Antwerp-born, Berlin based Locked Groove, real name Tim Van de Meutter, has been popping up seemingly everywhere lately. Tale Of Us can't seem to get enough of tracks like the forthcoming 'Maat' and 'Enigma,' and just yesterday George FItzgerald included 'Enigma' (out soon on Hotflush Recordings) in his recent FACT mix.
Though it was first Hotflush boss Scuba who noticed Tim's ability to infuse emotion into even the toughest of places, snatching Van de Meutter up instantly. From there, Tim's genre skipping sound has wound up on labels like 2020Vision, Permanent Vacation and Hivern Discs, with styles ranging from hip-shaking Chicago infused house to melancholic, dreamlike deeper grooves, and straightforward techno.
Though no matter what the style, his tracks always have one thing in common - soul. Well, that, and the ability to move you. But according to Van de Meutter, that's one and the same.
Having grown up in Antwerp, you're no based in Berlin, the natural home for techno producers. What brought about the move? My girlfriend got a job here, so the entire move wasn’t something we were planning for a long time.
I’m still of the opinion that it doesn’t necessarily matter where you live. Making music is something I can do in pretty much every city or country I think. In some respect it’s easier living here in terms of doing collaborations with people, so the city definitely had and still has an influence on me.
You’ve said that making soulful house and techno, even when it’s industrial, is what comes naturally to you. Why do you think that’s is? That’s a tough one. I don’t really know actually. I spend a lot of time sculpting sounds even for percussion. I can go into autism mode and work on a hi-hat for an hour or two. [laughs] I draw a lot of inspiration from other music styles or art.
Ever since my double pack for Hotflush, I started to approach producing from a different angle. I’ll set out on making something in a certain theme or inspired on a book or movie or album I’m into at the moment. I guess that way it’s easier for me to give tracks a certain vibe.
What is your definition of soul? Something that moves you. It can even make you feel really uncomfortable. But it should do something to you.
What do you think brought about the recent explosion in genre blending between house and techno? Melody is everywhere these days. Music goes in waves; it’s a sign of times. Some years people are more into percussive stuff and other years people want some melody.
For me personally the wave is always on its peak moment. I can never keep myself back in the studio and make something without that minimum amount of melody lines.
Your ‘Thesseus’ EP is coming out in September on the lauded Permanent Vacation. What can you tell us about it? It’s going to be two original and one remix by my friend Clockwork.
I’m really excited about the whole package because the whole thing is a nice package. The one track couldn’t be on there without the other. The A-side is a really long journey that goes from really stripped back vibe to more lush vibes. The B1 is a very mellow tune with some harder edges. Not really peak time material. Clockwork took the B1 and turned it into an amazing breaky version that focuses a bit more on the before mentioned harder edges.
I drew a lot of inspiration out of Mark Pritchard’s Alias ‘Link’ for this project.
How did the project come about? I first got in touch with the PV guys through my friend and WPH label Boss Red D. Initially, because I was interested in signing my track “Reverie” to them, which got released on the compilation ‘ If this is house I want my money back Vol. 3’ After that the whole thing kind of evolved naturally in doing an DP for them.
Earlier this summer you released the second EP on your vinyl only, limited edition Locked Groove Records with ‘Rave Alert/Dialogues.’ Do you plan to keep the releases to one a year, or are they less planned than that? The release I do on my own label aren’t really planned. I just do them whenever I feel like I have two tracks that fit the idea behind the label. I give myself complete freedom, still keeping the theme thing I talked about earlier in the interview in mind. The last one was influenced by the Belgian Rave High days. There will be more releases in the coming year, by myself and possibly some cameo appearances by other people.
What made you decide to start the label? I just felt like doing something that was really my own & where I would have full control over the full creative process from artwork to the stuff I put on it.
What else is on the horizon for the rest of 2014? There’s loads of stuff coming even before the end of the year. Of course there’s the Permanent Vacation release coming end of September. Besides that I’ll be doing another Hotflush release in November. And a release on a certain Italian label is set to be released in October. I’m not going to namedrop that here but you do the adding up.
Finally, what can you tell us about the Fresh Blood mix you provided for us? It begins and ends with parts from Meditations in an Emergency from Frank O’Hara and is filled with some of my own forthcoming material and, in general, music I like at the minute. I hope the music will speak for itself.