CONVERSATIONS | NIELS KLEIN
In light of this Friday's event with RADION Regular Niels Klein, we caught hold of the busy man to ask him a few questions, about the beginnings, the style he emulates & the DJs he's playing alongside with: Sneaker DJ & Credit 00 (who he also happens to call his superheroes). With an "Make you sweat - All vinyl, all danceable" ethos, we're already looking forward to next Friday!
Hey Niels! Could you walk us through your development as a DJ?
I started of as a young gabber, collecting records from the age of 15. The old rave energy was really appealing to me in puberty :).
Very soon gabber exploded and the genre faded into a one trick pony, losing a lot of its underground edge. That's when I started searching deeper and discovered techno, and with that mainly Detroit techno. UR, AUX 88 and such. From there I searched deeper into the origins of the genres. That's when you come to find early Cybotron, from there Kraftwerk, early hiphop like Arabian Prince, but also New Wave and so on and so on... Soon I discovered the Cybernetic Broadcasting System, now known as Intergalactic FM. That's when shit really hit the fan! This journey felt like I was mining and finding Intergalactic FM was like striking a big gold vein.
A few styles of music arise from what you mention; Techno, New Wave, Italo. How is it these styles of music go so well together?
Well, as these are broad genres with many (not named) sub-styles it is hard to say. I think a lot music in these genres where made in the same era with the same machines, that helps. By similar artists who where inspired by one another. Or just tried to copy each other ;)
Also, a lot of records over these genres share what I'd call an 'attitude', or energy. Some would call it naive, or simple. But it's not, trust me. Try and make a similar track and you'll be stunned how hard that is.What I always notice as a DJ is that these records 'change' the crowd: people start dancing differently, more unashamed.
How do you approach these within a mix?
Cautiously. Hahaha no, that really depends on the crowd. I have a lot of Italo/synth records that you need to bring to some crowds. If you pump these in within the first 10 minutes you'll empty the room, whereas if you try and get the dancers on your side slowly and play the same record an hour later in your set it will be the one that gets them running to your booth for in ID. I really love to play with this, I think it's a very important part of being a good DJ. To get people to dance to stuff they'd never expect. To be able to hear something in a record when you are in a dusty record store and to translate that to a club situation.
June 1st, you're playing alongside Sneaker DJ & Credit 00. Both Germans are seen as underground heroes. What can we expect?
I got on to these two because of the load of extremely good labels rising lately, namely Rat Life, Uncanny Valley, Bahnsteig23. Also Macadam Mambo and Frigio. These labels really catered to my exact needs; bringing a mix of Acid, House, Italo, Electro... Really exactly my taste. When you notice a lot of music is being produced by the same guys (Credit even owns the Rat Life label) you start looking into their music, sets.
What we can expect, music wise, is hard to tell since they both spin a very broad spectrum. I've seen Sneaker spin a Sovjet music only set, and Credit 00 dropping trap-like bombs in an Italo/Electro set... The thing I do know is that it will be uncompromising, dancefloor destruction oriented sets from some real talented DJ's. DJ's with big balls hahaha.
So, it's hard to say what to expect, but I do know you really don't want to miss this opportunity to see these class acts on stage. Trust me, you'll be hooked.
As Sneaker hasn't performed in Amsterdam yet, could you elaborate a bit on him. What makes you excited about playing the same night with him?
I think it's utterly unbelievable he's never been booked in Amsterdam before. To be honest, I'd almost call it a smudge on the "underground" label some of the scene here likes to give itself. I'm really excited about playing the same night with him, and I'm really proud Radion booked this line-up!
It's always nice to have the opportunity to play next to artists you follow. It challenges me to bring my A-game for my own set, and I'm also looking forward to seeing their sets. All in all a perfect night for me!
Which is your favorite Sneaker edit?
Oh wow, that's a difficult one. I'd say at the moment his edit of Poligam's Perche Ti.
No wait, I want to name his last one, together with the awesome JuanPablo on Frigio:
Catch Niels Klein, alongside Sneaker DJ & Credit 00 June 1st.