Ellie Hewitt, London - United Kingdom - on 21/6/12
Detroit Swindle aka Lars Dales & Maarten Smeets have just had the B.OST.ON EP on Murmur. Hailing from Amsterdam, these two newcomers have been busy producing their own brand of Detroit techno, deep house with funk influences with sell out releases on Saints & Sonnets and Dirt Crew. Ellie Hewitt talked to the dynamic dutch duo about motown, shady card tricks, whisky bootlegging skills and their plans for world domination using sharks with laserbeams attached to their heads.
So you’ve just had your new release out on Murmur, the B.OST.ON EP, what was the direction you were going for with the tracks? Nowhere in particular, but we always try to make something that we would like to listen to ourselves. Every track has it's magic moment where everything falls into place. With B.OST.ON we really got that energy when we delayed the arpeggio. Her Song came together when we were arranging the percussion. The toms really gave the track a nice drive. With Autumnia we stripped the chords down to the bare necessities, which actually opened up the whole arrangement. So in their own way they all have that Detroit Swindle bounce that we want to put into our music.
One of the tracks is called ‘Her Song’, was that written about anyone in particular? You’re both engaged, will you be playing House/Techno at your wedding? The title came after sampling the vocal. We would have liked to say that it's dedicated to our fiancées but they both like hiphop over house. So that pretty much answers the second question, innit?
On the Nothing Else Matters EP out on Dirt Crew has the Jick Rames track on it, can you tell us about your favourite motown and funk releases? We're huge fans of Marvin Gaye (his music, not the man). Otis Redding should have a statue somewhere (which he probably does) and Bill Withers is an amazing artist and personality. We dig all his stuff. Plus his story is awesome. Becoming a famous artist after being an airplane-toilet mechanic all his life. We can really relate to this since we are into soul music and toilets as well.
What are your favourite techno tracks of all time and how do you both dance to them? (the subtle head nod, the rave arm, the gun fingers?) One of our favorites is Throw by Paperclip People. Mr Craig sampled his ass off with this one and invokes involuntary movements whenever played. We normally study on doing the gun fingers as often as we possibly can but in the end we usually just stare at people. Maybe we should work on that...
So the word swindle means to cheat, fraud or alternatively ‘the promoter of wild schemes’. Naming yourselves Detroit Swindle, is that a statement that your cheating Detroit out of techno? How did the name come about? Our inspiration for the name came from the fact that we're very dutch, and from our musical upbringing, Motown was the sound that stuck. Soul, Funk, and later on, the Detroit House really inspired us to start making music. There's a lot of discussion about the Detroit heritage and Europeans 'using' it, but honestly, a genre isn't something you can claim based on where you live, it's just something you can or cannot relate to. But if anyone else asks, we're cheating our way into Detroit.
What 'wild schemes' have you got in the pipeline for this summer? We are playing in Berlin, some festivals in our country and we're making a lot of tunes for our future EP's. One of the highlights is definitely our upcoming liveshow at Zur Wilden Renate in Berlin. Next to that we're practicing some shady card tricks and perfecting our whisky bootlegging skills...
Your Saints & Sonnets release sold out on vinyl pretty quickly, what milestones do you feel you’ve achieved already or when will you feel like you’ve really made it? The funny thing was, that when we started out, our main goal was to have an actual release. Since we had to mark that one as 'done' pretty soon, our next milestone was to play abroad. We also have some cool vinyls with our name on it, so the goals we have in mind now include words like world domination and sharks with freaking laserbeams attached to their freaking heads. More shows in more venues in more countries would be the honest answer though.
The S&S EP was called ‘Starvin’ where are your top places to eat in Amsterdam? Our places. We are both mean chefs.
Would you ever want to move to Detroit? Or the increasingly trendy Berlin? Or are you content in Amsterdam? Amsterdam is great at the moment. We've got our friends and family close and the city is great as well. Berlin and London are appealing, but since Amsterdam (and Holland in general) has a solid position in the deep house scene, we're really happy where we are. The weather here is shit though, so we might reconsider if an opportunity arises.
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