If you have been on digestion mode of Dutch Dance Music lately then you definitely have been getting in some of Eelke Kleijn‘s distinct beats. His latest EP ‘Levensgenieter’ (due for release 16 January 2012) off his own label Outside The Box Music is supported strongly by the likes of Nick Warren, Dosem, Hernan Cattaneo, Nic Fanciulli, Axwell, Pole Folder, Dave Seaman, Paul van Dyk and Markus Schulz.
This latest offering hosts a sound that is a swirling anthem-top-heavy synth laden release, placing this talented and hard working producer at his unified best; deep, grooving and exquisitely executed. Through harvesting his love of deepness with a luxury of rhythm he has created an idyllic escape for any dancefloor gathering. With the b-side ‘Flierefluiter’, he peels back the edges of his recent darker sounds to reveal a downtime flow that has a distinct techno crunch which, with its deliciously warm melody line, possess all the energy necessary for that perfect dusk-to-dawn crowd pleaser. We chat to him about his debut release, the concept behind Levensgenieter, playing in Ibiza and Beunos Aires and who he makes music for…
What do you think it was that made your debut album ‘Naturally Artificial’ stand out so that Global Underground took notice and released it on their label?
Well when I sent them the album it was only half-finished, I had about 6 tracks ready. I think it was the mixture of more traditional elements such as violin and guitar with electronica influences that made them take it up. Most of the tracks I sent them were not really typical dancefloor material, but on the edge between electronica and downtempo stuff. After they had heard the first 6 tracks they were quite eager to pick it up and I got a free hand to work on the other tracks.
Finish the sentence. I make music for…
Myself. I’ve always had this little voice in the back of my head that tells me to make music. I can’t really sit down and not make music. For some reason I start to feel extremely guilty. It used to get too much sometimes, nowadays I’ve learned to take a Sunday off and not spend it in the studio, but before I could often not sit on the couch and do nothing because I’d start to feel guilty about not writing music.
Well if you compare the two, Argentina is a country with a much more underground scene for music. The set I played at Moonpark was quite deep, for one because I was warming up for Hernan Cattaneo, so I’d start at about 122 IDM and build it up slowly. But in general the scene in Buenos Aires is really great for underground music. Privilege on the other hand is much more of a commercial club these days. I can’t get away with playing deep house there, everything from the first to the last record has to push exactly the right buttons.
Why do you think the Dutch have such an affinity for creating Dance music that people love?
I think it is because we’ve been ‘fed’ dance music ever since the late 80s, early 90s when it was already booming here. A lot of the young generation of producers that you see move up the scale nowadays, have listened to electronic music their entire life. It’s not an underground thing in Holland, it’s been very mainstream all these years. So even though we are a small country, you have a huge amount of people and potential ‘new producers’ getting exposed to dance music
What was the creative concept behind your latest EP ‘Levensgenieter’?
Well, I wanted Levensgenieter to sound like a modern production with some of those terrible 90s influences. Like the cheesy drum rolls and ‘woooo’ sample halfway into the track. I wanted something that would push this record over the top. In the end I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s a fun record for having fun on the dancefloor, and that’s exactly how it was meant. People take dance music far too seriously nowadays.
Check Out his latest EP Levensgenieter due for release next Monday!
How do you maintain a fresh outlook on your production?
By listening to other music and by writing other music. I’m in the fortunate position where I get to write a lot of music for TV and film as well. And that is really what keeps me going. I would get bored if I had to write dance music all the time, but then again writing music for ads all the time isn’t everything either. It’s the combination of the two that keeps me going strong. After working on a scoring project for a few days it’s great fun to do a dance record and think about the nightclub for a change.
Your second album ‘Untold Stories’ seems to hold a deeply personal meaning for you. What is the title reminiscent of and is there any reason you released it on Manual Music instead on ‘Outside the Box Music’?
What I tried to combine on the album was the more traditional ‘Eelke Kleijn’ sound that most people are familiar with from previous releases, and the scoring influences. Generally speaking it turned out alright, the reviews have been mixed but generally positive. I don’t know if I would do it exactly similar the next time, but I think each album is a process that you can analyze later on and learn from. At the time I did not want to release the album on my own label. I’d been so deeply involved in writing it, that took nearly 2 years, that I didn’t want anything to do with the whole distribution and promotion chain, so I asked Paul whom I’ve known for a long time if he was interested in doing it on Manual Music.
Are there any other exciting things to look out for from ‘Outside the Box Music’ this forthcoming year?
Definitely! For one I am aiming to release more of my own music on the label. Originals as well as remixes by myself and other artists I admire. I’ve also got a great line up of artists ready for future releases, including Federico Epis, Jim Rivers, Rauwkost, Dosem and Blind & Folds.