Planet B.E.N.

The Japan scene is unbeatable!

Author: Claus Baldauf
Date: Jul 1, 2005
Views: 3199

DJ/producer Planet B.E.N. is one of the best known German artists in the world wide trance scene. For more than 20 years Ben's life is deeply dedicated to dj-ing and electronic sounds. He has been working with a lot of very good and well known musicians, especially with the two X-Dream guys - you might know their side projects Organic Noise (with Jan) and ProjektX (with Markus). His style is pumping, deep and absoutely full of trance. Being part of the German scene nearly from the beginning, Ben has played at festivals and clubs in most corners of the world such as Japan, Australia, Mexico or South Africa. His fifth album is about to be released in autumn.- it's going to be a real full on experience, but feel free to make up your own mind: You'll find nine new tracks on


You've been travelling a lot in the name of trance - which is your favourite place on this planet?
Japan, there's no doubt about that. Nature is unbelievable beautiful, people are so gentle and it has an impressing history and culture - which you can get in touch with at places like the Kyoto temples. Plus: You can't beat the Japan scene! Ever heard 15.000 people screaming at once when the music hits the peak on the dance floor? Then you know what goose bumps really are ...

There seems to be a real trance boom in Japan ...
Absolutely. Trance is really big at the moment, getting far more attention than House or Techno. There are lots of parties and up to now they all manage to get their guests even if there are several parties at once in one region. Records still sell well enough in Japan. But this will not last forever, some day a lot of people will feel the need to find the next hot thing ...
Though people are partying really heavy they still behave very considerate concerning not only the others but also the environment. For example every smoker is carrying a small ash tray with him because cigarette butts contain toxic stuff. People also don't dump their garbage everywhere. Even the festival toilets are kept clean by everybody which seems nearly impossible in Germany. I have a lot of friends in Japan and will be playing some gigs there by the end of summer.

Planet Ben
[photo: Kai Mathesdorf & Jens Rauhut ]

Mexico is another trance hot spot ...
... with a lot of nice people and the real heart of the scene, Aturo's Maia Records label and shop in Mexico City. D-teck and DJ David Durst are also friends of mine - and very good artists. Mexico has amazing festivals and landscapes, Acapulco or Cancun parties are places to dream about. But it is a country with huge social problems as only a few own nearly all the money and the vast majority is trying to survive using what the rich leave behind. If there's a trance festival there will always be a lot of poor people trying to get access for free. Western people can't really imagine what living in Mexico must be like.

I was told you had some trouble down there?
Three years ago in the middle of a world tour someone stole my laptop and passport at the airport - containing all the stuff i needed for my live act plus all the tracks for the new album I produced during my journey. I had no backups, which turned out to be a real bad idea. I never got the computer back, the album could never be released and I had to stop my tour without going to the U.S., South Africa and Australia. You can imagine how bad i felt - plus how much money I lost.
I was just having a look at some monitor to check my flight, putting my bags down for a few seconds. In the next moment two of my bags were gone. Though there were lots of people around who saw the thief, even a policeman, no one helped me. But what was worse: When the policeman took me to his commander, a guy looking like the gangster in some Miami Vice episode, he offered me immediately to buy my stuff back! I was quite shocked. I didn't trust him so I said no, and that was a good decision as Mexican friends of mine have told me later. Sometimes the police take foreigner's money in cases like that and then just throw them out of their car in the middle of nowhere. I had to stay a week and drive through this crazy biggest city of the world to reach the German ambassy - every day, one way took me about four hours. At last I got a passport and could sadly travel back to Germany.
It was a strange experience to learn that there are countries which are so poor that you can't even trust the police if you should get into trouble. Corruption is not only a problem in Mexico, it's part of the plan, of the social system. The police is getting paid so badly they have to make money on other occasions.
Western people do all look like very rich guys to Mexicans, you should never forget this if you go there ...

Planet B.E.N.

Talking about hot spots - where do you see an interesting development right now?
Eastern Europe for sure is a place you should have a look at - like Poland and Hungary. Not only the new countries of the European Union facing new developments, but also Russia and the states of former Yugoslavia. The more people are getting used to democracy the more of them will try to make the most of the growing social freedom and live their way. But right now still most of those countries are having serious economical and social problems, too.

Planet B.E.N. playing

I'm sure there are some countries left we should mention ...
I don't have to tell you much about Germany, which especially in the summer still is a fantastic place to party. In Israel the authorities are getting more relaxed again concerning trance parties, so there of course is happening a lot in spite of the political situation. And you know for sure that South Africa and Brasil are very nice places with interesting scenes.
I really do love Australia, nearly as much as Japan ;-) An unbelievable beautiful and huge country with such a small amount of people living there. They have a strong and unique scene even if there are not that many festivals compared to Germany, organizers like Green Ant, Earthcore, TwoTribes or Rainbow Serpent are doing a magnificent job and the guys down under are really living the full on style! Australians are treating the environment as careful as the Japanese and they are pretty open minded concerning even the crazier music - like Shaolin Woodman, Andrew Till or Olli Olsen. You really should go there once if you are looking for a mind blowing trance experience!

taken from mushroom magazine and brought to you by liese

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