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Actualites Electroniques

You will find in this category each week, an interview or a biograhpy of a Dj or artist which is breaking the news. All styles are on the “menu” of this category: minimal, house, electro, techno or even trance in some cases.

The topic will be supplemented by other Djs following the latest electronic music news.

Benjamin Diamond - Interview

Benjamin Diamond, is a French composer of electronic music with many facets. He is  notably the voice and the co-author of the worldwide hit "Music Sounds Better With You" produced by the Stardust group, created in 1998 with his friends Alan Braxe and Thomas Bangalter. If he was probably at the beginning the least exposed member of the Stardust trio, Benjamin Diamond is nevertheless a full member of it. Since then and besides the first two albums which saw him redefining the boundaries of electro pop music with "Strange attitude" released on Sony/Epic 2000 and then "Out of myself" on K7/Diamondtraxx in 2005, he was also the manager of the imprint Diamondtraxx that unfortunately disappeared recently. Today, we have the chance to offer you an exclusive interview with this French producer. It follows the interview of other well-known French producers like Da Fresh, Muttonheads, Rodriguez Jr., Paul Nazca and three producers he knows very well: Fred Falke, Lifelike et Kris Menace. First, I wanted to thank Benjamin who answered our questions.


"Hello Benjamin,

Honestly, it's a real pleasure to interview you because you are part of these legendary artists of the French electronic scene alongside Laurent Garnier, Fred Falke, Thomas Bangalter, Alan Braxe or Etienne de Crecy.

It's been a while you have not produced a track, if I'm right. Tell us about where you are now on. You think to release something soon?
> Yes, I should release a new album in 2012. Normally, an EP will be released in February on the label Kompakt. I took some time to work on another album at home, record electronic music made with machines.

If you look back to 2010, what can you say about it? I know it was particularly dominated by the end of your label Diamond Traxx Music, which will be the topic of a dedicated question later on. But aside from that, what are the other main things?
> This was indeed a year of reflection for me, I took a step back, and I also closed my label. After taking care of the other for ten years, it is now time to work for me…

2011 was a year of hope, right?
> It's nearly the end of 2011, and it was for me a year when I did other things, meet new people, starting a new life...

After you give us these info about your music news we would like to go back to your musical roots. Could you briefly tell us how did you become a producer?
> I’m doing music since I’m a teenager. I started to play in various bands early on, when I was in high school. After college, I started working on film as assistant director, and I was doing in parallel music in my room. I accumulated a lot of discs and hardware during all these years, and so it became natural, also following the success of Stardust, to create my own imprint...

At the beginning, did your family understand what you did for a living? And now are they proud of what you achieved along the years?
> It is a question a bit too personal, but for short, I always received the support of my family...

In 2001, you released your solo track: "Fit Your Heart", that allowed me to know you, including a remixed version by Demon I think. It is a piece a little mythical to me because every time I play it during parties everyone asked me what is it. Is there a specific story behind this track?
> Not really, it's a track I did after the release of my first album Strange Attitude, initially it was not on the CD. For the anecdote, the main character in the clip is none other than... Kavinsky.

Just before, in 1998 to be exact, there were of course (and I’m sure people always talk about it), the Stardust project. You are the incredible voice alongside Alan Braxe and Thomas Bangalter, giving birth to "Music Sounds Better With You". The clip of Michel Gondry also contributed a lot to your success. How did you three meet to each other, knowing that Thomas was already famous because of his Daft Punk duo? A good band of mates to fully enjoy the music?
> ... Exactly! I met T. Bangalter through Alan Braxe, who, at the time had just released his first EP on the label Roulé. I know Alan since high school, I think we just wanted to do music together and that’s all. By chance, we decided to work on this track... Indeed at the time, Daft had already released "Homework", but we produced the track without thinking too much about all of this, in a naïve way, the fresh side of it comes from it, with no doubt...

Are you nostalgic about Stardust or you are someone who looks to the future?
> The track was the first song I released officially... I'm not really someone nostalgic, I think we make the most of it, it had a lot of advantages... I rather look in front of me, and try to continue this as much as I can do, and the best of possible...

And now, are you still in touch?
> Yes, we are still in contact... I mixed @ Regine’s club in Paris last week with Braxe (in November), and I did it again on December 4 @ the 1979, for the party of Vulture... Thomas returned from L.A., he lived in Paris now, it's easier to meet for sure…

In 2008, you released "Cruise Control", an album different from what you had done before, with a more pop side let's say, with the help of Paul Kendall who had worked with artists like Goldfrapp. As you said yourself a "real kiff", which I particularly appreciated. Will there be a following?
> As we speak before, I want to do something different every time... It may disturb a bit the people who follow me from the beginning, but it’s like that... Right now I'm finishing a new album, directed and performed by myself, old fashion style, at home in my studio, with drum machines, synths, my voice, and some cool ideas ...

As we said a few lines above, 2010 was marked by the end of your label Diamondtraxx that you created 10 years ago. Could you please tell us a bit more about the history of this label, especially marked by the release of your album "Out of Myself" in 2005? It was inevitable to close the imprint? The music world is definitely not the same anymore?
> In fact today, running a label needs a lot of energy and as I told you before, I spent a lot more time to the others over the years, the lesson from all of this, and without rancor: it is impossible to be an artist and the boss of a label too...
The music market has changed in ten years, and the advent of the Internet is pushing us to do things differently. I felt that the way of working on my label was part of that past, that there was a need to review everything from the beginning, this is one reason that prompted me to stop...

More precisely, what is your vision the electronic music scene in France for now, that you have seen evolve over the years?
> I think the French scene, as you said, is extremely active, it's a bit thanks to the Daft Punk notably, they opened the doors to everyone. I like a lot of artists, there are things I like, others not, but I will not go in there...

And besides music, what are your hobbies?
> I love cinema, American literature, contemporary art and modern architecture... I collect modern furniture. I love the design 60 and 70'...

Before concluding this interview, is there something you would like to add?
> Let's push things forward...


Benjamin, before we conclude this interview we have a few more questions. Sometimes one word is enough!

The track you advice us to listen to in your discography?
> The Letter (if possible the full version).

An artist you would like to work with one day?
> Maroon 5... Justin Timberlake...

3 words to define your music?
> Sex, heart & soul…

MP3 or vinyl for your sets?
> Both, but vinyl if possible.

The software you use to produce?
> I work with Live and Pro Tools...

One privilege, being DJ, gives you access to?
> Precisely to get the new developments of the equipment for the production... A lot of nightclubs lend me the stuff, so I can test them... etc.

Your favorite track right now?
> I am a fan of the mainstream track: Maroon 5 and Christina Aguillera “Move like Jagger”.

Benjamin, thank you very, very much for the time you devoted to Actualités Electroniques and particularly for this full and exclusive interview. We will wait for sure for your next productions and your live dates. It was an honor. A bientôt!”
> Thank you and sorry for the big delay..."

Dj Aroy


Written by Dj Aroy
Article en Francais       
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