Bensley has been tipped as one of the biggest stars to hit the Drum N Bass scene in the last decade. Hailed by the likes of Andy C, he has been signed exclusively to RAM Records. After the success of his first album, Bensley is gearing up to release his follow up album, and the first single from this has arrived in the form of ‘Slither’. To gain a little bit of knowledge about the production set-up, the artist from Canada takes us Behind The Scenes of the track and gives us an insight into his methods, equipment and much more.
The newest track for Bensley is arriving as ‘Slither’ on the mighty RAM Records label, a label you are signed exclusively to. Can you tell us a little about how the idea for the track came about? Was there a moment where it all clicked for you as a producer?
Recently I’ve been extending my style to include music that’s a bit more energetic in my sets. ‘Slither’ was the first tune with which I felt I’d achieved that feel without compromising the musicality that my style is all about. I think things really started falling into place once I’d arranged the main theme and nailed the sound design for the lead and bassline.
When entering the studio, do you enter with a specific idea in mind on how you are going to carry out your production work, or do you just go in with a clear and open mind?
Unless I’ve got a deadline to work around, there isn’t much of a format to how I work. Usually I’ll just work on whatever is inspiring me at the time, and that seems to be the way I get things done most effectively!
I also wanted to ask about your production techniques, how you produce a track in the studio. Do you have a specific pattern or technique, where you start with a specific layer first?
My tunes tend to come together differently every time! Often I’ll be inspired by a piece of a tune that I’d been listening to, like a bassline or a lead. Then I try to recreate it, and manipulate it in interesting ways in terms of both arrangement and sound design. Then it starts to develop from there, building the other parts of the track around it one-at-a-time. However, in most cases, the production doesn’t take shape until the musical arrangement is solid.
Within the studio, is there any hardware or software which you used for the production of ‘Slither’?
‘Slither’ was made primarily on software, with the exception of some synths that I recorded from a Moog Sub37. Serum and Massive have been my go-to synthesizers, and NI Guitar Rig was absolutely essential for some of the effects in this tune.
And when you are within the studio, is there always a “go-to” piece of equipment which you usually use within your tracks?
As I briefly mentioned in my previous answer, I tend to rely on NI Guitar Rig in order to make some really interesting sounds. It seriously opens up so many possibilities even just from scrolling through the presets. It can really bring any sound to life. I would say that’s my go-to effect when I’m producing.
The single is the first track from your exciting and highly anticipated second album. Looking back at your first album, and looking towards your second, how difficult is it for you to produce a full albums worth of content?
I would definitely say that the second album is a more involved process, as I’ve now had to decide what direction I want to take my sound. People had no expectations of me before my first album was released, so now there’s a little bit of pressure there as well! On top of that, I have developed higher standards for myself since my debut, which is why this next body of work has already taken twice as long as the first one did.
You have also been hailed as the next big star on the RAM Records roster, following in the shoes of the mighty Andy C. How inspirational have comments like these been for you, when working on new tracks? Does it push you to become better?
I never really took in these comments as anything more than hype, as I think it’s a huge standard to live up to when I’m still growing as an artist. The pressure put on me from this sort of thing does push me to become better; I don’t think it does it in a truly constructive way.
Looking towards the future, is there a specific artist out there that you would like to work with on new material?
If I had to pick anyone in the game to work with at the moment, it would probably be 1991. I think he’s absolutely killing it right now, and every tune he releases seems to be distinct from one another while carrying his personal style. That’s not an easy thing to do and I respect him lots because of it.
What would be your one piece of advice for an upcoming producer working within their studio/makeshift studio?
You don’t need loads of expensive gear and software to make interesting music. Learn to use everything you own to its full potential so you can effectively create the ideas the way they sound in your head.
And finally, what can fans of Bensley expect over the next few months, in terms of new singles, touring etc?
There’s more music to come! I’m going to be gradually rolling out some of the music that’s been accumulating in my “unreleased” folder over the past year, and testing it out at Let It Roll and Tomorrowland this summer. I’m also hoping to get a tour together for Autumn… get at me, promoters!
‘Slither’ is out now on RAM Records and you can download the track here. For more information on Bensley: