"I am calling myself rather an experimental musician than a dj or a producer"
Hailing from the deepest realms of hypnotic y psicodélico ambient-trance, dj & producer JEANS is one of the most exciting artists to have surfaced onto the scene in recent times. From The Hague, has established a sound both soothingly solar and propulsive; engineering elements of organic trance, liquid DnB, acid and full-on esoteric nu age to shape and define her own unique blends, all at once club-friendly and well suited for home listening. JEANS has forged a very personal approach to electronic music, influenced by his beliefs and defined personality. Buckle up and get ready for an insane ride, this one’s going to pin you to the seat from start to finish.
Do you remember when music was first introduced to you as a child? Was it through playing an instrument, listening to the radio or through your family?
I was born in Denia, a small fishing village in Spain. My father had a bar there and my mother ended up there as a tourist. I first saw the light of day in 1982 and grew up with the usuals. Abba, Michael Jackson, Prince lots of soul and disco. I always thought music was very important, I listened to it daily. I remember very well that I was really touched for the first time when we, now in the Netherlands, came to a veterinarian and I heard new age and ambient music. Tears came to my eyes from the synthesizer pads and chords and my family found that amusing. Basicly you could just turn on new age music and then I burst into tears. It hit me again and again. When I was 8, my friend's older brother played tapes of Turn Up The Bass & House Party. When I heard the beats coming from the room next to us I walked that way enchanted. When I opened the door I heard The Prodigy's Out Of Space. It was the first time i ever heard something like that and not only that room door opened, but also in my head there was a door openening. This sound, I knew I was born for this.
What are your musical backgrounds? Were your parents avid collectors and listeners?
I have no musical background, my parents had no record collection and where not playing any instrument. They loved some music ofcourse but this was a solo journey for me that really started at the age of 8. I bought my first record player at the age of 15.
How did you first start experimenting with electronic music?
From that moment in the room of my friends brother is was hooked and was collecting lot’s of oldscool house tapes and cd’s. Basically my collection consisted of Turn Up The Bass, House Party, 2 Unlimited cd’s and tapes and shortly after that i was introduced to Hardcore, gabber. At one point there was a nanny. Her name was Darja. I think she was 16 or 17 by then and she was a friend of Ray from 2 Unlimited. Darja was listening to Jungle. That was the period i started collecting multiple genre’s of electronic music and had the desire to mix and build it myself. I had no idea how. There where no people in my surroundings that had that knowledge nor was there internet. At one point i bought my first record players and a mixer and i began learning mixing. I remember calling my friends when my first mixed worked out. I called them, lay down the phone and let them listen for 30 minutes to my first mixing skills. It was fun. I was so happy that i found out how to do it.
Unlike your music, which welcomes nonconformism, a great lot of the current techno scene’s a bit over-indulgent with hidebound and cautious 4/4 patterns – as long as it pounds and gets the audience buzzing… How do you think things change?
The thing you talk about came along together with this music becoming mainstream. Think it was somewhere around 2002 when it started. The festival scene was growing and more people got involved. At one point there was a wave of this very predictable, 4/4 pattern tech house was dominating the scene and there still is a lot of this typical, predictable, uninspired music dominating. As if it was made from a mold. A basic arrangement where all producers can make tracks from. There was a time that it made me angry but know i know it’s just is. Just as there is in every aspect of life the easiest stuff is always dominating. The deeper stuff is not for everybody. Not everybody is ready and actually i love that. I would really hate it if every gig was a Tomorrowland gig.
How do you usually build up your tracks? Are you more into instinctive jamming or do you structure things more tightly?
I am very chaotic. I hardly use sequencers or midi. Usually I just jam for hours or days and then stick everything together until I find a harmony in all the loose parts. I like it when things sound a little bit false or crooked. that makes it more organic. I also love it when music surprises you. I don't like it at all when you hear things coming from miles away. I also really love the psychedelic aspect of music, and also the math part. Working with different rhythms, polyrhythms. It kind off sounds off but it is still logic in the end. It just as the balance in life. It just looks like there is no balance and everything is happening for no reason but in the end everything made sense and it shows it's balance. In this reality there is no other way.
In and out of the electronic music circle, who’s an inspiration to you?
The I ching is an overal inspiring knowledge for me. I felt connected to it for ages and i read a lot about it. The 64 Kua hexagrams are the building blocks of everything for me, like binary code, ones and zeros. Male and female. I’ve seen it in evrything that exists and it totally makes sense to me. When i play or create music i use this same system. Stuff happens when it happens, manipulated by whats happening before and might come after. Thats why i don’t like to prepare. I mean i like to prepare my tools but to get in the flow i only need to think of now. Also my label Oracle Bones is influenced by the I Ching and it’s symbolism.
What was the last record store you visited and what did you bag there?
33/45, it’s in my hometown The Hague. Very friendly people with an awesome taste of music. I buy a lot of records there and this time i collected a pile of preordered stuff among which: O Yuki Conjugate - Into Dark Water, 75 Dollar Bill - I Was Real, Peder Mannerfelt - Voam and 100HZ - EP1
Are you particularly permeable to your environment, creatively speaking? If so, how does it inflect your approach to DJing?
For sure, i am always changing along with my environment. I don’t like to stick to a certain habit. It makes me rusty. If you listen to my dj sets from the past years you can hear that. The overal feel of the sets change a bit over time but there is a lead that makes it me. Also it depends on where and with who i am playing. I have to say that at the moment i don’t like to play at just every party. I've become a bit more careful about taking gigs because i don’t want to play at the shit parties anymore. You probably know wich ones i am talking about. At the moment i am more focused on the deep stuff, really fast or really slow, as long as you can loose yourself in it. Call it trance, but not necessarily the genre. My dj sets now are consisting of different genres that give it a trancy feel in a bigger whole. To come back to the question, moving along with your environment is very natural there for i would say my dj sets are natural too.
Would you like to share a set? Can you tell us more about it? When and how was it recorded?
For sure, i am choosing this set because it totally explains who i am. I recorded it after the night i played with John Talabot and Woody’92 at Het Magazijn and before the night/morning i played again at Het Magzijn with Spekki Webu. It was a weekend with almost no sleep and there where lots of hours playing music. Still i hadn’t enough becasue when i came home in between the nights, instead of going to bed i recorded this set for UTE Records because i really felt like doing so. The mix is 1 hr long and there are 30 tracks and loops hidden in it. It’s a 4 deck mix so when people ask for ID’s i hade to give ‘m 3 tracks because the whole mix is a very fast blend of multiple tracks and genres. There is a 4 second intro and than it kicks in right away. Exactly how i felt at that moment. XD
How did you come to experiment with your own music? Would you mainly identify yourself as a producer or DJ?
I am calling myself rather an experimental musician than a dj or a producer. I dj’ed the biggest part of my life but i was always making loops and edits to make stuff sound like something of my own. It’s been a journey of learning and experimenting from the very first moment until now. Also i learned it al by myself. Never had lessons in anything. I’ve been at SAE for a couple of weeks to discover that everything they where teaching i already discovered myself. To be hounest i’ve learned the most out of working with different people. Discovering what habits they use in producing music. Also with newbies. They have a fresh look at everything. Thats where the most ideas come from.
How would you define your sound?
Experimental, organic, unpredictable, rhythmic with a big love for breakbeats. Something you can listen to in the club but also at home or in the garden.
What’s your studio currently comprised of? Any piece of equipment you’d never get rid of?
The studio is a mess, lol. Lot’s of machines laying around but 3 things i really like at the moment are the Behringer Neutron, The Roland D-05 and the Juno-60. That said maby the most inportant thing is to arrange my studio now. Lol
What are your favourite spots to hang out in town?
Home, The studio, PIP Den Haag, Het Magazijn, the beach and Yuzu for some extraordinary good food.
How are you coping with confinement for C19 with your work?
Of course, as a club programmer and dj there is zero work at the moment. But i am lucky that I worked in construction back in the days so enough of other work to dive into and more studio time. Also it’s time to rest a bit for me now because i worked a lot in the past few years with the agenda in my head always switched ‘on’. Right now it’s switched ‘off’
Has this situation influenced your creative perspective? What social and musical implications do you think this situation can lead to?
The whole situation reminded me that nature has it’s own way. we can always strive for more, fame and money and forget our purpose. The purpose of listening to the heart. The only thing that keeps you alive until the day comes that you will step to the other side. So it also reminded me to listen to my heart in the studio. I always do but sometimes distractions will come along.
What makes you happy?
Nature, people, love, self acceptance, music, awareness
What pisses you off?
Foolishness, unawareness, people that are still not awake after getting so much hints from mother earth.
Can you tell us something about your current or future projects? Where can we continue to see and listen to Jeans?
I can’t really talk about gigs atm because i am not sure which ones will happen because of the virus. But i am working in the studio a lot. Solo projects but also with different people. One of the coolest and most personal projects i am working on is with my brother Spekki Webu. I can’t tell more about it but you will see it coming some day! Also i am in the studio with Woody’s brother Floid now who is a cool kit with good ears and i am also doing some studio time with KI/KI that is one of the coolest most driven artists around. Also keep your eyes on the Oracle Bones Bandcamp page. There are already 4 more release planned from very cool known and unknown artists with a lot of crazy remixes too. Can’t wait to share it all! <3