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INTERVIEW: Raw Analog Funk

Ben Men and Rob Malone are Raw Analog Funk and head this label in addition to being known as multi-talented artists, DJs, record distributors, producers and party promoters. They have been active and shaping the scene since the '90s and produced the legendary BTRAX parties at Rex Club, which later also became an influential label, and have been behind some key record stores including Statik and Basement Trax Records , over the years. This new EP is "dedicated to the Maravilhosa City"

We have had the pleasure of interviewing Raw Analog and this has been the result.

Ben and Rob, welcome to Chromatic Club! How’s life?

Hi, thanks for having us, we're good! We spent a lot of time in the studio and producing new music for ours labels. There’s quite a bunch on the way for 2024. We also moved out from Paris to Barjac, lovely little historic village in south of France near Avignon. We get back to life surrounded by nature, quality of living after many years in big cities and abroad.

Tell us how Raw Analog Funk and Mondo Dingo Records first came to be.

Founded in Paris 2003, BTRAX records is me, my brother Rob Malone and a friend association, our guideline has always been music & friendship first. We started as vinyl dealer with 3 record shops from 1996 to 2002 in Paris. We worked as distributors with partners like Submerge, Hardwax, Prime... With a strong background rich of experiences as record dealers, djs, our BTRAX events at REX Club, from 2001 to 2019 (the club's longest-running techno residency) saw the likes of Extrawelt, Etapp Kyle, Steve Rachmad, Gregor Tresher, Scan 7, Guy Gerber, Deetron and many more playing. We produced reputed international artists such as the legendary Scan 7 of Detroit, Dj Mau Mau from Brazil, Mr C, Vince Watson, Scan X, Julian Jewel, Orlando Voorn, Thomas Barnett, Petar Dundov, Rolando, Secret Cinema...

After releasing our 25 years BTRAX compilation and stopped our Rex club's residency, we decide to launch Mondo Dingo records focusing on live & electronic house sounds. We also started a monthly radio show with Bloop London Radio. For now as Raw Analog Funk, we have a remix out on Frappé records for Art of Tones & Chatobaron with remixes from Crackazat, Paul Cut, Turbojazz & Patchworks.

Next month, your latest EP, ‘Sangue Bom’ drops on Mondo Dingo. Could you give us a deep dive into this release?

This new EP is dedicated to Rio de Janeiro, the "Cidade Maravilhosa". We have a long time relationship with Brazil, we lived there, played in many clubs, festivals and have close friends over the years.

"Pepper" is a low-slung and organic house groove with funky bass guitar riffs and elastic rhythms, wordless coos add some soul and the live drums come alive with jazzy piano chords to make for something uplifting and party starting. "Sangue bom" then rides on more infectious and organic disco-tinged house grooves that are peppered with twanging riffs and big hits as the languid bassline keeps things moving down low.

Parisian house producer Ten Fingerz from Frappé Records is an artist who draws on Afro, Jazz, French touch, 90s grooves and much more. He is an insatiable vinyl collector and masterful DJ well-known for sets all over Europe. His remix is alive with rich instrumentation and busy lead guitars, jumbled percussion and vibrant melodies that all tap into good times.

Then comes a remix from Carioca, self-taught multi-instrumentalist Pinaud. He is a well-established musician and DJ in Rio de Janeiro with credits on labels like Manga Rosa and Barco do Amor. His track is a steamy one with erotic vocal coos and a big breakdown, synths that tease and please, and rising energy that will get hands in the air.

Active in Paris’ dance scene since the 90s, you’ve been involved in multiple facets including key record stores (Statik, Basement Trax). What do you make of vinyl’s recent resurgence, and why do you think people are jumping back into physical DJing/collecting?

Vinyl’s resurgence is fueled by a mix of nostalgia, audiophile appeal, and a desire for tangible music experiences in our increasingly digital world. The warm, authentic sound and physical interaction with records offer a unique charm that digital formats can’t fully replicate.

As for the return to physical DJing and collecting, it’s partly a reaction to the digital overload and a quest for authenticity. DJs appreciate the tactile feel of vinyl and the skill required to manipulate it, while collectors enjoy the ritual of hunting for rare records and building a tangible music library. Plus, vinyl’s resurgence has created a cultural resurgence, fostering communities of enthusiasts who share a passion for the format.

Really funky stuff here on ‘Sangue Bom’. Which artists do you draw inspiration from?

Quite complicated to do artists short lists :) We are 360° music lover but I would say Marvin Gaye with no doubt, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Brazilian music, classical, jazz forever...

You’re behind the BTRAX parties which held a residency at the legendary Rex Club from 2001-2019. Do you have any advice for rising artists looking to start their own events labels?

Starting your own event, label can be an exciting venture! Define your vision, build a network, focus on quality, adapt and evolve.

We can’t wait for the new EP! Where do you plan to spin these tracks over summer?

Thank you so much! We have our monthly Bloop London Radio show on third Friday 11pm. We may play in some parties this summer, stay tuned :)

Peace & guidance, Ben & Rob.


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