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Friday 02nd, July 2004
Ben Lost

After spending seven successful years as a vocalist in various rock bands, Ben Lost began his career in dance music when he joined Pinnacle Distribution in 1999. His love for progressive house and trance music had been defined two years earlier, with tracks such as Sunscreem's 'Perfect Motion' and Three Drives 'Greece 2000' introducing Ben to a more melodic yet funky side of music which really appealed to him. Ben began spending many of his weekends at UK clubs such as Gatecrasher and The Gallery, where DJ sets from the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Dave Seaman and Paul Van Dyk had a heavy influence on Ben's musical taste. It was these influences which led Ben to join Hooj with a view to developing their offshoot label Lost Language Records. During his time as head of A&R at Lost Language, Ben has been responsible for the release of over 35 tracks including Solar Stone's 'Solar Coaster' and 'Seven Cities', Accadia's 'Blind Visions', Energy 52's Café Del Mar and Lustrals' Broken. As the Lost Language label has grown, so has Ben's profile as a DJ. His unique and melodic sound is reflective of the records released on Lost Language. It is this ability which has seen Ben rise to the position in the scene as one of the most exciting new talents around, allowing him to take his own prolific sound to many of the best parties across the globe, including The Gallery and Godskitchen in the UK and globally to countries including Finland, Germany, Israel, Japan, Russia and the USA. n the studio Ben continues his singing and song writing work with London based act Ashtrax. The track 'Digital Reason' was licensed to Paul Van Dyk's Politics of Dancing album and the Ministry of Sound Annual 2003. Alongside this Ben has been working on production collaborations with The Young Parisians and forthcoming productions with James Grant, Peter Dafnous, Harry Peat and Agent Sumo amongst others. 2004 is set to bring more exciting opportunities as Ben launched his brand new show on Ministry of Sound Radio and as many more DJ dates are confirmed around the world. Dates include a Lost Language Tour of Asia later this year incorporating many of Asia's finest events and parties and more bookings in Europe and the US. After recently being approached by legendary UK promoter and DJ Scott Bond, Ben is delighted to have signed as resident DJ at Scott's new club based project 'Ahead' - an event which looks set to change the face clubland and further increase Ben's profile as one of the most exciting talents in the scene.

Greetings Benny, are you sitting comfortably ?

You look like a handsome fella Ben, but when do you look your worst? Do you ever look like complete rubbish?
That’s pretty much all down to photo-shop. To be honest I frequently look rough…it takes a good shave, a few layers of Max Factor and at least an hour sorting out my hive before I look like the handsome chap your referring to..

Do you ever get lost in the woods?
Strangely, I’ve gotten lost loads recently…Wrong trains, planes etc. I also keep losing stuff – CD’s, clothes, ideas, moral’s..

Have you ever seen any gender confused midgets, if so, did you hit it off?
The only gender confused midget I’ve ever hit it off with was Brian Molko – the singer of Placebo. I met him about 7 yrs ago back stage at a Marilyn Manson concert and he seemed quite keen. He kept buying me posh drinks, despite there being a free bar serving beer and wine.

I’m such a prick tease

What's the craziest rumour you've ever read about yourself?
Back when I was in my band, the NME and Melody Maker (UK based music magazines) used to write some ridiculous stories about me. My favourites were that I’d punched Mick Jones from the Clash and called him an old cunt and that I’d thrown up on Jarvis Cockers hotel room floor after doing too much cocaine…all of them only half true.

You have a nice voice; did you consider auditioning for Pop Idol? I'm sure you have some mad skills on the dance floor as well, moves the world has never seen before?
No, I think you have to have quite an ego to put yourself forward as a potential pop idol, although I do enjoy watching those show’s when they’re on.

I especially enjoy the footage in the later stages when you get some pasty faced Muppet from Market Harborough or somewhere, who’s all of a sudden become this huge local celebrity…you get this awesome footage of them singing in some working men’s club or local shopping centre…signing autographs for teenage mum’s. Amazing.

As far as dancing’s concerned…no, I haven’t got that many moves but I can dance fast…so fast I lap myself.

From reading your diaries on trance.nu, you seem to be quite fond of drinks, what's the weirdest drink you've ever had, and do you enjoy blackouts?
Yeah, it’s no secret that I enjoy a drink. I’m starting to get a lot of comments about this, so maybe its time I cut down a little…although I do find people are more interesting when I’m drunk…anyway, no, nothing too weird…I ate the worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle once…I was very much hoping to trip my tits off but nothing happened. The only thing I can’t resist is temptation.

One time I blacked out after too much absinthe.. yeah, that was quite fun.

What's your favourite brand of fags? What's your view upon the new law against lighting one up in clubs?
I tend to opt for Marlboro Menthols but I only really ever smoke when I’m having a drink. I used to smoke about 10 a day but the thought of lighting up first thing in the morning turns my stomach now.

I think the new anti-smoking laws are taking things way too far to be honest. The government should be encouraging people to kill themselves to stop over population.. maybe!

They should hurry up and legalise heroin.

Have you ever hooked up with chicks with dicks? "Surpriiiiiiiiise!"
In your dreams.

All joking aside. Both Lost Language and Precinct have been flying high lately, releasing new material from artists such as The MFA, Recluse, Espen & Elusive, Özgür Can, Kosmas Epsilon, Tilt and lots more. What can we expect for the next coming months, signed anything big lately?
Tilt’s ‘World Doesn’t Know’ is looking to be a big one. They’re currently doing an album for Lost Language which is shaping up nicely. A few big room tracks, some breaks, some Ulrich Schnauss-esque down-tempo bits, some very good songs and a couple of classics.

We’ve also got new stuff on the way from Lustral, Probspot, Luminary, Empire State, Jano Acta, Solarstone…and all those that you mentioned above.

I’m looking to keep the basic Lost Language sound but also introduce some new ideas and styles to grow with the maturing tastes of the people that buy the records. I like to think there’s a high degree of quality control with our releases and that the fan’s notice and appreciate it..maybe.

All in all it should be a good year – if I can get them all out this year..

Can we expect any new compilations this summer/fall?
I’ve got Exhibition2 coming out this summer – which is getting simultaneously released on Velocity Records in the US…I think they’re calling it Re:vive presents Lost Language over there though..

As mentioned previously, you're a solid vocalist. Any new projects you'd like to tell us about. We've all heard the gorgeous "Jump The Next Train" track with Young Parisians, when's that due, and who's on remix duty?
I’ve recently reformed my old band, so I’m pretty excited about that. The original idea was to have Guns N Roses/New York Dolls style riffs, with the beats of Autechre/Skinny Puppy – but we’ve now just taken the best bits from each side and forged our own sound. It’s sounding cool…in a very sleazy, glammy kind of way.

We’re currently working on some new mixes for Jump The Next train…Probspot has done one, which is fucking great and Solarstone have also completed a really good version. Bobina is currently working on a mix and I’m due to go and finish a new wave - Cure, Joy Division - style mix with the guys this week – 808 drum machine and Peter Hook bass-line etc..I’ve got high hopes for this one.

Being A&R for two labels such as LL and Precinct, you must hear a lot of good (and bad) material. Any new talents you'd like to "warn" us about? Who are your favourite artists at the moment?
Yeah, I do get sent a lot of rubbish but its worth sifting through just for that moment when you discover something great. It’s a real buzz when you’re going through demos and all of a sudden you hear something special. It’s hard not to get too carried away at times but your initial reaction is to call up whoever made it, offer them a deal and start foaming off about how good it is…I’ve done that so many times. At the end of the day I guess I’m just a fan like everyone else.

I’m proud of every one of the releases I’ve A&Red so far…and I feel very parental towards them all.

My favourite producers at the moment are Sonorous, Alexander Kowalski, Espen & Elusive, Probspot, Ozgur Can, Leama & Moor, Steve Angello, David Caretta, Jacques Lu Cont, John Askew, Tilt, Solarstone, T. Raumschmiere..loads.

What’s the best film you’ve seen this year?
I really enjoyed ‘13’ and ‘Big Fish’. I also watched ‘House of a 1000 Corpse’s’ the other night. That was pretty good in a camp, schlock-horror kind of way. I also watched Woody Allen’s ‘Celebrity’ for the first time recently. Highly recommended.

Everyone has horror stories about bad gigs, anything that keeps you awake at night? What's your most embarrassing moment so far?
I fell off the stage once when singing but I’ve been pretty lucky when it’s come to DJ sets. I’m sure my really embarrassing moment must be just round the corner..

What’s the most painful thing that’s ever happened to you?
When I was about 14, some friends and I were play fighting in the classroom and one of them jumped on me whilst I was leaning over a table, crushing my left testicle in the process. I was in pain but I didn’t think it was too bad, that is until I woke up the next morning. It was black and blue and had swollen to the size of a grapefruit. I had to go to hospital and have an ultrasound on it, which is the same procedure they use to look at unborn babies in the womb. It was pretty weird seeing one of my balls on a TV screen. Anyway, it went down after a week and the doctors said everything was fine. Thank god!

You just scored a residency at Ahead in Sheffield (correct if wrong), how did this come about, and when's the grand debut?
Scott Bond called me up one day and asked me if I wanted to be a resident alongside him at his new club venture. He told me he’d been looking at a lot of message boards and talking to clubbers and my name had kept coming up. After chatting about the idea’s he had for the Ahead project, there was no way I could say no. His approach was really honest and fresh and I was honoured to become a part of it. The fact that it was the clubbers who had chosen me as resident made it even more special.

The first night was on May 29th and it went really, really well. Better than we’d all imagined. Awesome crowd and a cool cross section of music. I can’t wait for the next one now.

You also host "Runa Sessions", together with James Grant from Anjunabeats, on Ministry Of Sound radio. Do you have any special guests lined up for the summer? We've heard some rather nasty rumours about James letting one rip quite often, can you confirm?
Due to being so unorganised, we tend to decide on the guests the night before..but I’m sure there will be loads more amusing interviews this summer. The Leama and Moor one was especially fun – apparently Andy Moor had bad wind that evening..or so Leama had claimed whilst we were interviewing him.

James (Runa Co-host) made an appalling stink in the Ministry Of Sound studio the other day. It was however the night after England had beaten Switzerland in Euro 2004, so I guess we could blame it on a bad beer the previous night.

If you could choose to play back2back with any DJ in the world, who would it be, and which venue?
I think you have to know someone really well before you play back to back with them and to a certain extent I think you both have to leave your own styles at the door. I’ve had some good after party, back to back sessions with Ashley Casselle. Because we’ve known each other a while - we’re both quite good at picking out ridiculous records for each other that just about manage to fit the mood of whoever’s front room we’re in on that particular Sunday morning..

John Askew and I have also been threatening a back to back at some point..I’d think we’d have to meet half way style wise.

In a fantasy world though…back to back with John Peel..at Buckingham Palace!

Is it true that DJs get a lot of special attention from busty birds, or is just a myth? Feel free to tell us a little story.
I think most DJ’s get a certain amount of groupie attention but I reckon it’s generally the ugly ones that indulge the most. They’re the ones catching up with years of no sex.

I pretty much got the whole groupie thing out of my system when I was 17 and in a band. I’ve also got fairly high standards (which is probably why I don’t get laid enough) so I find it easier to say no. There’s been times when the club promoter has been stood there with two girls saying “these girls are coming with you to your hotel room” – and I’ve been like “Er…no they’re fucking not”.

Having said that I’ve been a complete slut recently. A slut with no standards.

If you really had to go to the bathroom in the middle of a gig, (we are talking angry diarrhoea here), would you go in the booth? Would you wipe your arse with a Nukleuz or Tidy Trax 12"
I can honestly say that I’ve never played a Tidy Trax record – but in all fairness, Nukleuz have released some great records in the past…for example, I used to love the Noisemaker series...great production.

Anyway, there’s no way I could have a shit in a DJ booth. Maybe they should invent DJ nappies?

Do you have any "pissed-as-a-fart-ugly-naked-girl-involved" stories to share?
No..but I’m sure there’s plenty of girls around the world with
‘Pissed as a fart…ugly, naked, Ben Lost involved’ stories. Always do sober what you say you’ll do drunk. It will teach you to keep your pants on.

Last but not least, any advice for young up and coming talents to get noticed?
I’m surprised at how many people, when asked what style they play, reply with just ‘trance’ or ‘funky house’ etc..

I’m so bored of musical snobbery. I think it’s really important to grasp and search through as many styles of music as you can, using different music from different genres and then develop a sound which suits you, …so yeah, I think finding your own style is probably the best way to get noticed…that and having a ridiculous name.

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