Just because we are Deep House Amsterdam doesn’t mean we don’t have a passion for other kinds of music. The same goes for all the DJ/producers that we feature each day, they too have a broad musical taste and are probably not only listening to to the music they play in clubs every weekend. In our segment ‘Beyond The Beats’, popular artists are given the chance to step outside of the modern dance music sphere, and let them grant you an insight into their favorite pieces of music from other genres that they hold dear. Music that has special meaning to them, music that has helped shape them to be the artists they are today. Ten songs with ten special, personal stories that explain the love for music. So sit back and take a minute to get to know the person behind the DJ a little better. This time in the spotlight: Amsterdam-based duo Lars and Maarten, aka Detroit Swindle.
Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child
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I still get goosebumps when hearing this. Throughout my life I’ve said that if I could have lived in another age, it would have been the late ’60s, early ’70s. In my opinion this era was the climax of musical evolution. Country, blues and folk blended in perfectly through rock music. Artists discovered all kinds of forms of psychedelia to enhance their creativity. The Vietnam war triggered the protest-element in their music. It was actually a sort of ‘pressure cooker’ for the later birth of cross-over genres. I find it immensely fascinating to see with how much passion these artists added elements from all kinds of genres to create something completely new. I hope I can do this with our music as well. Here’s the iconic, virtuosic patriarch of the ’60s sound, the protest sound: mr. Jimi Hendrix. Here he’s playing one of his most vibrant, energetic songs out of his repertoire in an extended live setting: Voodoo Child (Slight Return).
Muddy Waters – Manish Boy
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I always played this track on my borrowed (and way too powerful) sound system, to the gratitude of my neighbors downstairs. That classic Southern blues sound from the cotton fields is so raw, so simple, that it pierces right into your soul. Muddy Waters, and of course ‘Mannish Boy’, are extremely well-known, but back then I had no idea. For no apparent reason I was addicted to this sound for over a year, the older and the crackier the sound the better. I barely listen to it now, especially when compared to how deeply I was into that music back then. Would be a good idea to pick it up again some time.
The Pharcyde – Runnin’
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“If you had to pick one album that you could take to a deserted Island, which one would it be?” It’s always a weird question to me since there are about a dozen of practical complications connected to the premise (where would I put the CD on when I’m on the island, since there’s probably no power there?). Nonetheless I have secretly thought about this question and the answer is easy: the second album of The Pharcyde, ‘Labcabincalifornia’. It’s a rap group from LA and the album, which is a modern masterpiece in my view, is co-produced by Jay Dee aka J Dilla. The track ‘Runnin’ is my favourite of the album and is also the best known, next to ‘Drop‘. Jay Dee sampled ‘Stan Getz – Sausade Vem Correndo‘ in a masterful way. You can wake me up for this one any day.
Wu Tang Clan – Shame On A Nigga
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When I started playing hiphop from the age of 13, I had already heard of the Wu Tang Clan. At that time I thought they were Chinese.. When I discovered ‘36 Chambers‘ I was sold immediately. The different flows of the different members of the Clan and the beats of the RZA never get boring. And although I used to have a preference for the Method Man, I’m momentarily leaning more towards Ghostface Killah. Not in the last place because he’s one of the lesser known members of the Clan, but in no way less awesome in his sound. ‘Shame On A Nigga’ has got a nice flow, and especially the sampled ‘brass’ hook from Syl Johnson‘s ‘Different Srokes‘, which is a dope track in itself already.
Equator – Silence (K90 Remix)
Tom Harding @ Dancevalley
Somewhat of a stranger in this list, but I have been knee-deep into the hardhouse scene for about four years. I was at every HQ party in the Melkweg, every Dancevalley, every rave in the Rotaanhuis (now Club Rose on the Rozengracht). I met a lot of guys over there that are now also in the house/techno scene like Lauhaus, Boris Werner and Aron Friedman. At that time I was a big fan of Tom Harding, and this record was the standard pinnacle in his sets. If you listen to it now that 90s sound is just dripping from it, but at the time (next to techno and progressive) it was the only sound that was any good. A personal highlight was his closing set at Dancevalley 1999. “Goodnight, God bless bless bless..”
Fat Freddy’s Drop – Ernie
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Apart from Fat Freddy’s being one of the coolest live acts I’ve ever seen, ‘Based On A True Story‘, their first studio album, is still one of my most listened to tracks in my music library. The combination of funk and electronica that’s always represented in their tracks, together with the silky soft voice of Joe Dukie, makes their tracks timelessly interesting to me. The nice thing about Fat Freddy’s is that their sound is pretty relaxed to listen to, but when they’re performing a show they have this mad energy that overwhelms you. When I saw them live for the first time the trumpeter set in at one point – the only white guy in the band consisting of seven people by the way – and out of nowhere he began to strip halfway through his solo. Suffice to say that I was sold.
Every track on the album is great, but ‘Earnie’, the opening track, stands for everything that is cool about them. If we could ever make it happen to go into the studio with Joe Dukie, or to remix work of Fat Freddy’s, then I can die a happy man.
Status IV – You ain’t really down (Jazzanova’s Hey baby remix)
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This was the first record I ever bought in a period when I started to make the transition from deep house and techno to a more crossover vibe of house, broken beats, funk and disco. It doesn’t happen a lot that a remix overpowers the original, but with this track it’s definitely the case. Maybe it’s even more impressive that they’ve managed to create an incredible amount of funk in this track with a minimal set of elements to create it. Of course the vocal is fresh as hell, but the bass line that they’ve used here, and the stretched, stripped beat gives me goose bumps even to this day. We played it in our Boiler Room set last year, and I remember that the crowd was really pleased with it. At that moment I was proud that I had the opportunity to share this one with the crowd and the camera.
D’Angelo – Spanish Joint
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The whole D’Angelo story is just bizarre. From a muscular, sexy dude, to a guy with serious weight problems, cancelled shows and a third album that is postponed again and again. But D’Angelo stays the king of the hot, sweaty sex-music in my view. Brown Sugar was of course the shit, but Voodoo was the album where I really thought: “Wow, this dude has blended hiphop, funk and R ‘n B so well, that it’s just porn coming from the speakers”. His ‘Live at the Jazz Cafe‘ album is probably my most-played record ever, but sadly he didn’t play my favourite track on there, which is ‘Spanish Joint’. The whole recording of the track feels like a jam session, and there are so many cool elements in there that I don’t know what I like most: the bass line, the guitar lick, the percussion, the solo’s or his voice. I think that’s exactly why it’s my favourite song from him. By the way, the track has also been used in a very nice way in the DJ Kicks compilation by Henrik Schwarz.
Metallica – Enter Sandman
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At high school I played in a band with a couple of friends. After school we always went to practice in one of the guys’ shed and went completely nuts with our instruments. Them on their guitars and me on the drums. I think we played ‘Enter Sandman’ about 10.000 times, that’s how crazy we were of that song. A deliciously threatening intro before the raunchy guitars and crashes break through. Unfortunately I don’t have the demo tapes we recorded back then. Maybe for the better when I come to think of it.
Sublime – Doin’ Time
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When we were a bit done with our jam-band we started to go more into the surf-punk sound. That’s when I discovered Sublime. It was only around the release of their third album that I got to know them actually, and I was pretty beaten down when I found out that the former lead-singer, Bradley Nowell, had died from a heroin overdose. I immediately started to download everything from them, from the crappy takes from live shows to cassette tapes full of the same tracks but each one a bit different from the other. We played ‘What I Got‘ a lot around that time, probably their biggest hit. ‘Doin’ Time’ I didn’t know about back then, but when I started to listen to more hiphop I came across this track, that they made in collaboration with Pharcyde. The keys here give a really nice crossover sound between the ‘white’ vibe of Sublime, and the dreamy funk of Pharcyde.