Secret Cinema – the Lost Interview
This Interview was conducted in the lead up to Rainbow Serpent Festival and sadly – due to a little bit of a mix up here at the MTC – the responses were not received until today. But while some of the questions might not be as relevant as they were prior to Rainbow Serpent, it was too good an interview to let it go to waste. So as they say, here it is, better late than never.
Interview by Jay Reading
Music is obviously a large part of your life now but how did you get involved with music? Was it always on your house as a youngster growing up? If so, what got played?
Well, yeah…I grew up between a jazzband my father played in. He played contra-bass, like a big cello you could say. I therefore wanted to play the piano as well, but I never really got into the classic pieces I had to play. I wanted to funk! But I learned just enough to make some chords and come up with melodies…my first encounter with house-music was on the dancefloor and I instantly knew that was gonna be my purpose in life. Produce music to dance to….
I would describe your music as “techno with heart” how would you best describe you music?
Actually a good explanation. I always come up with friendly or colourful techno. I try to make a trance like it supposed to,not what trance has become because of DJ mag. To me that is not trance at all. I think more tribal like in africa, on the beats near your own heartbeat, not too fast, so you can dance longer. Hypnotizing in it’s subtle changes of melodic soundscapes to put you in a trance….
Some of the labels you are a part of such as EC, Secret Cinema and the newer Gem have all carried their own definitive style, how do these styles compare to your own evolution as a producer and performer?
EC was one of the first labels I released on and was a big part of my learning process. Michel de Hey owned the label, I was the main artist and it was more or less a relationship based on trust. Gem now, is really what I like, I decide what’s on it and also which course we’re heading. For the first time it’s really me and my view reflected on all the other artists on the label. SQL, Peter Horrevorts, Roger Martinez and Egbert for example all have great talent of their own and their own particular style. I try to get the best out of them by my input and our life being an artist.
The first album for the Gem label is “Minerals”. Give us a run down on the concept and inspiration that went into this album?
My neighbour from upstairs, one of my longest friends in music as well, visited an ayurvedic doctor. This doctor prescibed him certain food supplements and amongst these were capsules filled with minerals like diamond and saphire and it made me realise we are actually minerals.
The idea got stuck in my head for a long time and I bought books explaining gem stones etc. After 2 years of thinking about it, I decided to go for it and I made the double album in 8 weeks time. It all just came out! The 2nd disc, which is more an ambient meditation trip, for me tells the story about minerals best. It tells the beginning of earth, continents colliding with powers unimaginable forming minerals for us to be found. It’s a trip….like life is. I made it together with Mental Youth and we used instruments like singing bowls to combine in electronic soundscapes…
Gem seems to be very polished, how much of your life does it take to make it look that effortless? Can we expect anything from any other labels this year?
It takes up a lot of time, especially when you have such a solid vision of where it should go. But the artists are great and my label manager nick has everything under control. So for me it’s basically the ideas and the symbiosis between me and the artists. Our graphic designer has the finishing touch and so it all comes together in the final product. I am very happy with the team as it is now!
Have you ever travelled to Australia before? I can’t seem to recall you coming out here before as an artist, is it all business or is there time for pleasure?
It’s my first time Australia ever. My final continent, so I can now say I set foot on every continent on the planet. You could say I’m a snob for waiting to be invited to Australia, but I must say…..like it is now, it couldn’t be any better. I’m playing Rainbow Serpent mainstage, playing the official afterparty and I’ve never been more ready for it. Hopefully the Australian party people like my music and I can feel them when I’m playing to make this an unforgettable journey. And pleasure??? It all sounds like pleasure to me!
You’ve been booked to play on the main stage at the Rainbow Serpent party just outside of Melbourne next weekend, what do you expect that to be like?
I must say I have difficulties in expectations really…since it’s the first time Australia for me, I have to learn the crowd and adapt to them on such an important festival in just 1.5 hours. As a DJ you play for the crowd, all within the limits of your own taste off course, which makes it a huge challenge for me. I feel that I can go deeper then anywhere else though, so we’ll see what happens. I try a few tracks first and it’s a big crowd, so I build up in energy and try to give a good vibe and leave a ready for the festival kind of feeling behind. That would be best in my opinion.
There are a lot of people really looking forward to seeing you in Melbourne, give us a quick rundown on what we can expect at the Rainbow Serpent festival from you?
As I said I think I will go deeper then any festival I’ve played before, but my main feeling is I will try to tell an hypnotic story with very groovy and hypnotizing sounds. Something I would love to hear when I’m at the early stages of a fantastic festival. And leave a feeling of I want more and we still have 3 days to go! Try to make a happy and ready for anything vibe is the best scenario for me.
What does the next year have in store for Secret Cinema?
Hopefully sold out gigs on a global scale for me and all the Gem artists. There’s South America coming up and more involvement in the label with my artists as well. Also taking them all to the next level and make the Gem music collective an interesting ever growing pulsating brain that rules from the centre of the underground.