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Wade Bennett

Interview: Wade Bennett about Red Line/Revolution

House, Techno & Electronica Producer, Performer & Dj Wade Bennett, has gained international support on his productions from some of his favourite artists and peers. A sound described as ambient, dub techno, with influences of progressive, minimal, tribal & tech house.

Receiving accolades from some of the biggest names in underground electronic music, including the likes of Martin Gore of Depeche Mode, Sasha, Hernan Cattaneo, Laurent Garnier, Nick Warren, Dubfire, Guy J among many others.

He’s released on many record labels but Wade’s focus now lies with fully establishing his own electronic imprint.
Also, he is currently working at The Academy of Contemporary Music, lecturing in electronic sound design and live electronic performance. Development is currently in progress for a gesture controlled audio-visual album and live set.

We caught up with Wade Bennet to talk about his latest release.

Connect with Wade Bennett on Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram

How are things these days?
Things are good! Thank you!

You work at The Academy of Contemporary Music, lecturing in electronic sound design and live electronic performance. What can we expect from your lectures?
During my time at ACM, I programmed and delivered lectures in live electronic performance, electronic sound design and creative artist development. Ableton Live and Max is at the forefront of my teaching, developing learning strategies both in the classroom and online. My curriculum focuses on integrating multiple forms of control over live sound, music and visuals. The whole experience was very rewarding and inspiring, with students making use of grid controllers, synths, motion sensors, touch screens, data gloves, brain sensors and other exotic technologies. I recently left my role as a lecturer to focus on private and remote access tutoring, alongside my own academic and creative endeavours. I love teaching but had enough of the red tape in mainstream education.

You are about to release a new EP, Red Line/Revolution on High Tide Recordings. Tell us about it and how these tracks came together?
The EP was taken from my private demo folder on SoundCloud. I had sent around 15 original tracks to Dan Reid. I was thrilled that he wanted 4 of them. I wanted to work with a local label to put out a series of two trackers alongside some gigs as I have been locked away for awhile. I have been to many High Tide events so it feels comfortable releasing with them.

Revolution was written over a period of 3 years in-between study and teaching. With little time for my own music, I would often spend time just performing sounds with no drums. I had been working on some ambient elements and decided to make a deep emotive house track that had a cinematic feel from some string parts I had recorded. Red Line was written in a live sense with all sounds designed prior to its performance. After designing a few of the sound elements I set about recording it as a live jam. I recorded MIDI for the pads in the breakdown with some time-stretched vocal effects. The piece was very ambient at first before I decided to make it dancefloor friendly, with chord stabs, rolling bass and 909 drums. I love hypnotic dub techno so this track for me is an expression of that.

What’s the story behind the title? Is there a specific message in this title you want us to know about?
I feel we are in critical times and that within myself, I am constantly on a path of “Revolution” while treading a thin “Red Line” between happiness and depression. Between the two I wanted to show a balance in these emotions, for me, the EP is a contrast in light and dark.

Tell us about how you ended up with playing and producing electronic music to make people dance. Did you see this all coming?
My family is musical, my dad had a Roland 707, which he would use for backing drums for 80s hits which he played on his guitar at social clubs. I learned to mix with my younger brother when I was 15 years old (19 years ago), we both have always busted shapes to 90s rave tunes while growing up. I moved out of home when I was 17 and shared a house with friends that had decks. After some practice, I was entered into a local DJ comp which I won, with a prize being a set the following week at Ministry of Sound in the Baby Box. I also won a lesson in the studio with Dave Robertson (Reset Robot), who was my teacher for some time. I signed 7 tracks with Silver Planet under the Guise Beta Blokka with my friend Ian Pinnington. When we heard our music being played by Sasha on his Essential Mix from Ibiza back in 2006, I guess that was a point for me that I had decided to pursue music throughout my whole life. Ian had enough of the party scene and done the sensible thing, had a family and settled down, while I continued to put out solo releases and performing until the beginning of my academic path.

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What does music in its essence means to you? When do you feel when something is good or bad? Music in general, speaking.
Music for me means an escape of negative thoughts and emotions. I suffer from stress, anxiety and depression caused by years of substance abuse at parties as a young adult. I have always used music to silence the thoughts and negative feelings in my head. I never see other people’s music as good or bad, simply if it is right for me and my emotional state at the time of listening. I don’t care if the song is popular or if everyone likes it. If I do not immediately connect with it, it’s simply not right for my current state of mind. Music for me is a form of therapy or meditation, so the inclusion of any negative emotions towards other’s personal taste does not make sense. It’s all about what makes you feel a certain way at that point in time.

Reason for asking is that you can’t be pinned down on one genre. Your musical spectrum is broad. When do you decide to go in a specific direction for a new release?
I love so many types of music, I never will be pinned to one. The direction for my coming new releases is all about my nostalgic tastes, my mood, personal and emotional matters in my life. My sound has always been rooted in deep melodic house, techno and electronica, this is the music I love most. I never really have a direction when I start. A lot of my tracks come from playing with sounds textures or noises before I decide to put drums or melodies to them. I guess I want each to have a build and drop in energy at some point in time. I sometimes start in the middle where the most energy would occur. I also like to make sure my tracks have a good intro and outro with lots of detail. The direction for the track comes from the core 16 bars which I write first. Recently I have been exploring generative systems which I also find fun to use as a starting point.

What does the future hold for Wade Bennett? Working on new things, special things?
I am now in the final stages of preparation for my upcoming EPs, first album and live set which forms part of my practical portfolio for my Master of Science Degree, where I am exploring generative and extra-sensory control over music and sound. Over the last 5 years since my undergraduate degree at ACM, I have been working with the Leap Motion capture system which allows me to take gestural control over sound effects and MIDI instruments during my live performance.

For my M.Sc I have continued on this path of sensory exploration. I have back engineered and tested an open source design by a company called Data Garden, which generates MIDI from anything living or conductive. I am currently working on a number of hardware prototypes. The aim is to eventually have a variety of sensory systems that allow the creation of music in an esoteric manner. I am currently working on a number of original EP’s with my percussionist Tucky who will be playing alongside me at the High Tide Garden Party with Tom Budden, Collective States & James Zabiela in August.

What do you say to aspiring creators out there trying to find their voice and identity as artists?
Do it your way as there are no set rules. You don’t need loads of gear, software or a degree to do really well for yourself. Some of the best stuff I have heard was made on a laptop. Try sending your music to lots of people, you never know who might listen. Don’t be offended easily, learn to take criticism with a pinch of salt. It is all a matter of perception. Don’t be too offensive, but remember you are not on this planet to please everyone. Be patient, learning new things takes time, mistakes and practice. Some art is made for learning some is made for sharing. Make lots of noise, enjoy the process of self-development. Have fun!

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