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Psychedelic Flashback: Planet B.E.N. – Ant Invasion

Blog | October 15, 2008 | Updated: June 27, 2012 | Posted by Basilisk

Planet B.E.N. (Ben Wierzoch) composed Ant Invasion in 1993, years before the widespread popularization of Goa trance. This enduring masterpiece of psychedelic electronics predates the vast majority of classics we commonly associate with the genre. Unfortunately, its place in history is often overlooked as it wasn’t released until 1996, when the movement was already in full swing. With a bit of research, it is now possible to reassemble the lost history of this highly influential track.

Voov Experience flier from goabase.de

Ben began DJing electronic dance music at various Hamburg clubs in 1990, reputedly spinning early German trance and hard techno. Soon thereafter, he was initiated into the emerging psychedelic trance scene after being invited to perform at the very first VooV Experience, an important early trance festival held just outside of Hamburg in 1992.

Ant Invasion was originally written after Ben returned from the second VooV. Inspired by the sights and sounds of the event, Ben set to work in his studio under the influence of LSD. Encoding the specific visual quality of this drug into audio form is quite challenging but Ben managed it with great skill. The result is an astounding piece of music that vividly stimulates the imagination without any specific need for chemical augmentation.

Ant Invasion remained under wraps for several years while Ben completed the rest of the material for Trippy Future Garden, which was eventually released on the obscure and poorly-distributed Polytox Records in 1996, an obscure German imprint that was not widely distributed. As such, Ant Invasion remained largely unknown to global audiences until the legendary Blue Room Released licensed it for release on the Made On Earth compilation in 1997. Although this particular compilation was met with a lukewarm reaction from BRR fans, it introduced thousands of listeners to the exceptional sound of Planet B.E.N.

In the decade that followed its release, Ant Invasion has accumulated an immense following–it is often reverently cited as of the very finest examples of the Goa trance genre. For modern listeners interested in purchasing it on CD, it is perhaps most accessible as part of Ben’s third studio album, Test, which includes a re-release of the entire Trippy Future Garden album. Ant Invasion can also be purchased online from many of the leading digital download shops; look for it wherever you find music from Planet B.E.N. Records.

Listen to Ant Invasion (Flash required):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This is the third in a series of articles designed to profile the songs that shaped psychedelic trance history. The streaming MP3 is provided with permission from Planet B.E.N..


7 Comments

  • sandcastle says:

    Whoa… that’s good… It’s kinda slow though.

  • Jonas H says:

    This is definitely one of my all time favorite tracks ever. I did not know this about it tough. Great article!

  • Sundelix says:

    so ant invasion was written while being LSDosed? O_o
    yeah “It’s Kinda slow” but kickes ass more than those ultra speed bpm freaking darkpsy tracks
    It’s no music or just track – it’s creature it’s alive! & that’s what producers ought to give biggest attention while producing (!)
    REAL STORY & TRUE TRIP!
    For me One of those very very FEW Genious Tracks that precisely SOUND what they are named for – ant invasion!!!

    Peace Love Unity & Respect from georgia

  • timetraveller says:

    great timeless tune ! I’d like to hear it again on a big party.

  • zeuber says:

    This has been my favorite track since ’96, and I’ve yet to hear a more psychedelic piece of music ever since. This is as good as it gets.

  • PSeuDoNyM says:

    If you were in the Edmonton area in late 96/97 you heard this at THE CORE afterhours as I played it ;-)

  • khalo says:

    come to lebanon guys oldskool private parties are being done with only oldskool goatrance blasting