Deepature on the strength of the Dutch scene, aspirations and more
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
Deeparture: I’m 26 years old and I live in Amsterdam. I’ve been DJ-ing for around 10 years and started producing roughly 5 years ago.
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? Was a career in music always the only objective, were you interested in anything else as a life journey? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
Deeparture: I don’t really have any musical roots, which is pretty ironic since I’m a sucker for chords and melodies. I know I’ve always been really interested in music, but the connection with electronic music first came around the start of the 2000’s with those cheesy trance tunes that were really hot those days. Since then, the love for trance and progressive music always stuck. I think the influences are still very much present in my own productions. Next to Trance, Hardstyle and even Hardcore/gabber have also had a big influence on my musical development (yes, I’m a Dutchie..). Parallel to that, I’ve also always had a thing for more deep and proggy styles. Especially material from the Anjunadeep stable has been really inspirational in recent years. So I don’t think there’s a particular track that was defining for me. It was rather a combination of amazing tracks, producers, but events as well across genres.
When I started making music, I knew quite quickly that I wanted to do this professionally, although I’ve never considered it my only option. I’ve finished college with a master’s degree in Finance and currently combine my music with a full-time job. At this point, making music is the ultimate creative outlet next to corporate life. The result is currently a constant sleep deprivation, but I still feel it’s very cool combination! That being said, I believe it’s any dj’s dream to be able to live of music full-time eventually.
3. The state of electronic music in the Netherlands seems to be healthier than ever, there is so much fresh talent popping up every day it seems, how do you see the scene there? and what artists from your home country are making a big impact right now?
Deeparture: I feel very privileged to live in one of the frontrunner areas when it comes to house music. I think the scene is quite healthy indeed and has a lot of popular flavours. Living in Amsterdam myself, I can attend many cool venues every week, all with their own character. Next to that, the summers are filled with festivals, both big and small and with a pretty diverse programming as well. A big plus for me is that I sense that the current trend is moving towards more musicality after many years where (in my opinion) fairly monotonic techy styles were dominant.
The first Dutch artist coming to mind that is currently making a big impact is Eelke Kleijn. He just launched his own label DAYS Like NIGHTS and literally every released track so far has proven a hit, whilst completely following his own path musically. Furthermore, I’d mention Reinier Zonneveld who has risen astronomically fast the last year, being relevant both on the melodic side and all the way to 140bpm techno. Other upcoming Dutch artists that I really like are Mees Salomé, Prosper Rek, Marc Holstege and Steve Banning.
4. You have an interesting artist moniker, tell us how that came to be?
Deeparture: Really just the result of a short brainstorming session! A very big coincidence that 4 years after that, I ended up working for a famous Dutch airline. Since then, most of my track names have been aviation oriented.
5. 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?
Deeparture: I started out with FL studio like a lot of producers these days. Getting a beat was fairly easy, but creating something actually good has been a struggle of many years (and still is). I’ve taught most things by myself with Youtube as my biggest advisor, but I also did some seminars on chord progressions to help me on the musical part. A few years ago, I did a course on mixing and mastering as well for a couple of months (by the amazing Love Over Entropy) to really improve the end-result of my productions.
6. 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?
Deeparture: I actually think the beginning is the hardest, but the most fun as well. Getting a nice melody, some nice chords or a unique sound, or even a programming a cool drum loop to work with can take me hours of exploring. Once the idea is there, the arrangement is usually done in a day after which I start mixing/tweaking/adjusting/testing for quite a while.
I actually have creative blocks all the time. My usual remedy is listening to a lot of music in different genres (film music usually gets the creative juices flowing) or going to clubs/festivals. Sometimes even avoiding the studio for a few days can remove the pressure of achieving and remove the blockage. Being ‘stuck in the loop’ for days will almost never prove to be effective in my experience.
7. You have a new EP out now on Cinematique, including a great remix from Cheric. Tell us how you approached writing the tracks, the thought process behind the remixer selection and what’s coming later this year from you?
Deeparture: Both Attendant and Cockpit were produced with the idea of building up to something of an anthem like melody halfway. I like the combination of the two on the EP, Cockpit being (slightly) more retained and Attendant being really extravert and in your face right from the start. I actually produced Tummim as the counterpart of Urim, which is out in a few weeks on Cinematique as well on their 100th release compilation. I really like the dark atmosphere with fairly minimal elements (at least for my own taste) and it works out great on the dancefloor. Finally, Robin of Cinematique recommended Cheric to do a remix after his epic release on the label a few months before. I was pretty hooked on his sound and fortunately he agreed to remix Attendant. The result is a beautiful and honest progressive track that contrasts nicely with the rest of the EP. Great guy as well! Overall, I’m very happy with the result of the EP. I hope it crosses some boundaries, being progressive house with a lot of trance like elements.
8. What is it about melodic techno or nu-progressive that really inspires you?
Deeparture: I love making a bit more airy downtempo house music with many rhythmic elements, but I simultaneously like adding the ‘grandeur’ emotional content found in Trance-like genres. I think progressive house or melodic techno or whatever someone would want to call it nowadays fits this description quite well. There are so many great producers right now, who all have their own unique ways of achieving this. I feel like house music is in a phase of exploration again which is very exciting and a great opportunity to be part of.
9. 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?
Deeparture: Although my heart is really with electronic music, I also listen to other genres occasionally. Examples are some rock-bands like Linkin Park & Korn (coincidentally bands that work with a lot of electronic elements as well) which can be quite inspirational for stuff like basslines and strange chords. Moreover, film music is something that has a great influence on my own music. I love listening to composers like Hans Zimmer and our own Dutch Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL). People like them truly are the modern day classical music composers. Finally, the acoustic act of Above & Beyond is something I’d like to mention. The voice of Zoë Johnston has been a soothing thread throughout my life haha.
10. What’s been your biggest achievement to date and what are your goals for the future?
Deeparture: For me the last 6 to 7 months have been a pretty big achievement. It started out with my track Purcer being discovered by Olivier Weiter. It got released on an EP on his imprint WEITER and received a lot of support by some big names that I had been following for years. After that, I got to release an EP on Proton Music and two weeks later another imprint on Cinematique. For someone that isn’t the ultimate networking expert, this has opened a lot of doors for me and I’m really grateful to all those guys that took the chance of releasing an EP of a newcomer on their label.
My goals are quite cliché. Releasing a LOT more music, keep on improving my music and of course getting my sound out there during my own gigs. I have a massive wish list of labels, musicians and events that I would like to work with in the future. Ultimately, I’d like to be able to do music full-time.
11. What five tracks are you currently loving the most at the moment?
Prosper Rek – Breaking Point (Original Mix)
Mees Salomé – Equivalence (Original Mix)
16 Bit Lolitas – Peninsula (Original Mix)
Yotto – Wilderness Girl (Original Mix)
Dee Montero – Halcyon (Original Mix)
12. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound like you have, what advice do you have for them?
Deeparture: It took me a while longer to get my first big win compared to a lot of other producers. Although it took longer, I did develop a sound which is now very recognizable. Really take your time to develop your own sound. Second of all: Don’t focus too much on plugins, hardware/software, the ultimate studio setup, the best daw and so forth. Put all your hours in the music itself, get to know the ins and outs of what you already have and reference a LOT with other tracks if your acoustics suck. Currently, my monitors still lay on old studying books and everything cracks and echoes when I turn the volume up a bit. But knowing your studio environment and cross-referencing with other tracks will still enable you to lift your mixes to a more professional level. Quality comes with hours invested, not money invested!
13. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Deeparture: Tough one. If it can be one of my own, then Purcer. If not, I’d probably pick 16 Bit Lolitas – Beat Organ.
‘Attendant’ EP is out now on Cinematique, you can purchase the release: here