This week we catch up with the Dutch duo 16 Bit Lolitas. Ariaan Olieroock and Peter Kriek have been making electronic music together for over a decade now. Their Bits & Pieces label remains one of our favourites and their recent Supermarkt and Warung collections have been spectacular. The duo have a new remix out of Andre’s Sobota’s ‘Lights’ and we had a chance to catch up with them just prior to the release, a transcription of the interview is below and we hope you enjoy it.
1. Hi Guys, thanks very much for taking the time to do this interview. Let’s start with some background information. How old are you and how long have you been producing / DJing?
16 Bit Lolitas: We’ve been DJ-ing/producing for the last 9 years or so. Before that we both separately produced music on our own. We’re both 22 years old, in fact we’ve both been 22 for quite some years now hehe.
2. What are your earliest memories of music, what did you listen to growing up? How did you get involved in electronic music and what made you decide to pursue it full time?
16 Bit Lolitas: We both listened to a lot of different music growing up. From classical music to Creedence Clearwater Revival to Pink Floyd to Bonnie Raitt to James Last (hehehe) and everything in between, above and below. We both had some success with separate projects around the year 2000/2001 and then decided to team up, just start making music and see what we could do with it. We decided then and there to pursue it fulltime even though we didn’t have a clue how to even make one buck with music at that time. Our philosophy was that if you don’t take the jump wholeheartedly you will never know if it might have worked or not. So we just went for it, and for some strange reason we’re still here.
3. Did you have any formal music training along the way? in regards to composing or engineering / sound design etc.? and if not did anyone help you out along the way?
16 Bit Lolitas: Aad has played the saxophone for years, I (Peter) have never had formal music training. We learned a lot from different people that we worked with through the years, and by just experimenting, making a lot of music.
4. You guys took a bit of break before the release of Supermarkt in June of 2012, what were you up to during that period? any other music related projects or just a complete escape from the production process for a while?
16 Bit Lolitas: We released an album with Lucy Iris in 2011 and supported that in Holland with gigs for a while. It was our first ’pop music’ album and we’re still quite proud of it. Much room for improvement but there is only one way to learn, and that is by doing it! We’re currently working on new material with Lucy and hopefully will get to launch Lucy Iris in the US sometime later this year or early next year!
5. The release of Supermarkt also marked a much moodier and more introspective sound in comparison to the some of your previous material, many fans feel it has a lot more depth than some of your previous work, how was it received in your opinion?
16 Bit Lolitas: Critically I think it was received really well. We got a lot of good feedback from fans and promoters. On Supermarkt we were just making the music that we felt like making at the time. We were taking risks and experimenting with things on that album. Everybody is increasingly playing it safe in the music market as it is developing today. Playing it safe has never been an ambition of ours though. We try to move forward, evolve so to speak.
6. Your productions have gotten much deeper and more house oriented in recent years, is this a conscience effort or something that is just happening naturally in the studio…..or are you guys just getting old?
16 Bit Lolitas: Everybody is getting older at exactly the same speed! Of course we try to make beats that are somewhat compatible with what is going on in the underground scene. So we do morph along with the ‘trends’ in the underground. But besides that most of the music we make happens without a lot of thinking, it just comes out of jamming in the studio.
7. You’ve just had the Jeremy Olander and DAVI mixes of ‘Chant A Tune’ and ‘Deep Space Girls’ both of which are spectacular, can we expect to see any more remixes from the Warung album?
16 Bit Lolitas: Don’t know really, I think those were the last remixes. But indeed they turned out great.
8. It’s been almost 6 months now since the ‘Warung’ EPs, When can we expect to hear some new original material?
16 Bit Lolitas: We’ve already got a bunch of new material in the make, we’re just trying to figure out what is the best way to bring it to the market. Times are changing fast, we did a few free track giveaways lately and that has been working well. Or maybe we will find a label for it, we’re still thinking about what to do exactly. But some new material should be out soon!
9. Your remix for Andre Sobota has just come out on microCastle, first of all what attracted you to the project and talk a bit about the remix, the breakdown in particular is quite special.
16 Bit Lolitas: It was a cool track to begin with, that always helps. Lately we are a little bit into creating those epic rock/psychedelic moments. A track with an epic rock break is something I personally really enjoy, it gives a great energy. Luckily it naturally came together quite easily. And we’re proud of the result.
10. How is electronic music in the Netherlands at the moment? How do you think it compares to the rest of the world and do you get to play very often in your home country?
16 Bit Lolitas: Don’t know exactly. We live here but that doesn’t make us experts on the EDM scene here in Holland. We’ve had success abroad, but never really in the Netherlands, nor have we really tried. But the Dutch are doing well in the international scene, and that isn’t a bad thing!
11. How much has the studio changed in the last 10 years? Are you still using a lot of hardware and are you still on the infamous boat!? What synths get used a lot in your productions?
16 Bit Lolitas: The studio is always changing. Most of the improvements have to do with efficiency. If you have to handle multiple projects at once you need a studio that can support that. Total recall is essential if you want to work quickly on multiple projects at the time. But yes we still have plenty of hardware. Lately we have been getting more and more into making our own synths in Reaktor. It’s nerdy but also quite fun and guarentees that all your sounds are completely unique as you’ve designed the synths yourself.
12. How big of an influence are other artists or music genres when it comes to composing tracks? Could you give any examples?
16 Bit Lolitas: All inspired music is a big influence on us. There are many influences in our music from acts like: the Orb, Spooky, Amon Tobin, Coldplay, Ritchie Hawtins concept 97 album, underworld, Plaid, Sigur Ros, etc.
13. You guys have legions of fans all over the world but Argentina seems to be one place that you have been immensely popular in recent years, any idea why? and where else do you love to play?
16 Bit Lolitas: They have really good steaks over there. Eating a really good steak just puts you in that special happy place. Then its easy to play a really good set. It’t all in the steak! But seriously we have no clue, we do what we always do, some countries are just more open to it than others.
14. What artist or track would you love to remix?
16 Bit Lolitas: Would love to remix some of George Michaels tracks.
15. What was the first and last record you purchased?
16 Bit Lolitas: First record was ‘Tango in the night’ by Fleetwood Mac, the LP, last record was Hope Sandovals ‘Through the devil softly’.
16.16 Bit Lolitas Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Drink: Random energy drink
TV Show: True Blood/Game of thrones
Movie: Talladega nights
Video Game: none, though some of those new ps4 games look quite cool
Album: All the Amy Winehouse albums, may she rest in peace
Track / Song: Love is a losing game by Amy Winehouse
Producer / Band: Nigel Godrich, the guy who engineered and produced Radio heads ‘Ok computer’ album and also the latest Paul McCartney album, that guy is a legend!
Nightclub: still Warung Beach!
DJ: Dj Sasha, has always been and will always be.
17. What do you do outside of music? Do you have a regular day job and what do you like to do for fun when you’re not working on music?
16 Bit Lolitas: We’re currently developing a robot based advertisement system for displaying commercials on the moon. We’ve got the technology in place, now we just need to finish raising the 4 billion dollars that is needed to start, so we can launch the roughly 10000 drones to the moon. So yes, we’re both fulltime musicians hehe.
18. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would be your last track be?
16 Bit Lolitas: Probably Peter Andre – Mysterious girl (John Digweed remix)
16 Bit Lolitas remix of Andre Sobota ‘Lights’ is out now on microCastle, you can purchase the release: here