21-03-2013 | 10.40
When I found out Nuno has been a DJ for over 20 years, it kinda took me by surprise. Before he settled in club 11 together with Patrice, Nuno was a well-known figure in the scene of Utrecht. Here’s an overview of all the highlights that shaped Nuno Dos Santos’ career.
Nuno’s first job in the house scene was not as a disc jockey, but as a light jockey. He managed the lights in club Shiva that used to be on de Oudegracht in Utrecht. The Shiva had its days of glory in the 90’s and unfortunately closed about fourteen years ago. Illegal downloading was pretty hard to do in those days, but Nuno managed to find a solution… “I remember using a cassette to record Derrick May’s set. After his gig, he approached me and said: 'You can keep the tape, but you don’t want me to find out you copied it.' I kept my word and still have the tape.”
Almost everybody from the Netherlands who bought hardstyle, house or techno records in the 90’s went to Mid-Town Records. When Nuno was done taping cassettes, he became a regular by visiting the store after college nearly every day. When he got offered a job in the Utrecht shop, he started spinning records as well. When finished, he used to practise after work on the stores record players and eventually had his first gig on Gekkenhuis, a local rave at which he played primetime under the name DJ Dwaze Dos Santos. “I stood in some kind of cage and just played one record after the other since I barely knew how to DJ. The crowd clearly didn’t mind, because everybody just went crazy! Afterwards I bought two turntables and things started to work out pretty well.”
After sending in a mix-cd in 2000, Nuno got invited to the Red Bull Music Academy, which was held outside of Berlin for the first time. He then got flown over to Dublin where he got lectures from deejays like Tom Middleton, Mad Professor and Matthew Herbert (the man with thousand aliases, check out his Discogs!). Even though Patrice Baumel and Nuno only met later on, it can’t be a coincidence that Patrice received an invite for the RBMA in 2002 as well. I guess Nuno still envies the fact that Patrice got to go to Sao Paulo instead of Dublin.
Nuno also left his trails in the graphic design world. Together with Melon, he made the design for DJBroadcast from 2004 until 2008. At the moment, he has stopped doing graphic design completely. “It took too much time to do design, be a producer and a deejay at the same time. You have to make choices and I made mine pretty easily...”
During the 2005 Amsterdam Dance Event, Nuno received an ID&T Release Dance Award, formerly known as the Dutch Dance Award. A panel of 50 Dutch deejays named him Talent of the Year. Nuno was the last one that got to get the price, after 2005 the awards were lifted. The two years before that, the award was won by Joris Voorn. Pretty strange, to win a new talent price two years in a row…
2006 seemed to be Nuno’s year. One night in Doornroosje when he was warming up before James Holden, he met Erwin. Erwin was also known as Max404 and now produces under the name of TJ Kong. Together with Erwin, Nuno had his first ever production, which lead to them signing a contract at Compost Records just two weeks later. The track, a cover of Robert Armani’s 'Circus Bells' was the start of a collaboration that lead to the album 'After Dark, My Sweet' in 2010.
In 2006 Nuno also met Olaf Boswijk, programmer of club 11 at the time. He gave Nuno and Patrice the opportunity to host a party known as 360, which had legendary nights in both 11 as well as Trouw. But there's more, because in the same year Nuno had a gig he can still remember like it was yesterday: “I got to close the India stage on Lowlands festival after Âme, which was a massive honour for me. I played a pretty hard set and the entire crowd went crazy. The last song I did was a reggae tune, Barrington Levy’s 'Broader Than Broadway'. The crowd just completely lost it!”
Now the time has come for Nuno Dos Santos to start his own label. Something Happening Somewhere is a fact and the first two releases are almost ready to go out. “There’s a lot of stuff on the waiting list for the label. The distribution is in the hands of Kompakt and we’re releasing both on vinyl and digital. The first EP is from Love Over Entropy and it includes a beautiful Conforce remix. Besides that, we have a lot of stuff planned for the future. On the 20th of April we’re also hosting a label launch party in Tivoli with Mano Le Tough, Love Over Entropy (Live) and myself. But first, I'm going to celebrate my birthday on my own night in Trouw, SWTBOX. Back-to-back all night long with Aril Brikha, very exciting!"
Text: Ruben Leter