BEN RAU – FEELING OF COMMUNITY AND TOGETHERNESS

BEN RAU – FEELING OF COMMUNITY AND TOGETHERNESS

Dancing all night and experiencing a feeling of community and togetherness is something countless generations can relate to. Ben originally fell in love with house and techno in his late teens losing himself in the music and exploring his deep-seated passion for electronic music through self-expression – namely, raving. Ben spent many years on dancefloors back home in Germany and in the UK. As time went on he became more involved behind the scenes, progressing from the dancefloor to the decks and into the studio. Having a solid grounding in club culture from such a grassroots level means Ben’s connection with the dancefloor runs deep, likewise his studio endeavours are aimed squarely at those who dedicate their time to dancing the night away. A Berliner born and bred, Ben moved to the UK originally to study. He immersed himself in the highly influential east London party scene, having made the decision to dedicate his life to pursuing a career in music. While Ben was living in the UK, Berlin had become the global epicentre of house and techno and he felt a strong calling to return home. He decided to move back home to build a studio and returned to Berlin with a fresh outlook , a renewed desire to succeed to truly pursue his dreams.

Tell us abit about INKAL. What inspired it and how did you come to form the imprint?

I had been thinking about doing a Label for a while primarily as a self release platform. I had been messed around a few times with labels and release schedules and came to the conclusion that I don’t want to rely on others when and what to release. I was confident enough about my music to believe that the label could be a success and realized there comes a time where you have to empower yourself and that was it really.

You’re widely known or being part of the FUSE crew! How did you come to be part of the ever-growing collective?

Enzo (Siragusa) was handed a mix CD of mine around 2004 I believe and he invited me down to his first party Profondo to play. This was a long time before Fuse. He’s a close friend and long time supporter and he’s supported me ever since. The Label came later and releasing on it is very prestigious for any artist. Enzo and Tony who run Fuse together like to keep things in the family and it really feels like being part of a family.

What’s it like to have seen FUSE evolve from how it was at the beginning to where it is now?

Seeing it grow from strength to strength is testament to all the hard work of the people involved and we as artists and residents have been given a platform to build our own careers. It really shows what is possible when you persist and work hard.

Were you always musical growing up? What inspired you to make electronic music?

I believe I have a good sense for groove and harmony but unfortunately my parents did not give me a musical education when I was young. I developed my own interest and decided to make music my life and then I just learned. I still learn new things all the time.

What impact did that have on your sound and essentially your career?

Berlin is a hub and centre of electronic music for well over two decades now. I started clubbing in the city in the 90’s and although much has changed you still get that vibe that Berlin is a place where we as creators are allowed the freedom to live and create with much less of the pressures that one would experience in other capitals across Europe. It is a really special place. I spent 13 years living in London and when I returned in 2012 I fell back in love with Berlin as far as my sound is concerned. I owe much more to London than to Berlin. The sort of dubby stripped back house sound that I play is really the Tech House sound of London and Croydon of the late 90’s and early 2000’s and the West Coast US sound of the same period. The template was invented in these places not Berlin.

Do you incorporate any of your Ghanian roots into your music?

We grew up listening to all kinds of music at home including Ghanaian music and I guess these influences permeate into my music now but not consciously. I just make music and it comes out the way it does without me thinking I want to incorporate african influences here.

How would you describe your sound?

To me it’s all House. Unfortunately some digital platforms have distorted the terminology of what house is, what people describe as deep and tech house today really isn’t either and that’s because it has been mislabeled. So using these labels has become difficult. I shy away from using them. Those people that know don’t need me to to tell them, the diggers know what they are looking for.

What artists would you say are your main influences?

As I said earlier in electronic music early UK tech house and West Coast house, like Gideon Jackson, Halo Varga etc there are too many to mention…

https://soundcloud.com/benraumusic/sets/ben-rau-presents-inkal-1

What do you do to gain inspiration for the studio?

I meditate and journal. I listen to a lot of music at home but I believe inspiration comes through working creatively every day, just show up and start working inspiration will come.

What’s your preferred studio set up?

It’s constantly changing, I work with Ableton and a bunch of machines I like groove boxes electribes, Elektron stuff, Roland stuff, I try lots of things and if I don’t use them I sell and get something else.