Ben Liebrand (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈbɛn ˈli.brɑnt]) (born 27 September 1960 in Nijmegen, the Netherlands) is a dance music DJ. He has produced artists such as Forrest and MC Miker G & DJ Sven and remixed tracks by artists such as Michael Jackson, Salt N Pepa, Sting, TLC, Fun Fun, Tavares, Bill Withers, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Rick Astley, SWV and Phil Collins. He has also charted under his own name, one of which was Ben Liebrand's version of "Eve of the War."
His radio show "In The Mix" was the first non-stop mixed show that aired on Dutch National Radio in 1983. Early listeners were Armin van Buuren and Tiësto, who have cited Liebrand as their main reason for entering the music business.
"In The Mix" also spawned an annual yearmix with 100+ tracks called "The Grandmix." The first series of Grandmixes aired from 1983 to 1992 and later versions from 1999 on are also released on CD.
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 of Nijmegen. 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; however 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.
At his longest residency to date at "The Keizer Karel" (1980–1988) played a five-hour set each night after the club first opened. 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.
Radio Veronica early years
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 1983, but technical complications almost ended this event before it started. Arriving at the Veronica Studio, Liebrand discovered that he had forgotten the second of the two tapes on which the Grandmix '83 was recorded. But he happened to have a tape of a just finished "High Fashion Dance Mix" with him, and it was with that tape that the second part of the Grandmix '83 began. In January 1984, the 'Grandmix '83' was broadcast in its entirety."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.
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 producing the final "Grandmix" in 1992, Liebrand felt frustrated with lack of feedback that his mixes were gaining. "You didn’t know what people thought of it. 30 days fulltime working on the Grandmix in December, ten to twelve hours a day mixing. On 31 December it was finished, and the last years when I entered the broadcast studios, everybody was busy doing something else, not really interested, and only the technician who was on duty, sat with me in the broadcast room. I plugged in my gear, pressed play around six o’clock, and after an hour I disconnected it again, and took off. Having sat there for one hour, solely with the technician, it was the biggest anti-climax ever. This could be compared to making a piece of art, walking up to a bridge and throwing it in the river, without knowing the people’s opinions about it."
Taking a break - visuals and adverts
Liebrand embarked on computer-based 3D renderings and animation work, beginning his own visual company, Liebrand Images. 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.
Return of The Grandmix...
In 1997, Liebrand released "Funky Town" and 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.
Liebrand is married to Brenda (Van Raam). He has two sons, Fabian and Sascha, and a daughter, Linde.
Liebrand moved from The Netherlands to Canada in 2010.
- Ben Liebrand Remix - Eve of the War
- Alf - Stuck On Earth
- Forrest - Rock The Boat
- ISCO - Funkytown
- Ben Liebrand & Tony Scott - Move To The Bigband
- Ben Liebrand - Give Me An Answer
- Ben Liebrand - Puls(t)ar
- Ben Liebrand feat. Nasty Chat - I Wish
- MDMC - How About It
- Lafleur - Boogie Nights
- Heatwave - Grooveline
- Dimple D. - Sucker DJ 90's version
Additional production and remixes
- Rick Astley - "Never Gonna Give You Up"
- Salt-n-Pepa - "Let's Talk About Sex"
- Salt-n-Pepa - "Whatta Man"
- Salt-n-Pepa - "Expression"
- Salt-n-Pepa - "Do You Really Want Me"
- Salt-n-Pepa - "Respect Yourself"
- Fox the Fox - "Precious Little Diamond" (Special Remix) (1984 on CBS Records)
- Fun Fun - "Happy Station"
- Hot Chocolate - "You Sexy Thing"
- Hot Chocolate - "Every 1's a Winner"
- Tavares - "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel"
- Tavares - "Don't Take Away the Music"
- Tavares - "It Only Takes A Minute"
- Tavares - "More Than a Woman"
- Jan Hammer - "Crockett's Theme"
- Nina Hagen - "New York New York"
- Grace Jones - "Victor Should Have Been a Jazz Musician"
- Bill Withers - "Lovely Day" (Sunshine Mix) (1988)
- Bill Withers - "Harlem"
- Bill Withers - "Lovely Day"
- Jeff Wayne - "Eve of the War" (a #3 hit in the UK, 1989)
- Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons - "December 1963 (Oh What A Night)" (1988 and re-released in 1992)
- Taja Sevelle - "Love Is Contagious" (1988)
- Dimples D. - "Sucker DJ" (1991)
- Sting - "Englishman in New York" (1990)
- Crystal Waters - "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" (Guitar Mix) (1992)
- Tiga - "Sunglasses at Night"
- The Flirts - "Passion"
- Sugarhill Gang - "Rappers Delight"
- Ryan Paris - "Dolce Vita"
- Wet Wet Wet - "Sweet Surrender" (1989)
- INXS - "Need You Tonight" (1988)
- The Trammps - "Disco Inferno"
- Armin van Buuren - "Communication"
- Phil Collins - "In the Air Tonight"
- Genesis - "I Can't Dance"
- Hall & Oates - "I Can't Go for That"
- Ram Jam - "Black Betty"
- Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 - "White Lines"
- Natalie Cole - "This Will Be"
- Alexander O'Neal - "Criticize" (1988)
- Sister Sledge - "Lost in Music"
- Mysterious Art - "The Omen" (1989)
- Michael Jackson - "Liberian Girl"
- Michael Jackson - "Bad"
- Michael Jackson - "Smooth Criminal"
- Grandmix 83
- Grandmix 84
- Grandmix 85
- Dance Classics the Mix
- Grandmix 86
- Grandmix 87
- Grandmix 88
- Grandmix 89
- Grandmix 90
- Grandmix 91
- Grandmix 92
- Grandmix 2000
- Grandmix Summer Edition
- Grandmix 2001
- Grandmix Millennium Edition
- Grandmix Disco Edition
- Grandmix Disco Edition 2
- Grandmix 90's Edition
- Grandmix 90's Edition 2
- Grandmix Nouveau Disco
- Grandmix 2002
- Grandmix 2003
- Grandmix 2004
- Grandmix 2005
- Grandmix 2006
- Grandmix 2007
- Grandmix 2008
- Jaarmix 2007
- Jaarmix 2008
- Grandmix 2009
- Grandmix 2010
- Grandmix 2011
- Intergalactic Disco Funk 1
- Intergalactic Disco Funk 2
- Intergalactic Disco Funk 3
- Grandmix 2012
Broadcasting and release history
- 1983 - 1993 Radio Veronica - Radio programs
- 83-85:In The Mix" First nonstop mixed radioshow
- 83-92:Grandmix Annual 100plus megadancemix
- 1999 Millennium Mix. The 180 minutes grandmix!
- 1999/2000 DJ-ing in clubs all over Holland with the Grandmix Tour
- 2000 Ben starts minimixing again! On radio 538, Friday-evening 2 records past 8/10
- 2000 Grandmix Summer Edition 3CD
- 2000 The Popmix CD
- 2000 Grandmix 2000 3CD
- 2001 Spirit of Disco - The Italo Edition 2CD
- 2001 Ben starts using the Pioneer CDJ 1000 and AIRFX
- 2001 Grandmix 2001 3CD
- 2002 Grandmix Disco Edition 3CD
- 2002 Radio 538 stops minimixes due to other format
- Dec 2002 Grandmix 2002 3CD
- Jun 2003 Styles XL
- Aug 2003 Grand 12 Inches
- Oct 2003 Grandmix Disco Edition II 3CD
- Dec 2003 Grandmix 2003 3CD
- Jan 2004 In the Mix Radioshow om Radio Veronica from 9-1-2004 with In the Mix And minimixes
- Jun 2004 Midsummer Megamix
- Oct 2004 Grandmix Nineties Edition
- Dec 2004 Grandmix 2004
- Aug 2005 Grand 12 Inches II
- Aug 2005 Megadance Summermix 2005
- Nov 2005 Grandmix Nineties Edition II
- Nov 2005 Grandmix DJ Visuals/Modular-One
- Dec 2005 Grandmix 2005
- Nov 2006 Grandmix Nouveau Disco
- May 2006 Grand 12 Inches 3
- Dec 2006 Grandmix 2006
- May 2007 Grand 12 Inches 4
- Dec 2008 Jaarmix 2008
- Dec 2007 Jaarmix 2007
- May 2008 Grand 12 Inches 5
- Dec 2008 Jaarmix 2008
- Dec 2008 Grandmix 2008
- April 2009 Grand 12 Inches 6
- Dec 2009 Jaarmix 2009
- Dec 2009 Grandmix 2009
- Aug 2010 Grand 12 Inches 7
- Aug 2010 Summer Dance Hits 2010
- Aug 2010 Intergalactic Disco Funk
- Aug 2010 Future Vintage
- Trance.nu - The home of music
- "Bill Withers - Lovely Day (Sunshine Mix) (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-04-14.