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Ben Korbel - Finding The Inner Balance

Author: Jane Stabler
Monday, 2 June 2008
3D's Jane Stabler talks to Ben Korbel about mixing the latest mix in the Balance: Electric series.

Local DJ Ben Korbel has recently turned his hand to mixing the latest instalment in the Balance: Electric series. Known for offering up cutting edge underground dance, the third Electric album is Korbel's debut mix compilation. The Sydneysider has been making magic in DJ booths for over a decade, which means while his age is going up, he's watched the age of the people bouncing around to his sets stay the same, meaning and increasingly widening gap. So does that make him old, or just old school-

'To be honest I probably DJed more in Sydney when I was younger,' Korbel considers. 'You were the same age as your peers and you could DJ five times a week. But nowadays one or two gigs a weekend is fine for me and that's partly to do with age. To be honest, overseas is really different. As a DJ I'm probably below average young and even the audience - the punters that go out in London and Ibiza are much older than 18. Going overseas makes you feel young.'

In which case, a gig mixing an Electric CD is possibly a good thing, as it removes age from the equation. Korbel says he's excited about the release, especially as the tracks were all his own choice; something that sometimes gets questioned when he's doing a live gig.

'The record company said I could choose all the music,' he begins. 'I nominated 60 tracks, they got 59 cleared for use so I put together the mix 100 per cent [my choice]. They even went so far as to emphasise they didn't want me to appease them in any way. I've been asked to play Britney Spears at a club level [but] there's no point getting annoyed, I generally diffuse it by saying 'I'll see if I have it', and if they come back I just say I didn't have it with me which technically isn't a lie.'

A modest man, Korbel says he doesn't think of himself in terms of his success, even behind closed doors.

'I would never even be thinking in that sort of context,' he says. 'I think I'm competent and have good taste in the sort of music I play but I would never compare myself to other DJs or rank myself. It doesn't blip on my radar really. I'm probably slightly indifferent; I'm not looking to be in the limelight. I just like the music that I like and I try and play it in the way I hear it in my head, and if people like it that's great.'

WHO: Ben Korbel
WHAT: Balance: Electric 03 through EQ/Stomp / Plays The Cross / We Love Sounds, Hordern Pavilion & Entertainment Quarter
WHEN: Out now / 8 June / 8 June