Deviation: A Red Bull Music Academy Special

Deviation is the brainchild of Benji B and the physical incarnation of his genre-defying BBC Radio 1 show: a true stronghold for everything from the newest mutations of beats and bass culture, to classic blueprints of jazz and soul, and of course, all sorts of London tings. For this NYC session the longtime Academy team member and lecture host rubs shoulders with New York’s own rhythm fusionista FaltyDL and Viennese microKORG wizard Dorian Concept, alongside 2013 participants Orquesta (Dublin, Ireland) and Somepoe (Oulu, Finland) plus special guests. The night will be hosted by this year's Academy studio team member Just Blaze.

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Benji B

Via his defining, midweek Deviation club night in London—which has now travelled the globe for editions in multiple world capitals—and his must-listen weekly show on BBC Radio 1, Benji B blurs genre lines more dauntlessly than most DJs of his generation. Inspired equally by a myriad of soul, jazz, hip hop, dance music, and the young crop of artists and producers he champions, Benji B is at once tastemaker, intrepid selector, and astute club DJ.

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Falty ain’t faulty. Hailing from New York City and truly in love with jungle (next to his girlfriend of course), Andrew Lustman, aka FaltyDL, sounds much more like a Croydon kid. You know the gospel by now: British bass music, caught in a crossfire of influences from dub, techno, and house, melted with hip hop and future soul. FaltyDL is somewhere to be found in there, only his music has that little something extra. His abilities have been acknowledged by a wide range of acclaimed labels like Planet Mu, Ramp, Rush Hour, 50Weapons, Swamp 81, and Hemlock. The iconic Ninja Tune imprint shall deserve a separate mention, as their release of Falty’s Hardcourage LP in 2013 marked a recent high point in the career of the ever-inventive bass aficionado.

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Dorian Concept

Dorian Concept has made a name for himself at cutting-edge beat bonanzas around the globe, bringing his exemplary production skills to the live stage with Ableton and his trusty microKORG keyboard. With various 12"s on Nod Navigators and Vienna’s Affine Records, a full-length album on Kindred Spirits, and an EP on Ninja Tune, Dorian’s mix of sticky funk and overwhelming electronic chord changes doff a cap to hip hop and jazz, experimental electronica and classic virtuosity alike—just check his twisted anthem “Trilingual Dance Sexperience” for proof. This kind of hyperactive, futuristic funk has also led to stints as a keyboardist for Flying Lotus and collaborations with London’s Cinematic Orchestra.

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Squeezing the sprawling scenic greenery of Ireland through some tropical filters, the music of Bray-based Orquesta is both contemplative and festive. Wispy guitar and synth melodies float amongst washes of Latin percussion, while sub-bass underpins the whole experience. While it’s hard to imagine Baltimore’s steely skyline among the dusty Art Deco streets of Havana, Orquesta’s island bass makes it easier to imagine the megalopolises of the future. Although much of his output focuses on the quieter moments in life, as a DJ, Orquesta showcases his more Dionysian musical face when the sun goes down, alongside artists like Brenmar, Baauer, and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

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This beat-minded Finn knows how to walk the fine line between hip hop, airhorns, and bass music to create the kind of atmosphere that has turned his club night, Fire In The City, into a regular haunt for Oulu’s partygoers. Perhaps it was his dad’s rock band, Atomic 2000, where Somepoe first developed his love of smoke machines and purple lights, but nevertheless, music was already in his blood. After some early digital releases, in 2012 his Seven Dayz EP saw the light of day on US label Rad Summer, and the ball has been rolling ever since. With more releases scheduled, and a monthly radio show on Finnish national FM station Basso, Somepoe knows the tempo. Just don’t step to him in a Finnish freestyle battle.

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Just Blaze

Justin Smith first came up as a DJ in Paterson, New Jersey, before going on to become a producer with one of the most envied discographies in the business. He first hit the charts in 1999 with Harlem World, Ma$e, and Kelly Price, but became renowned for his craft as a key collaborator for Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records. Since then, he’s been working steadily with everyone who’s anyone, making beats for the likes of Dipset, Rick Ross, Eminem, Kanye West, Diddy, T.I., Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and more—all while maintaining an impeccable sense of taste and a scientific interest in all things new and fresh.

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