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    04 / 15 / 2016

I know I've been kind of bad keeping this news/blog page more updated, but I'll be getting a little more on-track again now. One of the things I've actually been that busy with is The Stratos Ensemble, which is actually part of the good news because we currently sound amazing and we have established bass player Doug Lunn in the band.

The other good news is, it's now official: I have completed my next album for Spotted Peccary Records, and they will indeed be releasing it in Fall of this year, 2016. This is a long awaited release, which took me 4 years to finish, and it's a completely new approach to ambient and/or cinematic electronic music. Be on the lookout for more word regarding both of these endeavors, The Stratos Ensemble and my up-coming album on Spotted.

In the meantime, additionally, I bear gifts. Hopefully these will make up for the slight MIA. These gifts involve both aforementioned projects.

The first one is from the Stratos Ensemble. We have a great live set posted online, performed with lots of peaks and valleys, and electronic ambient moments combined with ensemble moments. This set is in the form of a video and a free audio download. :)

For the free audio download:

For the video:

The second gift is from myself. It's simply a full-song preview of my upcoming album on Spotted P. Rec. Again, it's kind of a new take on ambient music, at least for me. And for lack of a better word, enjoy. :)


    06 / 20 / 2015

Drummer Coco Roussel, ex-drummer for legendary progressive bands such as Happy The Man, Heldon and Michael Manring, has recently joined up with Dean's ambient jazz/fusion band The Stratos Ensemble. Announcements have been made about it on all of the Stratos sites and pages, and some music has already been recorded. Dean even spent some extra time doing excellent one-on-one duo material with Coco.

Here is a new long ambient track featuring grand piano and drum pads, improvised as a duo piece recently between Coco Roussel and Dean De Benedictis. This is considered music that is separate from The Stratos Ensemble, and is actually more of an experiment. It was Dean and Coco's first foray into ambient music together. They are currently toying with the idea of an eventual duo album, making this new piece one of it's potential tracks. You may vibe with it, and it's currently available for free download. Get it while it's there. Click the download icon. High quality mp3.

Also, to get an idea of the kind of drummer Coco is, listen to the music on this Youtube spot. It's a song from a live performance Happy The Man gave back in 78, with Coco Roussel on drums. For those confused about the style of that band, Happy The Man was considered instrument progressive rock / fusion, and of some of the highest caliber back in the 70s. Listen all the way towards the killer synth solo by Kit Watkins at the end. That synth solo was the main reason Stratos founder and keyboardist Dean De Benedictis decided to become a lead synth player, after first hearing it in the 80s. It is a deep honor to have Coco Roussel in the band.

Stratos Ensemble Website:

Stratos Ensemble FB page: https://www.facebook.com/thestratosensemble?fref=ts

    06 / 08 / 2015

Dean involves himself in many projects and many bands and all of them lead by him, with the exception of a few. One band of those few is called Zen Land, lead by Michael Zentner, founding member or progressive rock bands such as The Muffins and Big Guns.

Aside from members Mike and Dean, the band's other members are all industry-professional musicians such as Doug Lunn (Mark Isham, The Fire Merchants), Tim Young (David Silvyan, The Late Late Show) and Vonette Yanaginuma (Nelly Furtado). Their first self titled album as Zen Land was released in early 2015 and has achieved a great deal of media attention. They also have a couple of official videos posted online, one being for their track called "Song" and the other being for their cover of the Police song Spirits In The Material World, which was even advertised on one of the Police's social networks where it got over 8,000 likes, along with almost 30,000 views on YouTube.

Dean's remix for the track, "Song," was the one featured, not only on the Zen Land album, but was the mix and track selected for the album's official video, which is at almost 20,000 views on YouTube and counting. He created a highly imaginative alternative edit of the video as well. Dean also co-produced the band's 'tribute to The Police' cover and created his own ambient-remix version of the track as well.

Zen Land website (scroll to the bottom for audio clips of their album in the iTunes player):

Dean's Zen Land page:

First official Zen Land video:

Dean's preferred version of the first Zen Land video (edited by Dean):

Video of official Police song cover:

Dean's preferred audio version of the Police song cover:

    05 / 21 / 2015

Just giving another friendly reminder to check Dean's Surface 10 Soundcloud page for exciting and innovative new tracks of his that he's posted up. The page can be found here.


    04 / 20 / 2015

If you haven't seen it yet, The Stratos Ensemble has an interesting new video improvisation up on Youtube. It features a voice-sample-based synth solo by Dean De Benedictis, and an ambient interlude in the second half. The best of improvised progressive music.


    12 / 01 / 2014

If you like electronic music, this fundraiser compilation was finally released the other day and it's pretty good for being one of the longest compilations ever to date: Touched 2. I'm honored to be on it and my band even has a track there. Look me up under Surface 10 and/or Dean De Benedictis, and look my band up under The Stratos Ensemble. I used some crazy new music and sonic methods for this--sampling and chopping up sung notes and consonants of whispers to use as drum rhythms. You may want to check the whole album out though because it features artists like Autechre, U-ziq, Luke Vibert, Luke Slater, FSOL, George Sarah, 808 State, Ruxpin, and other crazy legends. Do it. Good cause, brilliant music.


    10 / 29 / 2014

There was recently a big Internet radio broadcast that featured custom sets by significant electronic music artists such as Neotropic, FSOL, DJ Food and even Surface 10. The program is called Terminal Radio and the curator is Nmesh, an ambient recording artist who's a big S10 fan. The entire broadcast has since been posted on soundcloud. It's a 3-hour ambient music excursion of exclusive premiered material by the artists, as well as some extra artists spun in there. Surface 10's set is all premiered original music that will soon be released on the fundraising label Touched. Check it out at the following link.


    8 / 29 / 2014

If you haven't seen it yet, Dean's ambient-progressive-jazz band The Stratos Ensemble has it's own official website now. Go and check it out and peruse it's many features and medias.

To hear direct audio of the band, visit the Fateless Flows Soundcloud page and locate all of the tracks by The Stratos Ensemble.

    4 / 7 / 2014

Two Charity Albums That include New Music By Surface 10


Many recording artists are now turning much of their profit-seeking intention towards charities and causes that they have personal connections to.  For Dean this would be many, but he's starting with a good solid one. His grandmother passed away from cancer in 1998, and he was very close to her.  Recently Dean created one track and two remixes, as alias Surface 10, for a very small label called Touched, which raises money for a cancer support company called Macmillan.  Touched recently released two CDs: a compilation, and a remix CD.  The two releases have simple CD covers but they contain amazing music.  On all three Surface 10 tracks, Dean outdid himself a bit, in drastically differing electronic genres.

If you go to the following two links, you will find these contributed tracks and you can check them out. One is called "Dukefire Skyballs," one is called "Pictures In Her Mind (Surface 10 remix)," and one is called "Abereiddy Astronomical Society - The Outsider (Surface 10 remix)." Two of these tracks are towards the bottom of the playlists, but the remix called "Abereiddy Astronomical Society - The Outsider (Surface 10 remix)" is towards the top of one. Go and check them out for an S10-style experience, and while you're there, be sure to hear the many other legendary artists who have been involved in ambient/IDM/glitch/electro-acoustic genres for years, and whom also contributed tracks to these compilations. It was a full-on charity project, as potent as they come, complete with over a hundred good artists, an entire collection. The best part: to buy it it's only $5 per CD. A $5 donation to charity gets you some of the most interesting new instrumental IDM out there. Might be worth a ponder.

  1. http://touched.bandcamp.com/album/touched

  2. http://touched.bandcamp.com/album/a-distant-rainbow

    2 / 20 / 2014

Mark it off on your calendars: another in-studio performance by Surface 10 followed by The Stratos Ensemble, March 8th. All from 2-5pm Pacific, live on Stillstream.com and Livestream.com and at PenthausLA (Shetech). Another large simulcast. Visit the below links and stand by for more on both appearances.




    2 / 11 / 2014

There is a Soundcloud page for Fateless Flows that hasn't been publicized yet because Dean was waiting for the Fateless relaunch. While we are still waiting, you can enjoy the many new tracks already posted on that page, mostly Dean's projects and collaborations such as the Stratos Ensemble and Surface 10. Go and check it out when you can. There are even free downloads.


    1 / 17 / 2014

Surface 10 (aka Dean De Benedictis) and ambient fusion band The Stratos Ensemble will be playing live this Saturday the 18th on Internet radio Stillstream and Livestream, broadcasting from LA. Visit ALL of the below urls for info and artist websites, as well as the Stillstream and Livestream sites. The Surface 10 live set will start at 2pm Pacific, and The Stratos Ensemble set will start at 3:30pm, lasting until 5pm Pacific. Interviews will follow each set. Be sure to tune in to this rare 3-hour broadcast, and don't forget, all listed broadcast times are Pacific time.

Stratos Ensemble Website:

Stillstream Internet Radio Site:

Livestream Video Broadcasting Site:

Event Page:

Surface 10 Website:

    1 / 06 / 2014

If all goes according to planned, this is what my 2014 will consist of. I laugh as I write. Still some pretty unrealistic work amounts:

  • finally launching Fateless Flows and all of it's unfinished music
  • releasing the next Salvaging The Past CD for Spotted Pec Rec
  • doing a few videos and blog entries to update Travels Rendered
  • mini gig tour in Fall
  • 9 months on the road for Travels Rendered and Summit Music, starting in March (and all of it's prep)
  • climbing Mt. Shasta, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier in the Summer

Look for more on everything, and pray for me. ;))

    11 / 04 / 2013

New tracks up on Dean's (Surface 10's) Soundcloud page, some for free download.

Dean has been hard at work on his next CD for Spotted Peccary Records. While working on the CD, he's been discovering new programming capabilities and creating new sounds, thus cranking out a few really cool extra tracks in the process. He has also been slowing reforming and recording his progressive jazz ensemble, the Stratos Ensemble, and has been cross pollinating with musicians between the band and his solo efforts.


    7 / 19 / 2013

Percy Jones - Guest Musician On Next CD
Dean has been working hard on his next ambient solo album, this time using the talents of friends and colleagues, including Percy Jones from 70s-fusion-band Brand X. Percy is a big fan of Surface 10, specifically of the CD In Vitro Tide, and Dean, being a keyboard player, was a huge fan of Brand X (also having briefly played in the band), so this was a natural progression. In the 70s, Percy recorded with such artists as Brian Eno, but only pop styles, so he never actually played or recorded ambient music. This will be an interesting genre debut for him. Stay posted to Dean's many walls for updates, or stay posted to the Spotted Peccary website, which also includes info on his last CD release.


Brand X Wiki Page:

    3 / 27 / 2013

Last St. Patrick's Day, Dean De Benedictis and Vic Hennegan recorded an improvised ambient music session together at Hidden Valley in Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. To hear or download a copy of the piece, and to read about how they did it, visit the following Soundcloud page.


    2 / 26 / 2013

They will be showing one of Dean's short-film trailers for his project Travels Rendered at the Arivaca Film Festival in Arizona. The festival happens on the very first weekend of March.



    1 / 9 / 2013

Dean on Astreaux World

Dean's music was recently featured on the famous Live-365 radio program Astreaux World. known for it's ambient new age and space music. Put aside an hour for this one.


    12 / 27 / 2012
Dean on Soundcloud

For those who have not seen it yet, go check out Dean's Soundcloud profile. It has a minimal but circulating amount of both rare and released tracks. As always, be sure to leave likes and comments if you stop by.

    10 / 02 / 2012
Surface 10 (Dean De Benedictis) teamed up with 3D-fractal artist Jeremie Brunet to do a spacey and surrealistic music video. It's based on the futurist theory of the Singularity. You can view it at the following link:

    04 / 26 / 2012
There is an electronica recording artist from Russia named C.J. Catalizer who attributes his involvement with this genre to the music of Surface 10. C.J. Catalizer recently created a piece in dedication to Dean and to Surface 10, swiftly named "The 10th Surface." It can be heard on SoundCloud:

    04 / 03 / 2012
This Sunday, April 8th, Dean De Benedictis will interview live on fm radio KSBR (88.5 in Orange County, Irvine, CA) about his travel project and other concurrent projects and performances. The interview will take place sometime between 9am-12noon. Pick up the broadcast stream at this link.

    03 / 11 / 2012
Table Of Element Vol. 2​.​0

There's a free music compilation from an industrial/IDM label in France that features an unreleased Surface 10 track. The second half of the compilation is IDM, so if you don't like industrial music in particular, you may want to skip ahead to track #15. That's where the IDM starts. The Surface 10 track is one of Dean's best/most-intense fast pieces of the 2000s, and will likely be remastered and re-released sometime in the future.

    02 / 20 / 2012

Coming soon will be collaborative electronic/ambient music sessions out in the California desert by Dean De Benedictis and Vic Hennegan. They had their first session at Red Rock Canyon State Park the other day, and it came out epically well. Look for more postings by them at different online locations.

    02 / 14 / 2012

Check a couple of these remixes that Surface 10/Dean De Benedictis just made for California jazz ensemble Simplexity. One remix is a new take on techno/house and the other is a form of alternative jazz that Dean has been contributing to.


    02 / 07 / 2012



"The true nature of a musician is if people listen to his music. My son, your friend Rory, goes to sleep each night listening to your CD. He says hello. If that doesn't make you feel successful nothing will. Hope you're well! Nigel"


    01 / 21 / 2012
If you haven't seen the Surface 10 Youtube page yet, go and audit a few computer graphics videos that Dean De Benedictis custom made over the last 4 years. He is still learning, but these were the first phase of his adventures in computer graphics adaptation. The videos are abstract, ethereal and apropos for some of his new, unreleased Surface 10 material.

    12 / 05 / 2011
Fateless Records

Dean and friends recently created a Blogspot page for Fateless Music/Records. They are on Blogger.com now.







    08 / 29 / 2011:

Read about how Dean is making mobile-music history at the top of the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. His project is called The Summit Music Project.

  Dean's music, among other mediums, is the result of his will to tie an essential common thread together between opposing genres and mentalities, as well as draw from them a natural sense of emotion, expanse and mystery. This Southern California-based producer / performer / musician / visual and conceptual artist (otherwise known to the electronic/ambient community as Surface 10) has always utilized his interest in a variety of styles and cultures to enrich the quality of his musical expression.

  Beginning his deep exploration of music in the 80's, De Benedictis covered a wide gamut of musical experience; moving through many jazz-fusion and progressive rock bands, music theory classes, and producing/performing source music for network television over 12 years of his career.

  Like many other artists, much of De Benedictis's non-commercial (personal) music was composed as a dedication and a utility for his own life experiences; one of many examples is how some of his pieces were created, at first, only to carry with him and listen to at specific outdoor locations (in deserts, canyons, jungles, mountain regions, coastal regions, unpopulated areas in general), thus permanently marking the region with the music in his memory. He dedicates his work to people, places, memories, etc., and aspires to communicate and suggest a similar functionality for the experiences of his audience.

  In 1996, Dean De Benedictis released his debut ambient/electronic music (borderline space rock) CD on Hypnotic/Cleopatra Records, which was self titled under the alias SURFACE 10. Following that was Dean's collaboration project with George Sara (of THC) called Cathexis, releasing the CD Exempli Gratia, in 1997 (also on Hypnotic/Cleopatra), a gift to the techno trance world.

  Just after these initial releases, Dean appeared on various compilations, and in various genres, for labels like Hypnos, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Cleopatra. In the new millennium, 2000, Dean put out a technologically edgy/progressive/IDM style Surface 10 CD called In Vitro Tide on DiN Records, followed by his tribal ambient CD release A Lone Reply debuted under his own name, on Fateless in 2001. Dean then formed the Fateless Flows Collective and appeared on their compilations for 2004 and 2005.

  In 2004 the Surface 10 CD Borrowed Time 2000 was made available by Space For Music Records as a compilation of previously unreleased Surface 10 material, and in 2005 Dean De BenedictisSpotted Peccary Records put out Dean's previously unreleased mix of all ambient vibes and time zones, Salvaging The Past. After those mid, new-era jaunts, Dean focused his attention on his space/rock/jazz quartet, The Strato Ensemble, releasing their CD, "Drawn Straws."

  Right around that same time he released his second Surface 10 CD on DiN, "Surface Tensions," this time as a glitchy/ambient far cry. The latest Fateless release was under Dean's birth name and it was entitled "A Cambient Variations, an ambient CD that was performed and recorded solely with Dean's voice.