With this month: Tom Trago, Yellow Claw, Bingo Players and Blasterjaxx.
Do you want to know when your favorite DJ will be laying some tracks, or are you curious about new Dutch voices in town? This page will post monthly updates on who is playing when and where, and 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 been dominating the international dance scene for years. Many Dutch DJs have gathered a worldwide following, and fly all around the globe to move from one enthusiastic crowd to the other. Proving that established dance icons and fresh talent do not need to stand in each other’s way, Dutch legends like Tiësto have been taking the new generation underneath their wings.
From underground talents to household names, the Netherlands’ party scene has built the reputation to harbor “everyone’s kind of DJ.” However, with so many successful and famous DJs from such a small dot on the map, it is almost impossible to keep track of all Dutch DJs that are performing in the United States.
Don’t worry: we are here to help out!
Vibe and emotion through sound, which carry the observer through a beautiful and dreamy trip, defines the music of Olaf Stuut. With his music he gives the listener a choice, to either dance on it, or stretch out on the couch to take a musical journey. Olaf Stuut is a musician who will always tell a story within his compositions, with strong vibes, challenging harmonies and sounds. His music can’t be placed in one genre, although it connects to many.
Tom Trago’s relationship with music has always been particularly intense. “I couldn’t imagine life without music,” he says. “I feel this physical need to make music everyday. It’s like my body needs it as much as it needs food, water or sunshine.” Right now, Trago’s immersion in music is almost total. An internationally renowned DJ, producer, live performer and label owner with three critically acclaimed albums to his name, the Dutchman divides his time between all-day studio sessions, DJ gigs and live shows all over the world, and a steady stream of musical collaborations. You sometimes wonder how he finds time to sleep.
Success wasn’t instant, and in his early years in Amsterdam he barely eked a living DJing in coffee shops, earning just enough to afford to feed his vinyl addiction. “As long as I had enough to live and buy records, I was happy,” he recalls. “It also gave me more time to make music.” Early experiments with blends of experimental hiphop, jazz, Latin influences, Afrobeat sounds and soul-flecked broken beat caught the ear of local labels and producers, before he began to apply his composition and production skills to house music.
By the time local label Rush Hour snapped up his debut single, “Live With The BBQ”, in 2006, he’d already developed a trademark style that blended the best of three decades of dance music – disco, boogie, synth funk, Detroit techno and more – with insatiable house rhythms and an intrinsic grasp of what makes dancefloors tick. It’s this blend, not to mention his love of collaborating with musicians, vocalists and producers from Amsterdam and beyond (think Romanthony, San Proper, Awanto 3, Cinnaman, Tyree Cooper and Bok Bok), which makes his music so irresistible.
Yellow Claw may not be a household name outside of the Netherlands but have a look at their YouTube channel and you’ll be hard pressed to find one of their singles with less than a 2,000,000 views. They take the newest sounds from the club and drive them off a cliff. Hailing from Amsterdam, the trio first exploded into the scene after founding the Yellow Claw Thursday night party party at the Jimmy Woo, which quickly gained a reputation as being one of the wildest and most unique parties in the city.
Since then, it’s been nothing but up for Bizzey, Jim Aasgier & Nizzle, who have since played at some of the Netherlands’ biggest music festivals. In March 2013, they released their Trap Music EP, a blend of monstrous trap bangers bound to set any dancefloor on fire, on Mad Decent’s Jeffree’s imprint.
Yellow Claw is the party of the 21th century. The Claws mix up every genre which is within a sense of playing, from the electronic stuff like House and Electro, to Dubstep and all the way back to the Classics with HipHop and R&B. Add some of Bizzey’s most catchy lines and hooks and there you have it, one of the most innovating and entertaining club nights known to mankind.
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.“I think we started to become better producers once we started to DJ,” he said, 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.
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.
As the day’s vivid colors give way to the night’s neon dreamscapes, our imaginations come alive. During those wee hours, when all others are sound asleep, we seek adventure within EDC’s otherworldly domains. In this place, we reaffirm that we are kindred spirits bound by a deep passion for music, art and discovery. And there is so much to discover.
June 17 -18: Las Vegas, NV.
June 10 – 13: Bethel Woods, NY.