In Benjamin Vanderzeypen’s younger years, hardcore and trance were the two first electronic styles that he encountered, introduced to it by his nephews. When growing older, he wanted to make his own music, triggered by the grunge movement that lived up in those days. And there he went: guitar lessons and playing in band, were his first steps into making music. Being a musician already was in his blood, before he even discovered the kind electronic music that he makes now. With a basic understanding of how music works, and experience gained out of various gigs with his band, it’s easy to understand that music production is very tempting for people that are deep into music. And that does apply to Benjamin too.
It was 2004 when he took a dive into the world of producing. Around that time minimal and tech house were ruling the scene regarding the Belgian club scene. Labels like M_nus and Kompakt were the things that party poopers made go crazy, and Benjamin didn’t get enough of just being one of them. Exchanging his place with a spot behind the dj booth would sound like the most logical step, and in this case it would start with the production of minimal. As an alias was necessary to live up to this dream, and as his debut to the world of electronic music production drove him nuts, he named himself The Nutty Producer. With this alias, he produced minimal, if you summarize it. Expressing his style in adjectives would make this description more complete: dark, melodic, psychedelic, clean and well made. This list could be endless, and describing music into words might not give you any idea about his sound. Years passed by, knowledge increases, techniques get better. Benjamin felt that he was ready to take a next step in his musical career. The chapter of The Nutty Producer was done, starting with a new chapter: Ben Solar. Musically, he would add techno to the styles that he has been producing. Next chapter: earn his place between the big guys.
It’s only the last decade that techno found its way back to the people. After a silent period of time, with the slow extinct of the old school sound of techno in some countries except for Germany, big and bigger parties would come out on various places. Events that still are ruling the techno scene as it is. Digging deeper into this music, and visiting events that are related to it, jumping over the gap from minimal to techno couldn’t be that hard for Ben Solar.
If one club in Belgium should be mentioned when you talk about techno, it’s definitely the Fuse in Brussels. It’s in this temple of techno that Ben Solar became acquainted with techno for the first time. While visiting the club on a regular basis, he heard sets of infamous artists that still are around nowadays like Richie Hawtin, Len Faki, Steve Bug, one of the godfathers of techno: Dave Clarke. Tunes like Ganimed by Michael Schwarz and Len Faki’s Stranger To Stability were truly game changing for Ben Solar. Techno would be his new destination, and he knew it.
With experience gained as The Nutty Producer in the past, both on DJ’ing and producing, the switch was quickly made. While still being in the phase were lots of things had to be discovered, his first gigs as Ben Solar were becoming a fact. With the performance of a liveset on Whatthefuck Party Open Air in France, and a gig on a party called Quantum, held in Decadance, Ghent, his career in techno definitely had a good start. On the latter, he shared the line up with the dutch lady of techno called Godiva, and the Belgian underground phenomena Twist3d, who happens to be the founder of up and coming label Bunk3r Records. Later on Twist3d had picked up a set of Ben Solar at Open Music Synergy. That set was key to getting Ben Solar into Bunk3r Records. This label was very young on that moment, and because Ben Solar designed his own covers for his releases, which is some sort of an artistic offspring, he became the lead designer of Bunk3r. As this is almost from the beginning, he too became partly responsible for the growth of this label.
While producing mostly techno, the sound that Ben Solar delivers is a tad bit different from other producers you can encounter in this scene. From a talented musician who wants to grow, it’s not very surprising that his influences contain artists that altogether cover the wide spectrum of the world of electronic of music. Artists like Robert Babicz aka Rob Acid, Cinematic Orchestra, Amon Tobin, Len Faki, Richie Hawtin, Modeselektor and many others are just a part of the ones that have a kind of godlike status for Ben Solar because of their innovation or invention of specific styles.
When booking Ben Solar, there are 2 choices. If you book him for a DJ-set, you get straight forward, dark and banging techno, packed in a clever mix. But his live sets obviously are of another dimension: when you book him for a live set, you ask him to tell a story. And that story also is very dark, but because it’s made of only his own work, it’s profound. With this energy, the story will take you somewhere to the point when you get lost in a synergy of different basslines and percussion. When that happens, you know that you’ll never forget Ben Solar and his music. He knows, and in time so will you.