"I am happy with the current music scene and proud of the great DJs and parties out there. It is nice to see how new DJs become big names and to hear new music from these artists over and over again"
Lennart selects music that works in all settings and transcends genres. Whether it's producing or DJing in the Netherlands and abroad, Lennart is a bonafide institution in his own right. His residence in Kopjek has provided him with musical training. We caught up with to talk about how he stays motivated, juggling his eclectic music tastes and negotiating a vault full of unreleased music.
Hey! Where can we find you right now? How did you start off your day?
Hello! I start off my day with a cup of icecoffe and a nice breakfast. When my girlfriends dog is staying at our place we go for a big morning walk through the ‘’Noorderplantsoen’’ a big park near our house. During the day I’m mostly outside either doing something with my girfriend or I’m out riding bmx with my Friends or inside playing, searching and making new music.
How did you first get into electronic music? Was it your first real musical love or were you a keen listener of all sounds when you were younger?
When I was younger I collected a lot of old audio equipment. I had an old stereotower, a little mixer and really cool taperecroder. I wanted to connect them all together so the little led light of the mixer would respond to the music. When I was 11 or 12 years old I started to burn CD’s with music I got from Limewire and playing those out loud in my bedroom. There is one song I remember the best, it was ‘’Komodo (Save A Soul)’’ by Mauro Picotto. I din’t really knew the difference between pop songs and electronic dance music back the days but when I heard this I knew I needed to hear more music like this.
When I was like 14 tears old I went out for the first time to a teenage party in club. I saw all these people dancing and I was always paying attention to the DJ and how he made the whole crowd dance. I tried to understand what he was doing and I was intrigued by the way he controlled the whole crowd by playing these songs. From that moment I interested in learning more about DJ’ing.
It was 2014 when I collected all my savings and bought a DJ controller. I taught myself to mix tracks into eachother and combing them into bootlegs. Later I started recording these weekly mixes and putting them on my mixcloud. At school I told all my classmates and friends to play my mixes and more people began listening to them. After that I began playing at these birthday parties from friends of mine and I started to gain more interest in doing gigs. In 2015 I finished highschool and started my Bachelor in in Groningen. I began making music with fl-studio and trying out all these different styles of music. The year after that I got my first real gig at a club, it was at the highschool end of the year party at our local club called ‘’Fox’’ in Stadskanaal. I played with another DJ from my old highschool, Tommie Brink which is still a very close friend of mine. From there I began to get more gigs and play more often.
I got more and more interested in electronic music and started going to more techno parties and festivals. This opened up a whole new world for me and made me set new goals in life,
playing at a big festival. I discovered more and more disco, house & techno music and began expand my music collection.
Do you have certain criteria that you work to when dj set?
When I do a DJ set at a bigger gig I like to prepare a little bit in advance. Most of the times I look at the line up, my time slot and collect some special tracks that I definitely want to play. So most of the times I know my start point but from there I like to just see where it goes.
What can you tell us about Kopjek? How did you start? How did you become a resident dj?
I’ve been going to KopjeK parties for almost 5 years now. They always have the best parties at the coolest places. The vibe is always great and the people are amazing. You can really feel it’s a big family when you are at the party. The first time I got to play at a KopjeK gig it was at KopjeK Idioterie, a party that is almost hidden in the back of a at the ‘’Grote Markt’’ in the middle of the city center. From the inside it is connected to another club through caves and has over more than 5 areas. Most of the time they book like 20 acts for these parties, it’s crazy. One of the areas is “De Kooi” (The Cage). In this area you can enter every 15 min and you have to stay in the whole time, the idea is that people that never played get a 15 minute set and play the most crazy music.
I knew Tjade (KopjeK’s booker) from my work as a DJ in Groningen. A few weeks before the party he asked me if I wanted to do a short set at the last slot that night. I was really hyped and got to play my set at De kooi. And the end of the set Pascal (Founder of KopjeK) came up to me for the first time and he saw that the whole area was still filled with people. He said to me: ‘’You can keep going until there are no people left’’, So I ended up doing these b2b’s with other DJ’s and we played until it was 7 in the morning.
What have you learned as a resident dj?
Since I started playing at Kopjek I have developed enormously, musically. I played at parties next to big DJs and came in contact with the other residents. They taught me a lot about the scene and taught me a lot about making music. people like Tjade, Nathan, Mathijs, but certainly also Bob and Andrew have been a source of inspiration for years and now they are all good friends of mine.
I learned the power of having a big family of friends who can really help building something beautiful every time. Every KopjeK party is special in its own way and always one to remember. The organization is so close with its audience and that creates a very welcoming atmosphere so that all the parts come perfectly together every time.
What do you think about the Kopjek audience?
The kopjek audience is simply great. Most people have been going to the parties for several years and come back every time. The energy is always high and everyone respects each other. Everyone is welcome and that is also something Kopjek stands for. it is great to always see old and new faces dancing in front of you. people really come for the music and it shows on the dance floor.
What do you appreciate most about the holland scene?
The Dutch scene is big and small at the same time. We as a small country have so many DJs and great parties. it is nice to grow your network with people from other parts of the country. I feel that everyone helps each other. `I am happy with the current music scene and proud of the great DJs and parties out there. It is nice to see how new DJs become big names and to hear new music from these artists over and over again.
What does your studio look like? And what type of hardware/software do you like to work with?
My studio is still at home and consists of a fairly simple setup. I have my Macbook with two studio speakers on a self-made studio furniture. for making music I use Ableton. I have two synthesizers that I am using quit often. I have a re-make of the Roland classic the SH101 and a Yamaha CS1X, an old trance synth from the 90s. I usually use the 101 for my bass lines, but you can also get some really cool leads from it. The Yamaha has a lot of cool sounds that I like to use for melodies and pads. In terms of software, I often use the soft synths from Arturia and Roland Cloud. These have the software versions of almost all known synthesizers.
What can you tell us about new EP? What did you want to transmit? What inspired you?
My new EP will be on the fairly new label, KopRec. When I make music I want to feel it over and over again while listening to it. This EP will be my musical footprint for now. It should be a good reflection of who I am and what I do. Some of the tracks are all ready finished and some I still have to perfect but I am all ready very satisfied with what it will be. The plan is to release it in early 2021.
What has led you to emphasize this album in genres such as ítalo and electro, house or weirdo disco? What draws you to these genres?
Ever since I came to live in Groningen, I have come into contact with disco, house and techno music. Clubs like the Wolthers Wolthers, and the new Subsonic let me hear and discover a lot of new music. At one point I got a residency at club Wolthers where mainly disco is played, this is the place where I first came into contact with Italo disco and some heavier house music. The happy and energetic aspect of 80s disco always appealed to me and I started collecting more of it. At the KopjeK parties I came into contact with house music and the firmer side of the disco and especially Tjade has been a great source of inspiration for me for years. I think the energy of this music really reflects who I am since I am very energetic myself
What kind of music do you listen to at home and have there been any go-to albums or producers helping you manage the crisis with their music?
Producers that I really like to listen to are Biesmans, Johannes Albert, Jex Opolis, but also Bicep and Four Tet. I love to listen to the first Bicep album at home, or I listen to a mix from one of these artists. Of course you have to check the V.A. of Ritmo Fatale! There is a new one coming too! I would also definitely listen to the compilations from labels like Permanent Vacation, live at Robert Johnson and Les Yeux Orange.
What are you most looking forward to doing when the corona pandemic is over?
I would love to do a gig with dancing people in front of me again. A party without all these restrictions. Finally dance again together with everybody you love.
What makes you happy?
Being with friends, making music and finally see the people dance on my tracks. I love to learn new things in life, music wise but also physically. Also riding my bike with my friends and being outside in nature is something I really enjoy.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I try to work on my tracks every week, the more I create the better I become. I have a lot of unfinshed projects and hope to release more later this year and in 2021. I’m finishing my first EP and there will be more news about that really soon! Also I’m busy trying to get a internship in Berlin and moving there for at least 6 months.
Do you have any final words of wisdom?
Stay healty, stay positive and enjoy your time on earth, make it worth it!