Benjamin Bates

Artist / Band / Musician
Electronica / Pop / New Wave
"Forever Running" video by Joey Lawrence and Haakon Sundry.

"Forever Running" behind the scenes!

"Two Flies" video by Joey Lawrence.

"On My Feet" video by Superficial.

"Whole" video.

Benjamin Bates is jumping for joy on the cover of his new CD Recyclomania. And rightfully so! His second album is a personal document that successfully evokes a variety of moods, ranging from ecstasy on the first single ‘On My Feet’, melancholy in opening track ‘Note To Self 1’ and desperation in ‘Forever Running’. As Bates explains: “Music should conjure up certain emotions and for me the easiest way to achieve that is to record music that has that same effect on me when I listen to it myself.” Bates wrote, arranged, played, sang, produced and mixed the entire album himself with his production partner in crime, Marco V.The title of the album, Recyclomania, refers to the habit of recycling music. Nowadays, many dance hits are based on samples of old hit singles. “If you wait long enough, nobody remembers what the original track sounds like, so you can launch a new hit.” Bates doesn’t want to join this game, although he does consider himself guilty of recycling. “Although I create new music and write new lyrics, it’s the result of the music I consumed when I was young. The only difference is that I like to filter those influences and use them to create something new.” So, Recyclomania echoes the music from Bates’ youth: electronic synthesizer pop, trance, 80’s pop, house and even punk. Even though it’s still electronically produced dance music, it’s far from your typical club album. Pop structures are blended with dance influences in such a way that the songs appeals to both die-hard dance fans and lovers of pop music “There were no limitations for this album. Dance is originally a genre that brings people together, but it seems to have become more narrow-minded. In that respect, the genre could learn a lot from the rock world, which is more open-minded towards other musical genres.” Lyrics usually don’t have a lot of significance in dance music, but Recyclomania is the exception to the rule. Bates’ lyrics are critical, philosophical and even spiritual. “For me, music is all about communicating feelings. I wanted to create something that I could look back on and feel what I felt at the time I wrote it. Instead of just recording a few catchy dance tunes, I decided I’d rather explain my view on things.” The opening track, ‘Note To Self 1’, is a one-line mantra: ‘Hang on to your soul, it’s the only thing you control.’ Bates: “It’s about how easy it is to lose grip on your life, how easy it is to doubt yourself and get trapped into a downward spiral, even though deep down you know you can always rely on yourself, no matter what.” Serious stuff indeed, but Bates has a sense of humour too. Just listen to ‘The Next Big Thing’, a tribute to all the computers and other binary friends he has had, illustrated with a cool sample of an old Atari commercial. Another remarkable sample is a quote from the American reverend Jerry Falwell, the voice of extremist Christianity, in the closing track ‘Everything You Hoped For’. “I came across this quote on the internet. It’s about who Falwell claims is responsible for the attack on 11 September 2001 in New York: almost every minority group you can think of. Scary stuff.” The first single taken from the album is the delightful ‘On My Feet (This World Needs More People Like You)’, which is the 2007 anthem of Dance4Life, a Dutch organization that educates and informs young people about HIV and aids. Bates and Dance4Life already worked together years ago, but lost track of each other, until the organisation heard this track and discovered its message: unity. A renewed collaboration seemed inevitable; in addition to providing the new Dance4Life anthem, the follow-up of last year’s single by Tiësto featuring Maxi Jazz, Bates has become Dance4Life’s ambassador. Benjamin Bates has been making a name for himself as a producer and DJ for quite some years now. He used to play in rock bands, until he started working at de Danssalon, a popular dance venue in Eindhoven. There, he met DJ Marco V and the two immediately hit it off. They decided to combine forces and build their own recording studio together. In the first five years, the two friends taught themselves how to produce and became very successful. During weekends, they would DJ at parties and festivals and they would invest the money they earned in new equipment. In 2004, Bates released his debut album n.e.v.e.r.l.e.t.a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g.k.i.l.l.t.h.e.p.l.e.a.s.u.r.e.Recyclomania contains all the ingredients that will appeal to a large and mixed crowd: great vibes, depth, variation and, first and foremost, catchy songs. Benjamin Bates has achieved what he had in mind when he started recording his second album. Needless to say he is a happy camper. “I feel that things are coming together for me at this point. Recyclomania is my view on life.”


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