Benni is one of the first people I ever really met in Nuremberg who does have too much to do with my immediate work cosmos. That´s a very good thing. I met him through nightlife mainly but that not what we want to talk in our “Off-Topic” Series of course. It again is more about topics besides his expertises of being a brilliant DJ and sound connoisseur. Let´s talk!
Please give us a brief review of your favorite record in 2019.
Difficult question! 2019 was a good year for my record collection. I was mainly interested in the current young jazz scene. Great records came from Kokoroko, Joe Armon-Jones and The Comet Is Coming. But I found the compilation Kraut Jazz Futurism particularly exciting. Especially young artists from Berlin are featured on it. You can read my detailed review here.
DJing on a saturday or staying in and cooking?
At the moment, definitely cooking. But on a perfect saturday I would probably cook with friends and then go out to a good concert. I’ve cut back my DJing activities a lot at the moment, probably to improve my cooking skills.
What was your most favorite phase in your musical education?
I don’t know if I’d limit it to one particular phase. My main musical teacher to this day is HipHop. A Tribe Called Quest showed me Roy Ayers, through DJ Premier I found Ahmad Jamal. J Dilla was the master teacher anyway – from him I learned about the beauty of mistakes. And that’s how I understood why Flying Lotus is probably one of the most brilliant musicians of our time. And FlyLo took me on a time travel back to Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders. And not to forget Kendrick Lamar of course – among many other things you can learn a lot about literature from him. As you already notice – if you love HipHop, it takes you everywhere.
What made you look into cooking at all?
I’ve always loved food. After I finished my student life 10 years ago, I moved into my first own apartment. There I discovered my passion for cooking. I would not say that I am already really good in it. But I am constantly improving. I am currently trying my hand at thai food and indian cuisine, franconian food as well. I think there are a lot of similarities between cooking and DJing. Probably every good DJ has the talent to become a good chef. The basic skills are the same. Like a good DJ set, a good dish isn’t just about the right ingredients, but also about how you connect them. If you use an ingredient at the wrong time, it can ruin your dish. Just like a good DJ set, good food thrives on the more subtle tastes. Oh well, and just like DJing, cooking is meant for other people. And when they applaud at the end it’s great. But you shouldn’t forget that you can clear the dancefloor as a cook as well, haha.
Throwback; Where have you been 10 years ago and what was it you are doing?
I was in Nuremberg. Ten years ago I just finished my studies in social work. During the day I started to work part-time at an social organization and helped heroin addicts to get through the struggle of life. Above all, however, I had a lot of time to get involved in cultural work in Nuremberg. Shoutouts go to Desi and the Musikverein. I organized many concerts at that time. I also was DJing every weekend. 10 years ago it started slowly that I could play in other cities as well. Yes and I organized many club nights here in Nuremberg. At that time I hosted a night called sub:city together with friends, the night was about future bass music. I have great memories of artists like Mala, Kuedo, Rustie or Pangea. And it must have been in 2010 that we founded the Beat Thang collective. Until 2018 we tried to bring a part of the worldwide beatmaker scene to Nuremberg. I actually only have good memories of that time.
Will you still try to get me into Jazz music and how would you bring it closer to me ?
This could get tough! Music is so subjective and I don’t know if it’s just a matter of persuasion to influence whether music touches you or not. But good. First I take you to a Kamasi Washington concert. My girlfriend and I have sworn to go to at least one show every year from now on until the end of our lives. So you can join next time. Then I’d look, maybe I’ll get you through more modern electronic fusion jazz stuff. The Comet is Coming, the last project of Shabaka Hutchings might fit. If all this doesn’t work out, I think I’m gonna have to force you. I’ll lock you up in a dark and soundproof room with psychedelic lights. Maybe I’ll pour you some ayahuasca, too. Then I turn up the complete Sun Ra discography to full volume, while the film Space Is The Place runs in a continuous loop over a large beamer. I guess if you get out there alive, you won’t be doing anything but listening to jazz for the rest of your life haha!