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The weekly RA Podcast features an exclusive mix of electronic music from top producers and DJs around the world.
Contemporary electro from a Dutch mainstay.
It's somehow satisfying when scenes collide. Dutch producer Remy Verheijen made everything from driving trance to quirky rock during the '90s, but settled on a sound—electro—and a name—Dexter—at the turn of the millennium. Looking back to his early releases on Clone and Klakson, the label he ran alongside Ostgut's Steffi, it's easy to hear why bass music figures such as Boddika and Bok Bok are still playing his music. There's something about Dexter's elastic basslines and sense of funk that dovetails neatly with what's going on in the UK these days. Or it could simply be the timeless nature of electro itself. Who knows? Dexter appeared to return the nod from the UK earlier this year with the release of "Great Northern Diver," a track that through its warp-speed vocals and hyper-kinetic rhythms felt decidedly south London circa-2011.
As he explains below, though, the man himself just sees this as the continuation of a sound he's been pushing for over ten years. Plenty of UK names make it on to his mix for us, along with fellow electro adopters from his homeland and original innovators from Detroit.
What have you been up to recently?
I've been working on my liveset and just finished a remix I did for a new Dutch label, Balans. Also working on ideas for an album and finishing stuff that already had to be finished, like a release on Steffi's Dolly label and a collaboration with Steffi for Klakson, which is the label we used to do together, and that we wanted to use for this joint release. Most important is probably the move to a new studio place which cost some time to get used to and get things set up.
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was completely done in Ableton with no editing and just two controllers that I also use live. Just one take, straight through my mixing desk and recorded it into Logic. I can't work with Ableton as a studio tool. The only part I know is the live part. I didn't want to get into that and wanted to keep it fun to do. So as you can hear there are some mistakes in it but I didn't feel like taking them out because I didn't want to take out the raw edges.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
First I wanted to do it on my iPad. My idea was to do an eclectic thing with all the musical genres I like. So I put a lot of songs on my iPad and tried to do a mix with an app called Idjay. Very cool app but I think the iPad1 is a bit too slow for the way I work... or the app is too slow. I'm changing ideas all the time and the loading time for tracks was just too slow. And at a certain point I got fed up with that touch screen.
So I thought I should just do it the way I play live: throw everything in Ableton and start to build something out of the chaos.
After trying a few times I decided that too many different genres was getting too chaotic or I needed to do a lot of editing that I didn't want to do. After all, I've stopped DJing for a long time now, I always play live. But after having so much fun putting this mix together I feel like doing some DJ gigs. So, I decided to do a mix with the music from producers I've been listening to most over the last couple of months and just have some fun selecting and mixing the tracks I like.
The mix and your recent Clone release feel like a new direction for you. What does this all stem from?
Actually I'm not sure if it's such a different direction. Of course I've been influenced by new music and also some of the younger bass music guys from the UK (I actually never heard that name, bass music, until recently when we received feedback on the Great Northern Diver EP). But also I got influenced by some Dutch guys like Martyn and A Made Up Sound or artists such as Dâm Funk for example. I always will have my love for electro and funk, and my roots in techno... And I just love trying out new things, and even though I don't release that many records I always do new tracks and stuff when I play live, so for me it feels like a natural progression and not something completely different.
What are you up to next?
Checking out new gear, working further on ideas for an album, looking for new ways to do live gigs and right now finishing a remix for Clone and some releases that already had to be finished but got delayed because of moving to the new studio space.
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