“Besides that, I drink Gin Tonic’s.” – An interview with Remco Beekwilder

With his debut album arriving on his very own Emerald imprint this June and his third all nighter in BASIS coming up, there is lots to talk about with Remco Beekwilder. The album title Culture Vulture, describes exactly what Remco has an aversion to.

By Joris Knikkink

Your debut album Culture Vulturewill be released this June. You’ve called it your ‘’most personal work to date’’. Could you explain that?

It’s my most personal work, because I did not think about a profile. I started making music like I did when I first got in touch with it. No profile, no genre, nothing. Just making the music that I like.

When doing an album, some artists choose to place moments of rest, with beatless or deep tracks. You don’t seem to be subscribed to that aesthetic, because most tracks on the album are 4/4 floor fillers. Was it important for you to emphasize danceability?

No, I just wanted to make the music again that I used to make in my bed room. When I started making music I was never uninspired, because I did whatever I want. I did hip hop, trance, hardcore, drum ’n bass. If the tracks felt good, I finished them. Lately I just made music for Remco Beekwilder. I got tired of working in a strict routine, focused on a certain sound. A lot of potentially interesting music will be lost, if you work like that. Before, if the record didn’t exactly match Remco Beekwilder, I didn’t finish the track. Working on an album for me was the perfect way to make music again without having to think about a framework. On an album there is space enough to go left or right. The result is an untraditional project with tracks that wouldn’t be released on a solo EP and may not be expected from me.

Listening to the previews of your album, we can hear lots of 90s breaks, hard hitting 909s and references to the classic rave sound from that time. The 90s seem to be more present on your album, compared to your earlier work..

I’ve always been fascinated by the music from the 90s. Subconsciously this had a lot of influence on my own music. When making the album, I felt more freedom to let my most personal influences flow.

Do you consider this a concept album, containing a coherent story from start to finish? What’s the story behind Culture Vulture? The artwork – also the ones of your previous projects – suggests something occult.

For me it’s not an album with a clear start and finish. I thought about doing it that way though. But I felt I would be less free then, while the very idea of the album was to be completely free. A Culture Vultureis a person or organisation that benefits from a culture, without contributing to it. The ideal theme for the album, because I find influence in at least six genres. And because of that, I can possibly contribute better to the culture of electronic music.

Is it important to you that the album will be released on your own Emerald label?

Yes, very important! This way I can shape the album without boundaries or input from outside. Releasing the album on my own label was the only possible option. 

Speaking of which, your label is just over a year old. How does managing it feel?

Very good! I really enjoy to decide on the musical path and it’s very interesting to give room to other artists, who never had the chance before to release their work.

You will be doing your third all nighter in BASIS. To what extent do you prepare your set? I mainly ask this because in an earlier interview with BASIS, you explained that you’re actuallly not much of a night-time person.

I never prepare my sets, because that makes me really nervous. If something doesn’t go according to plan, I become stressed and then I will loose my concentration and my flow. I prevent this by not preparing anything. I will start an opening track and then I’ll choose my path. Besides that, I drink gin tonic.

What’s the difference between Remco Beekwilder playing for two hours, and Remco Beekwilder playing all night?

At this kind of event, the audience is more patient, compared to the audience on a two hour set. This gives me room to bring more variety, but also to bring ups en downs. That way you can create much more intense moments with each other.

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