The name is really Jean Benneth (aka Jean Benetone) and he was brought up in a livingroom filled with hard rock, heavy metal, soul & funk. Even though he was to young when George Clinton’s Mothership first landed or lacking a professional interest when Rick James was filling arenas with his street-smart, post-James Brown dance jams or when Rainbow looked at the man on the Silver Mountain, that music, is somehow deep in Jean Benetone´s bone structure and veins, even today. He played in various original and tribute bands all his life as a lead vocalist, drummer & percussionist. He was also the vocalist of the notorious Swedish electric pioneers ”Nouvelle Execution” and ”Bless”. Later in the magic year of 2000 original music was produced as a project called ”Paper Vampires”.
He started djíng professionally being young and he benefited early on from getting to know all music genres this way, the trade of beatmaking, sound designing a venue and how to control and entertain a dance floor for more than 5 hours a night. Very early in the 80´s with the DJ LIVE set up where he used drum machines, pads, congas & percussion to add a unique LIVE vibe to the dj sets. He then ended up playing all around the globe for more than 20 years to come.
From the late 80’s Jean Benetone became a student of classic soul, funk, disco, and R&B (even if the rocker in him never really faded) . He was deep into hip hop for more than 15 years as he discovered the original sources of the infectious bass lines, synths, and guitar licks sampled in his favorite ’80s and ’90s hip-hop songs.
Today Jean Benetone add talk boxes, electric pads, congas, house drums, percussion, vintage synths, saxophones, guitars, drum machines, and other gear, new and old in a never-ending quest to pay homage to the pure bliss of that golden era of disco and funk. Always in search of his own distinct mix of modern electro flair. A flair that he well discovered through a period of Hall & Oates and Chic being played lots LIVE with bands aswell as a DJ. Irresistibly funky party cuts with classic ’80s drum loops, a pumping bass line, sultry layers of synths, syrupy melodies, and hooks that lasts weekend after weekend.
He still believes that he still carry the same attitude and approach today as he plays deephouse, beathouse & electro remixes at a club. – If I cant feel that certain thang that makes me groove, I won´t play it. I just won´t, he says.
So Jean Benetone discovered funk music through the livingroom vinyl player, as soulful funk was constantly played in his childhood streets, in the south of Sweden. So Rufus & Chaka Khan, Earth Wind & Fire & Tower of Power was blasting aswell as Deep Purple, Rainbow & KISS later on. He was also infected by hip hop through De La Soul, Jungle Brothers & Q-Tip.
When “Super Freak” by Rick James was played on MTV ( Music Television-long before YouTube ) , JB started his first real funk band in 1981. As “Word Up” by Cameo came out in 1986 Jean Benetone decided to devote himself and lean more towards funk than any genre and he still does so today.
From a musical and production standpoint, those records were totally innovative. They were just experimenting with all this new technology. If you didn’t have Cameo experimenting back in the day, you wouldn’t have housemusic. You wouldn’t have techno. You wouldn’t have artists like Daft Phunk, Skrillex and Madeon.
As Mtume was Miles Davis’s band and Jean Benetone was a devoted fan of Miles tunes and visual ambitions he believes the jazz masters influenced him while working in the studio. We’re talking avant-garde, ’70s, obscure jazz fusion. And the ’80s come along and they started doing futuristic pop with a funktwist. It fascinated Jean Benetone. George Duke & Stanley Clarke further more made JB a true “funkster” for the same reasons. Jean Benetone still listens to & LOVE that music even today.
And then Jean Benetone needs to acknowledge his house god, and so even today, PRINCE. First track he ever heard was ”Controversy” and one of the amazing things about ”Controversy” is it’s very much a traditional funk number, where you don’t have many chord changes. It’s a groove. It’s total dance music. Jean Benetone continues; – But he’s got the lyric: ‘Am I black or white? Am I straight or gay?’ I can only imagine what it was like to say that in those years. We, me and all the musicians I was hanging out with, felt like Prince wasn’t appreciated. He was our Jimi Hendrix.”
A little bit more on the disco tip… A lot of those musicians came from jazz and when they did pop in the ’80s, they kept that fierce, innovative spirit of jazz. A guy like Niles Rodgers, everything he did and does with Chic is actually really, really hard to play. He freaks it. The guy does these crazy jazz chords. You think it’s the simplest thing in the world but it’s really complex. On the other hand, it’s the most enjoyable easy listen. It’s got that beautiful multi-dimensionality.””I’m putting Chics trix in the all-time funk records to show that funk went and influenced all these scenes — post-punk, new wave, New York downtown music and European vibes throughout the 80´s and the 90´s…
But that funk beat of the late ’70s and ’80s made its way to all genres of music… rock and new wave were all influenced by funk, and soul and this awesome dance music that was being made in the ’70s and ’80s.
Today Jean Benetone is heavily influenced by Daft Punk, Cassius, Tristan Garner, Benny Benassi, Belocca, Dennis Ferrer, Freejak, Chris Lake, Wideboys, Silvano del Gado, Joey Negro and is also passionate about mixing, creating energies, atmospheres with creative mash ups with favorites like Samuele Martini, Papa Marlin, The Paper Club, Cedric Gervais, Antoine Clamaran, Angelo Ferreri, Leon Lour, The Cube Guys, Junior Jack, Nari & Milani and more.
It´s all house music in every soulful, funky and electrified way you can think of. And always with the intention to ROCK OUT some classics. All that in the mix with original tracks, beats, scores & sound effects, Jean Benetone (onstage) or Jean Benneth (offstage) is original and unique.
Impossible to copy.
Written by Roland Martini
– As a human being the idea is to stay young, play music, dance and die as late as possible //JB