12-03-2014 | 16.40
I’ve crossed paths with These Guys on numerous occasions in the last year. I’ve interviewed them twice during this period and I am always pleasantly surprised to find their m.o. consistent: “What we hope to achieve is the same with every party. Show people a new and interesting mix of music, music which is constantly evolving and which goes beyond boundaries. We program for people who like to be surprised.” Ever since that first event at NDSM werf they’ve attracted a sizeable crowd of electronic music fans with a great booking strategy that captures the zeitgeist of dance music today. They know how to put on a good night and they’re bringing that attitude to their debut at Trouw with a stellar line-up. Taking over De Verdieping for this Friday night, James T Cotton (JTC) and Mick Wills will be strutting their stuff alongside These Guys’ own Clairvoyance. I managed to get Flip Peeters, one half of Clairvoyance and a third of These Guys, to talk about the artists they’ve booked and what we can expect from them this coming weekend.
Can you tell us what James T Cotton means to you and why These Guys wanted him for this event?
James T Cotton is one of the true purveyors of that original hardware acid sound. With a less-is-more attitude he has been producing extremely energetic music for more than a decade. His music takes us back to those early days of experimenting with electronics, synthesizers and drum computers. But it’s not just acid that defines James T Cotton. In his music you can hear influences from 80’s new wave, the melodic touches of Detroit Techno and the funk of Jak House as well. All packaged in a raw delivery. The various alter egos under whom he operates make him a diverse artist and that’s something we always admire and look for when booking an artist.
What do you expect from his set on Friday night?
We expect the diversity of his music in a raw DJ-set, with a fair amount of ‘JTC Acid’ thrown into the mix. A recent mix by James T Cotton for Jak-Nation captures these expectations perfectly.
When I spoke to you over the weekend, you seemed particularly excited about JTC and playing alongside him.
He is definitely one of my favourite producers. But I love playing alongside every artist we book, because we only book those guys we truly admire.
Which of Cotton’s own tracks would you consider is essential in capturing the James T Cotton sound?
James T Cotton – Got to let you know
JTC – Psychedelic Mindtrip
James T Cotton – Press your body
James T Cotton – Saavy
His productions as his Charles Manier alias is also essential for this list.
Charles Manier – Bopside
Charles Manier – Sharp Killer
Mick Wills will also be making an appearance on Friday night. What should Mr. Wills bring with his set in your opinion?
Mick Wills just has to bring himself. The man is known for his explosive club sets. He is a real DJ’s DJ, something that isn’t a certainty these days. A true selector who can still surprise us with old forgotten gems and solid edits in a straightforward mix. Mick Wills is a storyteller with extraordinary mixing skills.
What similarities do you see Mick Wills sharing with James T Cotton in affecting your decision to bring these stalwarts together?
Both are operating between the thin borders of Techno, Acid, Jak House and New Wave. Their sound is strictly analogue, raw, dirty and very danceable.
The two have even crossed paths in the Mick Wills remix of JTC’s The Controller.
Mick stays mainly out of the Production limelight, preferring to focus on his DJ work. Is this an attitude that Clairvoyance would like to observe too or are there plans to start working on your own productions?
We started the Clairvoyance project in January 2013. We grew up together and often played together behind the decks in the past. But this was always more in a back2back kind of way. With Clairvoyance we think and play with a common vision. If one of us doesn’t like a track, we won’t play it. Most of our DJ-sets that are currently online, contain some Clairvoyance productions. Our goal is to release the first EP in 2014. So making our own music is just as important as focussing on the DJ work.
Flip, you also make up part of These Guys. You must be under a lot pressure on the night in sharing your responsibilities between the dance floor and running a smooth event.
In a weird way I kinda like it like that. The rush of running a smooth event gives me no time to think about a performance. So I get a lot of peace before I have to play. From the moment I have to be behind the decks I can shut down the production aspect of running an event and focus on the dance floor. That’s also because I can rely blindly on my companions from These Guys in doing a great job.
What do you see as Clairvoyance’s role on Friday night and are there any tracks you are looking forward to playing?
We have the honour to warm-up de Verdieping. This gives us the opportunity to set the mood. We look forward in playing these tunes:
Jay Daniel – 4 Red
Haron – The Langolier Hustle
Rhythmic Theory – Siren song
Text: Mischa Mathys