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Six By Six: Benji B

1Xtra's man about jazz picks some of his all-time favourite tunes

2010 Feb 01     
2 Bit Thugs

Benji B has long been recognised as one of the county's most discerning selectors on the deeper and soulful floors so he's a perfect candidate for the good ship 6x6


Minnie Riperton - Inside My Love (Epic)

"When people talk about seduction records and slow jams it's always male vocalists they think of first; Barry White Marvin etc. But for me it's all about the ladies. And if there's one lady who can make me fall in love with her by just listening to her voice it's Minnie. Arguably one of the sexiest voices of all time and this tune is undoubtedly her seduction classic."

Erykah Badu - Didn't Cha Know (Motown)

"I couldn't decide which track to go for - it was a battle between Kiss Me On My Neck for obvious reasons and I Want You from the Worldwide Underground LP. But in terms of seduction power I had to choose this one from the Mama's Gun LP using the classic Tarika Blue cut Dreamflower as the main sample which is one of the most irresistible grooves in itself. Add the seduction power of goddess Erykah and it's over."

Me'Shell Ndegeocello - May This Be Love (Maverick)

"I know Me'Shell is not into boys but that doesn't s me recognising her seduction power - she makes some of the planet's sexiest music! This is a cover version of the Jimi Hendrix song, it's on her album Bitter and it works in any late-night moment. Come Smoke My Herb from the LP Comfort Woman is a close second."

Floetry - Say Yes (Dreamworks)

"Basically one of the most erotic records I have ever heard a woman sing. Pure sex."

D'Angelo - Lady (EMI)

"An honourable mention for the undisputed champion of seduction records. I know I tried to list the ladies in this section but no one can front on the master's power when it comes to the art of seduction. If this record doesn't work you're trying to seduce the wrong person!"

Foxy - Mademoiselle (Dash)

"All of the above have been bedroom songs we need one seduction record for when the lights are about to come on in the club and this is it. "Mademoiselle lovely senorita, I wanna get to know you"... aLondon rare groove two-step classic."



D'Angelo - Voodoo (Virgin)

"I know D'Angelo got a mention in the Seduction section with a cut from the Brown Sugar LP but he makes it to number one in my afterhours section with this  damn LP! All the songs - I can't possibly pick one. Voodoo is one of the most underrated masterpieces of the last 10 years and one of my favourite albums of all time." 

Heatwave - The Star Of A Story (Epic)

"Taken from the Central Heating LP, Star Of A Story is one of the most sampled and covered cuts of all time. It's written by British legend Rod Temperton (Off The Wall etc) and is an untouchable afterhours jam. If you haven't got this record go get it - you need it in your life!"

Jimmy Abney - Come Go With Me (YorubaNeed2Soul)

"I've been playing this tune as my end-of-night afterhours cut for at least five years now. I get asked about it every time. It's not Marvin, although it sounds similar. This is on my new Need 2 Soul compilation as I felt it was time to share it with the world! It will also be getting an official release via Yoruba records too. Whatever style of music you like, you will love this simple late-night jam."

Gary Bartz NTU Troop Celestial Blues (Milestone)

"Written by and featuring the amazing Andy Bey, this record is beyond deep. "We must get closer to the essence of life/but be aware that it takes courage and strife/expand your mind don't let it whither and die/you'll find it lifts your spirits high to the sky. Now meditate." Put this on at 7am when you get home and remind yourself why you love music."

Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information (CBS)

"It's hard to pick a cut from this LP as it's one of my iPod late-night, afterhours and travel essentials but I really like Pling and Not Available. A classic album."

The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You ( Rank)

"I'd been looking for this 7-inch for years before I eventually found a copy some time ago... and paid too much money for it! It's always in the bag for those unexpected late-night sessions; an alternative out-of-the-hat afterhours classic, doowop style!"


Pepe Braddock - Deep Burnt (Kif )

"It's funny when records that seem contemporary and current actually graduate into the category of undisputed classic. This is a perfect case in point. It's possibly my favourite deep house record of the last decade and I can't think of a time when if played at the moment it hasn't worked for me. Essential."

Underground Resistance - Timeline (UR)

"This came on the Millennium To Millennium EP and it's one of the most reliable dancefloor destroyers UR ever made. Big enough to drop at festivals and huge raves, but not too rinsed to play on a Saturday night or in a small club. This is always in my box. Like all classics, use sparingly and it will never let you down."

New York S.O.H.O - Hot Music [Jazz Mix] (Outer Rhythm)

"Produced by Pal Joey in 1990, this was one of those records that blew my mind. Definitely one of the songs that got me into dance music. Hearing this on a big system and on pirate radio was unforgettable. And unlike many records from that era, this one still sounds sick today. A pioneering tune way ahead of its time that still sounds relevant and reliable."

Dinosaur L - Go Bang (Sleeping Bag)

"One of the finest dance music records of all time. I only wish I'd been old enough when this came out in 1982. Produced by the incredible Arthur Russell and mixed by the legendary Francois Kevorkian, this has all the ingredients to make it the stone cold classic 12" that it's become. The sound is so incredible."

SERIOUS INTENTION You Don't Know (Easy Street)

"It always amazes me how many people come up and ask me what this record is - I thought it was much more well-known than it seems to be, and it's one of the reasons it's on my Need 2 Soul compilation. It never fails in the club, whether as a well-known protohouse classic or heard for the first time. An amazing tune."

The Joubert  Singers - Stand On The Word [Larry Levan mix] (Next Plateau)

"The most feel-good gospel tune you will ever hear on a dancefloor. I couldn't resist putting it on the new compilation as it gets requested so much. Reserved only for New Years Eve, birthdays, massive festivals and special occasions, this is one anthemic record." 


Baron Zen - Burn Rubber [Dam-Funk Remix] (Stones Throw)

"Whenever I throw this on in my club in London, the crowd goes wild. It's only 105bpm but it makes it into the peaktime list as I can drop it at 1am or 2am as a peak-time banger. Three minutes of modern funk and absolutely nasty."

Deetron - I Cling [Benji B edit] (CD-R)

"No matter where I go in the world, this tune from last year still bangs on every system and still makes crowds go wild. It's like a joker that needs to be played at just the right time and I sometimes plan sets around it. Somehow it's simultaneously big and deep."

Detroit Experiment - Think Twice (Planet E)

"It's funny, if the dancefloor is a bit scarce and you need some anticipation and excitement this Carl Craig production warms it up nicely and always creates a buzz. Don't play it too early, don't play it too late - time it just right and your floor will be jumping."

Billy Ocean - Nights [Geo Edit] (CD-R)

"This is the kind of tune that you'd usually only play once in a while, but this past year I've been playing it everywhere as it's so useful. It's the record that's most true to this section, in that I use it to fill an empty dancefloor; watch the ladies come on first and the fellas will soon follow. Borderline cheesy but undeniably effective."

Skream - Pass The Red E (Soul Jazz)

"Big Chill, Sonar, V Festival, Bestival, Notting Hill Carnival and more... they all lost it to this tune. With an instant reload factor and a ridiculous B-line, this should be only used on the crowd when you want to cause maximum damage."

Phlash & Friends ft Benji B & Ommas Keith - Do It Up (Archive)

"When we made this tune I had the late-night, 5am vibe in mind but I've found in the last few months that it actually works pretty well as a warm-up floorfiller too. Useful early peaktime and late-night as well."" 


"I'm going to go all contemporary here to represent some of the electronic music being made now that can't easily be categorised..."

Flying Lotus - Interference (Warp)

"He really has created his own lane in the music industry. Loved by hip-hop, electronic, techno, dubstep and Warp fans alike, he's the one and only Flying Lotus. I was the first person to play his music on UK radio and am so happy to see that he's blown up in the way he has. This tune is a contender for my favourite Flying Lotus record. It might not be easy to dance to but it's certainly what Vangelis would be writing for Bladerunner if the film was made tomorrow. Sick."

Bullion - Get Familiar (One ed Music)

"I caned this tune on dubplate for a while, then Alex from the label got me a mastered version which explodes through most speakers and makes everyone run up to the DJ booth to ask what kind of music this is, what label it's on, what the tune's called and why they haven't got it yet! Well it's this: it's on One ed Music, it's amazing and it's available now!"

Dorian Concept - The Fucking Formula (CD-R)

"Another tune you could test a soundsystem with. I have put this in the non-dance section but believe me I've seen people lose their minds to this one, including 5,000 people outdoors at a festival in New Zealand earlier this year. Hopefully this simple but effective beat will get a release soon."

00 Genesis - No Shoes Trampoline (CD-R)

"I don't know much about 00 Genesis apart from that he sends me tunes and most of them are pretty dangerous. This has to be the best by far: a dark and deadly piece of electronic mayhem that leaves you confused and enlightened all at once."

Hudson Mohawke - Speed Stick (CD-R)

"This tune lasts less than two minutes but is the best clue yet as to why we need to keep a close watch on the work of Mr Hudson Mohawke in the future."

Osborne - 5th Stage (Ghostly International)

"This is an amazing piece of almost ambient electronic music from Michigan's maverick producer Todd Osborne. It's available on the consistently innovative Ghostly International label." 


Slum Village - Fantastic Volume Two (Wordplay)

"One of my favourite albums of all time and one of my best friends when driving. This could go in Afterhours or Records That Never Let You Down, but it's here as I always reach for it on the road. It's Dilla in his finest hour (actually all his hours were his finest) with Baatin and T-3 on an album featuring classic joints like Fall-NLuv, Untitled and 2U4U. Ahead of its time in terms of production, it influenced a generation."

Theo Parrish - Lost Keys (Music Is...)

"Either this tune, Dan Ryan or Falling Up... it's ultimate driving music from one of the deepest soulful music producers around one of the best DJs on the planet."

Photek - Rings Around Saturn (Photek)

"Drum & bass from this era makes perfect night driving music in general. However the music Photek produced when releasing Photek 1-6 on his own label - including The Water Margin, Seven Samurai and this - was one of the most exciting periods in British music for me. I recently recorded all of those original 12"s onto the computer and made a CD for the car. Photek is a don!"

Adam F - Metropolis (Metalheadz)

"Another D&B tune, this time a well-known classic from the golden era of Metalheadz at the Blue Note and Speed at the Mars Bar. I guess you had to grow up on the music and go to the clubs to love this, but I defy you to listen to this at night on the motorway and not feel it. I'm still not sick of this innovative pioneering UK music - I got a speeding ticket because of it once!"

David Bowie - Abdulmajid (EMI)

"A lesser-known instrumental cut that David Bowie did with Brian Eno. I'm not the biggest Bowie expert but this tune is bonkers and sounds like the soundtrack to a space movie! It's great for those late-night drives with the volume turned up. Check it out."

Nas - Illmatic (Columbia)

"I have to include a classic for some end-of-the-afternoon sing-along action. I listened to this album back to front and front to back when it came out, and every now and then it's a perfect trip down memory lane. I forbid you to listen to this on a weak system - play it loud, preferably with the windows down."





Tags: Benji B, 1Xtra, Nas, David Bowie, Photek, Adam F, D'Angelo, Heatwave, Larry Levan, Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke, Minnie Ripperton, Slum Village, Phlash & Friends, Skream, Billy Ocean, Detroit Experiment, Deetron, Baron Zen, Joubert Singers, Serious intention, Dinosaur L, Underground Resistance, Pepe Braddock, Jimmy Abney, Foxy, Floetry, Me'shell Ndegeocello, Erykah Badu