Tagarchief: Dance

This is my Church – Rudgr

Afbeelding boek This is my Church  Rudgr kan niet worden weergegevenPartyflock bestaat inmiddels alweer bijna 14 jaar. Velen van jullie komen hier al sinds dag één regelmatig kijken in onze fotogalerij met foto’s van evenementen. Wat begon met stiekem binnensmokkelen van een digitale compactcamera is uitgegroeid tot één van de belangrijkste factoren voor de promotie en herbeleving van evenementen. Tezamen met de techniek van DSLR-camera’s ontwikkelde ook de partyfotografie zich. Met je Canon Ixus compactcam kun je niet meer aankomen, het is een professionele business geworden.

Eén van de bekendste figuren binnen de ontwikkeling van die partyfotografie is Rutger Geerling, beter bekend als Rudgr. Zijn, op zeer korte termijn te verschijnen, boek ‘This is my Church’ is een combinatie van een persoonlijk dagboek in grote oplage en een testament van twee decennia feest(fotografie). Ruim anderhalf jaar is gewerkt aan het document van ruim 300 bladzijden en bij het doorbladeren maak je een tijdreis van de jaren ’90 met donkere, soms onscherpe foto’s van gabbers op hardcore-feestjes naar het heden met ragscherpe, kleurrijke en vrolijke beelden op events als Ultra en Tomorrowland die het EDM-tijdperk kenmerken.

Veel van de artiestenfoto’s zijn voorzien van een bijschrift. Jammer genoeg is het maar af en toe een reactie op de specifieke foto op de pagina. Veelal wordt een indruk gegeven van wat we op de pagina zien staan. Immers: niet iedereen die het boek onder ogen krijgt, zal een kenner van de dance-wereld zijn en de bijschriften verschaffen informatie en duidelijkheid voor een breed publiek. Helaas staan er ook schaamteloze promotietekstjes voor de geportretteerden in. Maar dat mag de pret niet drukken, want er staan in het boek daadwerkelijk iconische afbeeldingen. Bijna iedereen is wel eens een ‘echte Rudgr’ tegengekomen in een blad als SLAM!, Strobe Magazine en op event-websites. Van superactueel tot volledig tijdloos. Zoals Carl Cox opmerkt: ‘Every time you go online, you’ll always see this particular shot. When I look back and see it was taken so long ago, it still stands for what it was at that time: a good DJ shot of me, in the mix, because that’s what I do. Pure vinyl, three decks.’

Het is een prima koffietafel boek en het is goed dat het wat dieper gaat dan eigenpijperij. Het is een mooie weergave van een tijdperk. Niet iets om in één ruk uit te lezen, maar lekker om af en toe eens ter hand te nemen en terug in de tijd te vluchten. De jongere ‘EDM-generatie’, die al zoveel hoorde over de gabbers, de Energiehal en zich niet voor kan stellen dat Tiësto ooit voor fl500 op kwam treden, krijgt met ‘This is my Church’ een beeld mee van de ontwikkeling van dance-feesten. Van de obscure donkere gymzaal-setting met welgeteld één stroboscoop waar dj’s in hun relax-kloffie vinyl op de draaitafels gooien tot de grootste stadions en concerthallen waarin dj’s draaiend met cd’s of laptops, verheven zijn tot internationale supersterren en omringd worden door beveiligers, stage-hands, emotionele fans en managers.

Ik geef geen eind- of totaalscore. Fotografie is een kunstvorm en er zijn net zoveel meningen als er stijlen van fotograferen zijn. Juist die subjectiviteit leidt tot diversiteit. Laat je door ‘This is my Church’ dus vooral inspireren, want Rudgr bewijst dat je het als partyfotograaf verdomd ver kunt schoppen!

Deze recensie verscheen op Partyflock.nl

Markus Schulz: van burnout naar een album vol plezier

Half juni kreeg ik het nieuwe artiestenalbum van Markus Schulz thuisgestuurd. Na het schrijven een review vroeg Armada of ik het leuk vond tijdens de persdag op 27 juni langs te komen en Markus wat vragen te stellen. Omdat ik alleen zijn muziek kende greep ik deze kans met beide handen aan om ook eens een klein kijkje in zijn persoonlijkheid en motivatie te krijgen.

First question should be the easiest one…..
Who is Markus Schulz?

Wow! That’s actually a hard one. I don’t know…..Who am I? I am just a guy who, you know, kind of just eh makes music from eh….. I really don’t know. Let me answer the rest of your questions and maybe people will understand a little bit better then. Cause I mean ‘who am I?’

No sweat! You were born in Germany and you still have a house in Berlin and you go back there regularly. What is it that still attracts you in this city?
Well, the Berlin scene I love because of the people there. It’s people that maybe don’t fit in anywhere else. And for me those people are what’s so special about Berlin. It just has this really cool artistic vibe, whether it be music, whether it be painting, architecture….it’s just a really cool, eclectic group of people.

Is it an international scene? Or do you mix more with Germans over there?
I would say it’s a lot more international than it used to be, but it’s still primarily German. What I take from Berlin is just the vibe. The Berlin music scene is very much techno, electro and that kind of stuff. And what I do doesn’t really fit that mold. Trance is not really that big over there. There is a lot of good producers and dj’s in Germany but it’s a very difficult scene as far as trance goes. Kyau & Albert do amazing stuff but when you think of German trance you don’t think of them. It seems like people never get the respect, in their own hometown that they do elsewhere. And I think that’s what it is with German trance.

What I take from Berlin is that energy, that vibe, that inspiration that comes from Berlin. I’m sure that when you think of the Berlin music scene you don’t think of Markus Schulz, that’s for sure. In Berlin I feel like I am just one of the people and that inspires me.

What else inspires you besides your visits to Germany, what role or influence does you wife Heather have for instance?
She’s behind the scenes. She keeps everything going you know. She’s kind of the middle person between all of my business contacts like Armada and me. So I can just focus on music and not have to worry about any of the other stuff that gets in the way. She is a solid base and she handles everything.

You have the German as well as the American nationality. Therefore you are probably the person to tell us what the differences are between American and European ways of partying….
You used to be able to see a difference but nowadays with the internet being as big as it is in our scene it doesn’t matter where you are. The people that come out are very educated on the music. People have downloaded sets, they’re familiar with what’s gonna be played, they’ve heard a lot of the stuff. I don’t see any differences in the interaction and that’s what so exciting. So in the past there were differences, but not anymore. You could be in Australia, Dubai, Amsterdam or Miami…you can play a song that maybe two weeks old and people are singing along to it because of the internet. It had made this a global scene. But maybe I am just fortunate I have really enthusiastic fans.

Talking about mp3 and downloading; there’s a big worldwide discussion going on about the illegal downloading of mp3’s. What are your views on this topic?
In my opinion the mp3’s and the way they circulate is a good tool, but I also think that people need to be conscious and contribute to the scene. People that leech all these mp3’s and never contribute back into the scene…that’s not good. Yes, a lot of times music doesn’t get out there quick enough and people are hungry for it, that’s understandable. But at the same time, somehow, you need to give back. Because there’s a lot of really talented musicians that I know who just can’t make music anymore because they have to support a family. That’s sad to see.
I do believe in paying for mp3. At places like Beatport and the Armada online shop people are able to get the music that they want by downloading legally. And that’s really cool. I think over the last two years especially there’s been a change of mentality. Two years ago I think it was a free fall. Free download, sharing everything and now the music is more readily available online to purchase legally. I think we’re changing people’s attitudes about downloading. The media about Napster and Kazaa opened a lot of record company’s eyes. They understood there was another way of making business.

I do like the whole download idea because it cuts down on the music industry’s carbon footprint. All that vinyl, all that pollution that happens when you press all that vinyl and stuff…. That’s something that’s never been addressed or looked at. The downloading is clean, it’s great for the environment. That’s something I don’t think we’ve really explored.

Do you find any truth in the assertion that you wouldn’t be as successful as you are without the whole mp3-scene?
Yeah. I sort of consider myself as the voice of the next generation producers. Most of the producers that I’m in contact with and that I have connections with are younger and that’s the next generation and they grew up in a digital age. With my radio show I plant the seed with this next generation and that’s how I’ve been able to be successful. I don’t think I would’ve been able to do that if it weren’t for the internet. It has made my voice be heard all over the world. To that I am grateful. And at the same time I understand that you have to give back. If I’m out somewhere and I’m spinning and my cd gets messed up or I gave it to someone, threw it into the audience or whatever I’ll go onto Beatport … I purchase so much music every week. Like I said: it’s important to give back and contribute to the economy of our scene.

Before we go on to talk about the future and your new album, let’s look back at the past a bit. How do you look back on your last album, Coldharbour and your time there?
I lived in Arizona and I was kind of lost as an artist, I was doing a lot of major label remix work, a lot of commercial stuff and I literally burned myself out. I was ready to quit. I mean I was done. So I moved to London to kind of ehm…a pilgrimage to find myself as an artist. I had a studio in Brixton which is like the ghetto. Under the railroad tracks on Coldharbour Lane. And That’s where I just opened myself up and found who I was as an artist. It was a whole inspiration. It was the hardest thing I have done in my life. As a matter of fact I was in London two weeks ago and I went to Brixton. It was pouring with rain and I walked around there and I was looking at everything thinking ‘Wow this was just so difficult but it was amazing’.

So why did you choose London to reinvent yourself instead of Berlin which you earlier stated to be a big inspiration?
At that time London was the epicenter of where everything was happening. It was where I felt comfortable going.

Next month your new artist album Progression is released. What is the story behind this album?
Well, people always say your first artist album is a lifetime in the making. So my first artist album took me two, three years to make. It was a really hard emotional experience because there were so many things in my life that I was going back to to draw an inspiration from. That was a really heavy project for me. And when that was done it felt like there was so much weight lifted off my shoulders. Then when I started working on this album it just felt like this was the next step, the progression for me. I went into the studio and just had fun. Create the music that was inside of me but without all the heavy emotional burden that was over me on the first album.
The first one was very therapeutic for me and this one was just fun to make. The album is definitely a reflection of who I am as an artist. An artist album is a lot different from a mix cd. A mix cd is like a snapshot of my dj-sets at that time, but an artist album you want to look back at at the end of your career and go ‘that was a good time right there, that was who I was’.

Do you have favorite tracks on the album?
You know what it is? At one point or another every song on the album was my favorite song. Every one of them is like a child. I created thirteen children and you now ask me to pick my favorite child. Each one has it’s own time and reason for existing. I’m really proud of Trinidad to Miami because I actually composed that during a flight from Trinidad to Miami. I played a gig at Trinidad. I went from the gig straight to the airport. I had a crazy seven o’clock morning flight. The crowd in Trinidad didn’t want me to go, I could’ve kept going but I had this flight to catch. I had all these ideas and feeling inside of me and this rhythm that was reverberating inside of me from the audience. So as soon as I got on the airplane I pulled out my laptop and I started creating. We took off and the sun was coming up and we flew over the Atlantic…. It starts off really clubby as sort of an extension to the set I just played and then as you look out over the ocean the sounds start to come together. That was a very exciting and fun project to do.

Let’s move on to the future…apart from the weather here in Holland, the summer season has finally begun and your first Ibiza session has aired on your radio show. What else can we expect from you this season?
I’m doing my residency in Ibiza again and I’m really excited because of the album and all the friends that I’ve made on the island. I did a mix cd Ibiza ‘06 which was last season and I’m really excited to bring all this back to the island. Every time we go there we just have a good time. I think that’s the big thing I’m looking forward to, expanding on the friendships that I’ve made there.

Have you heard about the clubs closing down and all the politics going on on Ibiza?
I’ve heard about it and to be honest to you I didn’t read a single article about it because I don’t want that to hang over my head when I’m on the island. When I get on the island I just want to have a good time and let people have a good time. So I try and stand clear and let the people that handle my business worry with that stuff. Just tell me what time I’m playing and I’m there and let’s have fun. The rest is irrelevant for me.

To close off: your solo night at Panama in Amsterdam. Is this going to be a special night for you?
I love the long sets. I used to play eight hour sets and I miss that because when you do a long set you can really tell a story. You don’t just bang it our for six hours and a lot of planning goes into my solo sets to really make that night have special feel to it. I think this is the first time I’ve done an extended set like this here in Holland and so I’ve planned a lot of surprises and fun things. You’ll hear a lot of the new album and a lot of the tracks I’m going to do over the summer. I’ll make it a journey.

Any message to your fans in Holland?
I really appreciate everyone’s support. I believe in the sound that I play and that I create and I really appreciate that people are able to connect to me through this music. It’s really special. Sometimes it’s easiest to go in and play the biggest banging tracks and stand up on stage with your hands in the air. But this music is deep and not so obvious a lot of the times so for people to able to connect is really cool.

Dit interview verscheen op Partyflock.nl

Carl Cox; his House is your House!

Carl CoxCarl Cox, een levende legende. Een man die alle uithoeken van de wereld al heeft gezien en overal een feestje weet te bouwen. Toch heeft Nederland (blijkbaar) een speciaal plekje in zijn hart, gezien het feit dat hij vaak in Nederland te vinden is. Acht april is dat weer zover: Carl Cox & Friends! Met een line-up die behalve de grootmeester himself bestaat uit onder andere Darren Emerson, Marco Carola, Trevor Rockcliffe en Valentino Kanzyani gaat het dak er gegarandeerd af. Tijd voor Partyflock om wat vragen te stellen aan ‘Ome Karel’, zoals hij wel eens liefkozend wordt genoemd.

Carl, you’ve been performing in the house-scene for many years. Most of that time you spent in the spotlights, in the upper class and between the crème-de-la crème of DJ’s? What is your secret?
I can talk to you all night long about the scene, music and artist. But it just comes down to enjoying what you do and being happy with where you are and who you are. I see it as having a mission and for me that is telling people I’m happy and thankful and that I still love music and doing gigs.

Is it hard to keep motivating yourself?
Both artists and visitors have a story to tell about tracks they play and tracks they hear. New tracks are coming out and new stories want and need to be told. That goes for me too. I want to play music that touches myself and most of all the public.

Now this will be your third ‘Carl Cox in concert’ in this form. Will it still be something special or is it just another gig for you?
It’s way too much work to be just another gig. Over ten months of preparation goes into this show and it’s a creative process.

Ten Months! Thats quite a long time! What can we expect then on the 8th of April in Ahoy?
This year we go even further with technology, light production and visuals. Because it is the third Carl Cox in concert it needs to evolve from what we’ve done before. I have always had an interest in electrical works which I combine in this concert with lights, sounds and music (red: Carl started a university degree in electrical engineering, but quit after six months to become a professional DJ. So we take the technological production even further this year. I want it to be fresh! The emphasis however is of course also on the music. “It’s all about the music!”

Talking about technical aspects: what do you use for spinning your records? Are you an ‘old fashioned decks man’ or is cd or mp3 (like Ableton) your thing?
Well, I actually haven’t spun a vinyl in two years to be honest. My performance hasn’t changed though. In my opinion you can do much much more with mp3. The most important advantage of using cd decks is that I can bring much more music with me. What also happens is that stuff gets stolen during traveling. With mp3 I don’t have that problem and there’s never a chance of not being able to do a set simply because your records got stolen. And, if we talk about technique I have to say I find working with cd-decks much more challenging. The biggest advantage however is that with cd’s you have no feedback, so you know you’re always able to play the song.

You just said you wanted Carl Cox & Friends to be ‘fresh’. How do you achieve to make something that has been done before as fresh and different?
At the moment I am in Australia. I have a visa based on the fact that I bought a house in Melbourne and for three months this is where I feel at home and can be creative. Over here it is summer so I spent time at the beach and most important: the people have happy faces!! In Europe everyone is miserable when the weather is miserable. Weird, isnt it? I have my own recording studio here and because I take time to relax and because Melbourne is such a vibrant place to be, I create a fresh outlook on things.

So, there’s a good reason for people to go to Carl Cox & Friends this year and it’s not going to be ‘been there done that’ and let’s go to Awakenings which is in the same weekend?
Haha …no definitely not. I want people to just stand and stare at the visual aspect. I’m treating it as if it was my first in a sense of the reason why, you know? Show them what we can do as a collective. We can still show people what can be done as in creating an event that people want to go to and justify the money they’ve spent and also show them we’re still there and we’re not going anywhere.

The theme of this Carl Cox & Friends is “My house is your house and your house is mine”, a line out of an all time classic house track. What’s your thing with this theme?
The house is an embodiment of the music. People are welcome in my house and the intimate experience that music can be. I want people to feel as though they are part of something creative that is taking place. That’s why I did not want a secondary room but just one area. That way it feels as though everyone is part of the same thing and that it’s not massively big.

What does Holland mean for you in your career? Is there a special bond between you and Holland?
Oh yeah, there’s been a bond since my time at the Roxy. However, in Holland I have always done events and not the club scene like Chemistry and the Melkweg as such. Holland has a great crowd though and you guys celebrate dance in a great fashion with events like Dance Valley with which you show the world how Holland can party. I like to pay those people back by being at events like Dance Valley 2006.

You may have heard about the problems UDC has been facing with Dance Valley this year. They had some trouble getting permission for it and because of that had to change the date to the weekend in which 5DaysOff, Extrema Outdoor and the Love Parade take place as well. What will be the consequences of this do you think? Will people abandon Dance Valley?
Oh I’m sure there’s going to be a decrease in number of visitors. But Dance Valley has a great reputation. I mean last year it was absolutely pouring down with rain and I ended up in the concept tent still playing for thousands of people. It’s just something that you get on with. The festival has been lucky with getting sunny weather for years. And also it’s about the quality of the people that are there and not the quantity. More people does not mean better.

Something completely different: There is a video of you on the internet dancing your ass off somewhere in Eastern-Europe on the ‘Cultura Rave’ in April 2005 See the movie here). Some DJ’s, like John Digweed for example, just stand there and do nothing except mixing during their gigs. What do you have to say to those inert / not moving DJ’s?
Well, you wouldn’t say but I used to be a dancer. So it comes natural to me. If I see ten thousand people go all out to the records I put on I just can’t stand still. Also I want to feel what the crowd is feeling. I want to move them with music that moves me. So dancing to it brings me closer to their experience.

What is your opinion about the whole ‘minimal hype’ lately in the techno scene?
It’s cool. It’s not for everyone. It’s a genre and there’s a special set of people that enjoy minimal. It’s sort of like the music has gone back on itself but people see it as new. It’s an evolution like drum and bass. It’s there, doesn’t get played for a while and then artists start playing those records again and people think it’s a brand new thing. But like you said it’s a hype and those things go up and down.

Last question to get you in the mood for your upcoming visit: what’s the weirdest thing about Holland?
Ah that’s in terms of food and that’s chips with mayonnaise. I can dig the wellknown part in Pulp Fiction where Samuel L. Jackson is talking about mayonnaise. I mean you take food that is bad in itself, health wise, and what do you do? You put mayonnaise, which is just fat, on top of them!!!

Thanks for your time and enjoy Carl Cox & Friends and of course Dance Valley. Give us a call when you’re in Holland and we’ll take you to the Febo for a nice bag of fat.

Dit interview verscheen eerder op Partyflock.nl