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Dutch Dance Agenda: December

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Do you want to know when your favorite DJ will be playing some tracks, or are you curious about new Dutch voices in town? In our #DutchDanceAgenda, we post monthly updates on who is playing when and where, and we highlight different Dutch DJs that are spinning their decks in the US at the moment.

Let's face it: the best party is a Dutch party. As a brand, a passion, and a movement, "Dutch Dance" has dominated the international dance scene for years. Many Dutch DJs have gathered a worldwide following and fly all around the globe to entertain one energetic crowd after the other. Proving that established dance icons and fresh talent do not need to stand in each other’s way, Dutch legends like Tiësto and Hardwell have been taking the new generation underneath their wings.

From underground talent to household names, the Netherlands' party scene has built the reputation for harboring everyone's kind of DJ. However, with so many successful and famous DJs coming from such a small dot on the map, it is almost impossible to keep track of all their performance in the United States. Luckily, we did exactly that, so for the latest updates tune in on our Twitter and Facebook page! Also, be sure to check out our Soundcloud to hear all the latest, Dutch-produced tracks and live-sets.

Also, be sure to check out our blogs on San Holo’s album1 Tour and Noisia’s Thijs de Vlieger’s role in the contemporary dance performance “Sleeping Beauty Dreams.” And lastly, take a look at Dutch presence at the best New Year’s Eve Parties America’s got to offer!  

 Dyro

Featured Interview with Dyro: 

DutchCultureUSA had a chance to talk to Dyro, by now virtually a Dutch Dance veteran on top of his game who has worked with the likes of Tiësto, Hardwell and Martin Garrix and has racked up an impressive tour list including Electric Zoo Festival in 2013 and 2014. He was also featured on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs from 2013-2016 and continues to pick new lanes to explore in his career. He founded his own label WOLV where he can really turn his vision into reality, and fans can expect big things to roll out of his label in the feature: also in the US. The DJ played five gigs in the US last month and we were wondering what his American experience has been so far and what he expects in the future.  

 Dyro

Coming out of the talent pool that is the Netherlands, how do you get interested into the genre and turn that hobby into a career? 

In the Netherlands, electronic dance music is everywhere. Our country birthed Tiesto who is one of the most successful artists ever and at home, it feels almost part of the culture to grow up and be so aware of that sound. For me, it began as a hobby which became a passion and then my career, I’m completely self-taught and worked really hard to turn that passion into something I can do for a living.

Would you say you did anything differently from your Dutch DJs peers that makes you special coming up as a DJ? 

Just being myself sets me apart and I think it always has. I approach things from a free and fluid place rather than using a textbook technique, and, experimentation is key for me. I’m constantly challenging my sound and the music that I want to make and now that I’m more established, I have the freedom to do that a lot more easily. 

 

As a Dutch DJ who values his Dutch and European roots, what differences do you experience between the Dutch/European and American dance and club scene?

Hardstyle is really big in Europe but the US sound of typical “EDM” feels a lot harder overall, more trap-sounding and almost hip-hop influenced rather than big-room which still feels like it’s reigning supreme back home. 

 

Do you have a favorite venue/festival in the US then?

EDC Vegas is super cool!

Dyro 

During ADE 2018, you dropped a track with Martin Garrix named “Latency.” Would you consider working close with a global superstar like him the highlights of your career, or are there other personal milestone that you value even more?

Yeah, for sure it is one of my career highlights. Martin and I are friends first and foremost which makes making music that much easier and we’d been sitting on ideas for a while so I’m pretty happy everyone can finally hear what we’d created. 

 

Do you have a favorite producer or maybe a childhood icon?

I have a lot of favourite producers, Skrillex and Hardwell for sure and then Loopers is making sick productions.

 Dyro

Are there things on your bucket list that you plan to cross off? (As a DJ/Producer or as yourself)

Going to Tokyo was on there and so was being able to work with Tiesto – currently, it changes all the time! 

 

What can the American audience expect from you in the near future?

Lots of new productions and remixes coming in 2019 and I’m getting set to play a dope run of US headline dates right now! I have a lot of love for the US and I’m excited to come play!

Dyro

 

 

Agenda 

 

 

 

Afrojack

Afrojack

Nick van de Wall, better known as Afrojack, started his career at the age of 14, as he performed at local pubs and clubs, and earning additional income with designing websites for fellow musicians. In 2007 he released "In Your Face", the first recording under the Afrojack name. He received international success with the song "Take Over Control" featuring Eva Simons, which charted in 10 different countries. He took part in Episode 2 of 'Behind The Speedo', which is a comedy series by Redfoo. Currently, Afrojack is listed as number eight in the DJ Mag Top 100. 

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Bingo Players

Bingo Players | Courtesy of the Artist

Maarten Hoogstraten wasn’t like other kids his age. When he was 10, his friends were buying toys to play with, but Maarten was already spending his cash on vinyl and CDs. “You know how it starts,” he said with a chuckle. “I was the one who bought records when I was young, I bought lots of vinyl, seven-inches, twelve inches, and when CDs came about I bought a lot of CDs, growing up, I spent all my money on music.”

When he was a teenager, two events would change his life. An early music software program called ProTracker was released, and he would meet Paul Baümer, who would become his musical partner for the better part of the next 15 years until he suddenly passed away from cancer in 2013.  Though they didn’t start out as DJs, once the demand grew for them to play out live, they learned how to mix on CDJs. Soon, they became regulars on the EDM circuit, playing massive festivals, like Electric Daily Carnival, Tomorrowland, and Coachella. Maarten remembered: “I think we started to become better producers once we started to DJ,” noting that they would bring new tunes on the road and play for a crowd to gauge their reaction.

But in June 2013, at the height of their success, Paul suddenly fell ill. Maarten was stunned and didn’t know what to do. But Paul’s last wishes were for his best friend and his musical partner to keep making music. “He always said to me, ‘If you can find solace and continue what we started, please do so. Please continue the music. Carry on the Bingo Players flag,’” said Maarten. 

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Blasterjaxx

Blasterjaxx | Courtesy of the Artist

Thom Jongkind and Idir Makhlaf, better known as producer/deejay duo Blasterjaxx in the music industry, are anything but the same. While one is often prominent and empowering, the other prefers staying quietly in the background - a fairly high contrast in character. However, there is one significant reason for the phenomenal connection between these two personalities: their passion and love of music.  

After the collaboration between the former Blasterjaxx duo ended, the two mutually decided Jongkind would continue with the label. Because Thom believed that Blasterjaxx would only be complete as a duo, he started looking for possibilities of a new, and this time around, perfect collaboration. In the meantime, Thom had been charmed by Idir Makhlaf for a while, who was operating by the name of Macosta. Only after a few collaborations, it was already clear how well they hit off; a new Blasterjaxx duo was born with - what subsequently appeared - an unparalleled amount of talent and potential. 

Together they plan on taking over the world with their unique sound, which is best described as a crossover between electro-house, progressive and big room.   

Events:

  • December 21 | Lavo | New York, NY

 

Don Diablo

Don Diablo

Dutch DJ / producer Don Diablo was born and raised in Holland and is currently working on rapidly expanding his discography in between his global touring schedule. After scoring multiple number one hits on Beatport he became the third bestselling artist of the year in 2015 and also managed to rack up over a hundred million views on Youtube in the same year. In the meanwhile the Dutchman also became an in-demand remixer, adding names like Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Rudimental, Birdy and many others to his portfolio.

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Droeloe

Droeloe | Courtesy of the Artist

This duo’s emphasis on their artistic strengths has seen them weave sonically and visually intricate stories through their music. Their signature skull has quickly become synonymous with progressive music and breathtaking art highlighted by their impeccable percussion-heavy sound infused with the catchiest melodies and stunning use of visuals.

They hit the electronic music scene in 2016 when San Holo brought them aboard bitbird where the duo released a string of singles through the rest of the year including “zZz” and “Wake the Warrior” establishing themselves as a new force to be reckoned with. The duo’s songwriting and producing continued to mature giving way to another string of hits across different labels such as Lowly Palace and Monstercat.

The duo returned to bitbird for their biggest piece of work to date – their debut EP A Moment In Time. Featuring five unique cover pieces and a beautiful visual storyboard, the EP was a hit amassing close to 25 million streams in less than a year and launching them on tour with San Holo on over forty-dates across four continents.

2018 has now seen the duo continue to find ways to extrapolate their unique DROELOE sound into a variety of styles plus make successful festival debuts at Okeechobee, BUKU, Coachella Do Lab, EDC Las Vegas, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and more en-route to a debut headline fall tour of their own.

 

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Interstellar Funk

Interstellar Funk

Van Elden’s ascent in underground electronic music culture has not come as a surprise to those within Amsterdam’s club scene. He was wowing home crowds long before he bagged a sought-after residency at now-departed venue Trouw, and more recently at it’s widely beloved successor De School. 

What marks out Interstellar Funk’s productions and DJ sets is van Elden’s love of the imperfections and eccentricities associated with left-of-centre analogue machine music. You’ll hear them within the new wave, electro, techno, jack-tracks, heavy electronics and everything in between that populate his DJ sets, as well as the solo records he’s released on Dekmantel, Berceuse Heroique and Rush Hour, the label, store and distribution company he’s been associated with since 2013. 

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Job Jobse

Job Jobse - Courtesy of the artist

Some people have no doubt about it: being a DJ is all they want to do. After learning the ropes at Amsterdam’s legendary club 11, Job began his adventure into electronic music with an internship at the renowned Innervisions label in Berlin. After moving back to Amsterdam to work as the booker of Trouw, things went uphill very fast. Job currently holds his own successful residency at the famous club – Drukpers, the first party ever held at the venue – and is also active as the label manager for the popular Life and Death label. With all Job has achieved so far and a current heavy touring schedule, including appearances spanning from Burning Man to Panorama Bar, one can only wonder where he will go next. 

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Laidback Luke

Laidback Luke | Courtesy of the Artist

Born in the Philippines, raised in Holland, Luke van Scheppingen, known as Laidback Luke with no exaggeration is the reference point of the dance scene for the thousands of clubbers these days. His unlimited energy brightly results in both stunning live sets and ongoing anticipated studio hits. The Dutch heavy weight house master is loved all over the globe: they worship him in Amnesia on Ibiza, they sell out his Super You&Me event wherever it goes to, and they put him on the 20th place on By-All-Means-Wanted TOP 100 DJs list. With the crazy energy that Luke conveys and the martial arts that he practices, rest assured his future will be out of this world! 

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Makam

Makam © Stef Spijkermans

Born and raised in The Hague on the Dutch coast, Guy Blanken grew up with electronic music. With his family and friends being a constant source of new musical input, he decided to take matters into his own hands. A fortunate decision as he struck a creative nerve that revealed his raw talent. It was at this point that the artist Makam emerged, as he mastered the art of music production and found his own unique style. In 2012 he introduced his live alias Talismann representing the harder and darker side of techno. 

Events:

  • December 12 | F8 1192 Folsom | San Francisco, CA
  • December 14 | TBA | Chicago, IL

 

Mark Sixma

Mark Sixma | Courtesy of the Artist

Mark Sixma is an artist whose music is known by the core heart of dance music fans on a global scale. Born and raised in the capital of dance - Breda, the Dutch city that provided the world scene leaders such as Tiesto and Hardwell - he is responsible for some of the most revered timeless dance music and EDM-anthems.

Mark Sixma is one of the only dance music artists to knock himself off the #1 spot in Beatports trance chats, claiming both the #1 and #2 positions simultaneously. Besides his original tracks, which have been featured in video games and movies, Mark also collaborated with Armin van Buuren, W&W, and KSHMR to name a few.

On the live front, the long-time DJ/Producer brought his highly energetic performances to the biggest venues and the world’s largest dance music festivals like Creamfields, TomorrowWorld, A State of Trance, and Ultra Music Festival whilst gaining acclaim from the majority of the top DJ’s in the world on his originals and monumental remixes.

 

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Martyn

Martyn | Courtesy of the Artist

Throughout the many layers of his winding 16+ years in electronic music, Holland native (now Washington DC resident) Martijn Deijkers, aka Martyn, has always stood in a genreless scene of his own. Though his influences are wide-ranging, Martyn’s music is deeply inspired by the futuristic and melodic aspects of Detroit and Chicago.

His rhythmically diverse sound floats across D&B, dubstep and various strains of bass music, just as smoothly as it traverses house and techno, and encompasses abstract ambient soundscapes. Based on musicality and energy in equal parts, Martyn’s layered tracks are a rapt exploration of melancholy, futurism and dancefloor hypnotism. 

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Matthew Dekay

Matthew Dekay | Courtesy of the Artist

Growing up in Haarlem, The Netherlands, Matthew was first exposed to electronic music in the early ’90s. Deeply inspired by the early club movement, with legendary spots like the Roxy and iT in Amsterdam, he quickly became obsessed with combining his musical roots and this new wave. In the early 2000s, Matthew had a quick string of successes with his early music productions, and he found himself performing in clubs and festivals all over the world, ranging from clubs like Space and Amnesia in Ibiza to festivals like the Berlin Love Parade and Dance Valley in Amsterdam.

In 2018, Dekay returned to making dance floor orientated music. His most recent sets have given us a sneak peak of his upcoming releases on the artist group Mandar’s label, Oscillat, including a collaboration project with S.A.M. (a member of Mandar). Dekay will also launch a highly anticipated party concept in Berlin later this year.
In addition to all of this Matthew has started to release music under his alias MDK (DE) and is planning to finally release more unreleased material of his that has been doing the rounds in the club scene for some time now.
 

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Moksi

Moksi © Stephan Colen

A house party can be the perfect place for creative minds to sync. It happened with Samir and Diego, the Dutch duo better known as Moksi, although it took a few years for them to perfect their kaleidoscopic sound of screaming leads and bassface-perfect subwoofer-loving drops, inspired by a mutual love of late-’90s UK garage.

Highlights of Moksi’s summer 2017 tour include performances at both Lollapalooza Paris and Chicago, DJ Snake flying in by helicopter for an appearance at a Moksi headline gig in Los Angeles and two consecutive weekends of rocking Tomorrowland. They have released over 45 tracks since that fateful beginning. Once they get going, Moksi are never slowing down. 

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Nicky Romero

Nicky Romero | Courtesy of the Artist

Strike up a conversation about the current state of electronic music and it won’t be long before Nicky Romero gets an emphatic mention. And quite rightly so—because at the age of just twenty-six and in the space of only a few prolific years, the Amsterdam-based superstar has managed to build nothing short of a remarkable musical empire.

Celebrated the world over for countless chart-topping records and his electrifying energy in front of hundreds of thousands on the world’s most distinguished stages, the loveable Dutch performer, producer, Protocol Recordings chief and global brand ambassador has already carved an international reputation for himself as one of the most exciting and industrious artists of his generation.

Perpetually dedicated to growing and maturing the Nicky Romero brand at every turn the Protocol don continues to vindicate his position as one in just a handful of the most influential and venerated forces in the international music arena today. 

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R3hab

R3hab | Courtesy of the Artist

Performing and recording under the name R3hab, EDM artist Fadil El Ghoul started his career in 2008 producing the track "Mrkrstft" for Hardwell. He teamed up with Hardwell once again in 2009 on the single "Blue Magic," and worked with Afrojack in 2011 on "Aces High (Prutata)." 

He subsequently garnered prestigious 2014 slots at Tomorrowland, Future Music, Creamfields, and Summerburst, and that same year he put out the 12" "Androids," "Flashlight" with Deorro, and "Ready for the Weekend," which were among some of his biggest-selling singles. 

He also landed a featured spot on Calvin Harris' 2014 album Motion, and a DJ set at the Coachella Music Festival followed in 2015. In 2016, he teamed with the R&B vocalist Ciara for the single "Get Up." 

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San Holo

San Holo © Haley Lann

Sander van Dijck commonly known by his stage name San Holo, is not just a DJ: As DJ, Singer, Guitar Player and Lyricist, San taught himself to play guitar at an early age. He gained international recognition for his remix of Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode", which currently has over 150 million views on YouTube. He has toured the world and has gained a credible reputation in the EDM world. In this next phase of his development, San Holo is taking the inspiration he gathers from bands like Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Ros and very ethereal soundscapes, beautiful melancholic music as he takes a leap with new sounds and music.  He is motivated by the fact that he’s never found a way to get that kind of vibe into the EDM music he was producing until half a year ago, when he realized that he could use guitars instead of a synth and still make it into a drop and a buildup.

San has released music on several record labels including Spinnin' Records, OWSLA, Barong Family, and Monstercat. He is also no stranger to the Billboard Dance Charts, as his single “Light” soared to #13 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Chart. 

He also founded bitbird, a label which has released several of his singles including "Still Looking" and "Light". San Holo's first EP, Cosmos, was released via Heroic on 18 September 2014 and was in the Top 100 Electronic category of iTunes.  

Events (album1 tour):

 

Signum

Signum | Courtesy of the Artist

The sound of the legendary Signum (Ron Hagen & Pascal M) has been resounding in the dance scene for nearly one and a half decades. With a discography that most would only dream of, a collection of ultimate trance classics, and creating one anthem after another, Signum is a name born in the golden years that has stamped its authority on trance ever since. Signum changed things up in 2007 when Pascal moved to Norway and Ron became the main Signum artist. As the digital era took hold and developed into the modern day scene, the Signum sound also evolved into a more diverse and experimental hybrid, without ever losing the true trance sound that they started out with back in 1997. ‘What Ya Got 4 Me’, ‘Coming On Strong’, ‘Push Through’, ‘First Strike’, ‘The Timelord’, ‘Distant Signature’, the more recent ‘Addicted’, ‘Riddles In The Sand’, Roger Shah collabs ‘Healesville Sanctuary’ and ‘Ancient World’, remixes for Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, ATB, Oceanlab and many others are in Signum's repertoire. All tracks and remixes ride that typical, unrivaled Signum sound that is adored all over the world by fans from back in the day and new ones!  

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The Him

The Him

Hailing from the dance capital of the world, Amsterdam, the Dutch team of Jeroen Kerstens and Steven Berghuijs formed their partnership in 2015 when they teamed up with melodic house mastermind Sam Feldt for their breakout collaboration “Midnight Hearts,” of which has amassed over 17 million streams to date.

Shortly after, the Him launched their own mix series, Midnight Mixtapes, to paint an auditory picture of what their project’s style and sound was like. Following their first collaboration with Feldt, the Him teamed up with their compatriot on another original called “Drive You Home.”

After a number of bootleg remixes of Robin Schulz, Maroon 5, and Mumford & Sons that further solidified their stance in the SoundCloud world, The Him turned the attention to their first solo production, “Feels Like Home.” Quickly amassing 12 million streams on SoundCloud alone and hitting #1 on SoundCloud’s Deep House Charts in the first six months of the record’s release, “Feels Like Home” marked a massive milestone for the duo and paid an integral role in catapulting The Him into the spotlight. The track attracted major press looks from leading dance outlets like Dancing Astronaut, Your EDM, DJ Mag NL, MrSuicideSheep, Chill Nation, and more.  

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Tiësto 

Tiësto

Highly regarded by both DJ Magazine and fans of electronic dance music, Tiësto launched his career as one of the world's foremost trance DJs, due in part to his legendary six-hour live sets, and went on to embrace a more pop-oriented EDM approach. The fifth Tiësto studio album, A Town Called Paradise, appeared in 2014 on Casablanca. It featured the most pop-oriented productions of his career and a slew of guest vocalists who included Ladyhawke and Icona Pop. Tiësto appeared on DJ Mag Top 100 2016 as number 5. 

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Young Marco 

Young Marco

Amsterdam native DJ, producer and certified dude Young Marco has been on the forefront of the city’s bustling underground scene for nearly a decade. Coming up through several now infamous residencies, he quickly gained notoriety for his genre-defying and ballsy DJ sets with a unique take on dance music, playing everything from lost proto-house and voodoo jaktrax to Libyan disco anthems. After releasing several records on Rush Hour he soon found a home on Lovefingers’ ESP Institute where he continues to craft his signature zonked out house sound filled with broken drum computers and 90’s new-age synthesizers.Since then Marco has steadily been playing all around the globe spreading his love for strange dance music and unclassics.

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