Biography of TJ Kong
|Real name / ||Erwin van Moll|
|Moniker(s) / ||max 404, clashing egos, erwin van moll|
Erwin van Moll has been taking piano lessons now for almost two years. "It was about time" he says. "Standing still means the same as going backwards". And he is someone who's always looking ahead. He was one of the first Dutch techno musicians during the early nineties and one of the main producers to give birth to the ‘Eindhoven techno sound’.
Since then van Moll has built an extensive discography containing a wide variety of styles such as deep house & disco, break beats, ambient music and down tempo. When asked what all his music has in common there's a long pause. "It all has a warmth and a strong atmosphere I hope" he replies. "Oh, and the bass line. I find the bass line very important in dance music". You know exactly what he is talking about when you hear ‘Merging’, the killer single he made together with dj Nuno Dos Santos from Utrecht and which features vocals by house legend Robert Owens. The smooth, powerful bass line in that song draws one irresistibly to the dance floor.
It's not van Moll's only successful collaboration. After having worked mostly solo during the 90's as max 404 together with musician Jan Vanderlest and former Darryll-Ann singer Jelle Paulusma he started Clashing Egos in 2003. "I did a week-long session in 2001 making music with befriended musicians and singer Kirsty Hawkshaw which was so inspiring it really made me want to do more pop oriented music together with others" he motivates. "I must admit that I was also a bit fed up with dance music at that time, which had become quite formulaic and uninteresting." The first Clashing Egos album 'rubicon' came out in 2004. The second one is scheduled for the end of 2008.
Since then Erwin has also re-found his love for dance music. He said goodbye to his alter ego max 404 and was reborn as TJ Kong (TJ Kong is the rocket-riding cowboy in Stanley Kubrick's 'dr Strangelove' ). "I noticed that I had started a new musical period so I wanted to make a fresh start". This doesn’t mean that van Moll is ashamed of his previous work. He has released records on labels such as Mo’ Wax, Djax, Evolution/Universal Language and Eskimo Recordings, did remixes for David Holmes, Kirk Degiorgio, Steve Poindexter and Gerd and his 1995 album 'Love & Mathematics' has earned him a place in the acclaimed Penguin book 'The Rough Guide To Techno'.
As a dj Erwin's well-liked for his fluent and open minded style. He played every Dutch club and has stood in the spotlights at The End (London), Café d’Anvers (Antwerp), 10 days off (Ghent), Nitsa (Barcelona), Harry Klein (Munich), The Arches (Glasgow), Beam Hall (Tokyo) to name just a few.
Musical inspiration he gets from books & films or during a walk or cycling-tour. He's a Dutchman after all. In such cases his mobile phone functions as a sketchbook. "I sing or hum melodies and rhythms using the memo function of the phone" he enthuses. "Later I work these out in my studio". It is exactly this lo-fi approach that he liked about the first Detroit techno records. "I was a huge fan of top producers like Trevor Horn, Yello and François Kevorkian. But it was only after the first house and techno records from Chicago and Detroit appeared that I realized it might be possible to make electronic music without having a studio costing a hundred thousand euros. Guess how I made my first record ('Recycler EP')? It was made with just a borrowed sampler standing on an ironing board during Dutch Carnival!".
A full TJ Kong & Nuno Dos Santos album (including more vocal contributions by some of their house heroes) is planned to be finished before the end of 2008.