Exclusive Interview with Boris Werner
“Amsterdam is a village with a city feel. We have the allure of a city but without the hectic of a metropolis, for me that’s the perfect combination”
Boris Werner has been a rock-solid name in the Amsterdam scene and beyond for the last 10 years. With outstanding releases on labels like Rush Hour, Soweso and Get Physical, Werner has created some well-known beats that are still heard around the world. We had a chance to catch up with Boris about his performance at the Circo Loco Night at The BPM festival in Mexico, his own night at Trouw which is coming soon and who he would like to be for a day.
People have been able to follow you and your music for a long time now. Your style has ranged from techno to deep house and everything in between. Is there a way you could define your own sound?
No, not really… I’ll leave that to the public.
How did you find out that this was the sound you wanted to continue with?
When I started to discover old music, stuff like Gemini, Boo Williams, Cajmere etc. There is still so much more good old music to be found, it appeals to me much more than 80% of what’s been released nowadays. I love it to scour old record boxes with dusty fingers in search for that one pearl. In my opinion this distinguishes you from others who play solely digital. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that.
You have been part of the Circo Loco crew at Ibiza since 2010. How did they spot you at the time?
I have to thank my agent/manager Vanessa Vassallo for that. She, combined with her Italian colleague Eliot from Feelbookings, pushed this with the guys from Circo Loco. Once I got the first spot, the mood was set for more and a fruitful relationship with Circo Loco started.
How was it to be part of the Circo Loco line up as the only Dutch artist at the BPM festival in the beginning of January? It was definitely a nice extra, bit proud I guess and it does tell me I’m heading in the right direction.
Which other parties did you visit in Mexico next to the Tulum pop up party? Haha I don’t remember one that I didn’t visit!
Haha, we have to agree on that one! We’ve also heard that you are busy setting up a new night in Trouw. Tell us something more about it. Is it true that you are going solo?
It is correct what you heard. William Kouam Djoko and I decided to go our separate ways. I will host my own night now. The idea is four nights of which two are solo all-nighters and two are with guests. I have to leave you guessing who the guests will be for now though..
In which way will it be different then Late Night Society, which you have been hosting since spring 2010?
With Late Night Society we wanted to bring back some coziness, not just back to basics but with a small concept around it. With my own upcoming night I am going back to basics again and I want to try to bring back that old-school club feeling, I want to see people sweat on the dance floor!!
Also this year you will host another “wipwap” show, a yearly event in which you play a marathon set of more then twelve hours. What will make this even more special then the last years?
Well, since I want to be able to carry on for more than 15,5 hours this time, we thought it to be a fun idea to do something with that. We want to involve the visitors more with the event and somewhat pamper them with breakfast/lunch, foot massages etc. And of course an area where people can chill out and come round to subsequently move to the dance floor again.
You 100% stick to your original sound, for which much respect. It feels like you make techno people love house and house people love techno. Did you ever feel the need to try out other genres as well?
Funny you ask because on Wednesday 5 February I have my first radio show on Red Light Radio. The Rens Worbier Show, anything but house or techno. I want to show a different side with this show. It will be filled with Ethiopian jazz, funk from all corners of the world, hip-hop and more avant-garde stuff. I am really looking forward to it. Next to that, there is also a plan to do this live on different cool spots but more about that later.
Your first release with Lauhaus already dates back seven years ago. Apart from the fact that Matchmaker still sounds fresh, you have always had a clear tech- and deep house sound in your tracks. Mixmag once defined it as a funky Amsterdam tech house sound with you, 2000 and One, Lauhaus, David Labeij, Kabale und Liebe, Julien Chaptal and Bart Skills at the front. At this moment there are lots of developments going on in the field of deep house, garage and US house in Amsterdam. Which similarities do you nowadays see compared to the scene ten years ago when most of you guys were the new kids on the block?
That period was very fertile for us and I think we also gave a signal to the younger generation that it is possible to do your own thing as long as you work for it and do what you stand for. I very much see this happening right now in the city and it makes me happy, there is a lot of stuff going on on different levels.
As an Amsterdam native, what is the best part of living in this city?
It’s a village with a city feel, at least that’s how I sense it. We have the allure of a city but without the hectic of a metropolis. For me this is the perfect combination.
What struck you the most in the club scene last year?
Uhm, are the kids who go out so much younger now, or am I getting old???
Is there an artist who we should keep an eye on in the coming year?
Awanto3, who will release his debut album very soon on the Rush Hour label which is dooooooooopeness galore!!
What are your tips for young producers and DJs who want to grow as an artist?
Stay true to yourself, don’t do stuff based on trends or opinions of others. I think that is the most important if you really want to accomplish something. “The faster you rise, the harder you fall,” my grandma always told me.
One last question, if you could ever walk a day in the shoes of a famous artist, who would you choose?
I think that would be Moodymann, amaaaazing artist, he’s the shit. Did you listen to his last album? And besides that, I have always dreamed of having a harem haha!
Area 1: Boris Werner (All Night Long)
Area 2: Marcel Vogel | Mr Mendel