Moos you have been a DJ for a while now, do you remember what was the first song/artist that caught your attention on a deeper level and opened you up to music?
I’ve been into listening to music for a very long time and I’ve always been into sharing music, I mean having the urge to show music to others and listening together. One of my first soldering projects (around my 15th or so I think) was my own 5 Watts fm transmitter on which I played music from cassette and vinyl for a imaginary friend across the street, one of the first or the first album was the greatest hits album ‘On The Radio’ by Donna Summer with disco-genius Giorgio Moroder as the producer.
For a long time I listened to electronic pop music, most of the stuff i find horrible to listen to now. I fell asleep with music of Jean Michel Jarre so you could say I already had an early love for electronics. I often realize myself now that because of not wanting to listen to mainstream I also missed out on a lot of pop music that was good after all, like the Beatles..haha..
But the first piece of music which showed me there can be a deeper level, a much deeper level, is David Sylvian with the album Brilliant Trees and with many other works, some of his music is holy to me, after this debut solo-album he released an instrumental project on cassette and vinyl, which years later fortunately also came out on cd, called Alchemy, Words with the Shaman (Songs from the Big Tree Tops) This is so beautiful, I just couldn’t believe it, this music is to me pure ecstasy.
The way he composes music, with so many different layers, beautiful melodies which are all connected and which make a circle coming all together, his heavenly voice, the perfect balance of digital and analog instruments I really didn’t hear that often or maybe I didn’t ever, at least not in popular music. I’m not saying that you should love his music, you love or hate it, it’s very personal, typical music and very melancholic but if you don’t appreciate it I think you really miss something.
Besides classical music and certain jazz music I think there isn’t too much ‘deep’ music we listen to, at least it’s very rare, if you listen to rock for example then there is not really much happening, to me 97% sounds the same, also with the majority of the mainstream dance music, top 40 music, I hardly dare to listen to the radio, it makes me utterly sad to realize so many people listen to such plastic crap.
Another genius album I’d take to the moon needing to choose, is ‘My life in the Bush of Ghosts’ by Brian Eno & David Byrne, they produced a dance album in the early 80′s that much dance-music produced today can’t compete with. But I do think that the dynamic in the complexity of structure in music is somehow brought back in a lot of electronic music (IDM). Some other names I’d like to mention are Autechre, Boards of Canada, Biosphere, RADIOHEAD (just bought myself a ticket to their show in Berlin next year !), Erik Satie, Beethoven and Brahms but there are actually too many.
How did it all started for you?
The DJ-ing? In a way I was DJ-ing before the whole DJ thing became big and later when house parties started to pop up like mushrooms I played as a ‘chill-out’ dj, I’m really into listening music, I would (never without the help of others) decorate the room, hang Christmas lights and create a room to wonder away from ‘the real world’.
For years I sat on a pillow, playing downbeat music, never a set without an Underworld track. So for a long time, also during all BAF parties it wasn’t just about the music but about the whole experience, I think that the environment and so many other factors are important for an ultimate listening experience, people forget this, we all think we can judge music in the first minute, sometimes you can, like with a film, but music on a deeper level, listening to music asks for a bit more effort sometimes.
We used to organize listening sessions, at home, the track would start the moment that the joint would be lit, ‘we weren’t allowed to talk’, we’d sit in the dark in the middle of big speakers and if cell phones would have existed we would have had turned them off. Certain music just needs to be listened to without attraction of something else so that the composer can take you on a trip, same with a good film, I can’t stand it when people leave the room without the wish to pause the video while watching a film which is worth it, you might miss a essential shot, detail which the director wouldn’t want you to miss, it’s also an act of disrespect I think. People used to find me really annoying in this, I’m less pushy because I lost my believe that ‘everyone should hear this!’ a little but I still keep up certain ‘listening rituals’ myself.
What is music to you can you describe it, what purpose does it serve?
I kept this question as the last to answer, what is music to me..? Pfff…my God; It is actually one of my Gods or at least something I believe in, something that is good for all of us, that can bring us together, can heal us, can show us that all is good. Music is the universal language in which there are many different words for any emotion except for hate, at least not in the music I listen to. There’s so much different music with so many different feelings and purposes
Music to relax to, music to dance to, to sing along with, to cry with to laugh about to feel nostalgic with, music as an illustration or music just as wallpaper, it’s the universal language of love, of freedom, music tells you there is more to this, whenever, wherever, a reflection of how people live, of how we see the world.
It’s interesting to see how listening to music must have been different hundreds of years ago. Old music can be so complex and people wouldn’t be able to record it, to capture it and thus listen to it while doing the dishes hoping to ‘understand’ the piece after listening to it for many times. We can listen to the same piece over and over again but we don’t take time for things anymore, there’s too much, we download a Terabyte of music just to have it and to let it sit on the computer. There are not many people realizing that it takes more sometimes. People’s heads must have been so much more empty in those ages, empty enough to take the whole piece in one go on that one day that the orchestra would be in town, if you’d had the money for it. There must have been more peace to be able to receive such music and to create such heavenly melodies and structures. I wish I could once go back to that time with an empty head, going to a Beethoven concert, an ecstatic experience I think. It’s a shame that people go so fast and don’t take time anymore to really sit down and listen let it come to you.
What kind of music makes you tick?
Makes me tick? A voice should be used as an instrument to me, it should add something instead of just being there because of a song that should be sang, off course I can appreciate songs but to, in general I prefer instrumental music. And the songs I do like I don’t know the lyrics from.
How do you feel when sharing your music with people can you describe it?
I like to please people, to see people happy makes me happy, showing them nice music is like pushing them a bit in the direction of God. If I see one person freaking out on the tune I like to share it can make my day.
What is the best place you have ever been DJ-ing at and why and what was the strangest place you have DJ-ed at?
The strangest place is also the best place; The Omniversum Cinema, here in The Hague. They let me compile a new soundtrack to my favorite time-lapse movie ‘Kronos’ Wish I could once do that again, the sound was incredible (uncountable many speakers behind the projection screen) and the DJ booth above the projector, the place I always dreamed of sitting while watching films there. The film is brilliant, just long time-lapse shots of beautiful place around the world with rather dated music so that was a challenge. I performed 7 times in a week.
Another very strange but great place was an eclipse festival in Zambia, a western hippie world in the heart of dark Africa, bizarre!
Do you have a period in time when you feel the music scene was at it’s best?
For me personally as a ‘chill-out dj’ the best period was around 15 years ago when any party would have a chill-out area, later named with a word which is not my favorite: ‘the lounge’.
In general, according to the quality of music I don’t think there is a ‘best’ period. Any period has it’s own pearls, one of the intriguing things about music is the transformation in time and how it reflects certain periods and how every period wouldn’t be there without the previous one. It’s a never-ending story. So in a way the answer is always: ‘now!’
Where do you think the music scene is great & booming?
Music is great & booming in places where people are not spoiled and are still graving for new stuff like in East-Europe, at least in my experience.
It’s interesting to see how people party and enjoy music in different ways all around the globe. There might be a lot of dance related music coming from here but I don’t really like parties in Holland that much anymore, it’s all a bit overhyped and everything is according to the ‘dance-concept’.
This whole DJ worshiping thing I’ve never really understood, it’s great fun but still not more than pushing buttons and play other people’s stuff, to me a DJ is not much more than a medium. People should create the party themselves, not just the DJ. I miss the spirit here…too many watchers on the side being spoiled. And many parties nowadays are way too ‘druggy’, people take drugs in a way as if this life wouldn’t be fast enough. Everyone should first learn to socialize, have fun without and then maybe it’s fun to experiment but too many people turn things around with which they take themselves away from the real experience, many people don’t find the way back, shame.
Do you have a special place where you buy your records?
Not anymore since I don’t really buy records anymore, it all happens on the net, Clone @ Rotterdam is the last record shop I visited. I started DJ-ing with cd’s, later with records but it has always been my goal to be as mobile as possible; being able to throw a party when and wherever, after several tries with mobile cd systems and a dual minidisc player (with pitch control!) this is finally the time for it; a laptop and midi controller both fit into my survival bag, I love it!
So if the Armageddon is here I’ll be playing the soundtrack to it. On the net it’s Boomkat. Bleep and Beatport for me.
How many records do you have?
Pfff..too many but less then cd’s, sometimes I think I don’t need more new music cause I’m still going through all the old stuff.
Do you have a preference between festivals, big or small events?
Any place where people are enjoying and sharing music is good for me but I love the festival life, waking up in a different place, a different and free world where people came to have fun, I could live on festivals for the rest of my life.
Although I’m a dancer myself and I love to let people dance I do prefer the area where listening-music is being played, the chillout.
What would be a dream event or place you would love to DJ at?
First party on the moon on the the night of the 21st of december 2012
Every year, for the last seven years, I play on Sziget, Hungary, for me the dream event because of the Cöxpȏn-Ambient area which is the nicest, coolest, sweetest and most beautiful chill-out I ever played. But I wish I would be playing at more events like that, I can’t imagine getting fed up, ever. At some network-party during ADE this year I accidentally met up with someone of the Exit-festival in Serbia, my own unexpected network moment, so I’m working on a dj-promo right now, finally again. I think I never really worked enough on my marketing in ways of making a website or uploading mixes but I would definitely like to improve that in the near future.
You are also very visual, you make photographs, videos. Is there a link between sound and images? How?
‘Eyegasms’ are almost as good as ‘eargasms’ but having them at the same time is the best.
l see a link between the kind of music you like and the images you take, they are dreamy and colorful. What is the link between image and sound, what do they both need to have for you?
If served right then image and sound are the strongest impulses to escape from here and with here I don’t mean this planet but rather the ugly Godless world we created and all so easily accept to live in. Music and for example images of the colors of the sky, or even of people or other animals, trees and clouds give me something I would never wanna loose; being amazed by the beauty of it all. And to realize there is so much more and more, life is too short to discover it all yourself, we should appreciate the fact we can travel so far without moving. The best is a fine combination of the two, making a circle. But the best way to experience and be inspired is to be there, that’s why I like traveling so much; to be amazed every corner you turn, I love trains….
Can you name some of your favorite visual artists?
Cunningham…but that’s probably because he is the only one I remember the name of, I like to mention Stanley Kubrick, the genius in film making and TodaysArt introduced me this summer with Anti-VJ, they work with one of my heroes in IDM, Murcof. Their work on a mapping festival in Switzerland which you can watch on Youtube or maybe you want to link it to your blog, which blew my mind, it shows there is much to come!
What do you want to capture with an image? What do you want to communicate?
The beauty of what is around us, every day, every moment in everything we see, it’s always there, in most common things. We don’t seem to look up anymore, we put ourselves in boxes and therefore we need boxes to show us what is outside the box, it’s a strange life. Regular radio and television don’t often contribute to that, it’s more than 20 years ago that I threw my television out of the window, watching television makes me sad, I rather play some music instead. The most significant difference between children and grownups is that adults stop being amazed. I never want to lose that.
What are your future plans involving music or visuals?
Off course also me would like to produce my own sounds one day, maybe someday I’ll come up with a concept connecting the images I make to the music I play or even produce, I hope so. Love & Peace !
Thank you Moosz!Read More
What’s the thing or person in your childhood that triggered your interest in art /music?
My father Jan Borchers gave me some drumsticks when I was 2 or 3 years young. I was fascinated by his records. I once rearranged all the inner sleeve’s, vinyl and covers separately. It must have been a nightmare for him. I was also very fascinated by tape recorders. As soon as I could draw figurative things the only thing I would draw was band stage setups and tape recorders. After that I was fascinated by Kiss, Devo and The Stranglers.I just really liked the way they looked and I was only 7 years old!
How did it evolve for you, when did you know this is it for me?
Playing music is not something that I thought of; “Oh this is for me”. It’s something that’s just been around me all the time and wanted to do all my life. I never thought I would get into art when I was young. I was more interested in Belgium and French comics and started drawing my own of course. When I was studying illustration my work with Antistrot sort of naturally got accepted by the art world.
Do you have ‘heroes’? Who are they and why?
I do have a lot of artists, designers and musicians that I admire but they’re too many of them to name. For YobKiss I got my inspiration from a couple of artists though. At the time I was drumming in a band called Soft Posh and I was doing some electronic music with our guitarist iPennies (Stephan Kaffa) but standing behind a keyboard and a laptop was just not enough for me. I kind of missed the intense drumming I used to do when I was playing in death metal bands in the early 90′s (Black Door Mine, Compos Mentis). I wanted to start a new solo project combining my love for vintage synths and metal. With Soft Posh we went to a Broadcast show in Rotterdam and the drummer and synth player were selling their solo project called Microtronics. That mini CD really inspired me to start something on my own with drums and synth, so did Dosh at that time and Zuinosin a trio from Osaka for whom I was organizing show’s for. Later they became known as the duo Bogulta. Nani and Syogo from Bogulta introduced me to a lot of artists in Japan while we were touring there together.
With drawing initially my art I got inspired by Rita Ackerman, when I was studying art I was literary copying here style for about half a year. Some people thought that was lame but I think by copying your heroes you learn something from them even though they’re not physically around. In the end you use what you learned from them and apply it to your own interpretations. A lot of old masters used to work that way too I guess. I also learned a lot from my Antistrot colleagues. A lot of the things we were doing when we’re experimenting with Antistrot has influenced my way of drawing. I guess we all influenced each other all the time.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
These days fashion and costume design inspires me. Architecture also really inspires me, It gives the music a certain place in space. It works better for me if I can visualize where the music is and If I wear nice clothes my music becomes better too. It’s really hard for me to make something nice in a crappy space.
You do illustrations and music. Do you prefer one above the other? What does it mean to you?
I don’t do that much Illustration anymore these days as I’m working more on making my drawings for my own personal reasons. Actually in the first place I was never that much interested in Illustration anyway. When I was studying animation and graphic design in 1997 I saw two guys hanging out at the illustration department; Johan and Bruno and they were having fun! We got along pretty well and started Antistrot. And now after 14 years we’re still working together, not as Antistrot anymore but we have secret agenda called Pantystort!
I think my music and the art that I work on are both very important to me, it just depends what I feel like working on at the moment. Even if I would get a remix or production job and I actually feel more inspired to work on a painting I’ll find the time to work on that painting.
How do you work? What’s your drive?
I think routine in daily life is very important for me when I work.
It’s pretty hard to get a routine for anyone I think as a freelancer and working from home. It’s good to forget about it sometimes but as a professional artist you should take your work as serious as preparing food. It’s what makes you survive.
When you create what is it that the art work or music piece needs to have in order for you to feel satisfied?
It has to excite me in every possible way, again and again, when I look at it or hear it.
Most of the time I am only satisfied about a part of it. I think it’s something every artist hopes to achieve.
You travel quite a lot. What does traveling do for you?
It gives a fresh perspective on things and it helps me establish contact’s around the world. For instance I was living in Australia for about a year and had not been in the Netherlands for quite awhile and when I all of a sudden was back there as a visitor I actually really saw how the Netherlands and Dutch people are. Before that I never saw it such a intensive way.
Is there a place where you feel at home or that inspires you? Why?
I can feel at home anywhere I guess, That’s the survival instinct, but I feel at home at London at the moment because I was looking for a change for some time and in London everything seems to speed up a bit more and changes a bit more fast. I also felt at home in Japan but it’s a bit hard to get around when you’re not fluent with the language. After awhile you discover all these things you didn’t see in the first place, the grass seems less green after a good observation.
Do you think the working environment is important? Can it help or block you? Why?
Yeah, a busy working environment is much healthier work place then isolation for me.
Are you a loner or do you prefer working in groups?
I really need both. I really enjoy working in a group if the dynamic is there like I had with Antistrot.
What is important to you in the making process? The idea, the actual making or bringing it out in the world?
They are all important of course but most important is to find a way to bring it out into the world. Ideas and production time are always around but finding a label or a gallery that actually brings your work to the right people depends on meeting the right people at the right time.
What do you think about the art world? How would you like it be?
I don’t really think about the art world that much that would just kill my work. I like the direction it is going in London. Maybe it’s because I just moved here but it seems like there is a diverse crowd of people that visit shows and the artists seem to take the power in their own hands instead of waiting for a commercial gallery to sell their work. I like that.
What’s the best thing that ever happen to you?
Jo Kang, she is the most lovely person I ever met. She inspires me with interesting ideas and supports the decisions in my life.
Are you a future or past orientated person?
I’m a future orientated person, but I like looking back sometimes at the good things I myself and other people have made. I really like watching old movies.
Is there a place you want to be with your music or illustrations?
Yeah, but that’s just insane, I’m not even going to describe, hahaha.
Where do you think the art/music world is moving towards?
I’m not sure, I’m a bit pessimistic about it. I would love to be surprised by it, unfortunately that doesn’t happen often because I see too many artists with shallow ideas and bad executed shows. There is so much awesome work being done that I never see in shows. I hope that those artists will stick to their calling and not give up because of financial crisis. I think you should see every crisis as an advantage to engage new ideas.
Thank you Paul!Read More
Mattijs how did you get from the Art Academy into Tao? Can you tell us about your journey and how it all started?
I had been interested in Taoism from a philosophical point of view since from around age 15. Taoism matches a non conformistic-, natural living-, easy does it-, and spirited way of life that i also encountered with a lot of artists. But like i develloped a discontent to the mental approach to art (that was paramount when i was in Art School), i found i could deepen my approach to the Tao by physically getting into it; with practice.
(Taoism offers an array of aspects that can actually be practiced to embody its philosophy. In fact, its whole philosophy is about the natural way of things – how things work in daily life. Food can be a philosophy but you can also notice its effects on your person, intimately. Same goes for Tai Chi Chuan. Or Feng Shui – which deals with spatial order – you can feel it!)
So this felt real good! Being very enthousiastic, at one point i got asked if i would be interested in teaching and i reckoned this would be a good way to integrate the work in my daily life.
How do you feel about art? Do you still make art?
Art is without a doubt an excellent way of connecting with many different layers of reality – both for the artist as for the spectator. In this it serves an admirable purpose; to expand conciousness from a narrow, conditioned state of being into … well … infinity, really.
Why would this be admirable? Because it serves life. Because it generates wonder, amazement. And hope, and joy. All reasons to get up in the morning!
And yes, i do still make art. I make comics. Drawings, illustrations at times.
There are many branches in Tao Tai-Chi or Dao-In how did you get interested in the Healing Tao?
Sex. Healing Tao is the branch that most openly disclosed some of the ‘secret’ practices of Taoism: Bedroom Arts. The whole Yin-Yang, copulating nature of planet earth is, in man, most clearly present in his sexual energies! This encompasses way much more than just erotica.
What is it healing Tao exactly, can you actually heal with it?
Healing Tao is a huge system of practice that one can use to become better ‘at one with oneself’. Vital, balanced, clear and strong. Through movement and through meditation. But food, astrology, massage, arts and reason are also included.
And yes, you can definitely heal. – With the emphasis on self-healing first. Suffering for the salvation of others is not promoted. ‘Be the change you want for the world’ is more like it.
How can you use it best?
Best way to use it is to not try too hard. Change comes slowly. Do not create distance from your practice by making it an ‘exercise’. Do it and you get it. At the bus stop. At the family dinner table. In the bedroom.
Do you still train to keep up, do you have a master?
I have a lot of the practice integrated in my life. As a teacher i have a steady amount of training throughout the week. I practice Aikido with my master Franciska van Leeuwen. I follow seminars now and then. And i am still reading!
You have visited China was it what you expect it?
Some was. But i had modest expectations. I had expected the Chinese to speak English just a bit more.
What do you think people in our society should do different, if there is anything what would that be?
Gratitude. Have it, practice it. For this amazingly strong and vulnerable body of being that we are to experience this crazy turbulent life with.
What is it in Tao that attracts you so much why not tantra or something else for example?
I don’t really know a whole lot about Tantra and other things. But it seems Tao more than anything is about dealing with what is real. The here and now.
And to do it with a smile.
- Like in this famous story about the ‘Vinegar Tasters’: even if the ‘juice of life’ may be dead sour – would you want to spend your life saying it should be different?!
This is an ancient art form used for many purposes where the ancients smarter you think? In what way yes or no?
There has definitely been a time in which man was more closely related to the natural processes of life. ‘Arts’ based on dealing with this originated in times when society had already strayed; conceived, conditioned. Certainly it takes a genuine art and excellent men and women to have it passed on for more than 4000 years.
While sex was evil here in the west it was sacred and used for healing in the east, how do you feel about that?
Sexual energy is creative energy. It can create life, obviously. But it actually enforces whatever you direct it to. It is a force that can be manipulated to any cause – benevolent or not.
Its economical value (in advertisement for example) and power value (in wars for example) are obviously exploited – although few people are actually conscious about it.
The biggest slip is to never realise its tremendous potential – which indeed includes health, vitality and spiritual practice as well.
You work with energies called Chi/Qi, how would you describe those energies?
Nothing special. I reckon in this time most people are to be able to relate to anything as forms of energy. ‘Wind’ differs from ‘wall’ differs from ‘apple pie’. They are different energies. To be aware of different energies, or qualities, inside or outside your own skin you just need to stop your head thinking a whole lot about it. A problem for the Western mind is that Energy has long been objectified: first as a Divine (or Devilish) Attribute, and then as an Attribute of Nature – And these both were allocated outside your own Noble Self. But your noble ass is in that same soup.
Can you learn to work with Chi/Qi in a short period of time, because those people were very strict about many things and it took years to learn how to use it properly, how do you feel about it?
You can play and work with Qi easily. Like you can pick up a guitar and get a sound out. The extend to which you can be a virtuoso depends on both disposition and dedication. Mind that I do not believe strictness will get you very far. However: things like joy or wonder may inspire to be dedicated!
How can Healing Tao improve one’s life?
It can help you hear, or understand whatever you need to improve your life. For one this means practicing strength, for the other softness (though often it amounts to the same thing). For most people in modern day over-active, 24-7, media crazy, performance driven society it simply means becoming a bit more quiet.
What else did you learn while studying and teaching the Tao?
I understood that even when i got deeper and deeper, i was still only skin deep. The deepness and vastness of human conciousness is unfathomable (or that’s just how far i got
Did your life changed in any way? How so or not?
I don’t know – life is always changing in any and every way. And then it is still the same me in the mirror. But i enjoy doing this. Now.
Do you think it affects the brain in any way?
Yes. Granting the ‘Clever’ brain less importance makes one clearer. The thinking brain is deceived so easily. All your concepts and ideas really get you far from being where you’d best be. Your guts don’t lie. Healing Tao is definitely a sound practice for getting down to what is real.
What do you require in order to learn working with sexual energies, with Chi?
A bit of humor, probably, to get around 2000 years of demonisation of anything below the belt.
One of the wisest things you have learned so far is?
My teacher Hu often responded “It depends!”. It don’t come much wiser than that!
Are you planning on doing something else in the future?
No. I’d like to spend some more time on art. Play music.
Is there anyone you would like to meet or work with?
I would like to work with CEO’s in companies or government – inspire some big shots to get connected. I would like to meet anyone that inspires me to connect more fully to life, everytime!
Thank you Mattijs!