CONVERSATIONS | KOMMUNE
Over the past 3 years, Kommune is making waves in the nightlife of our city, bringing people together into a community of listeners and lovers of diverse electronic styles. April 7th, Kommune strikes down in RADION with none other than leader of the new school Joey Anderson. We dug a little deeper into Kommune and Joey Anderson with Nathan.
Hey Nathan! Could you explain a bit about how Kommune came to be and its philosophy?
Well to, give you a good understanding of how Kommune came into existence we have to go back a few years. My first encounter with house and techno was such an eye-opening and impressive experience, which made me dive into the abyss of Amsterdam’s nightlife and its underground culture. It felt like homecoming, during these endless nights of dancing and meeting like-minded folks. This love for music marks the beginning of a very diverse group of friends who are all actively engaged in the scene in their own ways. There are people in whom I find lots of inspiration, joy and support. I really believe in their musical/DJ craftsmanship, and also wanted to do something with that! It would be a waste not to.
I made the leap and created the Kommune platform to showcase my taste, love and inspirations in terms of DJ acts from and beyond Amsterdam. A community of listeners and like-minded people all together in one room. I try to contribute to Kommune’s versatility by programming diversified and personalized line-ups, based on quality and skills for limited audiences. I also run a Red Light Radio x Kommune show, next to an ongoing podcast series. As far as how the philosophy goes, it all kinda grew naturally into what it is today. It’s more or less a coming of age platform that grows simultaneously with my artistic and personal development.
Joey Anderson will give his records a spin during your upcoming event. Why does he fit the Kommune concept?
Joey’s love, background and experience in (house) dancing result in well thought-through records for the dance floor. That’s what I really find appealing about his work. He’s an exceptional artist with a great sensei behind him – DJ Qu, who I also admire.
It’s really hard to lay a finger on what direction Joey aims to go with his music. It isn’t house, nor is it techno, yet it’s a very interesting blend of uniqueness altogether. It sucks you into the mysterious melodies and peculiar rhythms, which I think really is his specialty. His productions tend to be very emotionally charged and theatrical. When you close your eyes to some of his songs, you can visualize the effect it has on you.
When I’m in the studio or digging for records, I just let the music work on me. No matter if it’s a classic tune, old, new, widely known or unknown, it doesn't matter. As long as it gets me moving, I’ll like it and will play it. The same goes for my time in the studio. I’ll just make whatever comes to mind. And you may just like it or not. I feel Joey’s methods are quite similar to that.
Joey Anderson comes from the house dance scene and started teaching dancing thereafter. You’re teaching music at schools yourself. What’s the importance of teaching to you? Is educating also an aspect of Kommune?
The funny thing about teaching is, that it's rather similar to DJ’ing. In both situations, you have a crowd in front of you. And it’s up to you to navigate them through the layers of some kind. As a DJ this will, of course, be music. In a classroom, this translates to sharing knowledge. Might be history, might be math, doesn’t really matter. You still have to balance the dynamics and concentration of the people, in order to transmit what you’re sharing.
If you lose the balance in the classroom you might end up with a disrupted class, losing concentration that will affect the interaction and knowledge exchange. If you lose grip of an audience in the club, you might end up with the same result and won’t be able to tell your story completely. And that is what most of the dj’s want, in my opinion. You don’t want to educate necessarily, but you want their minds to drift off and take them on a journey. In order to do that you’ve got to have them locked in. To create a dynamic tale that will leave the listeners either moved, overwhelmed, energized or with an emotion of any kind really, which all comes down to the art of Dj’ing. If they pick up on something along the way, that’s surely a beautiful thing. But that’s not my main concern. I want them to enjoy, forget about any weekly woes and connect both to the music and one another.
Could you name a couple of your favorite Joey Anderson records?
There are a couple winners for me. His ‘The Vase’ track is one hell of an emotional journey and really adds to the explanations given earlier. ‘A Press Play’ is also quite a unique combination of emotional and mysterious layers, that has a weird turning point in the middle. Last but not least ‘You Ain't Going Home With Me’ is already in line to become a timeless classic tune. Ever soothing, ever loving.
Catch Nathan Surreal, Joey Anderson & Eversines April 7th.