What is it about the sensory Robot Heart experience is it that most draws you in? What was your first Burning man experience like? Who were you with? How did it go?
My first Robot Heart was with the Rebels, infact they did a night called Rebel Heart where a few djs from Crosstown Rebels would play. I think Damian Lazarus, Jamie Jones, Art Department and Deniz Kurtel were al playing on the same night if I am not wrong.
It was my birthday and I was opening the bus that night so I was playing when it started to move and go deep into the Playa.
When I first arrived on the bus there was already a good crowd and someone started singing Happy Birthday to me and the whole crowd followed… it was so emotional!!! This wasn’t the only time it happened to be my birthday on Robot Heart at Burning Man… and it’s always created fantastic memories. That first moment was magic, it went really well, surrounded by the people I loved and I will never forget it.
By that same token, you had essentially started your career with releases on Crosstown Rebels. How has that imprint influenced you as an artist? What have you learned from its head, Damian Lazarus?
I think Damian is a great DJ and A&R, he knows his music and has great taste. Crosstown has developed musically since it first started, I remember buying the first Crosstown Rebels record back in the days and being a big fan already. I remember the first time I heard Damian playing at Fabric back in 2011 and I was amazed by the journey. I had never heard something like that before! His style is so mystic and classy. I have learnt a lot working with Crosstown, especially how to survive a busy tour schedule. The first year we had the 10 Years Rebel anniversary and went mad on gigs. That was fun… I think we never laughed that much!!!
Oh Happy Days… I think the very first release has a lot of influences from Crosstown, it’s a bit dark and deep but has my sound in it too, dreamy and melodic.
You are classically trained, but play electronic. To me, I have always seen electronic music as a natural continuation of classical, and one of the more pure forms of music in history, with jazz being another. Obviously, there is a lot that can be said in this conversation, but would you agree that electronic music carries the baton of classical’s historically significant nature?
I completely agree with that! I think the way that classical music is composed is similar to how we create electronic music today. The big difference is in how we write it, we don’t use a pen and paper anymore, and you don’t have to be able to read and write music either. With the advanced technology, we have it a much easier way to do it. Plus there is no real performance involved like in classical music. Wouldn’t it be nice if each sound was played live by a synth orchestra?
Looking at your dates in 2016, one that sticks out to me is SXMusic in St. Martin. Have you ever played the island before? How do you see that event going down?
No I have not, I don’t think there has ever been an event such as this one on the Island! I am very excited since there are a lot of friends going and it will be something new in a beautiful place just before the music conference. I am planning on arriving early so I can visit the place properly.
As we are based in Amsterdam, I ask everyone, what are your impressions of the city of Amsterdam? Do you have a specific memory of Amsterdam, be it personal or professional? Have you had the chance to explore the city at all, or are you always working when here?
Amsterdam is to date one of my favourite European cities. I have always liked it since I first visited at 18. I’ve now been many times that I think I know it pretty well. I am a big fan of water and the canal scene there is just fantastic, it makes me feel at peace.
I love the fact that everyone cycles rather then being surrounded by hundreds of cars. I spent my NYE there in 1999 and it was absolutely fantastic. I remember that the streets were packed and people were bursting fireworks from their windows into the street. Everyone started running all together! I fell many times and lost my friends on several occasions, but we spent the rest of the night on the streets of Amsterdam, it was hilarious and so much fun!
“Freefall” is available 20 February on Echoe