DJ Ben Arsenal: Form North Philly To WorldTown.
In the basement of the architecturally impressive Window Factory Arts –yesteryear’s North Philly industrial beacon repurposed as a collection of arts studios, DJ Ben Arsenal has created a den for multi-genre production called Elevate Sound Studio, home of the WorldTown party movement.
WorldTown has hosted some of the wildest parties in the various locations throughout Philadelphia, from clubs such as Underground Arts and the beloved Fluid, to anonymous warehouses and lofts in North Philly and Kensington. WorldTown’s collection of DJs seamlessly mix Brazilian, West African, West Indian, Middle Eastern and Balkan riddims. It is not unusual to see people like West Philadelphia Orchestra’s Petia Z at Elevate Sound’s socials. Each WorldTown bash integrates electronic and world beats – think Mad Decent’s Jeffree’s releases but with emphasis on Philly and design.
Born Ben Schneible, Aresenal is a 25-year-old cultural arbiter originally from Montpelier, Vermont. The Temple University alumnus is a true lover of the party scene, and always has been.
“I was always the one in high school organizing parties,” he explains. “I eventually realized the importance that music played in having a really really good party.”
It’s his appreciation of a good – no, epic – party that inspires his dedication to the profession.
“I went to France and was blown away by people actually mixing songs,” he reminisces. “They only played the best part of the tracks and the parties were awesome. The flawless flow of tunes, the energy and the massive sound systems. There’s nothing like walking into a venue that has a good vibe, people dancing and some killer tunes on.”
Acoustic integrity is important to the Elevate Sound team, which includes co-founder Eric Bogacz, a Chicago native, and Nick Miles. Arsenal connected with Adrian Lu, then an architectural engineering student at Drexel University, to scope the acoustics of the space. Lu assisted Elevate Sound during his co-op with Walters-Storyk Design Group, the firm whose founding partner John Storyk is famously known for designing Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios.
“At the moment, we’re working on getting a frequency response of the studio so that we can tune the room,” says Lu, who’s currently working on a master’s degree in audio acoustics at the University of Salford in Manchester, England. “This will make sure Ben and Eric can hear the true sound of their mixes.”
Miles created Elevate Sound’s slick website. Hailing from Southwest Philadelphia, the 28-year old Miles is high-energy but easy-going. His mother sung with The Odette’s. His father, Johnnie C. Hightower, was a guitarist for the Philadelphia-based funk band The People’s Choice.
Arsenal feels good about the team he has built.
“Philly – Vermont – Chicago!” Arsenal proudly says of his Elevate Sound Studios crew. “Triangulation.”
The three amigos have diverse origins but one clear goal: to continue to build their party and production haven for Philadelphia talent.