While some artists find strength in the world around them, others source it from within. It’s that kind of internal poise that’s led DJ and producer Ben Tom (a.k.a. Durben) from the legendary days of Northern California’s late 1990s underground rave scene to residencies and countless performances at San Francisco’s hottest clubs to his current role with Temple SF, the innovative SoMA headquarters of Temple nightclub, the Temple Music Group and Prana Restaurant.
Born in San Francisco’s Chinatown district, Ben approaches music much as he does life, with a humble determination to walk his own path and loyalty to those who matter most. Ask him about his musical inspirations, and he’s more likely to rattle off the names of current co-collaborators than a list of icon DJs. Behind the decks, Ben moves seamlessly from soulful house to electro techno, weaving pop and hip-hop vocals over dance-inducing tracks that keep the crowd on the floor while fluidly crossing genres and flirting with unexpected sound combinations. On stage, his expert focus and ability to select just what the audience needs just when they need it are hallmarks of his performances.
In the studio, Ben lets his instincts take over and trusts sound to be the guide. Whether he’s crafting vocal-driven tracks like the forthcoming Mixed Up, which features Temple Music Group?s Isabel Lozano, working his magic on upcoming collaborations with the likes of New York?s DJ Mr. V or stirring up radio-ready remixes with co-conspirator JasWho (a.k.a. Jason Williams) under the moniker Black Wangz, Ben uses his keen sound sensibilities and appreciation for music across genres to deliver releases with wide-reaching appeal.
During his career, Ben has had the privilege of working with a host of influential production crews, DJs, producers and artists. After holding down residencies with rave world pioneers Feelgood Entertainment and Coolworld Entertainment, Ben continued his career with a series of residencies and bookings at high-profile Bay Area clubs & parties, including Peach, Temple, Remedy, Texture, Ruby Skye, Sound Factory, and Life. It was at the Glas Kat in 2000 that Ben first met Paul Hemming, the DJ and entrepreneur behind the Zen Compound and Temple Music Group. The two remain friends to this day, with Ben currently managing operations and music bookings at Temple nightclub.
Producing under his real name since 2003, Ben has released tracks with some of the top labels and producers in the electronic music industry, including Ron Carroll, Mr V, JasWho, Amit Shoham, Nacho vega, Andre Harris, Lt Brown, & David Harness, In 2008, look for his upcoming releases on Peach Music, Body Music Chicago, Temple Music Group, Soul Selection Music, Yerba Bueno Disco’s, Innate Soul, Electric Zen, Soulmine Records and Tarantic Records.