Benedikt Frey’s ‘time period pieces’ that shaped new album Fastlane

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Benedikt Frey’s latest creation “Fastlane” came out at the tail end of last month on the consistently excellent ESP Institute.

An audial journey of an album, Frey’s sonic exploration captures the essence of speed and exhilaration, reminiscent of sitting behind the wheel of a powerful, stylish automobile, the engine’s roar and the anticipation of the open road ahead.

“I found it difficult to write about things in relation to particular tracks because most of them just happened… but here you’ll find an important part of my release puzzle that basically carries three ‘time period pieces’ from 2015-2021”


Piece 1: Lucky Findings 2015

Just the year before my move to Berlin I stumbled over a handful of second-hand records by the ones like SEM, NUTE or DJ VOODOO in a very dirty break-beat-ish jammy vibe. Excited by their timelessness, speed and rough sounding, I wanted to try to work on something similar. The same year I was lucky to buy a 909 from an old friend which I used for my first Jam from this album ‘Gasoline’. This track should become the blueprint for something new. But first I had to move.

Piece 2: Hello Berlin, Hello Nightlife, Hello Inspiration, Good Bye Inspiration (2016-2019)
In the first two years I had some amazing moments, for example, seeing Aquarion playing Drum and Bass in the morning at Berghain just after I finished my set at Panorama Bar, or Container who played an amazing Live Set there a few months later. I clearly remember that moment of dancing, seeing everyone smiling, whoo-ing totally going nuts and I thought: “WOW this is it!“ it felt so good seeing big techno institutions giving room for more „experimental“ artists. And half an hour later just after Container finished, this “WOW-moment“ got crushed by the DJ afterwards. He took over with soulless techno changing the dance floor into an ice-cold quantified place of nothingness. No more surprises, Just one straight bass drum following the other. People danced with themselves, no more togetherness, my vibe got killed. A little sooner than expected I left but was heavily inspired.

It took two more years until mid of 2018 of experimenting. By that time I had finished a solid double EP with 8 stompers and no extra fillers. I sent them to ESP-Institute wondering if they would share the lane with me. Excited about Andrew’s “YES” we planned to put it out in late 2019. We all remember what happened in December 2019, so the EP was put on hold. By then I was fed up by Techno. Just half a year before the pandemic hit, I stumbled over the Re-loop Section on Boiler Room seeing Sherelle and her mates like Fauzia or LCY literally destroying this tiny club in London. These were milestone sets for me, seeing all these people having SO MUCH FUN TOGETHER, mixing all sorts of genres and styles to a hybrid experience of dance music. I was hooked!

Piece 3. Reboot (2020-2021)
With the new winds coming from the UK, I fastened up my projects to look if I can walk the broken beat path which got me into clubbing as a teenager. Remembering my small hometown with a vibrant Drum & Bass scene and a record store (deck20) that only had d&b and some hip-hop records. It felt so good and inspiring spending time on new ways of putting music together and experiment. Among these experiments which for example found their way on Craigie Knowes or Malka Tuti I was able to translate my double EP into an album. For Instance tracks like ‘Solver’ (which is basically dedicated to that Boiler Room Night in London),

‘Move Me’ with Nadia D’Alò

‘Silverblade’ with O-Wells & ‘Industry’ were the last ones that drew nice new outlines to the already confirmed compositions.


The album is out now on both 2xVinyl and Digital LP formats. Order here