Mad about Derrick

Jasper Wolff & Maarten Mittendorff over Derrick May

Mad about Derrick

11-01-2014 | 11.31

The year 2013 has been exceptionally good for Indigo Aera head honcho’s Jasper Wolff and Maarten Mittendorff. With their upcoming gig at Trouw this Sunday, the new year starts as good as it gets: the duo performs alongside Derrick May, their favorite artist -ever-. Jasper and Maarten can go on and on about why this feels like everything falls into place for them. Trouw sums up their fandom in two statements.

Derrick May influenced us both to become artists in the first place.

Both: "A quote from a Derrick May fan on the internet summarizes it al for us: "Normally dj'ing is a craft, some are good at mixing, some can compose a wonderful set, with records that really sound great together. But with Derrick May it becomes art. He takes music, and makes completely new music out of it”."

Both: "Well, to us Derrick May is from a rare breed. Of course everybody knows the story about how it all started out in Detroit. But besides being responsible for everything that is electronic music nowadays, more important to us is his uniqueness as a DJ and as a person. There aren't much artists around with such a great personality. He influenced so many other artists. You don't often see someone to be such a true hardcore music selector and a real DJ at the same time. Derrick is like the curator for the 'hard to find' and 'nobody else knows this track' vinyl museum. As a DJ, and in form, he beams nothing but energy into the crowd. Cutting with faders and use of an Isolator have become his trademark DJ style. That Derrick May has meant so much to our musical career is an understatement. It is because of him that we started working together.” 

Maarten: "Before we knew each other we were huge Derrick May fans. The way he picks his records is like magic. This brought people together at 'Vuistdikkeramlat’, the weblog of the unofficial Derrick May fanclub. People used this weblog to discuss the records Derrick played in his sets. In October 2009 Derrick played at Paradiso during the Dekmantel ADE Special. That was the day Jasper and I met each other." Jasper: "I was playing records in the basement of Paradiso and at one point Maarten came up to me. He was amazed by two records I mixed. The record picking and the way I mixed them struck him. He told me it was like hearing himself play. We exchanged phone numbers and a month later our first track was a fact: The Present. Later on this became the first release on Indigo Aera. Here’s a 9 minute movie Maarten shot during that event. It speaks for itself and sums up all the characteristics on Derrick as an artist:

Our label Indigo Aera owes a lot to Transmat, Derrick Mays legendary label. 

Both: "At the time we finished ’The Present', we felt that there weren't much techno labels around that put out club friendly dancefloor oriented Detroit techno. Major labels like Transmat, Sino or Kanzleramt stopped releasing or took a break. This had to do with the minimal techno thing that was going on at that point. We thought: what the heck, why don't we try it ourselves. Once we convinced Stephen Brown and Mark Williams to do a release, Indigo was born. Since then we do releases on Indigo with a lot of Transmat related artists. Guys like Steve Rachmad (who released as Scorpions Dream on Transmat/Fragile), Stephen Brown, Sam McQueen (aka Indio) and Louis Haiman. Besides owing a lot to Stephen Brown (we think he is responsible for most of the releases on Indigo), Louis Haiman is a good story to illustrate our Transmat awareness. The releases he did (aera006) were all tracks that were planned to be released on Transmat in the nineties. When we heard these tracks we were blown away completely. A total jawdrop moment. We can recall asking ourselves how the hell Derrick could just sit on those tracks back then, without releasing them. When we heard these tracks were on an old dusty tape for over 10 years, we directly felt we had to release these gems. So when Louis agreed, we we're grateful to him, but even so grateful to Derrick!"

Text: Dennis de Vogt