PRINCE LANGUAGE: How did you start DJing?
BEN BROWNING: I was always out at clubs after Cut Copy shows or parties in Melbourne where my friends would DJ. I always thought I'd get into it at some stage, but was more focused on writing and performing music at that time. At some point after Cut Copy finished touring Zonoscope in 2012 my girlfriend in DC made me book a solo DJ show at U Street Music Hall and that forced me to learn how to do it!
Ben Browming I Can't Stay (Cutters Records)
How does being a musician influence or affect your DJ sets?
I'm not sure how being a musician affects my DJ sets exactly. If anything I guess I'm always interested in tracks that do something musical. Tracks that have some kind of harmonic or melodic resonance usually find their way into my sets.
Cut Copy has been very successful at integrating aspects of dance music into a rock/pop context, in the lineage of a bands like New Order, Happy Mondays, and LCD Soundsystem. Can you talk a little bit about the relationship the band has with dance music?
When Cut Copy started as a project of Dan's in the early 2000's, it was primarily a DJ/producer endeavor. After he started making tracks with samplers and synths, he got Tim and Mitchell to come in and add guitars and drums to create a pretty unique sound. When I joined the group in 2008 our biggest songs were either full-on dance tracks or band tracks like "Feel the Love". Dance music has always been a thread to the band's career though. I think our latest album was fairly focused on dance music.
Ben Browning's exclusive mix for Blisspop
Now that you've been DJing more, have you noticed that the way you make music has changed as a result?
Since I've been DJing I haven't really noticed if the way I make music has changed. I generally start a track with a kick drum and I've been doing that for years now, I think dance music has been a part of my approach to writing for a long time now.
Can you tell us more about about the solo music you're working on?
I'm releasing my first solo LP this year and I'm pretty excited to get it out into the world. I've been fitting in writing and recording my own stuff around Cut Copy touring and recording over the last couple of years. My album is fairly electronic and is inspired by classic disco and the 70s proto-techno band YMO.
Cut Copy Let Me Show You Love
You're originally from Melbourne Australia - the cliché that I've heard from many Australians is that Melbourne is to Sydney as New York is to LA. Do you find this corollary to be true, culturally and musically? When I toured Australia, Melbourne was the first stop, and the first party I played went 'til 8am, so I know you guys know how to get down...
I was just back in Melbourne for 4 weeks and it certainly is a great place to catch DJs and new bands performing in the city. When I'm in New York, there is a kind of similar feeling, and it might just be the all night licenses that bars have in both places!
Who are some your favorite DJs and producers at the moment?
I'm pretty obsessed with Todd Terje and the tracks he's been producing over the last few years. I'm also a big fan of his Norwegian counterpart Lindstrøm. There are some amazing producers coming out of Melbourne as evidenced on the Ocean's Apart compilation that Cutters Records put out recently. As a DJ Tim Sweeney isn't bad either!
What can we expect from your set DJ set at Le Bain, and how would would you describe your style in general?
I play a lot of space disco and deep house. I don't mind the odd Italo track or Afro-disco tune either!