The 355th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Dr. Mabuze.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
My age is not important, my music is. I live in the Netherlands (Heerlen) but i stay a lot in Ibiza @ the Casa Curro Ibiza, near Talamanca. My friend John van Alphen is the owner off the place and he is the one that got me involved into electronic music. I am producing now for 2 years and i am djing for 3,5 years.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
My roots are lying in the guitarbranche. I play guitar since i was 14 years old. Played @ some big festivals in Europe like Pinkpop with the Rick Nolov Band. Now i am a lawyer/barister with my own lawfirm. 4 years ago i was @ ibiza. I was rethinking my live and i thought music is still my passion. And i made a dream come true by djing and after that producing. First track i bought was “Never ending” by Ray Kajioka. I still love that track. Also love the track “Reflections” by Brett Gould, T. Bunts remix. Also love some good techno.
3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
It was very difficult. I was going form analog instruments to digital stuff. I learned a lot from some friends, looked @ YouTube etc. If i have a problem i call a friend to help me out. He – Read – works together with some super producers and he always want to help me.
4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
The most difficult part is trying te be different. So it comes with the first idea. I take my guitar and play a bit around. So far i have no creative blok. I talk a lot about music with friends and i listen a lot classical, rock, blues and funky music. You always will find a basline ore a hook.
5. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
Well i am a lawyer for 17 years now. Normally i am @ court. I am a public defender. So i am doing a lot off penal cases. After work i am going to my laptop and work out some musical ideas. After that it’s hitting the studio.
6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
I like Peter Pan Speedrock a lot. Raw rock & roll. I also like The Smashing Pumpkings. Listen to their release “Ador”. For me that’s heaven. Muddy Waters, Miles Davis and some classic stuff will do to.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
I really don’t remember my first cd, Vinyl etc. But my last Vinyls are Woo York “The Vally of songs” and Robag Wruhme “Cybekks”.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
Well i am a normal guy. And i will always stay that way. If you need help you, always can call me. I will never let you down.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
There are so many bad producers and productions, so its normal that nobody looks @ them. But there are also so much great producers @ small labels, that it is hard to tell who is overlooked. I think that labels like Baroque Records, Mistic Records and Microcastle deserve more attention because they give talent a proper and good chance. And the productions in those labels are very good.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Nobody inspires me. i always try to be different. If i look @ other producers then i can not be myself. My inspiration comes from analog music. A great example are Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club.
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
Listen to music and find out what you don’t want to produce. Than take your synth and keep looking for that sound you love.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
It’s an old one from 2012, “About a good place” by Gregor Tresher.
The Dr. Mabuze Remix of Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic ‘Meltdown’ is out now on Baroque Records, you can purchase the release: here