Richard Mitchell on 27/6/12
As one half of 360, alongside Patrice Bäumel, and together with TJ Kong, Portugese-born Dutch national Nuno Dos Santos has wowed us with his unique and creative productions. Amazingly though his latest release, the "Hamming" ep on Trouw, is his very first solo single. We caught up with the Trouw club resident to discuss the Dutch scene, his new night SWTBOX, playing Brazil and what else we can expect from the excellent Amsterdam based label. Plus he gives us his mix from SWTBOX last month! Check it out!
You have been part of the Trouw team since the club opened in 2009. Tell us a little about how you became a key member of the crew? Together with Patrice Bäumel we started our 360 night at Club 11 in March 2006. The club/restaurant before Trouw from the same owners. Then when Trouw opened they asked us if we wanted to continue our night. At the same time we became really good friends and two years ago we started doing the Trouw label to release music from the residents.
Trouw has built a strong reputation in its short existence for its diverse range of nights. Similar to Fabric in London. When playing, do you find that you can push the Trouw crowd further musically, than in other clubs? Trouw has a crowd that is really into the music. So u can experiment here and there and go really deep sometimes. The crowd that you can find in Trouw ranges from hipsters to music nerds to tourists, from 18 year olds to veteran clubbers. We have the whole spectrum but they all know very well whats going on musically.
Earlier this year your 360 residency came to an end and was replaced by your new venture SWTBOX. What’s the ethos behind the new night? Techno in its most intense, physical form. Non stop beats. Euphoria. Emotion. SWTBOX is about creating a home for all those who love to give 100% on the dancefloor, all night long. For those who follow their legs and hips instead of trendy music blogs. For those who come to a club in order to give, not take. For those who love to lose themselves in a sensory overload of mind-bending sounds, strobes, sweat, bodies and the surreal visuals of VJ Arnout Hulskamp.
Trouw recently took part in a club exchange with D-Edge from Brazil. How did that go and should we expect to see more of these exchanges? The exchange with D.Edge was really cool. We got to know them after they visited Trouw at ADE twice in a row and we became friends. D.Edge really felt like a home away from home, the crew there, the sound, the club, the city, it's all great and very inspiring. For Trouw it made more sense to set this up with them, than doing it with another European club in let's say Berlin or London, and the weather is better too of course! We have support from Dutch government to make a few visits a year with all our resident DJ's and the first date with residents from D.Edge playing at Trouw is planned for later this year.
With the club now being the leading light in Holland’s club scene, Is there any pressure on the team to keep the club at the very top? It's up to others to decide if we are at the top, but if you say so, thanks for the compliment. Of course there is pressure to maintain a certain level, but that's normal in a competitive clubscene like ours. Trouw is an ambitious project which is not just about the club, it's also about our restaurant, art space, label and being an international cultural inspiration for as many people as we can.
As A&R of the in house label do you find that the styles and tastes of Trouw’s music programme has any bearing on what you sign? I'm doing the A&R together with Olaf Boswijk (the owner). The policy of Trouw's label is a reflection of what the club and it's resident artists are into, so therefore it naturally evolves with the music programme of the club. But at the same time, the label gives us more freedom to release tracks that we maybe could not play in the club, so we like to see it as two seperate things that can inspire each other.
With the ongoing strength of the Dutch music scene and the great response to the Trouw releases to date, Can you see other clubs following your example by launching their own record label? Not sure, I wouldn't be surprised. But as far as I know, we are the only Dutch club to have their own label.
Your debut single for the label, "Hamming", is also amazingly your very first solo release. Apart from working on your own, does this single differ to your previous work in anyway? Style, production etc? My previous work was very deephouse oriented but also very melodic. Only the Ottill Part 2 track is different. Thats a more jacking side of me.
How did u find the process of flying solo in the studio? After the collabs with Tj Kong & Patrice Baumel it feels really fresh. No concessions. I love it.
What has the response been to the record and are there anymore solo releases in the pipeline? Response has been great! Really happy with it. Its funny because I made that track almost 5 years ago and only finished it this year. At the moment i'm busy with an ep for this new label by Psycatron called Inflyte and i'm also working on new tracks for Trouw.
We notice that the Trouw label does not run on a 'release per month' schedule and is very much about quality over quantity. Do you this this is a common problem for many of today’s labels, and does having the weight of the club behind you alleviate this pressure? There is definitely too much music being released nowadays, and actually the day to day business of running club does sometimes mean there is less time for the label. But as we are not such a label and don't have to make a living from it, it can be a more spontaneous playground which can be used to release music whenever we feel is the right time.
Are there any plans for the label to move into releasing albums in the future? Our very first release was the debutalbum of Patrice Baumel, so it's not new to us. If the opportunity arises and we have a strong album, of course! But first we have 2 new singles lined up. One ep by Quince and another one by Amsterdam producer Minz with a really nice remix by Melon.
What can we expect next from Nuno Dos Santos? A remix I did together with TJ Kong for Pitto on Joris Voorn's Green label. A remix for Andre Obin on the dutch Klopfgeist label & a remix for Qbical on Manual. Furthermore i'm putting together a liveset with Vj Arnout Hulskamp.
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