Heal Yourself and Move: Successful Euro Jams + Dutch Techno

July 31, 2009

This week's Heal Yourself And Move—a new biweekly column about dance and electronic music, written by Maryland’s finest, Andrew Field Pickering—runs down the top jams from his recent DJ tour of Europe as one half of Beautiful Swimmers and goes in on their Dutch host, DJ Overdose.

Alright, this time around I'm gonna break the column into two parts. The first part will be a rundown of some of my favorite new 12-inches that me and my good friend Ari (pictured above in the Hague studio in the Netherlands) played during the Beautiful Swimmers gigs in Netherlands and Germany that we just finished up. And the second part will be focused on Dutch electro beast DJ Overdose.


So a full tour diary for this two week thing we did would be a little tough, and extraneous. Mostly, we traveled to places by train during the day, and then we played records for about five or six hours; sometimes we played until we ran out of records (European stamina!). We met some amazing people, and ate a gang of Turkish food. Thanks y'all!

These were some of the new records that hit hard:

Kinoeye, "Mean Old World"

More than any other track on tour, this song had people coming up and asking what it was. Totally out-there sketchy synths bounce around at the beginning, making it tough to mix (I got it down), but setting you up nicely for a barrage of bass drums and one of the best chopped vocal samples I've heard in a long time. Chopped vocal samples are really hard to pull off—I definitely do not need to hear anymore random snippets of "Fellas!" from James Brown (unless its EPMD) or some random dumb shit that sounds like a eulogy with effects on it over some house. (Side note: I AM always down for hearing house tracks with Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" mixed on top, a la some of the old WBMX mixes that float around the internet. Anyway, the vocal grows out of the off-kilter wilderness in the track, and insists that "its a mean old world" and that "...you got to scuffle, you gotta be strong". And then the vocal starts to loop, at the important part: "You gotta do your thing." Yesssssssss. I love this track. Get this on NYC DJ Speculator's newly minted WT Records. Durham, North Carolina based Kinoeye also records as Datahata.

Reggie Dokes, "Chicago Pimp"
I only found out about Reggie Dokes recently, but dude has been doing parties and making house and techno music in Detroit for years. "Chicago Pimp" was recently released on the Loft Supreme Series from Clone. Sounds to me like a track for strutting your stuff, I can kind of imagine a gaggle of people drawn in magic marker by Pedro Bell (of Funkadelic artwork fame) talking shit to each other while getting more and more riled up by this track. If you mix the right record out of this one, the party will go apeshit. Reggie makes us wait, perfectly, forever. Don't sleep on the b-side either; it is a massively deep cut with great strings that I was admittedly too timid to drop on people during our gigs.

Les Aeroplanes, "Impersonnel Naviguant"
The EP that Les Aeroplane's "Impersonnel Naviguant" was recently released on Jamal Moss' (of Hieroglyphic Being fame) Mathematics Records. These guys are from France and while their myspace vibe is very strong, filled with excellent photos, it has no real info on them. The whole EP is super serious, but the cut we banged the most was "L'Orient Est Rouge." Its a strange song, that sounds more than anything like really experimental italo. There are a lot of unexpected elements (sampled and looped crowd noise, jazzy interludes, radio transmissions) and some killer subtle keyboard melodies that keep the track building after each interlude. At Bar 25 in Berlin, zee Germans would look at us all cock-eyed during the interlude parts like "what the fuck did you fools mix into" until WOOOMP the main part came back and blew their minds.


While we were on tour we spent two nights in Rotterdam, with our friend DJ Overdose, who is involved in a silly amount of good music. One morning we were accused of being squatters by Overdose's landlord, who rolled upstairs out of nowhere and saw Ari and I sprawled up on the living room floor, trying to protect ourselves from some insane mosquitoes. To think back now, she must have been so blown when she walked up the stairs. I had an orange shirt wrapped around my face to protect from bites with welts on my arms (from the mosquitoes) that looked like track marks or something. She probably thought her day was going to take that "wild turn."

Overdose lives in a bare bones place, save for the epic amount of records, and a batch of keyboards and other gear. He´s in several Dutch groups doing major shit, like Novamen with the Hague's Mr. Pauli, and Hasbeens, who have a brand new record out now, on Frustrated Funk. He also produces tracks on his own. There is definitely an electro-italo vein through most of his projects, but they each have an edge to them. He's working on a record right now for the above mentioned WT Records.

Overdose also just released a new 12-inch, on Strange Life Records, called "In For The Kill". He works at a movie theater in Rotterdam, and you can tell. He has a heavy cinematic vibe on this one, complete with vocal snippets and huge weird explosions to go with his creepy John Carpenter funk. He also gets into some next level booty bass with "Uh Uh Baby", and the outro "Face Down In The River" is super bleak, truly "tragic, defeatist drama," to quote the press release. You probably have to grip this one quick if you want it. I had to wait for the repress of Novamen´s "Lies" (youtube below) forever. Viva Dutch Electro.

Heal Yourself and Move: Successful Euro Jams + Dutch Techno