Benji ‘Semtek’ Roth has been doing his thing for half a decade now, quietly becoming one of the UK’s most reliable producers and label owners.
He’s best known for the latter. Don’t Be Afraid launched as a means to service Semtek’s own productions (the first three releases on the label were a trio of his singles), but reached a wider audience between 2011 and 2012 with singles by long-term friend Mr. Beatnick (the sublime Synthetes trilogy), Photonz and MGUN. Beatnick and MGUN have both assumed positions at the label’s core, while the last couple of years have seen DBA expand operations to cater for artists like Doubt, Halvtrak and Herva, while also housing DIFFER-Ent, a new alias by underground techno veteran DJ Bone.
As a producer, Semtek’s also expanded his operation, moving away from Don’t Be Afraid to release music on Andy Blake’s World Unknown, In Plain Sight, Awkward Movements and, most recently, Wifey co-founder Robin Howells’ Niche N Bump label. His music sits at the experimental end of house and techno, but this isn’t high distortion, low substance outsider guff – it’s hard, raw club music from someone who’s more than served his time. As a DJ, he’s also pretty raw – we’ve seen him mix techno records like they’re 8-bar grime 12s” – but on his FACT mix he’s happy to let things breathe. Music comes from Mo Kolours, DJ Spider, Batu and more.
1. Herva – Dreamers Of Unknown Tales (DBA)
2. Mo Kolours – Tusk Dance (One Handed Music)
3. Cuica – Afrique (Ubiquity)
4. DJ Escobar – Bogota (Infonet)
5. DJ Spider – My Phoenix Rise (Plan B Recordings)
6. Subject No. 1 – Adowaya (Subject Detroit)
7. Capracara & JTC – Reggie Don’t Panic (Dubplate)
8. Suburban Knight – Predator’s Language (Underground Resistance)
9. Exos & Ohm – African Beauty (Force Inc.)
10. Unknown – Unknown (Dubplate)
11. Σ – Objectness (Unterton)
12. DJ Boss – Harmonika (Dole Gate Recordings)
13. Batu – Bleeper Feed (Dubplate)
14. Pvre Matrix – Refusal (L.I.E.S.)
15. EMG & Battista – Spaceman (The Trilogy Tapes)
16. Awax Foundation – Never Take A Wrong Turn (U-Trax)
17. Jeff Pils – Hunting Sausage (Touchin Bass)
18. Design A Wave – II (Alien Jams)
19. Rhythmic Theory – Interlude (Dubplate)