Benedikt Frey has come a long way with his new album ‘Artificial’. The Berlin based DJ and producer worked more than two years on it before putting together the 13 compositions that on the one hand represent Benedikt’s musical diversity and on the other hand express a musical unity that can only be heard when listening to the whole EP. Shortly before the release of ‘Artificial’ Torture the Artist spoke to Benedikt about the album and him joing the gang to change the world.
Torture the Artist: Your debut album is called ‘Artificial’. Does it refer to how you produced your album, and if not, what does it refer to?
Benedikt Frey: Yes, it‘s an artificial playground I created out of a lot of recorded material. I picked artificial because a lot of arrangement work was needed to create those ‘atmospheres‘. It just popped up in a moment of silence.
Torture the Artist: It took nearly two years to finish the album. How and when did the idea arise to do an album?
Benedikt Frey: Andrew (editor’s note: Andrew Hogge from Lovefingers runs ESP Institute) asked me to do an album for ESP Institute. Honestly, I wouldn’t have started an album by myself, I needed a frame in the form of a concept or a second motivator. So that’s why it’s nice to do an album with somebody else, because then you always have aditional views on things.
Torture the Artist: In the press for the album it’s said that ‘some may describe music very well in words, but there is always something lost in translation—a story only the music itself can tell.’ And even though anyone can come up with their own interpretation of your music, the track titles resemble certain aspects or fields of your life e.g. ‘Pol 326’, which is a university course that deals with politics. What’s your translation of this track and how politically engaged are you?
Benedikt Frey: ‘Pol 326‘ is a song dedicated to my son. It has nothing to do with politics but I like cutting off election posters of right wing parties.
I answered through the Space Echo.
Torture the Artist: Tracks like ‘Running Away’, ‘Private Crimes’ ‘Hang Loose’ but also ‘Dissolved Girl’ or even ‘Patcher’ in a broader sense thematically reflect a certain state of mind, the circumstances and maybe even the results of actions. Which events of your life do you cover with these tracks, not necessarily meaning that you are this person?
Benedikt Frey: <laughs> Could I have another cup of coffee, please? ‘Hang Loose‘ is associated with Jona who’s playing the saxophone on it. He’s a very unique character whom I haven’t seen for a long time, but when we do see each other it’s like we’ve met in another life before this one. It’s like he’s living the ‘Hang Loose’ life at it’s very best. ‘Dissolved girl’ is more or less a tribute to my favourite band, Massive Attack.
‘Running Away‘ I did together with my partner in crime Nadia. At that time I was supposed to work on my bachelor thesis. But I started to play the bass on our run away sketch. When Nadia heard the music playing, she joined the session and asked if I‘d run away again from my plan of finishing more important work. I answered through the Space Echo.
Benedikt Frey’s bachelor thesis:
I’m a big fan of surreal movies.
Torture the Artist: Aside from music, what else is an outlet for you?
Benedikt Frey: Family, friends and a good dance once in a while. Great movies might do it as well.
I‘m a big fan of surreal movies.
Torture the Artist: What artist would you like to remix a song from your album, and why?
That‘s a difficult one, but I think Etienne Jaumet could give an interesting touch to it. I love his solo projects as well as the project with Neman Herman (Zombie Zombie) I saw this video around 2012 and really went nuts on their session.
Torture the Artist: Do you wish to be seen as someone, or have your music seen as something that criticizes different aspects of today’s society?
Benedikt Frey: That‘s up to the people… but those who listen, might understand.
We’re all in this all together so let’s try and spread some more brotherly love and respect.
Torture the Artist: When and where do you raise your voice against something?
Benedikt Frey: Unfortunately there is a lot of dick fighting in this world I‘d like to take out. We‘re all in this all together so let‘s try and spread some more brotherly love and respect.
Torture the Artist: Name a track that makes you feel as if you’ve overcome the feeling of ‘Hang(ing) Loose’.
Benedikt Frey: There are a few out there, but I name the first which came to my mind at this very second.
Torture the Artist: Would you like to change the world?
Benedikt Frey: Perhaps, but you‘d need a good team for that. But I‘d join the gang.