Donderslag, uithangbord van een internationale Drum 'n Bass scene Donderslag, uithangbord van een internationale Drum 'n Bass scene

Brendan Collins a.k.a Futurebound: “You guys got a really healthy scene up here!”

, Jurjen Karelse

Donderslag, uithangbord van een internationale Drum 'n Bass scene

Brendan Collins a.k.a Futurebound: “You guys got a really healthy scene up here!”

Jurjen Karelse ,

Elke Donderslag is het voller in Atak. Na afloop van deze editie, kregen we de kans om Aphrodite, Brendan Collins (a.k.a. Futurebound), René Verdult (Black Sun Empire) en Jakuza te interviewen.

Brendan Collins a.k.a Futurebound: “You guys got a really healthy scene up here!”

Het dondert in Enschede, de grote zaal van het nieuwe pand van Atak lijkt zich elke editie van Donderslag sneller te vullen met Drum 'n Bass liefhebbers. De line-up van vrijdag 23 januari bestaat naast de resident dj’s uit niemand minder dan Neerlands trots Black Sun Empire en veteranen Aphrodite en Futurebound. 3VOOR12/Overijssel nestelde zich met camera en memorecorder backstage om daar een gesprek aan te gaan met de DJ’s van die avond. Om hun visie te krijgen op het waarheen en waarvoor van het genre, de lokale scene en om hun de keuze tussen slaap of koffie voor te leggen.
Dat de kids warm lopen voor Donderslag, het drum 'n bass feest van Atak danceparties, mag duidelijk zijn. Lustig gaan, om elf uur ’s avonds bij de al aanwezige kids en enthousiaste twenty somethings, de voetjes van de vloer. Voor de deur staan mensen in de rij om binnen te komen. De residents, Jakuza, Data Noir en Philip Nirfs warmen, terwijl de headliners hun slaaptekort wegwerken in het hotel, het publiek op. Ik hoor backstage hoe de track inkickt, je hoort het gedonder en het pand trilt met elke wobbelende bass mee. Net als het publiek wacht ik op Futurebound, Aphrodite en Black sun Empire. Jakuza geeft me te kennen dat ik om de actie mee te maken en de dj’s in hun natuurlijke habitat te treffen om een uur of één even backstage moet komen. Na twee koppen koffie is het spoedig één uur en ga ik richting de backstage. Net nadat we kamp hebben opgeslagen komt de voor Drum 'n Bass begrippen legendarische Gavin King, beter bekend als DJ Aphrodite binnen. Hij begint daar onder de bezielde begeleiding van backstage manager Kelly aan zijn ontbijtje. Een broodje en een vodka Red Bull later open ik het gesprek door hem te vragen of hij genoeg slaap krijgt, hij komt immers net uit het hotel bed gerold. Dat de man bedreven is in het doorprikken van mijn goedkope journalistenpraatjes blijkt wel uit zijn repliek.
Aphrodite: "I have a family. When you have a family you'll understand. Five or six hours alone in hotel room is an absolute luxury. I’ve got a two year old son who starts jumpin’ on my face mornings at six. So I don’t get much sleep”.
Nog voor de volgende vraag ontspringt hij, gedreven door de behoefte aan een sigaret en aangetrokken door het feest in de zaal, de dans. Veel meer vragen zal ik de legende niet meer kunnen stellen. Een klein half uur later komt producer, DJ, en label eigenaar Brendan Collins a.k.a Futurebound van het podium af. Hij, René Verdult van Black Sun Empire en Yakuza gaan met z’n allen rustig zitten voor het gesprek.. Check hieronder het relaas.
3v12: "First off: how was your set?"
Brendan: "Luved it man it was a great crowd man, good sound system. When you come to Holland it's always guaranteed a good sound system and the crowds know the tunes, it's wicked."
3v12: "You’re touring in Europe right now. So you're on and off every other night. How do you cope with excessive sound levels and sleep deprivation?" 
Brendan: "It's about managing your time right. I don't get as much sleep as I’d like to. I guess everybody who's in this music game doesn’t. The thing about your ears is just not to hang too long on stage you know; just lay off give them a rest and chill. I just toured Asia, Japan and Thailand. It was quite a gruesome one, it was like 12, 13 dates."

3v12: "How is the response over there? How do the crowds compare?" 
Brendan: "It's wicked. I kicked of the whole thing in and Japan and Tokyo. It was the sixth time I've been there. The crowds over there go off like every other crowd. But in general it's quite new to them. In Japan and Tokyo drum n bass has been big for a while now. It's great to go there. I have worked my ass off the last five years to make the label sound, Viper recordings, into a distinctive one so it's good to go out and spread it."
3v12: "You've been around since the beginning of drum n bass, and it professionally for 15 years. How do you think drum n bass has evolved? Is it moving into a direction you agree upon or do you think it should go somewhere else?" 
Brendan: "Looking at the way the whole thing gets taken in the UK at the moment. BBC’s Radio one have really taken drum n bass further. What I'm trying to say is that more than ever drum n bass is being accepted. It has always been like a fashion that comes in and out. When the magazines get bored of it, it's all like drum n bass is dead and stuff."
3v12: "How many times has drum 'n bass been declared dead?"
Brendan: "I have seen that like five times over the life span of drum n bass, jungle whatever you wanna call it."
3v12: "Can you say that drum 'n bass has become a mature genre?"
Brendan: "That's what I was gonna say. It has definitely matured. The production is second to none these days. It's just as good as any top house production. People like Sub Focus who not only make great tunes but who also make it sound good on the label. That's the key to it. Production wise it’s going through the roof right now. If it keeps on going the way it is and it gets play by BBC Radio one, which is being listened to around the globe it will move to another level you know."
3v12: "So it seems that drum n bass has become a worldwide phenomenon. What’s your view on Dutch producers and nights?"
Brendan: "You guys got a real healthy scene! I played for the BSE’s (Black Sun Empire) guys’ night in Tivoli a while back. That was wicked!"
3v12: "Black sun Empire started their own night, Blackout, in Utrecht and helped the scene grow. Jakuza and others did the same here in Enschede with Donderslag. Does the same thing happening in the UK?"
Brendan: "Yeah, I take my hat off to these guys. I found out today that Noisia also does it. Do they promote nights as well?"
René: "Yeah."
Brendan: "Yeah wow man. These guys are going round the world, producing, much like me and Matrix, and they are doing an amazing night as well. Honestly I don't know how you do it. I used to do promotions as well when I was younger. I started doing nights in Liverpool. The scene was very house dominated. I traveled to London to hear the Micky Finn's and the Grooveriders of this world. That was back in ‘91 ‘92. I wanted to bring that sound to my city. It took me a couple of years to get that going. So I know how hard it is to promote nights. So I take my hat off to anybody who is doing that."
3v12: "Where do you think that the genre is going artistically? Will it become more refined or will it move towards a rawer darker, dark step like sound."
Brendan: "That stuff is still going on. Noisia and Black Sun Empire seem to do it like that. That seems to be the signature sounds from Holland. It's heavy, it's got a techy feel but it's got funk to it and that's important. The dark thing has been around since Optical kicked it off mid nineties; you still got that sound running today. You also got the sound that me and Matrix are doing, the more house influenced thing. It's our background our roots. You also got that jump up sound like Hazard tunes, they sound amazing as well."
3v12: "Is it diversifying?"
Brendan: "Yeah that's what I'm saying. That's the great thing about drum n bass it’s got so many flavors to it."
3v12: "Do you think drum n bass as a scene will assimilate other styles? Do you think the drum 'n bass crowd will take on for example, Dub Step?"
Brendan: "Well I think they already have. For example in the UK you see a lot of nights where they are mixing it up. Dub step is not my thing; I just have to say it. But I do think that that's where it's going to, mixing Drum n’ Bass up with other styles."
Bse: "Bij dub step kijken mensen in Nederland meestal de kat uit de boom. Een voorbeeld van een feestje is Subway in Tivoli de helling in Utrecht. Je moet Dub Step begrijpen voordat je het leuk vindt. Net zo als het begin van drum n bass, dat mensen zoiets hadden van tering wat is dit snel maar dat ze er later aan gewend waren. Bij dub step hebben mensen zoiets van jeetje wat is dit langzaam. Als je het op een goed feest hebt en met een goede atmosfeer dan is het niet sloom maar kan het opzwepend zijn. Dingen zoals Benga en Skream zijn heel erg in your face, sloom maar toch snel. Er zit een soort van tegenstelling in, het heeft de helft van het aantal snares. Het moet het meer hebben van de bas, deze geeft er de snelheid aan. Bij Drum n’ Bass is dat door de jaren heen wat weg gegaan. In het begin lag daar ook de basis weetjewel met echt gewoon een hele diepe bas die alles deed en een beat, veel meer had je niet."
3v12: "What do you guys listen to when you're not listening to drum n bass." 
René: "Laid back minimalist techno. All sorts of seventies stuff, classic rock like led zeppelin, metal and trip hop like Portishead or Massive attack."
Brandon: "It's important not to constantly listen to dnb or else you gonna get dnb'd out. I haven't got one Drum n Bass CD in the car man. I'm listening to house or I listen to The Doors, Pink Floyd or Gary Newman. Important to listen to other stuff cause you hear other ideas that hem guys were using and you can take it to the studio."
3v12: "What do you do when you are in the studio? What's your method?"
Brendan: "I do preparation sessions over the course of a couple of weeks where I prepare breaks, drum kits and sounds. So whenever I feel inspired I can go into the studio and just pull out a kit and blast it. I know matrix does the same. And we just come together and we bring out ideas together. He's in London and I'm in Liverpool so it's important to prepare stuff. He's a wicked guy and really easy to work with."
3v12: "Maybe one day you come to Enschede as a duo?"
Brendan: "Hopefully, maybe we'll come to Enschede when we finished the new record. You know smash up the dance."
Jakuza: I'll ring you Brendan, We'll make it happen!
Brendan: Cool!"

3v12: "Do you want to do some shameless self promotion? Maybe drop one name."
Brendan: "One name? I can drop ten if ya want to . It wouldn't be fair if my crew found out about the one name! So people on my label like Shock one, Metric, DC-breaks and also a guy called Furlonge who's just blowing me away at the moment. I played one of his tracks earlier, it just smashed it."
3v12: "You want to drop some names from the Netherlands?"
René: "I don't want to drop names just because they're from Holland. If music is good they're good. I don't care if you life round the block. If your music sucks I’m not going to promote it. You get tied to people who are into the same style. Right now we did collaboration with N.Phect from Berlin and of course we still love Telemetrik from America. Also we still work with ID from Holland, who is doing hardcore and dnb at the same time. I also like a lot of people from Hungary. The sound is very dark and techy and I like that."
Brendan: "Yeah, Hungary is amazing, SKC, Tactile and all of them guys. And they've also got strange dancing moves haven't you noticed?"
René: "Hmm no."
Brendan: "It's really hilarious, but I’m not going to even attempt to show it to ya cause I'll fall flat on my arse!"
3v12: "So it's become an international scene?"
Brendan: "Yeah really, it used to be a UK thing but people around the world started mixin’ it up and bringing all these new and different flavors to Drum 'n Bass."
René: "Yeah, we had our first tracks out when people from outside of the UK like Concord Dawn and Decay started. It was really good to see that it wasn't an UK thing anymore. It really bonded us together and gave us feeling like; we can do this too. Ever since then it has been crazy with talent from all over the world."
3v12: "Do you think crowds are attracted to this international vibe?
René: "If it's from the UK it still has something. It does mean you come from the centre of the Drum 'n Bass. For the rest it really doesn’t matter."
3v12: "Let's do some shorts to conclude. The DJ or the party?"
Brendan: "Hmm it's about both really, a DJ's there to make the atmosphere if he's not good enough it doesn't happen."
René: "The two are connected really. If I go to something else than DnB I know the producer and I just want to see him. You do have the occasional nights were it doesn't matter who's playing but most of the time it's about the producers and DJ’s."
3v12: "Coffee or Sleep? And please don't say the two are connected." 
Brendan: "I find myself drinking coffee to keep me awake, to be honest. I spend my time on motorways and airport terminals and I'm sure this guy does as well." 
René: "Yeah a coffee addict here as well." 
Jakuza: "How about drinking some 24 karat gold rum?" (Schenkt in)
Brendan: "Cheers everyone!"
Everyone: "Cheers!"
Jakuza: "I hope the big guy didn't bother you too much?" (Doelt op bandid de levensgrote mascotte van het feest)
Brendan: "The blow up guy is wicked man. I just tried to give him a karate kick and a quick chop."
Jakuza: "People will get drunk from this moment on!"
3v12: "Thanks for the interview." 
Brendan: "Your welcome!"
De volgende Donderslag is op 11 April, met o.a. Pendulum, Nero en MC Jakes.

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