Local Rockstars: DJ+ about dubstep's resurrection

Local Rockstars: DJ+ about dubstep’s resurrection

Apr 3, 2013 |  by  |  Event, Music
About the author
Born and raised in Amsterdam, lives to dance and dances to live on electronic music, has a small vinyl addiction, appreciates a little sarcasm now and then, thinks musicals are annoying and loves those moments where you lose track of time completely.

Whether you went out last weekend to check out an uber-geeky beat magician or a depressingly awesome indie rock band, we all know there’s always some serious musical talents rocking around the Dam. You might not recognize them all yet, but don’t worry, you will soon. In this series of interviews we talk to remarkable artists about their music and their inspirations.

You might know Paulus, or DJ+, from HOAX and Nachtwerk where he’s a resident. I would describe both his style and HOAX as experimental sophisticated bass music. Not to be confused with annoying WOBAWOBAWOBS. Think Flying Lotus, not Skrillex. With Nosaj Thing and Hudson Mohawke in the past and Dorian Concept and Gold Panda in the future HOAX has pretty impressive line-ups.

You’re kind of hard to find on the web. I’m intrigued, why don’t you have a Facebook page?
“On Facebook you can’t use a + sign when creating an artist page. Usually all the promotion goes through the party organization pages. It might not be the handiest thing but I guess I’m a little bit of a nerd. For me it’s about the music, not being hip online.”

Because you’re a mystery on the web, let me ask you a cliché question. How did you come into contact with music and how did you come where you are now?
“I grew up in a boring village between Den Bosch and Eindhoven. Then I went to college at the HKU in Utrecht where I got into contact with the experimental IDM parties by Eat This, and helped organizing parties in Theater Kikker. Back then, in 2005, Benga and Skream were still small and easy to book. Then I became a Sonic Warfare and Lockdown resident.”

How would you compare the scene in Amsterdam to the one in Utrecht?
“In Utrecht there’s a smaller group of people open to discover new sounds. A lot of students don’t care whether they’re in a pub or club, and what I did in Utrecht got noticed in Amsterdam more than in Utrecht. In Amsterdam there’s healthy competition with more cool concepts you have to step up, like the guys from Audio Culture and Boston Strip. When we have parties at the same night we have to bring our A-game, but at the same time we want each other to have a successful night.”

Let’s talk dubstep. Back in the day it used to be cool and ‘underground’. Then it exploded and now it seems to have cooled off a bit. What happened?
“In the beginning dubstep used to be new and experimental, but it quickly exploded and featured in commercials and pop songs. This brought an end to experimenting, dubstep suddenly became a filthy word. It’s what happens in every art movement; definitions change, kind of what happened to drum ‘n bass. That’s when we decided to stop with Sonic Warfare. We decided to kill our darling at her peak, on the five year anniversary. Our audience expected that hard dubstep sound which made it hard for us to book artists with a different sound. This is also how HOAX was born.”

Yeah, HOAX. Can you explain a little more about the concept?
“HOAX is a party I organize together with Catharina Gerritsen and Know V.A., it’s a night with room for dubstep that’s influenced by hip-hop or house for example. We want to give dubstep its freedom again without putting a label on it, how it essentially started before it dug its own grave.”

You’ve had some amazing line-ups already. What would your ultimate line-up look like?
“I think the previous editions described our sound pretty well. Rashad, Jimmy Edgar and Luke Vibert because people wouldn’t expect this. They’re a little more house than beat. They would know exactly what to do in the boarders of our concept.”

What’s your perfect setting for a set?
“I don’t have to be the centre of attention on a high stage, like a God or something. I like to be on the same level as the crowd. The sound needs to be good, which doesn’t necessarily mean loud. I also like 3D mapping for visuals.”

What are your future plans?
“With HOAX we’re doing concert nights as well. I have a lot of bookings coming up nationwide, other cities are starting to pick up the new sound and they see me as sort of an ambassador. These nights are great and kind of remind me of the beginning of dubstep where everyone’s full of curiosity.”

HOAX with Dorian Concept

When: 5th of April, 23:00
Where: Melkweg
Tickets: Presale € 16 / € 14 (members) | Door € 18 / € 16 (members)
Facebook: Event

HOAX with Gold Panda

When: 21th of June, 23:00
Where: Melkweg
Tickets: Presale € 16 / € 14 (members) | Door € 18 / € 16 (members)
Facebook: Event

Featured image by Catharina Gerritsen.

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