DJ Chart: Ben Sims

The self-proclaimed ageing B-boy and vinyl junkie lets rip with ten tracks that have been dominating his sets over recent months

Feature by Ben Sims | 05 Feb 2015

Stephen Lopkin – Catherine’s Track [M>O>S]
Last year saw the continuing revival of sounds from yesteryear in both house and techno but no release comes closer to nailing the original sounds of Detroit than Lopkin’s The Haggis Trap EP. Unashamedly paying tribute to the Belleville Three – Derrick May in particular, obviously – he's clearly spent some serious man-hours tracking down the original synth preset sounds for that added touch of authenticity, and pretty much delivers a track that could have been cut from early Rhythim Is Rhythim sessions.

Floorplan – Never Grow Old (Re-plant) [M-Plant]
A far tighter 2014 re-edit of a 2013 classic, or early 2012 if you count when he gave me a CD of it (shameless boasting there!). A typically addictive Robert Hood riff workout with an uplifting gospel sample. Simple. Effective. Massive. I don't think I've dropped a set without it since I got it and it’s always fun to see those in the crowd who know it try and sing along to the wailing vocal in the break.

Stenny – Boulders [Ilian Tape]
Definitely taking the prize for my favourite label of 2014, Ilian Tape released so many quality and balanced EPs last year, from no-nonsense DJ grooves to broken atmospheric beats. This label had it all and this classy groover from Stenny is my pick of the bunch. Intense, almost breakbeat-driven super funk for the floor.

DVS1 – Black Russian [Klockworks]
For me this is Zak's Jaguar, his The Bells, or at the very least it’s by far my fave track of his to date… and he’s released plenty of heat. The premise is relatively simple: a memorable, uplifting riff that builds throughout and one that you don't really want to end, which is rare. It's a perfect set closer and luckily I managed to get it off him before it went out and had six sweet months of dropping it before it went public and every cunt was playing it.

The Raw Interpreter – A One (Part 2) [Warm Sounds]
The mysterious outfit behind the above are masters of raw house. Never shy of running the levels red and delivering the kind of filth usually reserved for 'specialist' movies only, their sound is uncompromising and pure but, above all, fun. It's the opposite of all the shiny soulless computer house out there and I can't get enough of it.

Elektrabel – Desaft (Tadeo Remix) [Subsist]
Admittedly this wasn't even my fave track on the EP when I first heard it but one club test soon sorted that out, and it's been big in my sets ever since. A spacey machine jam that grooves and builds, then peaks, then stops dead, then starts over. A masterfully executed club cut and one that I'll be playing for a long time to come, I'm sure.

Trus’me – It's Slow (Truncate Raw Mix Part 2) [Prime Numbers]
It’s almost impossible to make a top ten of 2014 without mentioning David Flores, aka Truncate. The sheer volume of quality club grooves from the man gets him a place for sure. This one is truly special, though: a slower, housier but no less Truncate-flavoured workout, topped off with that goosebump-inducing, 'Just can't give you up' vocal. So good!

Ritzi Lee – Subway Trip [Theory]
Over the years, Ritzi has progressively become my go-to guy for the tougher-edged cuts. This is the intense gear that you need to change up or climax the session and it’s very rare if I don't play at least one in a set; often as many as three or four. This particular outing channels the classic sounds of early Waveform-era Mills, and Peacefrog years later. Powerful, energetic machine funk that insists the crowd and DJ alike up their game.

Garnier – Beat (Da BoxX) [Still Music]
A stunning return to form from a dance music legend, fusing traditional Chicago vocals and elements with big room beats and bass. Upon hearing clips I pre-ordered two copies and then blagged the label and man himself for advance files. It had definitely been a long time since I got that excited about a forthcoming release!

Rødhåd – Haumea [Token]
Last year was undoubtedly a big one for techno and Rødhåd was definitely its rising star profile wise, but it was also the year his music matched the well-deserved-hype for his DJ sets. This gem manages to mix heavy Chicago-flavoured drums with sparkling bleeps and deep rolling bass, making it both peak-time material and deeply hypnotic at the same.

Ben Sims plays for Meat Free at Joshua Brooks, Manchester, 6 Feb, 50 tickets on the door