The deeper side of house

Interview met Aspirations

The deeper side of house

05-06-2014 | 16.37

On June 7th, we're inviting the guys from Aspirations over for our Pinksteren Weekender. Aspirations is run by two friends from high school named Rutger and Martijn. During this packed Weekender, they will host De Verdieping at Trouw for the first time, so we caught up with the guys for a quick chat.
Hi guys, nice you meet you. This Saturday will be the first time for Aspirations in De Verdieping: could you tell our readers about your concept and how you guys got started?
Rutger: "When I was living back in my hometown of The Hague, I had my first experience of organizing an event. I was asked to organize an event for a school project.
I was starting to get into underground house music at that time. The artists I invited were Kabale und Liebe and Le Chien Perdu. The party turned out to be pretty successfull. After I finished studying in Leiden, I moved to Amsterdam. While living in Amsterdam, I went out quite a lot to quality parties like Dekmantel and several parties at Trouw. Those parties inspired me to start my own thing here in Amsterdam. I always had a preference for the deeper side of house music. Tech house was a big thing, so I wanted to present a new sound in Amsterdam. 
Before starting Aspirations, I first wanted to find the right venue that matched up with the music and artists we like. A few months later, I found a venue called Amstelhaven which was unknown at that time. For the first Aspirations party, I invited Anton Zap from Ethereal Sound. Anton played a super nice set, almost only for friends of us - which was great! 
Martijn: "I know Rutger from our hometown. The first parties were organized by Rutger himself, but I always supported him as many of our friends did. I had a preference in music and artists which I would like to hear at a party, but did not hear that often, or not at all. This matched up with Rutger his taste and after some time, Aspirations was starting to get more serious so Rutger asked me to join him. We followed our musical vision and the rest is history..."

How would you describe your sound? 
"The Aspirations sound is about finding the right balance between an underground sound and accessible warm house music. Most of the artists we've invited, are artists who made their debut in Amsterdam. We think that as a promoter, it's important to surprise the crowd while trying to be innovative. It’s important to build an overall level of quality. In our opinion, it’s not about booking the big names but trying to create a preferred level of expectations."

It can be difficult to be innovative these days in order to still surprise and attract a crowd. How do you guys get inspired?
Martijn: "I think my inspirations started when my friends and me went to clubs and festivals for the first time. We went to clubs like 11 and festivals like Innercity and Love Family Park for example. In some way the 4/4 rhythm caught me at an early age and started to get addicted to it quite fast. I like going on party trips for clubbing especially in Germany. Here the clubs and parties are different and in some ways much better. That’s where I get a lot of inspiration from, seeing DJ’s and going to parties."
Rutger: "The first time I experienced a very good club night was at 11 on a Pokerflat night with Steve Bug behind the decks. That was the time we took the train to Amsterdam to go out and party. After moving to Amsterdam I could go out to clubs more often and see DJ’s. A few weeks back Rush Hour did a pretty special party with Ron Trent. The parties that really hit me are rare these days."
Can you name us some highlights of the parties you have given throughout the years?
"We both agree that the biggest highlight so far was the Smallville label party at Canvas during ADE in 2012. Smallpeople and Moomin were playing with the three of them. It was a Sunday morning party and there was something special in the air that day. 
Rutger: “I would describe it as an exceptional party; a dedicated crowd, a proper sound system and quality music is all you need."
Martijn: "Another big highlight of course is the fact that our friends from Les Enfants Terribles invited us to host de Verdieping during the Pinksteren Weekender - which is kind of a dream coming true. Trouw is an amazing club implementing progressive bookings and club nights. It’s sad they will close, but we will definitely enjoy the club to the max in the time remaining."
Could you tell us a bit more about the artists that you invited on June 7?
"Let's start with Detroit legend Norm Talley. We both have been big fans of his releases, but never heard him play before. We think it is good to surprise the crowd with an artist like Norm. He’s playing both Holland and Trouw for the first time - so we are very excited about that one. The second artist we invited is Tako from Red Light Records. He already played at a couple of our parties, which turned out great. So we asked Tako again to play the warm up set before Norm Talley. Tako is an experienced DJ who reads the crowd very well and surprises us every time. Our good friend and resident DJ Shadee (Michael Brom) will be closing the night. Offering him a platform and having a resident DJ is an important part of our concept. We are big fans of his music as well as his productions and he does a great job when playing at Aspirations parties. He pretty much always does the warm up when we invite international artists. You should definitely check out his Soundcloud page to get an impression of the great Aspirations warm up sets he did before.

What's in the pipeline for Aspirations in the year 2014?
We have some special things planned after hosting De Verdieping. We are very happy with our new residency at the renewed Canvas club. The programmer of Canvas, Alex Mir and the people working there are really professional in their work and know what’s going on. So after a little summer break, we are doing two parties there this year inviting Lawrence in September and Move D in December. Both of us can’t wait to see what the club will be like and are very much looking forward it.