“I was thinking ‘Heck’, as in ‘what the heck’ or ‘hell’, for something you can’t explain yourself,” explains Ben Lukas Boysen about his musical moniker. “Because ‘Heck’ seemed a bit too obvious, I changed the ‘k’ to a ‘q’ and there you go.”
Obviously, the sound designer dubbed as a “phenomenon” and “a magician” (that’s right, see here) can’t be bothered by something as trifling as a name. And who can blame him? With 13 releases and 60 musical credits since 2003, Ben just doesn’t have the time. There’s not a moment the freakishly prolific guy isn’t creating (as Hecq), commercially producing (as Hecq Audio), or blissfully immersed (as Ben) in sound.
“Life before electronic music was wonderful, protected,” he recalls. “The moment I heard this kind of music, which was through a few techno records when I was 10 or 11, everything changed. Now it’s wonderful, protected, and spiced up!” By “spiced up”, Ben means being a fast favorite of the discriminating cult label Hymen Records, having a music video nominated during the UK Music Video Awards 2010 (Spheres of Fury, directed by Tim Brown and Christopher Hewitt), and achieving a personal music milestone—his first full score for the awarded film Restive by Jeremiah Jones.
“This was the first step to a world I wanted to enter from the moment I made music,” says Ben, who explains that for the film, which deals with a surreal case of domestic violence, he opted to use “a lot of percussive, metallic, and wooden sounds combined with heavy drones”.
And ultimately, that’s what Ben does. He constantly, compulsively, creates sounds. Starting off with an ambient atmospheric soundscape in his debut release, then moving on to multilayer textures of glitchy beats and breaks, and now, in his latest single “Enceledus”, a more melodic, emotive composition.
His interests and capabilities know no boundaries, so he simply keeps on marching to his own beat. Each album, each track, is like the next step in Ben’s musical evolution, and even he doesn’t know where he’ll end up. “I always wanted to combine a certain cold harshness with pretty romantic depth,” he admits, when prodded to describe his own creations. “In fact, I’ve had an undefined track in my mind for almost 20 years now… As strange as it this might sound, I don’t know what it actually sounds like but every track I write brings me closer to it.”
I really like ’0001‘ from the album 0000 because it was a track I didn’t spend insane amounts of time on. In fact, it was rather a freak accident, so in a way, it remains to be new and not very familiar to me.
I don’t think there is a realistic chance of creating ‘the perfect piece of music’. But this is the motivations behind every new composition: redefine, reshape, look at things from a new angle… to do better and evolve.
WORDS BY KATRINA TAN; FIRST IMAGE BY P&C BY CLAUDIA GÖDKE.