Welcome Steffi and Martyn! - Gearspace.com
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Welcome Steffi and Martyn!
Old 11th October 2016
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🎧 15 years
Post Welcome Steffi and Martyn!

So there we are. Very happy to announce we have Martyn and Steffi both, in the forum!

These two produce electronic dance music, know how to publish music and run a recordlabel, and to deliver this music to the dancefloor.
The Q&A will run for two weeks until sunday 23th of october. In this post I'll try to give you a short introduction of their music carreers:

Martijn Deykers, better known to us as Martyn started out as drum and bass (jungle) DJ in 1996, spinning vinyl. Martyn grew up in the south region of the Netherlands (Eindhoven), during the surge in House and especially Techno music. Notwithstanding D&B was his music of choice. With some friends and his brother he ran a monthly Drum and Bass venue called "Red Zone" mostly in the "Effenaar" club in Eindhoven. link link

In an interview with Residentadvisor he said about DJ-ing:
Q: Last year Marcus Intalex said that sometimes the style of drum n bass he plays totally falls flat on the crowd, and no one's really feeling it. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been playing "Martyn music" as you call it and it just didn't really work out?
A: Sure. It's difficult, you know, because DJing—it goes two ways. As a DJ, you play to people so you kind of have to cater for people, and play what they like and make sure they have a good time and all. And the other side of the coin is that you need to show your identity, show what you're made of, what you like, and what you think is forward-thinking music. So it's always trying to find a balance between the two.
But I can understand what Marcus says, because especially in the drum n bass world, there is a sound that is getting kind of generic and Marcus plays quite soulful. So some gigs work perfectly, people love it, and then there are also gigs where people are like, "Where are the wobbly, rave basslines?"
In 2005 two D&B EPs were published but his focus changed, when he heard Kode9's "Sine of the Dub".

From this moment on, the music he made was (mostly) of the dubstep type. This new genre "Dubstep" (not to be confused with the later american version under the same name (Skrillex) at this moment was changing from the "Grime" Dub and D&B roots into a genre of it's own, artists based mostly in the U.K. (South London) but it was gaining popularity on mainland Europe as well. Many festivals at the time featured a seperate Dubstep dancefloor.
Martyn from then on used both techno and D&B techniques when producing his variant of this, and worked a relentless DJ schedule.

He published his tracks on his own label "3024" (link), named after the postcode of the city Rotterdam, where it was founded. Artwork is by graphics designer "Erosie". Artists that released tracks on 3024 are Flying Lotus (remix) and 2562.

Around that time Martyn fell in love with a girl he met, which he married, and moved to the USA, where she is from.
In an interview with Guestlist Network (2011) he said:
It's quite different. The US is a different place musically. It's primairally a rock and hip-hop culture, I think. And it's less about dance music. So it takes quite a lot of time to get people to listen to it. But then again, the cities are really really big, so when you're in a city like New York, or Chicago, or whatever, there's always going to be a decent crowd, for whatever you do, even when it's really niche.
In 2009 Fabric invited Martyn to do one of their mix compilations: That turned out to be quite a varied compilation featuring techno from Ben Klock, but also Broken Beat and of course Dubstep.
Q: Was broken beat ever a thing for you? You can kind of hear its influence in your music, and there’s a Maddslinky track on your Fabric mix…
A: “Yeah, ‘cos while I was doing the Redzone nights I also had a weekly residency at a real small club. It was kind of a student night, maybe 150 or so capacity, so it wasn’t all that really…The owner of the club said to me, ‘You can have the residency, but you can’t play drum ‘n bass’ [laughs]. Which was a bit strange, ‘cos that was my main thing at the time, but I was like well, ok, I can use the money I make every week to buy records that aren’t drum ‘n bass.
“So that gave me a whole fresh incentive to explore new and different music again – I mean, I’ve always been buying vinyl in different genres anyway, but I just thought that I could take it up a notch and really get into other styles.
About darker emotions and how this in his tracks (Resident Advisor):
Melancholy is also what drew me into music. In a lot of music that inspires me, melancholy is a really big emotion. If you listen to, say, old Detroit techno, it has these rainy, dreamy sort of strings in it but it also has a toughness about it. The combination of toughness and mellowness makes it sound kind of melancholic. If you listen to older drum n bass, like mid-90s Metalheadz sort of things, that has the same energy. It's got the melodic side but there is also a toughness to it.
His version of Dubstep was gaining popularity, he published a number of tracks, remixes, and in 2009 he released his (well recieved) first album Great Lenghts:

About producing he said in an interview with NRC in 2009:
I'm someone that soaks up a lot. That's why I always take my laptop with me, and a little microphone. That's what I use to record sounds; in the street, at an airport, in the club just before opening. I also record outdoor sounds, for example bird sounds. Returning in the studio I play those back, and then the memories resurface. Those shards of sound and memories always form the basis of a song."
"Those real (recorded) sounds contribute to an organic sound. My dance should sound organic. Nowadays most dance is being made, using the same software, so it sounds sterile and uniform. Using my outdoor sounds I try to break that mold"
After this, Martyn continued to release tracks on his own 3024 and other labels like Ostgut Ton and Brainfeeder. Most you can find here In 2011 he released his second album Ghost People, including tracks with more four to the floor rhythms. About this time Martyn started doing live performances as well as DJ-ing.

In 2014 Martyn released his 3rd album on Ninja Tune, including collaborations fith Four Tet (Kieran Hebden) and Copeland.

To top off this introduction of Martyn's music, here's a nice Boilerroom mix:

Steffi, born Steffie Doms is our other guest this Q&A session.

She began buying and playing records as a DJ in 1995 after her friends buying records made her very curious.
They (Autechre R.) played in Paradiso, I was 22 years old. Autechre started, that tone that then emerged from the speakers. whaaaa. It was weird and vague."
That caught on and when it got "more serious" she moved to Amsterdam in 1998.
Here's what interested her (Red Bull interview 2015)
At first it was more of a Belgium connection, with a type of house music that they called body music, which was a later stage of New Beat, a type of New Wave. That’s the first stuff I listened to. After that, it was more the early Warp Records stuff that caught my attention. I’ve mentioned before how big the influence of the first Autechre album was for me. That’s something that made me open my eyes and go, “Whoa, this is really interesting. This is something that I haven’t heard before.” We were really trying to explore the IDM vibes. There was this shop in London, FatCat, and we were really into all the guys who released through them. It was very exciting. With the experimental music from that time, it’s interesting how up-to-date and contemporary it still sounds.
Steffi, in Amsterdam quickly started DJ-ing in the Mazzo Club (RIP) in Amsterdam and set up an Electro event called "Elechicks" with Steven de Peven (Rednose District) on wednesdaynights. There the focus was on the minimalist music, Electro, Booty, Miami Bass, IDM. The Electro mostly from Detroit and The Netherlands (Viewlexx, Bunker, Clone a.o. labels). Steffi then organized Elechicks venues in other cities and then all across Europe.
During this period, Steffi also hosted a weekly radioshow called Deus ex Machina and every month a mix was featured on VPRO radio.
As for her own character, and DJ-ing:
It’s fair to say that I’m more of a no-nonsense type of person; I think that is also what you get when you see me play a DJ set, if you have any interest in looking at me when I’m playing. I personally never got the change of direction; where the audience started staring at the DJ

Two years later, in the year 2000, Steffi teamed up with Remy Verheijen, better known as Dexter, to start up the recordlabel Klakson.

With it's humoristic graphics and purist selection of music, including tracks from Mesak, Fastgraph, mr. Cisko and of course Dexter, the label quickly made a name for itself.
It ran until 2010, Dexter wanted to concentrate on his own music instead of A&R and Steffi had moved by then.
Here's one track by Dexter (I don't care" EP KLAKSON 1)

Then, in 2005 Steffi go a break; DJ nd_baumecker offered her an audition with the Ostgut Ton outfit, to play at the Panorama Bar/Berghain. Then, Tama Sumo asked her for a track for the 2008's Panorama Bar mix-CD 02 ("24 hours see below R) and the track "Sadness" on Prosumer's Panorama bar 03 CD.
Soon Steffi's sets were in high demand and she could play every month as resident DJ. In 2007 she made the choice to move to Berlin permanently. In an interview with The Ransom Note she was asked how Amsterdam and Berlin compare:
Q: You’ve been a resident in Berlin for a while now, how do you think the two cities, Amsterdam and Berlin, compare, both in terms of the electronic music scene and the general lifestyle?
A: It's like comparing apples with pears as they say which seems to be impossible. Every city has its different vibe and lifestyle. It depends a lot on the size and economical situation actually. There are things Amsterdam has that Berlin does not have and vice versa.
I've found a couple of mixes; starting off with a 2012 Boiler Room Berlin set:

In a VPRO interview from 2014 she said:
Social Media have had a huge impact on the dance scene, take for example online clubbing. "I couldn't tell you 10 years ago that it would ever come this far, right? Bizarre, really. Everything is so pre-programmed, take the Boiler Room. Nothing is decided by spontaneous events happening, it's a completely thought through concept. Sometimes I find that to be a stimulating thing, you can see how virutal reality takes away a bit of the spontaneity and how that influences you, yourself, without noticing. You start to think; can I feature myself, are people seeing me? ….. People say at a gig; I saw your Boiler Room. That momentary take of one hour becomes their whole reference: This is what you do, all the other stuf doesn't belong. While it's only one hour that I felt like playing those 15 records, on a whole day."
So it's safe to say Steffi follows her insticts, picking records and is not tied to a particular genre when DJ-ing.
You should be able to begin with Disco and finish with an insane Squarepusher. Between A and Z, everything should be possibe.
In 2013 Steffi released the Ostgut Ton Panorama Bar 05 mix CD which you can find here: http://soundcloud.com/ostgutton-offi...anorama-bar-05

Here's another 2013 mix (first part is Virginia, Steffi takes over at 1:08:15), I don't have any footage of Berghain since cameras are not allowed there. link
And here's a BBC Essential radio mix from 2014:

Steffi still plays vinyl but now carries a backup on a CD or USB stick, because records can get lost (on airports):
Q: And finally what is it you love about vinyl so much… what makes you lug it around the world instead of going digital?
A: We all know vinyl gets more rare every day and when I think about the day it will disappear forever I get really sad because I can’t imagine not going to the shops and check out new music every week, talking to people in the shops and going through their back, finding interesting new or old things. Somehow I don’t have that connection to music when I shop online so much. I use a lot of online portals but I order stuff on vinyl there. I can’t seem to get into buying digital files and work with them. For me it’s really important that music has a body. I like to look on the labels and recognise stuff when I am digging or searching for records. I also prefer the sound of vinyl on a big system. Traktor or Serato for example sound really flat to me and loads of DJs who use it don’t inspire me unfortunately.
In 2009 Steffi released her first EP on Ostgut Ton in a collaboration with Leon Vincent:

That proved the start of more productions, some collaborations. In 2011 she released the album "Yours and Mine".
Q: How did you find the album writing process? Is it something you enjoyed and would like to do again?
A: It was a very interesting process. As soon as we found a release date for the album I locked myself in my studio from March till the end of October and worked on it full time. I certainly had some moments where I wanted to drop the whole project but as soon as I got some structure in my workflow it was a really exciting time. Especially working with Virginia on the vocal tracks was a great experience as we both wanted to do all the work ourselves instead of asking an engineer to mix down the vocals. So we sat down for hours to find the right EQs and effects.
You can find most of her tracks here: link

Q: Asking about your music making, you’re also using mainly analogue machines, how did you learn?
A: “Very much by trial and error with some guidance from friends. For example, I work with Dexter who is a very intelligent producer and he shared lots of knowledge with me. But he’d be telling me to try things and experiment, to do it myself. I’d be saying, ‘**** it, just tell me how it works!’ but he made me go through the whole process myself, which I’m very grateful for because my studio doesn’t fool me.
Q: Your own productions are full of warm, fat sounds. What kind of production gear do you use, is it all analogue machinery and what is your favourite piece of kit?
A: I have some hardware stuff in my studio but no favorite instrument as they are all nice and stand for their own sound. There is a lot of analogue stuff and some FM synthies. I use a computer with logic and a few plug-ins to make my setup complete.
A little while after Klakson was put on in the freezer, Steffi started up another record label called "Dolly" and "Dolly Dubs", at the time of this writing sublabels of Klakson.

In 2015 the label Klakson was ressurected:
Klakson is a more quiet label and only releases every once in a while as it is very specific with what it stands for. I have a release lined up for this year. It’s a collaboration between Dexter and myself and is planned for the end of the year. The other label, dolly. It’s a label I started in 2009/2010. I wanted to do something new after arriving in Berlin and I wanted a label that’s more active than Klakson representing a slightly different kind of music. …….. There is a side project for dolly called dolly dubs series with a slightly different sound, something more exclusive with releases from Martyn and Staffan Lindberg.
So, these two, Martijn and Steffi met each other online. They noticed had a common background as they both came from the same region in the south of the Netherlands.
Steffi proposed he'd visit her studio when in Berlin, that took some doing because Martyn has some strict ideas about making music, but eventually he caved in and they recorded 4 tracks.
From an interview with DJBroadcast.net:
It went mega-fast. Martyn was surprised about that. I didn't expect anything but that.

Q: What can he do as producer that you can't?
Steffi: Being convinced that something is good. He's a very self-assured person, which is amusing, but it also means that the tempo of producing is incredibly high. Like "I don't know what you think but I'll put a piano on it right now. And go..
The collaboration proved fruitful. As a stage name for the project they called it "Doms and Deykers". link
Steffi: I think I've learned a lot……. That not everything needs to be super-tight. Not every hi-hat needs to be exactly on the grid, let it go. Then it becomes exciting. .. At the start I had some trouble with that. "That hi-hat is not in the right place" I called out. "Yeah cool, but we don't care"
After two releases, this month they're going to release their first album together called "Evidence from a Good Source"
You can check it out here:

Finally here's a nice mix that was just released as podcast.

Welcome Martyn and Steffi, to the Gearslutz Q&A. Let's have some fun!

Typical dutch producer on an average day:

Pauli Jylhankangas - Clutz (2003)

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