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Friday, March 18 • 12:30am - 1:30am
Benny Benassi

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"He's amazing. He did a remix for me that's ridiculous. I just think his take on stuff is very him. You recognize his sound, and that's important for a producer. I love the fact that I can give him a record to remix and it literally sounds like a new song." - Kelis on Benny Benassi to MTV.com When the Grammy-nominated R&B singer wanted to continue her forays into club music, she knew exactly where to turn for assistance. The electro-house smash "Spaceship," the first single off the influential Italian DJ and Producer's new artist album, also titled Spaceship, due out this Summer, is the perfect amalgam of melody and rhythm; of smooth anthem and grimy banger. For Benassi, a perennial entry on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJ Poll, it's just the latest success in a career that's already seen many. "It's all I ever wanted to do," says Benassi, when asked when he started considering being a DJ. "As a kid, I used to pester the DJ in a club right by where we lived. He was really generous and showed me the ropes." A DJ since the age of 16, Benassi cut his teeth in provincial Italian clubs, learning how to read crowds and create the right vibe before graduating onto bigger audiences. Luckily, he's had some familial help in the form of his cousin Alle, with whom he started producing under the moniker The Benassi Bros. "I wouldn't be where I am today without my cousin Alle," admits the modest DJ. "He's been with me since the outset. He's my producer and musician. He plays the notes, I bring in the ideas. We develop them together." At Off Limits, the world-renowned production center run by Larry Pignagnoli, the Benassi Bros. cut sharp house and techno tracks that filled countless Italian clubs before the tracks inevitably spread to a larger audience. After a few productions, Benassi scored his first hit in 2001 with KMC's "I Feel Fine," which quickly went to number one on the UK club chart. But it was 2002's "Satisfaction" that established Benassi as a pivotal and influential figure in dance music. The track became a game-changing monolith in the industry and clubs, reaching Number Two on the UK Singles Chart, spending a month at Number One on the French Dance Chart and earning DJ Mag's prestigious "Tune of the Year." Legends like Carl Cox, Timo Maas and Roger Sanchez heaped praised on Benassi and everyone from Ludacris to Flo Rida appropriated and sampled the contagious track. The cat, as they say, was officially out of the bag. Since then, Benassi, both solo and with Alle, has integrated his love of deejaying, producing and remixing into one cohesive whole. The rare producer whose work transcends singles into full-length albums, Benassi has already released four albums since 2003, including 2003's Hypnotica (featuring "No Matter What You Do" and "Love is Gonna Save Us") 2004's Pumphonia (whose singles "Illusion" and "Hit My Heart" became massive European hits), and 2008's Rock N Rave (featuring Iggy Pop, Black Box, and Mia J), not counting a slew of remix, DJ mixes and compilations. In 2005, the producer/DJ started Pump-Kin Music, his own record label featuring the best dance music producers. While the producer prides himself on his original productions, his remixes have gotten as much acclaim. Benassi has tackled everyone from Goldfrapp ("Strict Machine") and Madonna ("Celebration," for which the singer personally picked to accompany the release of the original single) to Kid Cudi ("Pursuit of Happiness"), Moby ("Beautiful") and Public Enemy (on his Grammy-award winning "Bring the Noise"). Having remixed over two dozen artists, Benassi brings his same unique sonic sensibility to working with other artists' material as his own. Whether it's working in remixes, his own production or other people's tracks, Benny Benassi has consistently rocked stages the world over on the DJ tip. Kuala Lumpur. Australia. Europe. Miami. Benny Benassi's been there (At the 2007 rock-heavy Coachella Festival, the DJ brings out 25,000 people to his tent.) To be a part of a Benny Benassi set is to witness a master at work; a turntable wizard who, at this point, can read and react to a crowd as quickly as he can exhale. As for Spaceship, currently being recorded in Benassi's studio in northern Italy, new challenges lend themselves to new ideas. "The challenge is to make tracks that are both radio-friendly and clubby and the stimulus is seeing how our sound works with different vocal styles from rock to pop to hip-hop," says Benassi. "It's about collaboration and creating a 'musical family' based on mutual respect and a shared desire to break a few boundaries if possible!" As anyone who's followed the scene knows, Benny Benassi has already broken more than a few boundaries. He's consistently rated one of the best DJs in the world and roundly considered the father of modern electro-house club music. (Hell, the history of house music can be divided into 'before and after 'Satisfaction''). Spaceship reconfirms what legions of fans have known for years: the persistent kid from Reggio Emilia, Italy has grown into one of dance music's most sought-after talents. If you've only heard of this world-renowned DJ, it's time to catch up and find out what you're missing. Please contact Alexandra Greenberg, MSO PR for media inquiries agreenberg@msopr.com, +1 818-380-0400 ext 223

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Benny Benassi


Friday March 18, 2011 12:30am - 1:30am CDT
The Phoenix

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