Ben UFO - Rinse: 16

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  • Ben UFO is one of those rare breed of young DJs to make their name exclusively off DJing. You won't find a production anywhere to his name, yet Ben Thomson is at least as renowned as his producer counterparts in the Hessle Audio triumvirate, Pangaea and Pearson Sound. With his Rinse appearances being about the most universally lauded thing on the former London pirate next to Oneman's show, it's about time he had an entry in the station's eponymous mix series. He's a DJ who can play sets composed entirely of classic house, vintage garage, OG dubstep or, of course, the kind of wildly careening dubplate-heavy set we expect from UK DJs on Rinse. You never know what you're going to get from a Ben UFO session, and that translates to his mix here as well: even a close scan of the tracklist doesn't give you much of a hint as to how all these tracks could possibly fit together coherently. As a DJ who seems to have been moving more and more towards house and techno flavours recently, Thomson's mix appropriately starts with XDB and Kassem Mosse—two names you'd more readily associate with Germany than London. From then on we're thrown into Dro Carey's blackened weirdness and catapulted through tracks by STL, Champion, Lerosa and more. But Rinse:16 isn't a house music mix, and it's also not a bass music mix. It's just a mix. Over 29 tracks Thomson hurtles through nearly every style of current bass music imaginable and far beyond, from the clubby (Boddika & Joy O's "Swims") to the occluded and weird (Actress' "Ghosts Have a Heaven"). Despite the sprawl it's always determinedly focused, and never feels like he's stretching his (considerable) range. Refreshingly, this isn't an up-to-the-moment dubplate showcase either; there are of course some rare highlights—Jam City's "Arpjam VIP," a Pearson Sound remix of "Sicko Cell"—but they aren't the hook. Thomson makes use of tracks from the past few years, uncharacteristic of the usually ultra-present and future-focused mix series. It's that aspect of the selection that really shows off Thomson's confidence and prowess as a DJ. He doesn't need to load his mix up with exclusives when he's got this kind of Midas touch. There are transitions here that are absolutely breathtaking, like the way 2562's clangy "Winamp Melodrama" swallows up Karenn's buoyant "Caretaker." It acts as a reminder that DJing is about more than just stringing together a bunch of unheard tracks from big names in the fastest manner possible. It's not often that a mix makes you stop and really think about what's going on behind those proverbial decks. Rinse:16 might be one of the most courageously diverse mixes in the bass music world in a while—and certainly the most in this particular series—but it's also simply Ben UFO doing his thing. That alone is an absolute thrill to hear.
  • Tracklist
      01. Aaron Carl - Crucified (XDB Edit) 02. Kassem Mosse - 012A 03. Dro Carey - Extended Epic 04. Andy - Third Side 05. STL - Dark Energy 06. Karenn - Caretaker 07. 2562 - Winamp Melodrama 08. Boddika & Joy O - Swims 09. Lerosa - Tanned Legs 10. Jam City - Arpjam VIP 11. Mister Monday - Future (Carl Craig Remix) 12. Objekt - Cactus 13. Champion - Sensitivity 14. Actress - Ghosts Have A Heaven 15. Snugs - Nibiru 16. Elgato - Dunkel Jam 17. Soul Capsule - Lady Science (Tek Mix) 18. Ordinary People - Keep Your Love (Def Club Mix) 19. M Dubs meets Fierce - Sweet Love (Remix feat. General Levy) 20. Pangaea - Hex 21. Helix - Stacks Riddim 22. Shackleton - Deadman 23. Unknown Artist - Curbside 24. Bassboy - Pump It Up 25. Kode9 - Ice 26. Bok Bok - Silo Pass 27. Unknown - Sicko Cell (Pearson Sound Remix) 28. Andrew Coltrane - Systems Of Chaos 29. How To Dress Well - Escape Before The Rain