De Stekkerweek van: Nuno dos Santos & Alle Farben

De zoektocht naar vocalen, live percussie - en vooral: inspiratie

Tekst: Jelle Talsma / Foto's: Paul van Dorsten ,

Maandag 22 juli is de eerste studiodag van de Stekkerweek. Het is - ondanks het vroege tijdstip van de dag - al zinderend heet op het zonovergoten pleintje bij de studio’s van Kytopia. Terwijl sommige artiesten hun roes nog uit liggen te slapen, nemen anderen hun eerste vocalen op. Pitto ontdoet zijn studio van pizzapunten en lege sigarettenpakjes: voorbereidend werk op een week muzikaal samenwerkingsgeweld. Aan de picknicktafel zitten Nuno dos Santos: gerespecteerd producer en resident van Club Trouw, en Alle Farben (Frans Zimmer): techhouse dj en producer uit Berlijn. De twee, vooralsnog relatief onbekend met elkaar, wisselen met 3voor12/Utrecht hun eerste gedachten over de studioweek uit. Omdat Stekkerweek een smeltkroes van nationaliteiten is, wordt er voornamelijk Engels gesproken. Ook bij dit interview, waardoor deze in het Engels is weergegeven.

Stekkerweek can in a nutshell be recapitulised as the gathering of a bunch of artists in a highly advanced playground, and absolutely no pressure to perform. This is completely different from most festivals where interaction between artists is usually limited to some small talk with the person playing before and after you. Are Nuno and Frans looking forward to this extraordinary concept? Nuno: "I’m really up for this! I really like the artists that are involved. I’ve been to Sonar Traffic and they have so much synths and machines from the past, it’s crazy. I’m looking forward to work with these machines and also learn from other people, because I’m still learning in my productions. I feel now that I’ve started my own label, I’m more at the beginning of what’s coming." Frans: "I’m also looking forward to it, because I know Pitto, and it‘s very nice to go to someone I know, because it makes it a lot more personal than the usual festivals."

A stroll through Kytopia and some small talk is enough to find out that some artists have joined the week to finish material, and others 'just to play around and see what happens.' What is Nuno and Frans’ 'mission' for the week? Nuno: "I have some sketches that I will bring along. Maybe some loops or some melodies. I would love to work with the Dutch singer: Eefje de Visser, I really love her voice. Apart from that I just want to play around with the synths." Frans: "My idea was to arrange some live percussion, but actually the main reason I’m here is to get some inspiration that I can take home with me. I don’t now the strong side of every artist, so I’ll just have to take a look around to see who I want to work with." Nuno: "the inspiration is important to me too. I’m curious to see what methods other producers are using. I have my own method in Ableton - I’m not really technical, but I have a flow in which I work. I think it I’ll be cool to see people do it totally different."

Though Nuno and Frans like the idea of cooperating with artists, dj’ing is an act they prefer to do own their own. Frans: "I used to play in a dj-team for a while, but when we split I started to play better. Sometimes you feel alone when you travel, and then I wish to be in a dj-team again, but in the end I prefer the freedom of playing alone." Nuno: "I played a lot of back to back sets in the past. I like it when sometimes you both feel the flow, but it can become a hassle when you have a different point of view. This happened with Patrice Baumel and our dj-formation 360-soundsystem: as a dj-team we felt each other really good, but after five years we both went in another direction, so for me that was a good point to stop. Nowadays I like to give my energy alone."

This summer Nuno and Frans will play at a lot of festivals both in Holland and Germany. What is the difference between Dutch and German festivals? Frans: "I think the thing about Holland is that they can spend more money at bookings. The festivals here are really professional and the people are very relaxed, even when it’s raining. What I’ve also noticed is that the Dutch dance better. Nowhere in the world I’ve see people dance like they do here." Nuno: "I recently played at Fusion in Germany, and it was totally different from any Dutch festival. It reminded me of Burning Man. No commercials, no Coca Cola or beer signs and the food was really good. There wasn’t really a techno audience, but all kinds of people from hip-hoppers to hippies. The vibe felt totally different from other festivals, especially the ones in Holland."

Aside from the possible productions that may arise from Stekkerweek, are there any new releases coming up for Nuno and Frans? Frans: "I have a deadline for an album at the end of this year, and I want to use this week for inspiration for the album." Nuno: "I have an EP coming up with a Gregor Thresher remix on an Irish label: Inflyte. Besides that, I’m doing two remixes for Alexander Kowalski. And who knows what happens if I’m going to bang on some synths with Frans!"

Te zien: Nuno dos Santos, Alle Farben en meer op Stekker in het Park, zaterdag 27 juli 2013 @ Voorveldse Polder, Utrecht