.
Fluidity – Minotaur
Extremely deep vibes on this! The synth work is absolutely nutty. Love this guy’s work, extremely underrated.
July Jones – Jump In The Water (Memtrix Remix)
This remix is completely spotless. From the arrangement to the sound design, I can’t find a single thing to dislike about this. Consistent quality, as always, from Memtrix.