How was winter? Did you go skiing or escaped to some tropical island? Or ensconced in your studio preparing for a massive 2024?
No skiing or tropical island for me this time unfortunately, though I am planning a little holiday next month. We are expecting the birth of our second child this Spring, so next to preparing the house for our family expansion I did my best to create as much music as possible since my studio time will be limited for a few months when the little one arrives.
When was the last time you were on the dancefloor dancing and raving?
ADE last year without a doubt. I don’t go out that much anymore as I don’t live in- or near the big city anymore. My wild raving days are behind me because I’m more settled down now. So when I do enter the nightlife it’s usually when I get asked to play as a DJ. ADE is the exception though- as I’m always in Amsterdam for the full 5 days.
Tell us about your journey into the world of DJing and producing?
DJing I started doing around 1994/1995 as a young kid simply because I loved the music and wanted to learn the craft. I spend hours and hours learning how to beatmatch, learning about music, about DJ’s, producers, record labels etc.Back at that time I did produce some music using Fasttracker, but just for the fun of it. I didn’t start producing seriously until maybe 2002/2003 because around that time it became more and more important as a DJ to also release music to get recognized and to get bookings. Still until this day I feel like a music lover and DJ first and foremost, and less a producer.
Tell us a little about your discography, about the tracks you produced and their genres, the albums over the years.
I always struggled with genres and expectations. When I first started to get booked as a DJ I was quite young and still in that phase where I was discovering everything and buying- and playing everything from house music until techno. I have a wide taste and always just wanted to play whatever I felt like / whatever matched the event I was playing at.For some reason in my early days I got noticed most when I was playing (hardgroove) techno, and so my first productions were in that sound as well. 135-138 BPM, hard to imagine for the people who know my sound nowadays.
When Manual Music took off in 2005 I got asked more and more to play that kinda sound, so my productions eventually evolved alongside that vibe as well. I’m pretty proud when looking at the labels I’ve released on over the years, as I’ve done releases/remixes on labels such as Diynamic, Sudbeat, Hope, Sony/Epic. Einmusika, 3000grad, Get Physical and many others. But of course my home base will always be my own Manual Music label on which I’ve released two artist albums as well.
Which label was the first one you started and which one is the latest? I'm sure you have Label Managers with designated responsibility, but how do you manage and control the vision and idea?
The first label I started was called Technique- a techno label I ran under the wings of the Basic Beat record company I used to work at that time. My latest project is the Blue Magenta label which I started together with Onno van Kemenade about 2 years ago which focuses a bit more on the crossover melodic/progressive genre that does well on both the dancefloor, but also on streaming platforms. Each label- at least in my mind- has its own sound/vibe/identity, and since I’m the one making the artistic decisions, it’s up to me to control that vision.
Have you ever been to India? If yes, tell us more about it.
It’s incredible: I’ve played in anywhere between 35 and 40 countries but unfortunately India never happened. It was close a couple of times, but for one reason or another it didn’t happen. I was only in India once and that was at the airport when transferring a flight back to Amsterdam after having paid in Sri Lanka the night before.
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