Exclusive Interview with Mike Ravelli
“I try something different every time but lots is depending on my mood. My general way of living is to live day by day as much as possible. I guess this also transcends on how I work in the studio.”
Mike Ravelli is a household name in the Dutch, Amsterdam and Haarlem electronic music whereabouts. His career kicked of when the now much praised and iconic Gasten Zonder Grenzen collective was set up and got immensely popular as a music production till their closing party in 2010. As of today he’s putting a musical legacy mark on the scene more than ever and we believe that the always-charming man is about to hit off internationally. We spoke to him about his upcoming China tour, his planned releases and what his grandmother thinks about his music.
Hi Mike, good to have a chat with you today. How are you and where in the world are you right now?
Thank you and thanks for asking! I’m doing really great. Right now I’m in my hometown Haarlem. Sitting behind my desk in my studio that is located high up in the attic of Holland’s’ oldest club, Stalker.
We are exited to read that you just kicked off a tour named Mike Ravelli Meets, congratulations on that! How did you come across this idea and how long did it consequently take to give the starting sign for it?
Again, thank you. The idea arose when I was sitting downstairs in the club during a small studio break. I was really amazed about how the feel and decorations evolved the last couple of months and I felt I really wanted to do something special again, besides the “regular” gigs. I like to play long sets but also to play together with friends; somehow special moments always happen in the booth when you’re around your friends. With this, the idea of the concept was born. I soon realised that this idea was really what I’d like to do more often so I started talking to friends and colleagues about it and we quickly came to the conclusion that it was time to organise a tour.
So how was the first night?
The first night was absolutely magical. We sold out completely and people were really feeling it. Sandeep played magnificent and our closing set together was a perfect ending of the night. The tour could not have started better. I’m really happy about this and I can’t wait for the next dates.
Where else is the tour taking you and which artists did you invite with you?
At first I was a bit sceptical if the idea of the tour would work out. But when I realized that everybody I asked to join responded enthusiastically and stoked to take part, I truly felt blessed to have these great people and artists on board. I’m doing a night with Nuno Dos Santos in Victorie, Malbetrieb in Pand48, Miss Melera in Basis, Haito in Golden Gate Club, Olivier Weiter in Toffler and an edition in Tag (China) with Mansun.
It’s the second time you’re doing a China tour. This time you’re passing Chengdu, Beijing, Kunming, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guiyang and Hong Kong. Not the first cities you think about when talking about Deep House music. Why China?
First of all, I have always been intrigued by Asian culture. But it was when I was reading an article about dance music in China about 4 years ago that something triggered me. I was amazed by the whole vibe of it all and I consequently really wanted to make it happen going there and discover house music in China.
We remember that you were quite fond about club TAG in Chengdu last tour. Why was that and who did you invite there for your tour there this year?
Just recently I have even called TAG club my home in Chengdu, China. It’s a really special place as well as the people who make this club happen. Not only are they taking a lot of risk, they also try to reach out to the Chinese people and teach them that there is more in life to enjoy then just money and the craved success of the traditional China. I’ve invited Mansun to play together with me in TAG club. I met him in Shanghai last year and he really has an amazing choice of records, I’m really looking forward to play with him.
We even heard that you played at an illegal street rave, in China? What was that about?
A very special guy I met in Chengdu, Marco Duits, invited me for this. He is one of the front pushers of house music in China. Not only is he part owner of TAG club, he also takes the next step in promoting house music by taking his Chinese followers to the most outrageous public places throughout Chengdu. I saw a video where he took his mobile Dj booth strait into a McDonalds restroom and just raved away. This is just one of many places. I got to play in a tiny forgotten park in the heart of Chengdu right around the corner of a major intersection where literally thousands of people pass by every hour. We could watch over the entire intersection and passers would have the most interesting reactions. Some ignored us, some came to dance with us at a 25-meter distance, some made videos and luckily some joined in the party and wore a set of priceless smile’s I’ll never forget.