feeder insider w/ Pascal Benjamin unveiling Echoes Of A Galaxy on Dirty Hands

feeder insider interview with Pascal Benjamin

In this edition of feeder insider extented interview, we’re thrilled to sit down with Pascal Benjamin, a standout name in the electronic music scene. Over the past decade, Pascal Benjamin has crafted an impressive career, boasting releases on acclaimed labels such as Eastenderz, Constant Sound, Slapfunk, and Aku. Now, he’s reached a significant milestone with the debut album, “Echoes Of A Galaxy“, released by Dirty Hands.

Pascal Benjamin‘s journey in music began at a young age, influenced by his early experiences as a drummer and the underground electronic sounds his father introduced to him. These formative years laid the foundation for a passion that has propelled him through numerous gigs, studio sessions, and now, his first full-length album. “Echoes Of A Galaxy” not only encapsulates his signature sound but also showcases a broader palette, incorporating downtempo and experimental elements.

Join us as we explore Pascal Benjamin‘s musical roots, his creative process, and the vibrant Amsterdam scene that continues to inspire him. From the iconic clubs and record stores to his latest studio setup and upcoming projects, Pascal Benjamin gives us an in-depth look into his world.

feeder.roHi Pascal, Thanks for taking the time to talk with feeder.ro. Over the past decade, you’ve carved out quite the career with releases on incredible labels like Eastenderz, Constant Sound, Slapfunk, and Aku. Please tell us a little about your roots in electronic music and what brought you to this point of delivering your debut album, “Echoes Of A Galaxy”.

Pascal Benjamin: First of all, thank you for including me in your interview series and for your kind words about my music. Music has been a part of my life since I was a child. I started out as a drummer, playing along with my favourite songs and trying to follow the beat when I was around 7 or 8 years old. My parents often tell me how amazed they were by my early drumming, but for me, it was simply a way to express what I felt while listening to music. I took lessons and learned to read music, but as I got older, I discovered electronic music—not through the radio or school, but through my father.

He attended underground parties in Amsterdam for many years and shared a lot of music with his colleagues. During car rides, he would play his favourite tracks for us. My father’s passion for electronic music, his favourite DJs (like Digweed and DJ Per), and the hidden details in the tracks inspired and fascinated me. He mostly listened to classic Deep House, early 2000s house, and tech house music. After years of listening to and exploring this genre, it was only natural that I wanted to start playing, too. He bought me my first DJ set, and that’s where it all began. Until I was old enough to enter clubs, he permanently joined me when I got booked here in Amsterdam. I got my first gig at Studio80 (RIP) and various other places. When I was 15, I wasn’t allowed in clubs, but he was always there by my side, enjoying the music and watching his son, haha.

After years of collecting music and learning the craft of DJing, I bought my first computer and started making music. I wanted to create my favourite tracks and was amazed at how they were made. I was around 13 at the time. I installed Fruity Loops and got hooked instantly. About two years later, I had my first release. Fast forward 13 years, I’ve had the opportunity to release on many great labels, as you mentioned. Funny enough, I silently told myself I wanted to release an album when I was 27, which has become a reality.

fYou’re a native of Amsterdam, widely known across the globe for having one of the most vibrant club scenes and a rich history in electronic music. Could you share some tips about your hometown with us? What are some hotspots to go dancing, stores to go digging, or anything else a music lover should be doing in the city?

Pascal Benjamin: When I’m not playing during the weekend, I like to go to places like Bret or Shelter to be inspired and to see many friends and people from the scene Amsterdam is known for. I always enjoy exploring different locations in Amsterdam with my girlfriend, especially after a weekend of playing. We love finding new spots to relax or have lunch together. I don’t visit record stores as often as I’d like because I spend most of my time in the studio or working on my recently started label, Scala. However, if I  go to a record store, it’s usually the infamous Killa Cutz in Amsterdam. One of my best mates, Herra, worked there until recently, so I have fond memories of chatting about music with him and the owner, Richard. Another great spot is Zwart Goud, where you can enjoy good coffee while browsing records. I help them distribute during the week, so you might spot me there. Feel free to drop by when you’re in town!

f“Echoes Of A Galaxy” encapsulates your signature slick, stripped-back sound throughout but also includes more diverse influences, such as touches of downtempo and experimental synth work. How did you craft this album and piece all the tracks together to tell the story of this long player?

Pascal Benjamin: I believe many producers have playlists or folders of their music that feel special to them—random jams that stand out and hopefully become part of something bigger someday. I produced most of these tracks over the last 6 years, and they always ended up in the same folder on my computer.

I was waiting for the right time to refine and mix them properly, and that’s how the album came together.

fThe album’s coming out on Per Hammar’s Dirty Hands label. How did you come to meet this Swedish artist who’s also well-known as a gifted producer and DJ within the scene?

Pascal Benjamin: Like many others, I’m a huge fan of his music. About five years ago, he mentioned one of my tracks in his top 10 new releases for DJ Mag. I also saw videos of him playing my EP for Slapfunk. Eventually, we got in touch, and he started sending me releases from Dirty Hands and his music. I was, of course, very thankful, and we began talking more. We both appreciate keeping things on the dubby and deep side and are inspired by dub-techno’s early days, using various studio effects and outboard gear. This LP started after I sent him the first release of my label, Scala – “Get Weaving”. He asked if I had music for his label, and after sending him about 15 tracks, he suggested a mini-album. It eventually turned into a full LP because that folder of tracks finally found its perfect home at Dirty Hands.

Every EP release I’ve done has always involved a personal connection, which is very important to me.

fWhat does your studio setup look like these days? Were there any particular central pieces used to create this album? Are you a gear collector, or do you work a lot in a DAW?

Pascal Benjamin: I’ve become a gear collector in recent years. As I’ve gotten to play more, I’ve been able to afford more equipment. Until then, I could only dream about it and try to recreate specific effects in Ableton,  my main DAW these days. My centrepiece is my tube mixer, to which all my main drums and synths are connected. I’ve created my own effects chain,  which is used extensively throughout the album. I have a 19-inch rack chain with compressors, delays, choruses, and multi-effects units. Everything is routed in a way that allows me to create my sound. A funny detail: 6 months ago, I moved all my gear to a new studio that I now share with PH Project (Herra and Pelle) and Borren. All these tracks were summed and mixed in my new studio but created in my old studio, which was in my parents’ garage. It used to be my father’s office space, but about 10 years ago, we transformed it into a studio. I used to go there at least 2-3 days a week, as they live just outside  Amsterdam.

Since moving in with my girlfriend 6 months ago, I’ve had the opportunity to join the studio with close friends, which feels amazing. All my other tracks were created in my old studio and freshly mixed and summed in the new studio. So, in a way, it all got connected again.

fWhat made you mark this milestone in your career by delivering a debut album? It’s a special thing for most producers, so what made you feel like now was the right time?

feeder insider interview with Pascal Benjamin

Pascal Benjamin: As mentioned, I always waited for the right time and place. This year felt right, with the move to a new studio and the chance to give these unique tracks the attention they deserve. I hope to bring people the joy I experienced while creating the album. It somehow summarises a specific time—short nights and endless hours spent in the studio, having fun while learning the craft.

fAre any memorable stories or influences linked to particular tracks on the project?

Pascal Benjamin: The funny thing is that I can be so picky when choosing tracks for releases, but with this album, everything came together naturally while working with Per.

He has great talent and a very good ear; I respect him immensely as an artist. He’s been an enormous influence. He gave me a chance to showcase these tracks. Who knows if they would have ever been released without him?

fWhat’s next for Pascal Benjamin after the release of this album? Are there any other meaningful releases or essential shows on the horizon?

Pascal Benjamin: I’m currently finishing my next EP for my label, Scala, and we’re organising the first Scala parties this year—one in June at Shelter and another collaboration with Playedby here in Amsterdam. We’re also collaborating with Rhythm Point this year in Ibiza.

So, new music and exciting opportunities with my label are on the way.

I’m releasing a track on Playedby’s compilation and just finished a remix for Nick Beringer that will be released later this year. And I’m sure there will be some Bandcamp releases as well 🙂

fCan you share an old record you loved when you first got into electronic music?

Pascal Benjamin: That’s a tough one—there’s so much music that holds special memories for me. But this one has a special place and is one of my earliest inspirations: 

fLastly, can you share your current favourite with us?

Pascal Benjamin: This is my go-to record to play out right now:

feeder insider interview with Pascal Benjamin

“Echoes Of A Galaxy” LP is out on Dirty Hands. Get your copy on Beatport / Boomkat / Juno

Pascal Benjamin: facebook, instagram soundcloud, bandcamp

Dirty Hands: facebook, instagram, soundcloud, bandcamp

Words by Jordan, Cristina & Andrei

About feeder insider

feeder insider is a series of interviews that explore the universe surrounding music and visual arts while connecting the local to the international creative scene. 

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