Local Rockstars: Kid Sublime owns more video tapes than records

Local Rockstars: Kid Sublime owns more video tapes than records

Jan 22, 2015 |  by  |  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.

Kid Sublime is definitely one of Amsterdam’s house music pioneers. A small part of his background: he worked behind the counter of the legendary Fat Beats record store and toured the world with Brazilian band Zuco 103. Kid’s producing, just started his own radio show and this Sunday he’s throwing the first edition of his party in Studio 80. I had a little chat with him at 15:00 and luckily we found out we both just woke up.

Favourite club: “Studio 80, Plastic People in London (which unfortunately closed) and Club Metro in Kyoto.”
Favourite festival: “North Sea Jazz in Cape Town.”
Favourite drink: “Coffee and everything with vodka.”

Couldn’t agree more on that one. Favourite Dutch artist: “Singer-songwriter Michael Prins, Steve Hartley who almost no one knows because he doesn’t come out that much, or Anton Pieete.”

Favourite international artist: “Everything that’s soulful. From J Dilla, who was like the mentor I never had production wise, to Moodymann and Joe Claussell.” 

Favourite city to play in: “Amsterdam is always good. In Holland I like Enschede, Groningen and The Hague. Vienna, Japan is crazy, Bratislava… I like every place I play.”

A climax can easily be a sexy disco record.

I love partying in Bratislava, ended up in this crazy dub basement. Anyway, you have a diverse background; you were the drummer of a hardcore punk band. Can you give me an example of non-electronic music you listen to at the moment?
“I listen to EVERYTHING. It’s very hard to name just one artist. I listen to a lot of jazz and I like singer-songwriters too. Sometimes we just randomly blast hip-hop all night long and play Black Moon or Joey Bada$$ for example. I listen to music in my studio because I sample it.”

So you don’t listen to music at home?
“Nope. I don’t have turntables here. I watch a lot of films and series. I installed Popcorn Time recently, which is like the doorway to hell, haha! I like to collect VHS tapes and DVD’s, I bought True Detective recently. Compared to my video tapes I don’t even have that many records. It’s kind of reversed, to keep the balance.”” 

You’re hosting a new party in Studio 80 every last Sunday, called Live at the Ballroom. Tell me more. It’s based on your radio show, Ballroom Radio broadcasting from Studio 80 Radio, right?

“They went hand in hand. I played in Studio 80 18 months ago. Back in the days their sound was really techy but they changed course now. The crowd had to get used to my sound but in the end there was a click. Studio 80 knew I was a lot broader than minimal techno and deep house but at the same time the venue triggered me to play more techy. That’s how it all started. I don’t want the night to be a party where you can just play everything. Although that’s what I used to do. It’s exciting to create something where everything’s possible, but it’ll be a niche.”

“Frankie Knuckles’s death triggered me. A lot of kids don’t realise what’s going on and they don’t know their disco classics. I still discover new things every day myself though. Younger people just seem to start realising that today’s music comes from that older R&B. I want to educate by playing those older tracks, make people dance more and put their hands up in the air. A climax can easily be a sexy disco record. At club nights you hardly hear vocal tracks, which is a shame. I want that balance, ‘Live’ will be broad but within the context of Studio 80.”

Awanto3 blew me away in De Natte Cel in Trouw. Back in the days, when he was still called Steven de Peven, you were a collective called Rednose Distrikt, together with Aardvarck. So you obviously like him. How does he fit into your new concept?

“We played at Mazzo together, which reminds me of Studio 80. He knows exactly when to play an upbeat track, disco or some weird electro track. He has a really good feeling for that. That eclectic sound, that people seem to think Aardvarck invented, Steven and I played in 1998 already. We’d play hip-hop, house, jazz, and everything in between. Those days were weird, with dreamy jazz at the same party where Carl Craig was booked. We’ve played a lot of B2B sessions so Sunday will be fun.”

“I want to invite people that I’m on the same page with, or people that are the opposite of myself to make things interesting. Everyone knows how to play some records nowadays, so how do I choose one every time? Maybe I’ll invite the same three artists and switch them around, or just end up inviting the same artist every time. Who knows, everything is still open.”

Was it a conscious choice to start a Sunday party since there’s no more Trouw Op Zondag?
“Not at all, it’s just a coincidence. We thought of the idea before Trouw was closed. We could’ve easily done it on Friday or Saturday, which is less exciting because you automatically have a crowd. The broad sound fits the Sunday better. I don’t think we’ll attract the Trouw crowd, but we’ll see!”

Could you give me an example of a track you’ll most likely play Sunday?
“I’ll definitely play this one somewhere in the beginning of my set. It’s a nice kick-starter, most people sort of know it and it has a slower tempo but still a club vibe. I’ll probably play Don’t You Want My Love from Moodyman and some of my own stuff.”

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