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!