Volzigt moves in Amsterdam’s vibrant nightlife, where he is one of the founding fathers of Obscure and Club Escargot. After years of exploring, experimenting and playing different genres of music, he has developed his own unique style and sound. His sets distinguish themselves for their melancholic and dark characteristics that also provide an uplifting vibe reminiscent of endless nights full of wonder and intensity.
Hello and thank you for this Interview You have been active in the music scene as a DJ and producer for many years. How did you start and why did you choose this path?
Thank you. I feel honoured and humbled to be part of this series! I started Dj-ing about 21 years ago when I was 16. I was intrigued by the sound that hip-hop DJs and turntablists were able to create with wax and a turntable, so I just had to give it a go. My parents had an old turntable at home, so I started with that one and bought a cheap new turntable at a secondhand store. My mother gave me a Realistic Stereo Mixer (which was nothing more than a 2 channel mixer with volume faders), and my journey began. At that time, you’d find me in record stores digging for new music or practising my DJ skills in my bedroom.
When I started going out, I got in touch with house music and when I moved to Amsterdam for my studies, I discovered the club culture and it really started growing on me. I didn’t really know the industry back then, so my weekend consisted of going out and discovering all the different subcultures the city had to offer and the music that glued those subcultures together. I was looking to find my place and moved from house to disco, to deep-house, to tech-house to techno and all the way back around. In the meanwhile, my collection grew and it will probably always continue to do so. The production game is quite an on-and-off thing for me. I really like the process, but I tend to lose sight of people around me and since I have struggled with depression in the past, I’m really trying to find some balance in the amount of time I allow myself to spend on it.
Tell us abit how you feel the music scene in the Netherlands and what has changed the last years?
I think the music scene in Amsterdam has always been relatively rich, though it mainly focuses on house, techno and a few other mainstream (sub)genres. I think that’s also a bit of a flaw in the industry here (too much focus on mainstream music). During the pandemic, but also in the aftermath, it didn’t really help that the government placed (night-/club-/festival-)culture last on the list for support and re-opening. So a lot of really talented people left the industry. Once everything opened up again, we’ve also seen loads of established organizations fall or struggle to sell tickets. Overall i get the feeling as if people are more reluctant to buy tickets for events. And I get that because I do too. Loads of events got postponed multiple times (up to 3 or 4 times), got cancelled or sometimes even ceased to exist.
So, it feels a bit as if we’re starting again from the ground up. I don’t worry about it too much though. There’s a huge creative scene in and around Amsterdam and a lot of motivated people are already filling the gaps.
Also, I must say that there are a few clubs in Amsterdam (like Radion for instance) that give emerging concepts a chance to grow and flourish. So So long story short, I think Amsterdam’s nightculture will be rebuilt better.
After more than 2 years of the worldwide pandemic, what do you think will be the way for electronic music in the next years?
I think there’s a bright future for electronic music. The scene is exponentially growing, and it’s getting more and more accessible to start DJ-ing or producing now. There’s no need to buy expensive mixers, turntables or CDJ’s nowadays. So the first monetary investment people had to do in the past, is now practically gone. The same goes for producing. You don’t need to buy a shitload of hardware to create something beautiful. But in this evolving market, it’s also getting harder and harder to find exactly what you’re looking for. So marketing seems to be key now.
Which do you prefer, producing music or playing live in front of an audience?
Oehhhh difficult question haha. I can be considered a hermit by friends when working on something. I really like the process when producing. Designing sounds that give you goosebumps, Coming up with a new melody that sticks inside your head and revisioning it, working on complex drum rhythms and basslines and, eventually, the feeling when everything comes together is just priceless. However, playing it in front of an audience and seeing the crowd’s response is fantastic too. If I would really have to choose, as, in a life or death situation, I would probably go for performing.
Tell us a bit about your music productions & how you became a music producer?
I started out playing the guitar. It was actually my best friend who was really into producing back then. He started producing when he was about 19 I think. I found everything to do with music very interesting, so I wanted to have a look at what he was doing. He was working with Magix music maker, so it was nothing more than dragging and dropping samples into a timeline and switching those around. I was intrigued by it and started asking questions about what he did and how, but I also quickly saw the limits of Magix, So my interest died pretty soon. At one point he came to me with fruity loops. We were about 22 years old and started messing around with it. Although it was a lot of fun, I actually quickly lost interest again (I am very easily distracted by nature). I think for me to stay motivated, the process really needs to lead me somewhere fast. Otherwise, I’ll lose interest. As a starting producer, you can imagine that it took me quite long so probably that’s why it has been an on-and-off thing. Around 5 years ago, things started to get a bit more serious though. I started thinking more about a specific sound that I wanted to bring. I learned to make better, faster (or more conscious) choices in my productions and I knew better which sounds I wanted to convey. Now I take my time and trust in the process.
Your favourite music labels and why?
Ohh wow.. Soo there are soo many. underyourskin: is probably my favourite label. The sound they bring is awesome and i practically don’t even have to listen before buying. Rebellion der Traumer: I really like the dark sound they’re pushing Akumandra: Dark and downtempo Shango: It’s impossible not to put it in. Gregoris is probably one of the nicest guys I never had the pleasure to meet in real life. I produced a track under my previous alias (Dn.H) for Shango which got picked up and played by Mira. which gave me goosebumps for a week. He also brought out my EP Downside Up.
Being a deejay & music producer in 2022 is probably more than just bringing awesome sound to the market. What do you think about marketing and promotion in the electronic music scene?
Haha, marketing is the necessary evil 😉 because it has become more accessible to start DJing, there are logically more DJs than 10-20 years ago. The market has become a lot more competitive, and it has become more important to show who you are, what sound you represent and what you as an artist stand for. On the other hand, great artists did not become great by not marketing themselves.
As an event organizer, my only “fear” is that emerging artists or people who find it difficult or terrifying to market themselves but are really really good at what they do, will not be booked or get demotivated and will eventually stop doing what they love.
What are your future plans for the next 1 to 2 years?
My goal for the next 2 years as an organizer is to Establish Obscure (Goro and my label) as a label and, in the meanwhile, grow our events into a big festival with the dark sound we are pushing.
As a producer & DJ, I want to release an EP every 3 months. This requires a little more focus, haha, but I think I’ll manage. I have some nice productions ready to see the light of day so more on that soon. My objective as a DJ is that within 2 years I will play at Bachstelzen on Monday morning at Fusion festival haha. I hope that dream will come true someday.
Thank you for the wonderful interview Your final words to your & Planet Ibiza audience
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