Saturday, 18 November 2006
Short descriptions :
"BunZer0 is a well respected veteran within the dubstep scene, having DJ'ed for over 20 years, his attention was first brought to dubstep during its infancy, and as such was the first promoter to book pioneers in the scene such as Skream, Youngsta, Pinch and Loefah to play in Belgium.
Over the years he has had a number of releases on labels such as Mindstep Music, Airtight Imprint, FatKidOnFire, and Reggae Roast. He also hosts the award-winning and incredibly popular FOB show on SUB.FM, on which he seamlessly mixes a showcase of fresh sounds from the big players and upcoming new talent within the dubstep sound. He's not afraid to push the boat out into uncharted waters, featuring unique and forward-thinking musical styles in his mixes, creating characteristic and inspiring sets that prove him to be at the forefront of the ever-evolving world of electronic dance music". (Written by Inflect Bristol).
"BunZer0, veteran of the dubstep scene and longtime overseas ambassador, has been a tireless promoter of all things quality and bass-driven for some time now; the Belgian native has graced stages across the globe, released tunes via the likes of Mindstep Music, FatKidOnfire, Reggae Roast and No Suit Records, was the man to first book many of the UKs dubstep pioneers for their first gigs in Belgium, held down a moderator's role on dubstepforum, and hosts one of the SUB.FM 's most popular slots in the form of the FOB show". (Written by Hedmuk).
Full bio written by Julien Fournier and Guy Chambers aka Quantum Soul
Jan 2013 update
Born in 1973, Ben ‘Bunzero’ was raised in a time when Underground still meant something. It wasn’t mainstream, it wasn’t popular, it wasn’t easy. You needed to go out a lot, dig and travel wide and far. Music was not 2 clicks away. Jeans were not sold already ripped and dyed at HandM. Anyway; aged 10, Ben was surrounded with a bunch of Post-Punk/New Wave teenagers, listening to The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, The Cure, Joy Division... It was a music noone would ever talk about: not on TV, not on the radio. The only reliable source of music was 'La Médiathèque', where vinyl could be borrowed and lengthily recorded on chrome tapes. John Peel was the only other beacon in this dark age. His Sessions helped Ben build a solid base for his musical taste. Up until he was 17, pretty much everything that came out of UK in the ‘Post Punk’ wave rocked his boat.
Around 1988, as underground bands started using more and more synths (see Cabaret Voltaire), electronic music started to appear on the radar as a genre of its own, emancipating itself from the rock background it originated from. Meat Beat Manifesto, with their unique mix of Hip-Hop, New Wave, Dub, Industrial and Proto-Techno sound created a split in Ben’s mind: It was the first crew to effectively represent what he liked about music. It made him want to play tunes to his friends at home instead of playing LEGO, effectively qualifying him as a DJ. A bedroom DJ of sorts. At 15.
Deejaying was not something very glorious or glamourous at the time: when Ben played at parties around 17, it was considered a quite autistic thing to do: standing around tape players and pickups all night, while his buddies enjoyed their first ethylic comas.
Nevertheless, he found his path. Simulatneously, he started singing in a rock band (The Noisy Pilgrims) that lasted a few years before the split. This was the cue: Ben decided to switch to Deejaying, a stance he would never quit. He invested in a pair of SL-1200 in 1992, not because he was unable to break through as a rock singer, but because it was also one of the best periods to do so: Techno was entering its golden age, emancipating from ecstasy clichés to welcome geniuses like Juan Atkins, Orbital, Underworld, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson...
It was also the moment for Brussels to wake to this new era: the first real techno parties were appearing around the city. One of them, at «La Menuiserie», opened Ben’s eyes : the music and the beatmatching technique fascinated him to such an extent that he decided to become a DJ. He had to train hard to get there, overcoming the difficulties of beatmatching which beset all new DJs. He even chose the name 'BunZer0' as a stagename as his mixing abilities were close to zero ! It was also meant to symbolize infinity (and a disc).
With the emergence of so much electronic music, there was no way Ben could limit himself to only one genre at the time. In 1993, Jungle arrived and even though Ben wasn’t mixing a lot of it, he kept on buying lots of releases and it was a big influence on him.
When the Triphop-Abstract/Hiphop/Mo’Wax wave hit around 94/95, Ben experimented with the Soundscapes creations through DJ-sets in bars. It was a dual time for him: playing techno at parties, trip-hop in bars and almost everything else at home. The interest in this sound began to fade a little when Massive Attack and Portishead took off and went mainstream. Ben took some time to discover the roots of these musical forms, and the origins of some of the samples used. This added a ‘soundtrack/old funk/black soul’ edge to his growing collection.
As the 90s drew to a close, Drum’n’Bass hit hard, but Ben was out of phase with this movement, as he considered it a washed-down Jungle rehash. At this time he chose the Belgian House movement, a genre ripe with the funk and soul samples he loved, and which kept him searching for the originals once more. Again, it was a time of two complementary ‘typical sets’ for him: House Music in Clubs, and originals in bars. There was lots of Disco too.
Being free from any particular ‘scene’, we was able to mix House and New School Breaks. The funkiness of House, matched with the fat bass of Jungle appealed to him a lot. The world was still in a Pre-Internet era, so people played whatever they could get their hands on. Only extremely motivated people went to London to buy records.
This was the time the infamous 'Future World Funk' collective was born. 4 DJ’s + Musicians, and an inspiring meeting with Mr. Jo. The 4 DJ’s selections were a good synthesis of vintage funk, new school breaks, disco, reggae and dub influences.
Ben then began to experiment with fusions between DnB, New School Breaks, Garage, etc. Zed Bias, Horsepower Productions, El-B, DJ Zinc appeared on his radar. 'Jammin' especially, who was a kind of 'missing link' between New School Breaks and Garage.
Then came the Tempa, Soulja, Bingo labels... With very few releases available in Belgium, the early 2000s proto-dubstep sound was less of a ‘purist’ attitude for Ben ; it was more a fusion approach to music which Ben favoured. He was more and more into 140BPM stuff, the music which determined what Dubstep was going to be. Ben was part of the (very) few non-UK residents at the time to produce and broadcast mixes that contained that kind of sound. Without his knowledge, and with no contacts in the ‘scene’, Ben was nonetheless building something very important for the rest of his career.
He played a mixed bag of New School Breaks, Dark Garage, Speed Garage and Broken Beats. Horsepower’s sound, filled with soundscapes and samples, echoed the passion for cinematic music Ben had acquired during his Trip Hop years. Horsepower was amongst the first people to bring a darker sound to Garage, with an almost meditative approach to music, incorporating lots of subtle dub elements into their output. Soon, the term ‘Dubstep’ appeared, when XLR8R Magazine used it to describe Horsepower’s work. Tempa then used it for their first compilation, 'Dubstep All-Stars Vol.1', featuring Hatcha.
This ‘deep’ sound was what Ben was into from this moment on. The whole trend clashed with the rather ‘explosive’ vibe the FWF Collective was putting forward. As a result, Ben decided to leave the collective around 2006, and to channel all his energy into championing Dubstep.
The style was then very Croydon-centric. Ben began to build bridges with producers directly, through Dubplate.net (where you could hear lots of unreleased material). Collecting releases as soon as they were released quickly became an almost full-time hobby for him, and the proportion of ‘Dark Garage / Dubstep’ in his sets started to grow. At that time, when this sound was played out in Belgium, it was considered ‘Chillout Music’ and didn’t really meet any success. Up until 2005, it stayed pretty confidential. Then came the infamous ‘SKREAM AUGUST05 mix’ and blogs with specialized info were built around the genre (Dubway, Blackdown...).
Dubway created the DubstepForum as an offspring of his blog. As Ben’s links to the scene expanded, he was contacted by SubFM to start a radio show, and so was born the FOB (‘Fresh Off The Boat’, a reference to Ben’s English 'funky' accent) show. This gained him access to more and more exclusive dubplates, promo tracks, etc...
The first Dubstep night in Brussels, Belgium and possibly Mainland Europe was organized in Beursschouwburg January 2006, thanks to a ‘Carte Blanche’ given to Ben by the director of programming Dirk Seghers. (BBC’s Mary-Ann Hobbs shouted out to Ben for having organized this party). There was no way they could have imagined the expansion of Dubstep at the time. A few weeks later, it all started to accelerate: Midnight Request Line hit the waves, and Ben was regularly in London to hear the pulse of the scene beating.
Ben’s goal became to import the genre into Belgium. He booked Skream, Pinch, Loefah, Youngsta, N-Type, Walsh, ThinKing,... and the like in the span of a few months. Dubstep began to make its progression in Belgium, with nights all over the country - in Brussels (where most promoters began to put this sound forward), Ghent (with Warriorz), and Antwerp (with Untitled).
The FOB show became a popular reference point for fresh dubstep, winning Ben awards on the DubstepForum, as well as triggering a host of international bookings for him. Between 2006 and 2009, Ben played in the USA, at Plastic People/FWD>> and in most parts of Europe.
He started to produce his own music at this same period, and released his first efforts on Bass Tourist, Haunted Audio, Stainage, Je M’en Fish and a bit later on Airtight Imprint. Lots of collabs also took place in Belgium at the time, with nights in most big clubs and venues throughout the country.
From 2010, faced with the lack of venues to organize the nights, he stopped to concentrate on his own productions. This enabled Ben to finally release tracks on UK labels such as Orientis, L2S, Reggae Roast and Mindstep Music.
1) BunZer0 is second in the category "Best International Dj" on Dubstepforum Awards in 2006.
And his SubFm show is first in the category "Best International Radio Show".
DUBSTEP 2006 AWARDS - RESULTS
2) Bun won again some awards on dubstepforum awards 07
The FOB SHow is n°2 in a global best radio shows category !!!
Best Radio Show
1. N TYPE - Sub Sundays (RINSE.FM) 2. BUNZERO - Fob Show (SUBFM.COM) 3. BOOMNOISE AND POKES Show (SUBFM.COM) 4. MARY ANNE HOBBS - Breezeblock (BBC RADIO 1) 5. SKREAM - Stella Sessions (RINSE.FM)
3) In 2010 Bun is still in the dubstepforum Awards game !
His "Fresh of the Boat" radioshow currently holds the 8th position in the chart, and he was also awarded the 8th place in the "best dj section." The latter is even more flattering when you consider Bunzer0 is the only non-uk resident in the top 10!
4) Dubstepforum Awards 2012 : BunZ in the top 10 best Dj's and FOB Show is n°3 in the best radio shows.
5) Dubstepforum Awards 2013 : FOB Show is n°2 in BEST RADIO SHOW, BunZ is n°5 in BEST DJ and n°6 in BEST 120 - 140 BPM DJ
Check that post for all the BunZer0's past and future gigs !