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No Pussy Shit

No Pussy Shit

09-01-2013 | 10.48

January the 12th is the second edition of Club Night in Trouw. Host and resident DJ Makam talked to Luc about hits, parties and techno.
 
We’re an hour into the interview when I ask Makam about his irritations in the nightlife of Amsterdam. His answer is about music that isn’t real, not pure or isn’t made from the heart. I laugh and ask him if he can be a bit more concrete. And where Makams first answer came about in an almost stuttering manner, he now states firmly: “Look, sometimes you enter a club at 11 PM and you’ll see the DJ just casually spinning records. Nobody is dancing, people are just relaxing and sitting around the place. I just don’t get that?! When you’ve been waiting outside to get into the club, you just wanna party when you get inside. Immediately, bam! I sometimes get annoyed about the crowd's soft attitude.

It’s December the 11th and raining cats and dogs when I’m interviewing Makam; luckily we both live in the same area and I just have to bike by the Oosterpark to get to his house/studio on the Middenweg. The walls on his first floor living room are filled with his records that he put out the last couple of years and his cat Zap – not named after the DJ – is walking across the table. The first thing I want to know is how you pronounce Makam. First, I always heard Ma-kàm and nowadays I’m hearing Mekkem more and more. According to Guy, the name is his passport, it doesn’t really matter.

It has been a quiet weekend, Guy says. No gigs, spent a lot of time in the studio – making new tracks. I ask whether he has had more gigs since What You Doin’, his hit single on Dekmantel and that maybe wasn’t the best first question to ask.
“No man, I was performing a lot before that track. Maybe a little more, but not a lot. The main difference is that everyone wants to hear that track, it gets requested a lot. And you know, I still play it, but I’m not going to be doing it much longer. Then I’ll just stop playing it. Fuck it, I don’t give two shits about that. I still think the track is dope, but it’s 1 year old. I made the track in one day: add sample, bassline, drums – done. A little while later Jan (van Kampen red.) send the mp3 to Nina (Kraviz red.) and she played it in her RA Podcast. That’s why everyone was talking about that track before it was even released. And when it came out this summer, it got a lot of air time, also because of myself.

Still pretty cool right, having a hit?
“A hit, do you think it’s a hit? A hit is more something you hear during the daytime on the radio. I know this track was played every once and awhile at the night-time on Radio 538, but a hit… A real club track, that’s what it is. But it’s just one small part of what I do, I’ve never made a track similar to What Ya Doin’. I’ve been making music for ten years now, I’ve done just about anything you can imagine.

Let’s talk about your current pursuits.
“New Makam-stuff for sure. I’m busy prepared another album on Sushitech (Berlin label that released How LongIs Now? en Dreams of Tomorrow, Makams last album and EP ed.) and I’ve been working with Tom Trago. Next to that, I’ve started a new project for the things that don’t really fit the label Makam. Makam to me means house and sweet songs. And recently I’ve been making tracks that don’t really fit that description. Tracks that aren’t for the audience that likes Makam. This new project is pretty fierce to say the least – hard, heavy and dark.

Guy proudly shows me the records of his new project, but asks me not the write down the names.
“The first two 12”s are in stores now, and I think it’s cool when people just grab records without knowing what's on them. Maybe it’ll come out that it’s me, but I think it’s cool that the records are  detached from me in a way.
And you know, it works so well. People are picking it up, the records are often being played in the Berghain. And, without sounding arrogant, they sound really well. It’s not the stuff you make as a beginner, you know? I’ve been making music for ten years now, this isn’t some beginner stuff."

We move to the studio right across from the living room to listen to the records – the joint and cold beers join us as well. To prevent echoes in the studio, Guy has placed sheets over his ceiling. He triumphantly claps his hands a few times to demonstrate. No echo. His studio is filled with record players, drumcomputers, a workstation, synths, a mixing panel, a microphone and a Mac with giant speakers. Guy opens iTunes and selects his new release, which is situated just above an old DJ Tiësto track. The man did not lie; compared to his Makam-tracks these sound as heavy as a submarine. The studio doesn’t seem to have any neighbors, so we can crank up the volume. Guys skips through the tracks with a big grin on his face. It is the same irony with which he performs. Laughing, but without mercy. He looks like he wants to musically blow up a club.
We listen to all three of the new project's releases and then switch over to old vinyl that Guys has ripped the last week. 90’s techno. He shows me some old YouTube videos of TMF Dance to illustrate.
“See? They might be wearing crazy outfits, but everyone is going berserk to the music. Everybody is dancing. The 90’s, Michel de Hey, that was some good shit. Hard and fast, like everything at that time.”

Is that what you want to put forward with Club Night (the new residency of Makam in Trouw)? The subtitle No Pussy Shit is quite promising.
“Ha ha, we do play pussy shit you know. It’s more of a joke between me and Antje (co-host of Club Night); on our Facebookpage we post tracks like no pussy shit, that is bold, hard techno, or pussy shit, techno with vocals. We’re into both sides of the spectrum.
Saturday January the 12th is the second edition of Club Night with Benny Rodrigues. The first edition was with Dekmantel, guys that I’ve known from my time in The Hague, and the night was sold out around midnight. I opened the night and gave my all from the start; within an hour I reached 129 mbp. I don’t feel the need to postpone the awesomeness in order to chill out or whatever. When the guests arrive, it has to be party.”

Text: Luc Mastenbroek