Benji Candelario

He learned about the spirit of garage and house music first-hand at Larry Levan's Paradise Garage, and Benji Candelario reflected his influences by becoming one of the top New York garage DJs by the 1990s. As well as mixing fame, his dozens of remixes and recordings for Cutting, Freeze, Nitegroove and Kult Records are quite respected in the house community. Candelario listened to soul and funk while growing up in Brooklyn, and gained entry into the '80s underground house scene by hitting clubs like Levan's Paradise Garage and Bond's International with his cousin. It was only a matter of time before he became interested in DJing; after practicing on the decks, he featured at New York hotspots like Redzone, the Building and the Roxy. Candelario began remixing and producing by the late '80s, working with Criminal Element Orchestra and for the label Cutting Records. Recording as Swing 52 with Wayne Rollins, he scored in 1994 with the garage hit "Color of My Skin," while providing remixes for Todd Terry, Ruffneck and Call of the Wild. Candelario recorded several EPs under his own name (including the multi-volume editions Traxx for the Head and Killer Fillers). His first mixed album, Havin' It Stateside, Vol. 1, was released in 1995 on 21st Century Opera Records. ~ John Bush

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