Matthew Benjamin, a percussionist in the London School Symphony Orchestra who was converted into a member of the infamous Rat Pack after a warehouse party in ’88, has been DJing for over 30 years now. From that first Acid House experience Matthew quickly started playing all over London, holding residencies at four of the most famous clubs in town by the time he was 18 years old. From London the gigs spread countrywide, doing up to 8 shows a weekend, and then into Europe and the USA by 1992.
It was via a mutual friend Mr C that Layo & Bushwacka! first met, whilst Matthew was working at his studio, and by the mid 90s the two had started writing music together. Over a decade later, the partnership has yielded three artist albums, three mix albums, internationally renowned club residencies and a superb record label.
By 1999 they’d already composed their debut album, ‘Low Life’, released on End Recordings, the label spawned by The End. The album announced the arrival of the duo as a force in electronic music, with a record that brought together electro, house and breakbeat fused with blues, dub and downtempo, all underpinned and informed by their collective experience of underground culture. This inclusive and open minded approach to sound became the blueprint for their future work.
Their sophomore album followed in 2002, this time released on the mighty XL Recordings. Entitled ‘Night Works’, the record featured their unforgettable top ten hit ‘Love Story’, and took their sound onto a bigger and broader canvas, charting all over the in the process. While this explosion was happening, Matthew was also achieving huge solo success with his remixes for Depeche Mode, his bootleg of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, and getting phone calls from Madonna wanting him to work on her music and working with DJ legends Carl Cox and Sasha. It was a crazy time.
During this period, Matthew also trained for four years, and qualified as a psychotherapist, with a huge desire to use his life experience to help others. Matthew started his private practice in Harley Street, and online, as well as launching Listen Up Therapy Ltd, with his partner Belinda Matwali, providing therapy, meditation and mentoring for people in creative industries and beyond.
Bushwacka! is currently remixing and collaborating with Archie Hamilton, Darius Syrossian, Carl Cox, Pig and Dan, Bedrock Records, Richy Achmed, and writing new singles and albums. On top of this he is rereleasing vinyl only limited tracks from his Plank Records catalogue, and other rarities., and relaunching Oblong records. Gig wise, this summer Bushwacka! has focussed on a select handful of shows as the world opens up again, from London Kiev, Manchester, Liverpool and Brighton, Glasgow to Ibiza, and more. He starts his London residency again in 2022, and will tour his favourite parties around the planet, doing what he loves best…