A Journey Through The Height Of Electro

It’s been a decade since two skinny French guys took a Simian track entitled ‘We Are Your Friends’ and turned it into an accidental anthem, kick-starting a movement that would change the shape of music forever. If there’s anyone who’s going to take a long look at the influence of electro on the noughties, they don’t come more qualified than Beni Single. One half of Riot In Belgium, a key stakeholder in the now-legendary Bang Gang, brother of Dangerous Dan ‘Ksubi’ Single and close confidant of the dearly departed Ajax, Beni is pretty much this movement incarnate. Like all the best DJs and producers of the era, he has a wicked sense of humour to compliment his great taste. Ahead of his entirely ‘00s-influenced set at this weekend’s ListenOut Festival in Sydney, we asked Beni for his top ten favourite jams of the decade, and threw in some cheeky questions along the way. Here are his selections.

Riot In Belgium – La Musique

You were obviously responsible for Riot In Belgium. Did you know you were part of the movement while you were making it? Essentially, did you know you were a big deal like Ron Burgundy before time made it apparent? You know what, I really had no idea. When we made the song it was only the second track we ever released so there were no plans and pre-conceptions. It was just for fun. It wasn’t until after Riot In Belgium split and I was touring Europe with Kitsune that I realised how big the track was. It was a bit of an ‘oh well’ moment.  

I’ve always wanted to know, who is the girl singing on this song? Is she a sample or did you meet her? Her name is Ginie Helie. She is a French girl who was living in Sydney at the time, now she is married with kids in the South of France.

Can you please make a La Musique 2013 Edit so I don’t have to listen to Blurred Lines anymore? I already am, featuring Pharrell.

Justice vs Simian – We Are Your Friends

Have you heard the original version of this? Do you also think it’s kind of lame? Yeah, I actually like it but it’s completely different.  

How many times have you seen Justice play live? A lot! I toured Parklife with them a few years back so six times in two weeks plus the rest. 

Is this possibly the best song ever made ever? At the time I thought it was.

Spektrum – Kinda New (Tiefschwartz Remix)

Were the drugs better in the mid-2000s, or does music suck more now? Both.  

Tell us who Tiefschwartz is for those who don’t know. Two German brothers Ali and Basti. They are lovely guys who can party with the best of them.

Tomas Anderson – Washing Up (Tiga Remix)

What’s your favourite Tiga story? I could tell you a story or you can watch this and LOL the fuck out:

This song totally reminds me of the glory days of MySpace. What did yours look like? What a fucking pathetic website, have you seen that shit recently?

How often would you choose a song without lyrics to put in a Beni set?
Depends who is singing.

Midnight Star – Midas Touch (Starskee Remix)

If everything you touched turned to gold, what would be the first three things you would touch? The biggest things I could find so then I could sell them.  

Some remixes are a bit average, and some rule. What makes this one so good? It’s simple and effective. It keeps the best parts of the original whilst adding exactly what I personally think it was lacking to make it a club hit.

The Juan Maclean – By The Time I Get To Venus

Why don’t the Juan Maclean get as much love as the rest of the DFA roster? Probably because of this video:

This is one of those songs that sounds like sex on the dancefloor. Is this something you have ever done and/or attempted? Not personally but I have seen it attempted, never a pretty sight.

Scott Grooves – Mothership Reconnection (Daft Punk Remix)

What’s your view on the new Daft Punk album? I think it’s amazing. If you throw your pre-conceptions out the window and take it for what it is, it’s great.  

The two guys famously came to Sydney as part of their 2007 tour, curated by your label, and ran around unmasked. Did you get a good look at them in real life? Yep, they just look like two normal dudes. Thomas is taller and better looking than Guy-Manuel though. I actually saw him walk into a wall at a club in Brisbane because he was wearing sunglasses and couldn’t see where he was going. True story.  

Who discovered Daft Punk first, you or Dangerous Dan? I actually think Dan because he was older and at that time all I was listening to was rap.  

On that note, Dan famously did an edit of Around The World with Nicky from Van She. When are we getting Harder, Beni, Faster, Stronger? That’s already been done, Erol Alkan used to play it all the time.

K.I.M – Wet & Wild (Mdnight Juggernauts Remix)

It’s often been said that Kim Moyes has the best eyebrows in dance music. Do you think yours are better or are you willing to concede defeat? Did you say eyebrows or eyebrow? I have the best eyebrows he has the best eyebrow… 

What did the Juggernauts do to this song to take it to the next level in your opinion? It was already amazing, we did a Riot In Belgium remix and when I heard this one, I hung my head in defeat. Once again using the best elements and complementing them I think is what makes this work so well.  

If The Presets and Juggernauts had an arm-wrestling comp, who would win? The Presets, they both have kids so have probably had more practice.

Digitalism – Zdarlight

Did you also totally think Digitalism were French until you found out they were German? Yes! 

What’s your favourite memory of the Idealism record, or seeing Digitalism live? My favourite memory is every time I see Jens, he is honestly one of the funniest people in the world. Kim and I were recently groomsmen at his wedding in London and I laughed the whole time I was there.  

Do the lyrics to this song also only half-make sense to you? Broken English my friend, but I understand it perfectly.

Le Dust Sucker – Mandate My Ass

Who are these guys? This is quite a deep 00’s cut.
I fucking love this track. It’s Markus Shöbel and Fabian Grove from Berlin.

And since we’ve got you here…Have you considered charging for your Facebook account? I don’t know what you mean but if you mean because I am fucking hilarious on that shit then you have a point.  

What’s news on the second record? The first EP will be released in October then an EP every 4 months for 12 months.  

Tell me three songs from the ‘00s you WON’T be playing. 1) “I Like The Way You Move” – Bodyrockers, 2) “Flaunt It” – TV Rock, 3) “Don’t Hold Back” – The Potbelleez. 

What was the best thing about electro-rave fashion? When it stopped.

You can get in the fluoro rave spirit with an exclusive mixtape from Beni right here…

Beni will perform alongside Disclosure, Azealia Banks and more at the inaugural ListenOut festival. We sincerely hope he drops Zdarlight.

Jonno Seidler is a writer from Sydney.