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The Box Vol 1
Kazu Kimura - "Flash" - (5:18) 133 BPM
Hiroaki Iizuka - "Superstition" - (5:12) 136 BPM
Mark Williams - "Journey Man" - (6:18) 136 BPM Hot
Review: The latest split release on Ben Sims' label features some new names alongside a well-known Theory associate. Mark Williams has been putting out club techno for over 15 years, and on "Journey Man", he displays his ability for crafting well-constructed tracks. Based on a lithe, rolling rhythm, the UK producer weaves in eerie synths and looped chord sequences. It's radically different from Japanese producer Hiroaki Iizuka's contribution. "Superstition" resounds to a walking funk bass, chopped up vocals scattered amid dubby filters and cavernous drums. Meanwhile, his fellow countryman Kazu Kimura opts for a more intense approach with the tweaked bass intensity of "Flash".
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12 Jan 18
All You Got
All You Got - (3:22) 128 BPM
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21 Jun 17
Hip Hop/R&B
Ben Sims Vs Aubrey
Aubrey - "Centrifuge Azul" (original mix) - (6:26) 129 BPM Hot
Aubrey - "Double Image" (original mix - digital exclusive) - (5:02) 134 BPM
Aubrey - "Double Image" (Bens Sims remix) - (4:54) 132 BPM
Ben Sims - "Neurosis" (original mix) - (6:41) 126 BPM
Ben Sims - "Transforming" (original mix - Digital Exclusive) - (6:33) 127 BPM
Review: Two of UK techno's most experienced producers go head to head on this new release on Sims' label. Allen Saei aka Aubrey has been making dance floor friendly yet esoteric techno for nearly twenty years, but "Centrifuge Azul" marks a shift in his approach. Screeching riffs and gritty beats are combined for one of Saei's most visceral tracks to date. There's a similar approach on "Neurosis", but on that occasion, wild acid lines and dark, noisy percussive bursts are combined over insistent filters. "Double Image" is heavy duty material too, with thunder claps and a buzzsaw bass dominating the arrangement. Try as he might, the heavy drums and insistent filtering on Sims' version of "Double Image" can't quite match this intensity.
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13 Jan 14
Spectrum (original mix) - (5:58) 130 BPM
Orbit (original mix) - (5:10) 125 BPM Hot
Spectrum (Marcelus remix) - (6:39) 128 BPM
Spectrum (Jonas Kopp black mix - digital exclusive) - (8:13) 128 BPM
Orbit (Darko Esser remix - digital exclusive) - (6:00) 128 BPM
Powersurge 1 (digital exclusive) - (8:19) 125 BPM
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16 Dec 13
Shooting Stars The Remixes
Shooting Stars (Mark Ambrose remix) - (6:32) 132 BPM
Shooting Stars (Ben Sims dub mix) - (6:41) 129 BPM
Shooting Stars (Aubreys dark mix) - (4:48) 128 BPM
Shooting Stars (original mix - digital only) - (7:40) 132 BPM Hot
Review: With Steve O'Sullivan's back catalogue getting re-released, it is timely that attention also shifts to Mark Ambrose. The UK producer was one of the most innovative in the UK tech-house scene, and as "Shooting Stars" demonstrates, he is the master of creating bassy, murky grooves. Based on a tracky rhythm and vicious snares, when the tripped out bassline kicks in, it's hard to imagine any speaker system being safe. The remixes are of a high quality too; Ambrose's own version imbues the arrangement with a disco undercurrent, while Ben Sims toughens it up and adds eerie acid lines. Best of all though is fellow traveller Aubrey's take, with its rumbling bassline and visceral 303 licks.
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20 May 13
Something (original mix (digital exclusive)) - (7:48) 127 BPM
Something (Ben Sims remix) - (5:14) 125 BPM
Something (Truncate remix) - (5:47) 128 BPM Hot
Something (Rivet remix) - (6:43) 126 BPM
Review: It's hard not to admire Ben Sims' ability to reinvent himself. On "Something", he delivers a typical slamming tribal groove, but it features noisy, crashing percussion and a vocal intoning 'there's something inside', which is culled from the kind of hardcore record that he used to play back in the day. Sims' own remix features splintered rhythms and insistent claps over hammering beats, while his choice of remixers is also of a high quality; Truncate's take features merely a snippet of the vocal over hammering beats that lead into a deep chord sequence, while the Rivet version is more stripped back and laced with bugged out acid lines.
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22 Mar 13
Ben Sims Vs Stephen Brown
Fuego - (8:01) 126 BPM
Polar - (5:30) 128 BPM
Polar (Ben Sims remix) - (6:10) 127 BPM
Fuego (Ben Sims remix) - (6:35) 131 BPM Hot
Review: Enjoying something of a renaissance recently, Stephen Brown steps up to Theory to deliver two tracks and surrender them to Ben Sims for surgery. In their original forms, "Fuego" and "Polar" are stunning slices of stripped-back techno. The first pumps on a prominent shuffle carved out of tough, funky drums, but keeps the synths subtle and spacious, while "Polar" gets dubbier and freakier with a soft beat and an ace hiccupping vocal slice. Sims' remixes unsurprisingly jack things up noticeably, retaining both tracks' inherent qualities but giving them a good old UK techno injection to cut it in rougher situations.
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23 Nov 12
In The City
In The City (original mix) - (8:00) 130 BPM
In The City (Orlando Voorns Search & Destroy remix) - (6:12) 134 BPM
In The City (Ritzi Lee remix) - (5:54) 132 BPM Hot
Played by: Millhouse, Paul Mac
Review: Sims made his name as a DJ, but increasingly, his productions are proving to be impressive. The title track is a huge club track: based on steely, slamming beats, it features a whooshing filter and jarring, discordant riffs, while its 'in my life' and 'hardcore sucker' samples provide a reminder about Sims' own rave background. Orlando Voorn's "Search & Destroy" remix also mines the past and sees the Dutch producer drop heavy claps and evil siren riffs. Ritzi Lee's version is more restrained, featuring a walking funk bassline, and even the siren riffs that cascade in over the arrangement sound tame by comparison.
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25 Jun 12
The Box Vol 4
Ben Sims - "Bite This" - (8:37) 128 BPM
Ritzi Lee - "Reverse Processed" - (5:24) 136 BPM Hot
Paul Mac - "Dry Run" - (5:32) 127 BPM
Review: Ben Sims's label delivers a diverse but hard-hitting three-tracker. The label boss is first up and "Bite This" sees him sever the links with his loopy past. It's still a repetitive track, but as its basis Sims deploys a pulsing electronic groove and firing percussion, while a malevolent riff makes the transition from jarring and abrasive to atmospheric and eerie. Ritzi Lee travels a similar path on "Reverse Processed", where snappy percussion and a nagging bassline underpin metallic stabs and jarring riffs that reach out into the darkness. By contrast, Paul Mac's "Dry Run" is a more soulful experience. Despite the proliferation of spiky, metallic drums, it's the screeching, slightly deranged male vocal that stands out.
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28 May 12
Theory 0403
Straight From Bolivia - (6:35) 131 BPM
New Blood (Robert Hood mix) - (9:40) 127 BPM Hot
Review: After the rip-roaring reception that the Skudge remix of "Slow Motion" received, who better to raise the bar on this series of Theory 12"s than Robert Hood? Ben Sims' original track "Straight From Bolivia" is a stripped workout, showing his more minimal side but no less focused on tough techno principles. Robert Hood however takes "New Blood" and turns it into a fearsome peak-time smasher, working around a pneumatic groove and artfully looped vocal hits. It's a very housey kind of 'serious' techno, not unlike the last remixers for Theory (Skudge), and Hood nails it with ease.
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12 Mar 12
Theory 040 2
New Blood - (6:34) 127 BPM
Slow Motion (Skudge mix) - (6:05) 128 BPM Hot
Review: It's been a while since a Theory joint graced our ears but Ben Sims returns to his imprint to bring us a taste of his warmer, deeper take on techno. "New Blood" is all about the dubby chords and distorted hats, making for the perfect slice of techno refreshment in the context of tougher stuff to be found at this tempo. Meanwhile the Skudge boys get stuck into "Slow Motion", reducing the original to a heavily grooving beat workout with just a whisper of melody that gradually morphs into a nasty late-night steamer, bringing that touch of sexiness to techno that they do so well.
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05 Mar 12
Theory 0401
Slow Motion - (7:29) 124 BPM
New Blood (Rolando mix) - (7:11) 128 BPM Hot
Review: For those who had assumed Sims was merely a loop techno producer, 0401 provides a pleasant surprise. The UK producer's love of slamming beats and dense, claustrophobic rhythms is present and correct, but on this occasion it sounds like there is a more fluid, dynamic approach at play. This is due to the use of rasping percussion and a malevolent filter that rises through the track. Former UR operative Rolando shows that he hasn't lost his magic touch on the remix of "New Blood". Coruscating drums and a wild acid line make for a thrilling combination, but Rolando hasn't forgotten his house leanings and the swinging rhythm also features a repetitive vocal sample.
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27 Feb 12
Things: The Remixes
Things (original mix) - (4:50) 133 BPM
Things (NYC remix) - (6:41) 125 BPM
Things (Paul Mac Rave Bass mix) - (5:09) 136 BPM
Things (VIP remix) - (5:35) 132 BPM Hot
Review: First released on Ben Sims Theory Recordings as a 12" in 2009, Mark Broom's "Things" harks back to the raw and rough aesthetics of 90s techno and rave. Brick wall compression sees Broom's original relentlessly crunch, suck and pump until ravey key stabs big enough to fill a Tiesto sized stadium enter the fray. Broom's VIP mix will cause 90s nostalgia seekers and bright eyed youngsters alike to desperately wave their phone in the DJs face with the words track id? Broom super loops his original, occasionally dropping the kick or bass whilst unashamedly sampling Steve Poindexter's '89 club hit "Work That Mutha Fucker". The NYC mix is a more polished production taking "Things" down a minimal and techy route with strings, climbing blips and square pads all in tow. Paul Mac ups Broom's rave antics by plodding a ravey bass line that gets phatter with every stab against crisp hats, tribal percussion and filtered vocals.
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03 Feb 12
Smoke Machine
Smoke Machine - (5:16) 135 BPM
Gently Drifting - (6:03) 132 BPM Hot
Arena Of The Unwell - (5:11) 138 BPM
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03 Feb 12
The Box Vol 2
Ben Sims - "Smoke Machine" (feat Mark Broom - Crackerjack remix) - (5:25) 135 BPM Hot
Scan Mode & Issie Nixon - "Del Reves" (Ben Sims remix) - (5:05) 129 BPM
A Paul - "Satori" - (5:09) 138 BPM
Sou Tai - "Ludicrously Working" - (5:30) 136 BPM
Played by: Jay Wong
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19 Dec 11
The Box Vol 3
DJ T-1000 - "'bout To Bang" (feat DJ Bone - Ben Sims remix) - (6:20) 132 BPM Hot
DJ Skitzo - "Impact Zone" (Paul Mac re-edit) - (5:32) 139 BPM
Tim Baker - "Sideways" (feat Elbee Bad - Ben Sims & Paul Mac remix) - (7:03) 129 BPM
Ben Sims - "DVD Crash" - (4:17) 135 BPM
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20 Dec 10
Prophets & Diviners
Agile Movements - (6:03) 135 BPM Hot
Behind You - (5:42) 135 BPM
Inroad (Ben Sims remix) - (6:26) 132 BPM
Inroad - (6:03)
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06 Dec 10
Second Time Around
Second Time Around (Soko remix) - (4:30) 128 BPM Hot
Breakfast In Bratislava (dub mix) - (5:35) 133 BPM
Second Time Around - (6:09) 136 BPM
Breakfast In Bratislava - (4:50) 133 BPM
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12 Jul 10
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