Artist of the Week: KismetMay 28th, 2009
Veiled under the Kismet moniker, he pours out a completely different sound than we’ve heard from him before. Unlike his former productions, the Kismet guise mainly covers progressive deepness, housy approaches and minimalistic trance sounds. German producer Andrew Bennett took his production skills to a different level and started a new chapter in his already respectable career: the Kismet chapter. Based at the Pilot 6 imprint, Kismet has found a suitable home-label to his productions. With new tracks ‘Vita’ and ‘Lost Language’ out soon, it’s time to get to know some more about this shift in career.
The first phase
A fascination for dance music was awakened by listening to the early work of Depeche Mode. Andrew:”I can’t give you an exact date, but it was long ago when I went to school. A close friend of mine had several records from Depeche Mode and other ‘synth pop’ stuff, which he got from his older brother. At that time no one around us at our age was listening to EDM, so it was exciting to get in touch with all the new music.” Andrew discovered more and more about the wonder of the repeated beat, and was keen on learning more about it. It were the clubnights he attended, that eventually led to the official start of a professional career in music. Andrew: “When I started going out into clubs I got more and more interested in playing records as well. I was already buying records every week and mixing them at home on my turntables. Then I got in touch with a promoter who asked me to play at his events. From that moment on I was resident in a local Afterhour club as well as touring in Germany every weekend as Trance Nation resident and got in touch with all the big names. During that time I built up a friendship with Tandu (Ayla). I already had the idea of producing my own tracks these days, but it was not as easy as it is nowadays, where you only need a computer to start producing music. So I asked Tandu, if he could work on my first tracks with me.” And so, the first phase in Andrew Bennett’s career as a producer began.
What ADE parties can lead to
It took some time before things really started working. But 2006 saw Andrew’s first release, ‘Ocean Drive’. A very special one, as it was picked up by Armin van Buuren and Markus Schulz themselves. Andrew: “I went to Amsterdam Dance Event were I gave ‘Ocean Drive’ and ‘Language/Baltic Sea’ to Armin and Markus at Ocean Diva. When I got home I checked my emails and could not believe my eyes as Armin had sent me an email, that he liked the tracks and wanted to sign them. The next week Markus played ‘Ocean Drive’, ‘Language’ and ‘Baltic Sea’ in one GDJB. It was a great moment!” A few weeks later, Andrew’s ‘Ocean Drive’ was released on the Coldharbour label, with his Hammer collaboration ‘Language’ following soon after. Things started running, and before he knew, he had his discography filled with more than just one fine tune. Andrew: “There are a few memorable ones. Releasing my first track ‘Ocean Drive’ on Armada is something I’ll never forget. My track ‘Heaven Sent’ is very special for me . Therefore my Memento release on Global Underground was a cool thing’_Regarding collaborations, the one with Mario Hammer is definitely a memorable one, in different ways. We had lots of fun in the studio and were 100% on the same vibe and I think you can hear that in the tracks we made. Another very special thing for me was the first time producing a track with M.I.K.E. He sent me an email and gave me a call if I’d be interested in collaborating with him. I’ve been a fan of his work for so many years and I can’t count the records he made I have in my boxes. We became really good friends and it is always really cool to work or just visit a Depeche Mode concert together. As M.I.K.E and I became good friends we collaborate on some tracks every now and then. But my collaboration with Rico Soarez is also a special one for me. We still haven’t met in real life yet and are producing our tracks via Internet. He is a great guy and I’m always really happy about the result. I’m still working with Rico. I think our tracks always have a special charm and I enjoy working with him a lot. There are a few producers with who it could be very interesting to work with. Like for example Trentemöller. I like his music a lot and his special feeling for sounds.”
The Kismet chapter
It was 2008 when Andrew thought it was time for something a little different. He had already proven to have more inside him than ‘just’ a good pair of trance beats, but the best of his diverse sounds and surroundings were yet to be discovered. And there it was: Kismet. The side-project that would help Andrew to speak his mind on all the other styles that he gave life to. Andrew:” As I’m working 24/7 in the studio it is a logical thing to release tracks under different aliases as I can’t release an Andrew Bennett EP every month – haha. I have a very wide production range and I think it does not make sense to release all these different styles under one name.” the idea to start this alias actually came from Armada’s A & R manager. With Kismet being one of the official household names of the Pilot 6 imprint, Armada snatched up a wonderful addition to the label. Andrew: “Definitely. I release all my Kismet tracks with Pilot 6. Sander (A&R) is responsible for this idea. A while ago I sent him a few tracks, which he liked and he asked me to release them under a new alias on Pilot 6. It was a great idea!”
But even though the Kismet alias is working more than fine, it’s still the Andrew Bennett stuff that get’s the most attention. Andrew: “Andrew Bennett always has priority. Kismet is a side project I enjoy a lot. It has a more progressive and housy feeling than my Andrew Bennett releases, but the main focus is on Andrew Bennett.” Call them less focused, but ‘Audiophile’, ‘Revolution’, ‘Staten Island’ and all the other releases Kismet had on Pilot 6 sound like they were given more than full attention.
The Andrew and Kismet side of things
On the Andrew Bennett side of things, he recently had a release on the S107 label, ‘Break Away’. A diverse vocal track on which Sir Adrian took care of the vocals. Andrew:”When I was working on ‘Break Away’ I already had the intention that it needs a cool vocal. I played the piano and thought this could be a nice release with a little crossover charm as I recorded the real drums and bass guitar. After finishing it I sent it to Sir Adrian, who’s voice I like a lot, to see what he thought about my idea. He liked the track, too, so he wrote the vocals for ‘Break Away’. ”
Back to the Kismet side of things, we’ve got two new beat-beauties coming out: ‘Vita’ and ‘Lost Language’. ‘Lost Language’ is an easy-listening, uplifting progressive track that takes you away from its first clicks and bits. ‘Vita’ is more dreamy and exotic, with a distinctive build-up towards the sax-overloaded break. Plenty of diversity, if we may say so. Andrew:”The idea for ‘Vita’ came when I was playing around with some saxophone samples. I liked the sound that much that I started building a track around the breakdown. ‘Vita’ has a techy, progressive charm with a breakdown that has a nice summer feeling using a short saxophone line. ‘Lost Language’ is more in the style of ‘Endorphine’ combining progressive elements with some trancy influences, which I like a lot’_”
Well, so do we. And we’re pretty sure there will be a whole lot more good stuff coming from this guy’s studio in Germany. Luckily, there’s a few things lined-up for the next couple of months. Andrew:” There is a lot to come. I just finished a remix for Airscape and Jes Brieden with my friend Tom Cloud. A new Andrew Bennett single is finished, too, as well as the follow up to ‘Break Away’ called ‘Run Till U Shine’ feat. Sir Adrian. Besides that I’m working on some new Kismet material.
I did a new Memento single with Anita Kelsey and 2 new tracks with Rico Soarez.
Next to that I’m working on a mix compilation and on some other, hot new projects. ”
As you can see, plenty of good stuff lies ahead , for both Kismet and Andrew Bennett.
Check out Kismet’s exclusive 1 hour set for Armada here.