Exclusive Interview With Boris Werner II
“It’s hard to define, but when asked, I always describe my sound as the ‘indestructable groove’.”
Photos by Timo Steenvoorden Photography
It’s not that long ago since we last interviewed Boris Werner, but since that was a bit concise due to lack of time we agreed to a second round where we would have a longer and more elaborate conversation. So here it is.
Boris is heralded as one of the most talented and sought after DJ/producers both in the Amsterdam scene as abroad. His latest release was an acid-drenched banger that was dropped on Tom Trago’s Voyage Direct label. During that same summer he has been a monthly resident for his trusted Circoloco party at DC-10.
But what does Boris himself think about the current state of his career, and are there still some dreams left to fulfill? And for once and for all we disclosed the story behind that bad-boy image of his, which always seems to surface in every interview, write-up or comment involving him.
We met at a bar on one of Amsterdam’s historic canals, across the Anne Frank house, where swarms of tourists stroll through the middle of the road, turning Amsterdam’s downtown traffic into an even bigger nightmare than it already is.
In the middle of the afternoon Boris comes cruising towards the bar where we would meet up, looking his casual self: slightly tilted cap, sneakers and a perfectly unshaven beard, making the out-of-bed-look actually look cool again. After we take a seat on the bar’s outside terrace and ordered a beer and a carajillo (coffee with brandy), we start talking about why he wanted to come to this place specifically. It was his father’s bar for thirty years and Boris has worked here during several of them. His first jobs were predominantly in bars and clubs. In the latter he would eventually discover that his passion was in dance music. Not long after he made the brave decision to quit the job and school altogether, and completely devote himself to make it as an artist.
Flash forward a decade and a half. We start to talk about his summer and his residency in Ibiza. “It was a different summer than usual for me. I did fewer festivals here and played more outside of the Netherlands. Next to my five or six visits to Ibiza I’ve been to Lovefest festival in Serbia and Barrakud in Croatia, which were really nice.” What’s it like in Serbia? Well it felt like I was going back in time, as they’re not that up to date on the latest developments of the scene like they are here or in Berlin. But that’s what made it so much fun. The overall setting was really simple and basic, which I really liked. People were just going mental, all of them. There aren’t that many festivals in Serbia, it’s this one and Exit Festival I think, so people aren’t spoiled clubbers and really make the most of every minute there. Really cool to see”.
And how was the Ibiza experience this year? “It’s always good to be there. I mostly played Circoloco DC-10 like always and I opened for Doc Martin & DJ Sneak at this really small club that’s only known to the Ibiza in-crowd. But I just have a special relationship with DC-10. Before I ever came to Ibiza I said to myself, if I’m going, I’m going there to play. And Circoloco DC-10 was my first gig on the island, back in 2010.”
I asked him what he thinks of Ibiza in general, whether it’s as magical as some say it is, or whether it’s the British tourist death trap like we’ve seen in videos like this one. “There’s definitely two sides to the island, yes. You can take the tourist option and drink and party all you want and stay at a crummy apartment. But you can also discover the inland part of Ibiza, rent an affordable cottage there, see a bit of nature and party at some nice villasand you will see a completely different side of it.”
While enjoying the chaotic street scene in front of us we went on to a different topic: Rens Worbier. For those who hadn’t figured it out, Rens Worbier is an anagram for Boris Werner. It is his moniker through which he can express other types of music than house. “Rens Worbier kind of came into existence because I have this huge record collection, a great part of which falls outside of the house spectrum, like disco, afrobeat, Ethiopian music, hip hop, ska, Doe Maar [famous Dutch band, give them a listen here] and so much more. But, even though they’re different than what I usually play in sets, I still wanted to be able to play those records for an audience. So I thought of the name on some evening a few years back and started to make Rens heard here in Amsterdam; first by playing some radio shows for Red Light Radio and then through my residency at Disco Dolly.”