We have combined an interview and a mixtape today, both from one of Holland’s most promising talents. He’s 23 years young, born and raised in Amsterdam and understands our capitals nightlife like no other. He has made huge leaps forward in his musical career the last couple of months. He just got back from a mini tour in the States. During ADE ’13 he will be playing alongside Maceo Plex, Tale of Us, Danny Daze and Tennis at ‘Audio Obscura: Ellum and Life & Death Showcase’. Of which the latter he is now part-time label manager for. And he’s only been DJ’ing actively for little more than a year. Job Jobse is his name, and he’s been showing up on our radar more and more, so it’s time to get to know more about this homegrown artist. I had a nice and extensive talk with him, discussing his work at club Trouw, obsessive female fans and the future of deep house. Next to an interview, this article will also feature Job’s mixtape for Deep House Amsterdam. It’s very sexy and deep, perfect for this Friday afternoon.
“It’s a really exciting time right now in the electronic music scene. I have a feeling that a lot is going to change in what’s cool during the coming years”
How exactly were you introduced into the electronic music scene in Amsterdam?
Well I wasn’t interested in electronic music whatsoever until I was 17 I think. I was more into bands. And then one evening I ended up at Club 11, Trouw’s predecessor. Which at that age I wasn’t actually allowed to enter, but I found my way through the bouncer. And that night changed everything for me! Immediately I was sucked into the music, the scene, you name it. Every week I started coming to this club, getting to know the artists, the persons behind club 11. It started to become my second home in a way. Most of the time I just went by myself, because my friends were not at all interested in club life and electronic music.
So what happened next? You bought some decks yourself?
Well not immediately. I came into contact with Olaf, who was the booker for club 11, and later the owner of Trouw. And we had a click, right from the start, even though I was ten years younger than him. When Trouw opened up he asked me if I wanted to organise a club night there. That became ‘Drukpers’, which I still do to this day after almost five years. Drukpers was relatively successful from the start, and not much later Olaf asked me to be co-programmer for Trouw as well, because he wanted to delegate part of his busy schedule to a right hand man. Eventually, after booking all these artists for a long period, my interest in getting behind the decks myself was sparked slowly but surely. So I got a set of decks and a mixer and started practicing. And one day Olaf told me: “Now it’s your time to try”, so one of my very first gigs was actually at Trouw.
How did you experience that dual role?
It was hard work! Many nights I was still answering emails in the office at ten o’clock for example, and then had to hurry down to the club to give a set, afterwards doing some more work at the office. Pretty hectic time. And next to that a feeling started creeping up that people had the image of me cheating, because I was the programmer AND I also DJ’ed at the same club. Around that same time Trouw’s financial position demanded that only one person could stay in my position, of course that had to be Olaf, he’s the owner. So from that point in time, more or less a year ago, I found the opportunity to start focusing solely on my DJ’ing.
Have you also started producing this year?
Yes I have. Although I have to say that I’m still learning a lot. But I’m into it and I like it. After enough practice, building up enough experience, I want to start releasing. But I’m in no hurry. I’m taking it all step by step, no need to hurry anything.
How do you feel about the common idea that production is a necessary step in bring your DJ career to the next level?
Well it’s kind of a fact that once you start releasing your own (good) stuff, you speed up the process of your career. A lot of people that DJ well, can’t find any gigs because they are not producing. I don’t really know why, but I’m not having that problem at the moment. Just DJ’ing is getting me enough bookings right now. But honestly big names that do not produce are really quite scarce. A good example is Dixon. He has never released his own original track, except for a couple of remixes and edits, but is a hugely successful DJ. But apart from the lucky few, I think it’s pretty hard to make it big without the production aspect.
Is there a set/mix you heard that has been a life changer for you?
Well that has to be a set by Dixon! There are actually two sets by him that are equally mind-blowing. The first one is a mix, ‘Body Language’, which he made for Get Physical. And there was one evening during the Amsterdam Dance Event in 2008 in the Melkweg called ‘A Critical Mass’, by Innervisions. This night will always stay with me. There was like an Innervisions live orchestra, consisting of Ame, Henrik Schwarz and Dixon. The music and the chemistry between these three guys was just surreal. In certain ways this evening was a life changer.
What’s the most irritating experience with a heckler you’ve had? Like somebody who keeps talking and talking while you’re playing a set.
Haha oh man, I’ve experienced it just last weekend! Let me first say this: I really, really hate it when people do this, not because of the people, but because I just cannot ignore or get angry with these people, you know? Because their behaviour actually comes from a good place. They probably love your music and want to make a connection with you. It’s just bad timing.
So what happened last weekend?
I was playing in San Francisco and there was a girl who stood by me the en-ti-re evening. She just wouldn’t leave. Not through my set, and not even after that. I was done playing and she was still standing next to me, like: “Okay I’m leaving here with you, that’s what’s gonna happen”. And my reaction was: “Eehhr no I don’t think so..”. And then it took me an hour to finally get away from her.
So what did you do that changed her mind to leave?
Well I just ran away at a certain point. She still needed to get her coat, thank God, and so I just made a run for it. But I’ve got another one as well. Sometimes people that are clubbing aren’t that familiar with electronic music, and just go along with their friend for an evening. So sometimes people make requests to play popular top 40 stuff, like Rihanna. Although I must admist, I did play Rihanna once, when it wasn’t even requested.
Which Rihanna track was it?
Man Down. Banger of a record.
What’s your weirdest gig experience?
I was supposed to give a set at the famous Radio 538 station. I imagined to be playing in this great studio or something. Instead I was playing in some cramp cabin made of bamboo and actual palm trees, I don’t know what the hell was the use for that thing. So right in the middle of my set the cabin totally collapsed, coconuts fell on my head and everything. Quite a slapstick moment haha.
And your greatest gig?
That would have to be Lowlands this year. They asked me to come and play in the X-Ray. It was amazing. And such an honour to be playing there. My set worked out really well too, and the crowd was amazing. I had another gig that night by the way. A radio show. So when I was done with my set at Lowlands I had to keep myself together. I wanted to party my ass off, but I couldn’t! I had to wait another couple of hours. But after the radio show the party was on!
You will be performing at ‘Audio Obscura: Ellum & Life & Death showcase’ on ADE. Which artist are you looking most forward to meeting?
Well he actually hasn’t been announced on the line up yet, So I can’t say who he is yet. But I can say it’s a Dutch DJ who came from the mid- 90’s to early 2000’s Dutch electro scene. He plays Italo, Disco and old house and electro. In my opinion one the best DJ’s on the planet. His name will be added to the line up soon!
Personal heroes and sources of inspiration?
Dixon! He will be always be number one in my view. James Holden and Gerd Janson are also in my top three. I’m not quite sure if I can still call them heroes though, since I’ve actually met them now and then the admiration loses some of its glow. Because you start to see them as regular human beings also, next to being great DJ’s of course.
Tupac and André Hazes.
Nice! What are your favourite tracks by them?
‘Life Goes On’ by Tupac and ‘de Vlieger’ by Hazes.
(Look up that second song, dear foreign reader! It’s not only a great song, it’s part of Amsterdam’s heritage)
In the last couple of years electronic music has become even more popular than it already was in Holland. The number of event organizations has skyrocketed. What does the electronic music scene in Amsterdam look like in five years time?
It’s true that there are a lot more organizations nowadays compared to three or four years ago, but there are so many people that visit all these events as well. There is just a market for almost each and every one of these organizations. Musically speaking, I think that deep house, as we know it now, is reaching its peak in popularity. The people that already listened to deep house a couple of years ago are broadening their horizon inside the genre at the moment, becoming more refined in their musical taste. Redefining what they would like to hear at parties also. I don’t know what that new direction of deep house is going to be. It’s just a really exciting time right now, and I have a feeling that a lot is going to change in what’s cool and what is not in the coming years. We’ll see.
Catch Job Jobse @ Audio Obscura presents: Ellum & Life and Death ADE Showcase. Featuring a pretty impressive line-up: Maceo Plex, Danny Daze, Tale of Us and many more will be joining forces on this special occasion.
Maceo Plex | Tale of Us | Clockwork | Plaid (live) | Pepe Bradcock | DJ Tennis | Danny Daze | Chateau Flight | Mind Against | Odd Parents | Job Jobse |
October 18th | Audio Obscura presents: Ellum & Life and Death ADE Showcase | Tickets |