Dusky club beats from the Tresor resident.
As a DJ and a producer, Esther Duijn pushes a sound whose understated elegance could only come from years of practice and refinement. Born in The Netherlands and now based in Berlin, she's flown under the radar for most of her career, playing headsy events like Freerotation, hosting a night at Tresor called New Faces and making records with her production partner Steady Douglas, all while keeping a relatively low profile. Now, though, she's stepping out of the shadows, thanks in part to Another Earth, a record label and podcast series she launched earlier this year. With soaring techno from Plural, sleek house from Myles Serge, oddball grooves from Hakim Murphy and house from herself and Douglas, Another Earth's first EPs have the same depth and sense of mystery that have long made Duijn such a captivating selector. That's precisely what we get on RA.546, a mix that moves through hues of techno, electro, house and ghettotech, showcasing the rich aesthetic of this underrated artist.
What have you been up to recently?
Mostly I have been working in the studio making music and playing some awesome gigs around Europe. I just finished a remix for Sisyphon, the label of Sisyphos, a great club in Berlin. It's coming out the 2nd of December. I also just listened to the mastered version of a track I made for Brothers' Vibe's new label, Toad Red. It will be pressed on red vinyl. The last year I have been expanding my studio. That has been a very exciting journey, discovering new ways to create music and learning more about sound itself. And I am working on the artwork of the third release of my label, Another Earth.
How and where was the mix recorded?
I used two Technics and two CDJs for the mix. Unfortunately I don't have CDJs at home but fortunately I have good friends in dark places—one of my dear friends is the sound technician of a couple of clubs in Amsterdam and he let me use one of the venues during the day to record the mix.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I have been a collector of house and techno music all my life and I really had to think about what I wanted to do, how I can show my diversity. I love a lot of different aspects of deeper electronic music. I went on a more techno, electro and ghettotech minded journey with this particular mix. Starting with ambient and dubby techno and building towards a climax, to bring it down again in the end with some left-field stuff. It's a very dance floor-orientated mix because I love to explore all facets of the groove.
For readers who might be hearing of you for the first time, tell us a bit about yourself. What's your musical journey been like so far?
I grew up in a small town in Holland. I was very lucky because I got my first acid house tape when I was really young and visited my first illegal rave when I was 13 years old. For me it was clear that my life would evolve around electronic music from that moment on. Acid house and techno music is the one constant in my life that makes me truly happy. My inspiration comes from the evolution of underground house and techno music. Exploring the history of it all is super fascinating for me and I am blessed to always discover new aspects of electronic music. I really like obscure deep stuff and I like mixing it with very dance floor-orientated Detroit techno, acid techno, Chicago house, ghettotech and disco.
You recently launched a new label, Another Earth. What's the thinking behind the label?
I was walking around with the idea to start a label for years but I never really had enough cash to do it because, as a vinyl collector, I wanted to press records, of course. Myles Serge, Plural, Hakim Murphy and my long-time friend and musical partner Steady Douglas really supported me, advised me and helped me start it up. I am blessed with the artists who are involved also for the forthcoming releases. The third one is planned for beginning of 2017, where Lee Holman and Opuswerk will share a split EP.
With Another Earth I would like to show people there is more than what is featured on the front pages. There are so many talented guys and girls out there who work their asses off in the studio, who are not really good with promoting themselves but are amazingly talented producers and DJs whose music is worth showing to the world. Next to the label I started a podcast series where you can listen to live recorded DJ and live sets from clubs and festivals from all over the world. It basically shows the true talent of a DJ / live act.
What are you up to next?
The first steps are made to set up an Australian and Asian tour in 2017, so we are working hard on this. Also there has been some interest to get me to New York, which is super high on my bucket list. And the next step for Another Earth is doing club nights all over the world with really great DJs and live acts who play outstanding music.