Born on 27 September 1960 in Nijmegen (Netherlands), Ben Liebrand began his DJ-ing career in 1976 at the age of 16 with his mobile set-up, ‘The B. Liebrand Audio Studio’, playing parties around his hometown. Two years later, when he became old enough to frequent nightclubs, he moved from mobile discos to a nightclub residency, playing in “Juicy Lucy” nightclub (1978–1979). At this point, he was still letting one record play into another without beatmixing. In 1979, he began a residency at “The Kwien” (pronounced ‘The Queen’) nightclub (1979–1980). During this time, Liebrand learned the art of mixing from Kwien resident Huib Luiten.
He continued DJ-ing with his sister Rita Liebrand, at “The Hippodrome” Hennef, Germany (1990–1995). His last residency was in the club “Disco Inferno” (2000–2004). Ben is still active as a DJ having specialized in doing key-mixing on 4 Pioneer CD players simultaneously.
On 1 April 1983, Liebrand was hired by the Dutch radio station Radio Veronica, producing a weekly individual mix show called “In The Mix.” This one-hour show played at 2am weekly, and ran from early 1983 to November 1985. From that radio show, regular features such as the “Grandmix”, a yearly mix of all important dance tracks of the year, was developed. Taking a full month to organise, mix and record, the first Grandmix was broadcast at the end of the year. The “Grandmix” developed into a trademark event for both Radio Veronica and Liebrand, running until 1992.
In 1984, Liebrand also started making shorter remixes for the Friday evening ‘Curry & Van Inkel show’, later the ‘Stenders & Van Inkel show’ (both on that station). His “In the Minimix” was always played at “two records past nine” (twee platen over negen) and formed an important part of the popular radioshow. These minimixes were either three/four track mixes (never exceeding fifteen minutes in total) or remixes of popular chart records at the time. One of these mixes, broadcast in the autumn of 1985, was a remix of Running Up That Hill.
Many of Liebrand’s remixes, released as singles, including Bill Withers “Lovely Day” and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” were premiered as ‘minimixes’ on this radio show. In the case of Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight,” however, the mix was completed and then taken by Liebrand to be part of a mix showcase at the DMC Mixing Championship Finals in London. Liebrand explained “Then I put on my remix of Phil Collins, in front of those two and a half thousand DJ’s. And I told them: “If you want to see this released? Call Virgin first thing tomorrow!” That resulted in Virgin being called by two and a half thousand DJ’s, and this got the track signed and released by 1pm the day after.”
After 1992, Liebrand took a break from remixing, to focus on 3D renderings and animation work. He undertook work such as commercials (for clients including Arcade Compilations CDs), promotional music videos (for acts including Atlantic Ocean and Alan Parsons) and visuals (station idents for Music TV station TMF). This company still operates today.
In 1998 began negotiations with Dutch radio-station Radio 538 (an offspring of Radio Veronica), the result of which was the re-broadcasting of all the Radio Veronica “Grandmixes” the last Saturday of the month throughout 1999. The final intention was to broadcast a brand-new “Grandmix” in December 1999, a “MillenniuM-Mix”, containing the greatest dance tracks of the century. Liebrand was invited to produce a mid-year summer Grandmix and an end-of-year Grandmix for Radio 538. On 31 December 2001, a three-part “Grandmix” was broadcast, followed by a “Grandmix Disco Edition” on 23 August of that year. “Grandmixes” were broadcast in the summer and end-of-year of 2002 and 2003.
In 2004, Liebrand returned to Radio Veronica for a two-hour weekly mix. He makes Grandmixes available in a new format on 3 CDs on his website and has his ‘In The Mix’ show on Radio Veronica.
In 2010, Liebrand emigrated to Canada,a but he still produces CD’s and remixes.
- Ben Liebrand. Wikipedia, retrieved 17 August 2018.