LONDON legend, Matthew Benjamin aka Bushwacka! is a true electronic music pioneer who continues to blaze a unique electronic trail, a vintage DJ and producer at the peak of his powers.
His long running residency alongside Layo at Mr.C's The End club, which closed its doors for the last time in 2009, is the stuff of legend. His legacy of music over three decades as one half of Layo & Bushwacka! is written into dance music folklore.
As tech house enjoys its most successful period for years, it's only right that scene innovators Layo & Bushwacka! are back at the top too. Right now they are releasing a retrospective of their best tracks called Listen Up (Volume 1 and 2) – both double pack vinyl – and in July they will play at Noisily Festival of Music and Arts Near Market Harborough, Leicestershire with the likes of Goldie, Gregor Tresher, DJ Storm, Dub FX and many more (crisis permitting).
As a solo artist Bushwacka! is and always has been formidable. With a long history dating back to the birth of acid house in the UK, he recently revived his revered Plank Records, unleashing house, tech breaks and electro, vinyl only beauties onto the world's most discerning dance floors once again.
Before the current crisis, Bushwacka! was also about to embark on his first London residency since The End and Shake It warehouse party days, this time in the west end at Orange Yard, Soho. The prospect of these Rezonate parties remains mouth watering, the opening party was set to see Bushwacka! line up alongside the incredible talents of Oxia and Cristian Facelli. Watch out for news of the rescheduled opening party date once we beat the virus. What a party that will be!
Until then you can catch Bushwacka! streaming live regularly on facebook with his Vinyl Love Affair broadcasts.
We caught up with Matt this week and asked him to talk us through ten tracks that are rocking his world right now.
1. The Usual Suspects – Nightstalking
Even though this originally came out over 20 years ago, I have started playing it all over the place again, as it is one of the tracks featured on my forthcoming compilation “Listen Up Volume 1”, a retrospective of Bushwacka! Productions. Layo and I called ourselves The Usual Suspects and this EP, with Daydreaming on the other side, was a staple track in all our sets and part of the early years of us forming our sound.
2. Bushwacka! – All Night In Heaven
My latest release on the infamous Plank Records. All Night In Heaven takes its name from my favourite London club, Rage, which was at Heaven. I played there recently for the Return To Rage event, and I made this rave style track as a homage to all the nights in the club I spent from 1988-1992.
LISTEN AND BUY VINYL HERE
3. Psychemagik – Valley Of Paradise (Greg Wilson version)
I am playing my own “edit” of this version of this amazing track, in the interim of finishing my own Bushwacka! remix, up on my studio desk as I write this. For me, the vocals in this magical tune are timeless and spellbinding. I have always loved this, and still play it all the time.
4. Derek Neal – October
Proper deep tech house. I would write abbreviated DTH on the vinyl promos, this is a piece of vinyl I recently purchased from a Berlin store that I have been playing all over. It rolls deep and lush, and holds that special groove that attracted me to this style of music in the first place. Nostalgic vibes, with current production skills.
5. Marlon Hoffstadt – The Power Of Now (Bawrut Remix)
This powerful track is a great fusion of electronic, tribal and ethnic sounding tones and rhythms. Its the kind of track I can drop in the warm up, or the 6am slot. Proper old rave chords are the icing on the cake.
6. Soul Makossa (Drums De Makossa)
Shovell is one of my favourite percussionists, and a magical man. Defected is one of the best house music labels in the world. This rub of Soul Makossa is pure drums, and nothing else, but those drums are simply awesome. If you love tribal rhythms this will rock your world.
7. Dinosaur L – Go Bang! Franciois K Mix
I’m not really a Disco dude… but this track is just incredible. FK on the mix has done, as usual, the most insanely good job of making this piece of music an adventure on the dance floor.
8. Oskar Offermann – Beggs Enedikt
Slow, deep electro – a staple part of my longer sets these days. This beauty is a journey into deepness.
9. Sacha Dive – Dark Knight
Taken from the Bondage Games vinyl series, this rolls and rolls. It reminds me of my late night Berlin sets at Kater Blau. Great production from Sacha Dive.
10. Makesomebreaksome – The Vision
Finally, this early Breakbeat release, about to be repressed on my new compilation, is seeing the light of day again. The Vision is one of my favourite early breaks productions, and back in my record box for 2020.
Let's keep our fingers crossed that Noisily Festival of Music and Arts is able to go ahead in July and we have the opportunity to see Layo & Bushwacka! in action again there. HERE are all the details you need. Keep up to date with news of the rescheduled Rezonate opening party in London HERE.
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