About the author
Tim Hoeben is everywhere. No, seriously. Everywhere. He was a resident at Trouw and Studio 80 (may they both rest in peace) and still is at Disco Dolly. So it’s save to say his style is extremely diverse. He seems to be playing at every party in town, including Oostkaap in Cruquiusgilde this Saturday, and he’s also an assistant booker at Apenkooi. If you’re into electronic music and clubbing in Amsterdam you must have heard this guys name before. We went for coffee in Studio /K and talked about the thin line between being eclectic and having a style that lacks identity.
You’ve played at Pleinvrees but also at Cruquiusgilde. Do you prefer big or smaller parties?
“It doesn’t matter what kind of festival it is. If there are interesting names being booked on the stage you’re playing why wouldn’t you play there? You need to want and be able to play everywhere, as long if it’s for the right reasons. Context is very important. In the end I would prefer Cruquius though, I would always pick a club.”
You’re hard to put in a box. What do Trouw, Studio 80 and Disco Dolly have in common? Do you adjust your sound in every club?
They all embody a different aspect of my style. Because of Disco Dolly I immersed myself in disco. I started out playing tech house in Studio 80 but my style changed over the years. The same goes for Trouw, the club really educated me. Disco and house work everywhere. It all depends on where you play, a little more house here and a little bit more disco there. I think that there’s an interesting tension between the two. With my own party 33/45 I booked artists and made sure not to think in boxes so much, from deep house, to acid and disco.”
Give me a tune you love and suits all three clubs.
“I actually played this one at all three.”
“But if I would have to chose now it would be this one.”
Opening or closing?
“Opening! It’s an art. The same goes for closing but opening is harder. I think opening sets are underestimated. It’s all about starting the night right and creating a vibe, and that’s a lot of fun to do. To see people slowly entering the club and getting them out of those corners, getting them to dance.”
Talking about Studio 80. What has the club meant for you?
“This where I really got to know house and techno (together with Club 11). I used to come there every week. It was the first big club where I was invited to perform. I opened for youANDme and played way too hard for an opening set, which was immediately my first (and most important) lesson, haha! In the beginning I played a lot of tech house and with my residency at WKND and 33/45 I varied a lot. You could say the same about the development of Studio 80’s programming in general as well. I had to chance to develop my own style there and do my own thing.”
Are you continuing 33/45?
“Not sure yet, I want to continue because of the podcast series but I want to do it at a place that suits. Sometimes it was a bit difficult to brainstorm about a line-up and stuff with Studio 80, but in the end it was really nice to work with them. I’ll look around next month and think about it for a while. There are so many options, but then again, not so many.”
You have quite the reputation in Amsterdam. How will your career go to the next level? Do you want to break through internationally?
“I don’t really have a concrete plan. I keep getting booked more often outside Amsterdam. There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in Breda and Groningen for example., and I did a small tour in China last year. They are slowly creating a scene over there. People don’t really know that much about it so they’re open for anything. The crowd was insane. This has been happening since Trouw. Trouw has this appeal for people outside of Amsterdam. When Trouw closed all residents were booked everywhere. If you start out by being a strong resident and grow with a group, just like Job Jobse and Sandrien, you’ll be asked to play more often. And make sure you’re always on point and keep getting better.”
You’re focussing on being a selector instead of producing? Isn’t it harder to create your own identity like that?
“The easiest way to make it internationally is to score with a release, of course. But I’m a big fan of the trade of DJing. You’ll only become really good if you’ve been doing it for a long time. All my favourite DJs have been playing for ages. It’s a skill to read a room, to bring people from point A to B and to sense what works and what doesn’t.”
Feature image Ellis D.
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