In Conversation: DJ Bone and Ben Sims

This Friday, DJ Bone and Ben Sims make a worldwide b2b debut in a club environment. Those familiar with the pair will understand how exciting a prospect this promises to be; two of techno's finest, both lauded for their mind-bending technical wizardry in the booth, going hammer and tong for 150 minutes.

Ahead of the spectacle, the pair sat down to pick out favourite tracks from each others illustrious production careers, and discuss the origins of their friendship.

Ben Sims

How did DJ Bone first hit your radar?

I first heard the name on a Claude Young 12” in the mid 90s, he was credited for vocals, then a year or 2 later I picked up a solid solo 12” on Molecular Records. In 97 we both got mentioned as DJs to watch out for in Technosis magazine, so we were building our reputations around the same time I guess and getting compared to each other technically from day one.

What was the trigger to begin the back to back sets?

We’d discussed it a while back, either for a Machine or Kabuki but it never happened so when Bone asked if I’d be up for doing it on his radio show for Red Light Radio I was happy we finally got a chance to do it. It went really well and was one of the most successful shows ever on the station, so talk of taking it to some clubs followed pretty quickly after.

Ben's favourite DJ Bone cuts

Probably my fave Bone cut, raw and funky as hell Detroit vibes. Not as well known as some of his other material but for me this one has it all. Big tune!

Sparse tribal banger and one that I keep going back to. Loads of the stuff from 'tribal era' just doesn't cut through because of the production, but this one works all day long. Love it!

A pure jacking anthem, tough drums, the 'Detroit is where I'm from' vocal, always drops well and get's the dancers doing some techno karaoke, whichever city they're from!

That D Beat (Camouflaged)

Only a few months old this one but it's a killer, has 'last track' written all over it. Just builds and builds and then boom, drops like a mo fo. Wicked track!

DJ Bone

How did Ben Sims first hit your radar?

I’m pretty sure it was 1998 when I purchased the first Killabite EP. I thought, "wow, this is truly killer right here!" From them on I pretty much bought every EP with his name on it, every one quality. His tracks were always bangin' but I could also hear the funk and soul in them (something the majority of releases lack nowadays). Always heads above the rest.

What was the trigger to begin the back to back sets?

He invited me to play one of his and Kirk Degiorgio’s Machine Nights in France. We hadn’t had a good chance to sit down, break bread and have a conversation in ages so at artists’ dinner we talked and caught up on things.

So me, Ben and my wife are kickin' it, having a great time then my wife says, “you two need to do a B2B. It would be deadly!” Both Ben and I laughed but thought it was a great idea. So we floated this idea to our agents and managers and all agreed it would be a smash.

Then Ben (graciously) agreed to come to Amsterdam early (changing his flight too) before ADE so we could play B2B on my residency for Red Light Radio. The mix set a streaming record for RLR.... and now here we are bringing it to fruition worldwide. Watch out!

Bone's favourite Sims cuts

For this I had to include the entire EP since all these tracks work so well as tools for a 3-deck mix.

Perfect for brave DJs and those who don’t keep to the one-genre rule expected of most DJ’s sets.

This is to me the perfect mix of Techno and House, old school and new vibes. Instant classic.

Jingo (Ben Sims unreleased edit)

Ben blessed me with this about a decade or more ago and to this day I’m pretty sure that the only DJs he gave it to were myself and Derrick May. A showstopper with dramatic power which I will play forever!

Ben Sims and DJ Bone play b2b this Friday alongside Slam (Live), Kirk Degiorgio and Tasha. Final release tickets available below.