WPGM Recommends: Benny Page – Champion Sound (Remixes) EP

Benny Page 1
“Champion Sound” is Benny Page’s new single, released worldwide on 23 August, 2014 on his own label High Culture Recordings and Rise Artists Ltd. The track features Jamaican dancehall artist Assassin, who appeared on Kanye West’s last album Yeezus on the track “I’m In It”, and was mastered at Metropolis Studios by Stuart Hawkes whose previous works include Basement Jaxx, Rudimental and Maverick Sabre among others.

The fact this is a release that comes in five different forms only adds to the intrigue, remixes for “Champion Sound” come courtesy of Serial Killaz, Mungo’s HIFI, North Base, 9Lives and Sampson. So that’s Drum ‘n’ Bass, Dub, House and Drumstep covered. Which is the most successful, will no doubt be up for debate for as long as people wish, personally, I think the masterful Serial Killaz remix is the strongest – in a soundscape that is currently being dominated by main room House music, it is wholly refreshing to hear something come through that is a no nonsense Drum ‘n’ Bass sound.

Obviously D’n’B never went anywhere; rather its stronghold in the dance music club scene has been replaced by House and Tech House sounds and it’s easy to forget why Drum ‘n’ Bass is the one I will inevitably always return to. Instantly uplifting, and high energy, this one breaks through the usual house sounds to deliver a hard hitting, skanking riddim. The frenetic D’n’B arrangement that features throughout the track coupled with the vocal prowess of Assassin combine effortlessly – a Jungle / Dub love child of a beat that’s sure to be a siren to the Jungalists out there – “Champion Sound” is a track which displays Page’s production techniques in a new form with his fresh 140 bpm sound.

“Champion Sound (Serial Killaz Remix)”:

Benny Page notes his influences were initially drawn from his Dad’s records whilst growing up, listening to Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath to Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye. He started his musical zeal performing guitar and drums in live bands up until the time he discovered Electronic music. This intensified his passion to build his career as an Electronic songwriter and producer and ultimately led to Shy FX signing Page to his now legendary Digital Soundboy label, kick starting his professional career with his 2006 dancefloor anthem “Turn Down The Lights”; followed by an array of seminal ragga jungle cuts, as well as numerous well received productions across the dance music spectrum. Since then Page has produced tracks for Sony, Universal and London Records remixing artists such as Jessie J, Tinnie Tempah, Misha B, Snoop Lion, Arlissa and Nas.

Scotland’s own Mungo’s Hi Fi also come in to remix “Champion Sound”, delivering their own firebrand heavy dub take on what ‘badman sound’ should be. Expectedly down tempo, this version adds more lyrically, as the track revels in its strong choral piano intro, the vocal of Assassin perfectly at home within the Mungo’s interpretation. After a number of years establishing international recognition, Page has evolved his sound initiating the start of this unique album project, he recently spent time in Jamaica discovering first hand the famous rhythms and basslines of the island that are so key to his music. In just over two weeks, he managed to voice twenty two Jamaican vocalists in what he describes as a musically insightful experience redirecting his techniques into a new sound that he is happy to be revealing.

Page’s main objective on the island was to achieve a more authentic and diverse sound, going through the motions of a traditional and personal songwriting process, managing all the studio recordings directly. Other Jamaican vocal legends who are set to appear on his forthcoming album include Big Youth, Beenie Man, Spice, Popcaan and Protoje. Page also teamed up with Richie Loop on his first single for the Moombahton driven “Hot Body Gal”, a hit in Jamaica and continuing to impact worldwide, leaving fans eagerly awaiting this highly anticipated follow up.

The House remix of “Champion Sound” comes courtesy of London based producer 9Lives, a slow building intro retains its Dub influences even as the bassline builds around it. An undoubtedly competent production, it’s a version that will suit the tastes of many as House remains the sounds of choice within the capital and beyond. Slightly warped vocals and expressive percussion give polish to this remix – Jungalist snares are retained and expertly combined with a bassline that is contemporary House. No dramas. Whether you’re a lover of the current House music renaissance, Dub fanatic or Drum ‘n’ Bass all over, Benny Page has a range of remixes for his accomplished ‘Champion Sound’.

Purchase: Benny Page – Champions Sounds Remixes EP (iTunes)

Words by Akua Ofei // Edited by Ayo Adepoju

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