The festival culture is prolific for sure. Plus, everyone really knows where they want to go well in advance. I feel like festivals sell out months before the event. I’m not sure how I feel about this, though: on one hand it’s cool because of the choices, but on the other hand I barely know what I am going to do tomorrow, let alone a few months from now. It’s hard to plan…
I think it has a big downside. Take New Years Eve for example. I’ve always hated New Years Eve. Everyone knows it should be a big night so people expect it to be big and make it big. If people know in advance what they are doing and they expect it to be awesome they will make it awesome. But, is it really that awesome? I don’t know. I would prefer people just be in the mood to go out and just go out. Unfortunately, now you have to get a ticket in advance, and then you have to be in the mood. I personally think that I had my best times at parties I didn’t know I would go to or who was playing. It was all about surprises. Nowadays there are little surpises left. Crowds seem to go to the same events and listen to the same DJs, barely looking around. I don’t see this as being healthy for the scene. It should be more about what people personally want to do instead of following the crowd.

What sticks with me the most is the mood one is in. Like I said, if you make plans on a Monday for a Friday, anything can happen in those days between, so look how much could happen in the months between buying a festival or event ticket and the date of the actual event…

Talking about Poker Flat, how do you look at the idea of “relevancy” in the scene? Obviously, after 15 years or so, Poker Flat has an established name, but how often does this idea of industry relevancy cross your mind?
I think the focus was always on the quality. I got into this business for one reason: I love the music. I didn’t really care about relevancy then and I don’t now. Back then, even my friends would say the music I was into was bullshit. Of course when you start and you see people you think are doing a great job you want to take some inspiration from them, but back then there was no social media so this was a lot different. It was more about delivering and not hype. No one had a “team” behind them.

In the end though, it is about making music that I like. Of course you feel good when people like what you are doing and have a following, but I’d rather do something I really appreciate than trying to follow something just to please people. Everyone plays a role just by doing something, if it matters it’s up to the crowd. It’s not up to you.

As a label, you only can make as many good releases as many good demos you get, unless you produce everything by yourself. There was a point after the Trentemoller hype, I started to sign people no one really knew about; fresh, underground faces. For a while, people didn’t really follow this, but I knew I needed to get away from big room tracks. I saw it all as a DJ set.

…even though abstract, this idea of organic development is an intangible when speaking on issues of quality.

Finally, maybe you can help me with the definition of “deep house”. Coming from the US it has a different meaning than here, but it is a term that is thrown around a lot. Obviously, since we are Deep House Amsterdam, for you, how do you define it?
I am more along the American way. I know for some people it means soulful house, with vocals, latin elements, and such. For me, its a repetitive groove built on chords. There are very simple rhythms, which keep on making you move. The track slowly builds, filtering or adding elements.

For me, personally, if I am on the dance floor, it is the only music that can keep me there for hours. You can ride chord melodies and keep the groove that makes your body move. Over the past years, a major problem of difital stores is their filing. Tracks are already filed in popular genres so terms like “deep house” become adulterated. There are some stores that file it better, like Traxsource, but its hard to get original deep house to the people. There is so much being released, with “bigger” tracks shining through.

‘Forward To The Past 3’ digital compilation is out on Poker Flat 20th November. Featuring nine exclusive tracks from MANIK, Bakers Dozen (Simon Baker) Denney and more.

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