Mr Assister: The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix


Next up to our mix series we welcome a producer whom has bubbled beneath the surface for far too long.

Mr Assister is a label boss, drummer and producer based in London, he has long had an affiliation with the 1-800 Dinosaur imprint but has recently begun to release his own music via a new imprint titled BEAM. His sound is rooted in percussion, perhaps this stems from his passion for drumming, his tracks and sets often feature tribal influences alongside electronics.

 Listen to the mix and read the interview below: 

Who are you, where are you and what are you?

I’m Ben and I’m a drummer who’s increasingly moonlighting at making and playing records for people to dance to. I also really like dancing to other people playing records. Right now I’m sitting outside the Barbican looking at ducks, squinting at my laptop screen in the sun. I might go inside to do this.

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?

Like the vaguely interesting ramblings of someone with a penchant for bongos, and possibly slightly too little respect for melody. Probably a little like what a drummer moonlighting as a DJ might sound like.

Where was the mix recorded?

In my bedroom with a strong coffee and a stick or two of nag. I forgot to open the window at first and things got a bit intense.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

If you’re out and about with headphones, maybe a really boring street so that I can positively impact your mundane psycho-geographic associations with the healing power of bongos. Or maybe a really fun street, so that the mix reminds you of fun stuff. It depends which way round these things work for you.

What should we be wearing?

A vest.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix:

Probably somewhere where there are lots of dancing people and the only recording going on is via the unreliable medium of human memory.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

‘Ayranman’ off Harmonious Thelonious’ new EP is pretty great. Its so wooden sounding – but not in the stiff negative sense. Imagine some kind of slow motion tap dancing ritual inside the Great Deku Tree. He did a live set at one of my Beaming parties early in the year and I think he played it during his set. It was great then and sounds great on record.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

That’s a tricky one as I prefer listening to mixes created in the present, preferably with decent subs and a smoke machine. However, I would say that the Body Motion (Together Dance Music & Bossman Wines) and Kestrel Explorations (Scientific Dreamz of U & Junior Loves) radio shows on NTS are both consistently very tasty.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

At first I had a single Vestax portable turntable and semi-functional Numark mixer on loan from friends, now I have two 1210s and an Allen and Heath with more channels than I could ever possibly need. 

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

They can both be really important, or not matter at all. Kind of like DJing in general I suppose. Usually I tend to plan the first few records for a set and then regret my decision when the context turns out to be the total opposite to what I had anticipated. Closing tunes tend to be far more spontaneous, where mild inebriation can lead to strokes of genius, utterly in tune with the moment. Or utter regret.

What were the first and last records you bought?

Bob Marley – ‘Rastaman Vibration’ and Steve Reich – ‘Music for Large Ensemble’.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Maybe those addictive salty roasted corn things. And a little bit of a tequila for good measure.

If it was an animal what would it be?

A moonlit Totoro tap-dancing around the Great Deku Tree.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

I bought a wicked Gary Martin record off Andy Blake a few months ago. I can mix it into anything apart from on my right hand 1210 where it skips all over the place and I have no idea why. Mysterious.

Upcoming in the world of…

Not much really. I’m slow. But hopefully BEAM-03 will take shape pretty soon.

Anything else we need to discuss?

Nope. I think there are already way too many DJ mixes on the internet. And even more DJs waffling on about nothing in particular so I’ll leave it at that.! Thanks for having me x

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