Local Rockstars: Bas Dobbelaer's atmospheric sound

Local Rockstars: Bas Dobbelaer’s atmospheric sound

Jan 29, 2016 |  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.

His dad’s into electronic music, so Bas Dobbelaer grew up hearing Sandrien and John Digweed. He and his brother always competed by wanting to find the coolest track. It was Bas’ dad who took him to his first techno party when he was only 17 years old. Nuno Dos Santos and Patrice Bäumel were playing in Paradiso and he even called beforehand to make sure his underage son would get inside. This is the moment Bas knew that this was it. And when you’ll hear him play in Cruquiusgilde tomorrow, you’ll know it too.

The only thing your bio on Resident Advisor states is ‘some atmospheric sounds’. Care to elaborate?
“I don’t like putting labels on it. I like melodies with deeper layers. Music has to be stimulative. When I play a set I want to take you somewhere, from a beginning to an ending. Building up to a peak and then building down for the next artist. I love how Mano le Tough switches between vibes and has so many magical moments. He creates a completely new mind set with only two records, without losing his story or being chaotic. That’s something I aspire.”

How do you feel about having to open a lot at this point in your career?
“You set the vibe of the night and I think that’s really cool to do. You’re the starting point and that’s a beautiful story to tell. You don’t have to adjust to what the DJ before you did. It stimulates to dig deep and you have even more freedom. You can open with an ambient record or decide to have a long break in the middle of your set. I mean, it’s cool to play prime time and see hands going up in the air, but an opening set is thought through. With a party set there are ‘holy shit moments’ but an opening set is a totality.”

There are so many DJs out there that are on the same point as you are right now. How do you stand out?
“I love that there are so many talented people here, as well as the whole culture around it. People really help each other with tips and ticks and sharing experiences. People want to see each other succeed. I’ve been hanging out quite a lot with UNISOL, the style is kind of similar. But I also hang out with Vand a lot, who’s into darker techno, which is really different than my style. We can give each other opinions from a different angle, which is really helpful.”

Give me an example of a gig that gave you goosebumps.
“Picking just one highlight is quite difficult. 2015 had a lot of magical moments; from an epic b2b2b at Solar to rocking the boat at Trossen LOS!, but I’ll go for my most recent gig at Carpe Noctem. It wasn’t a heads-up-in-the-air highlight but I was really pleased with my set, which can feel like a highlight too. Everything felt in the right place, probably because I’ve played alongside Love over Entropy, Culoe De Song, Locked Groove and Mattheis (who I know because Mano played his first Nou’sklaer release), artists which I really respect. Cool to see that bookers place me in the same style.”

You’re playing at Oostkaap tomorrow. Give me an example of a track you’ll most definitely play there.
“I rediscovered this track by Patrice Bäumel because of Vand. It’s such an epic track that is perfect to take a step back before a peak, to take a break and create a new vibe like Mano does like no other.”

I heard Patrice Bäumel supports you. Tell me more.
“Patrice saw me perform at LOS! and wrote a Facebook post about it saying how the Dutch techno scene is thriving. He also told Kaap to check me out for their next party. I feel honored because Patrice is a big international artist, I aspire his style and he’s one of my heroes. It’s so cool because Patrice and Nuno opened my eyes when I was a 17-year old kid.”


When: January 30, 23:00
Where: Cruquiusgilde, Cruquiusweg 124a
Tickets: €12,50 | Here
More info: Facebook event

Feature image Ellis D.

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