Last week Secret Cinema treated us to an exclusive hour of straight up Techno. If you haven’t heard this great mix yet be sure to check it out here. This week we’ve managed to interrupt his busy schedule for a few wise words on what it takes to keep moving at this level.
Kn: Few techno artists have maintained their presence on the global techno scene for a prolonged period of time, yourself being one of them. I guess everything comes and waves, how have you adapted over the years?
SC: By continuously re-inventing your self. Also I always have the feeling I can do better, which keeps the energy flowing. Now with my label Gem Records and the change from playing only live to DJ-sets a few years back, I can reach more and more people. And having a lot of talented producers around me helps as well raising the bar production wise….
Kn: On the topic on ups and downs, and regardless of what creative industry you’re in, some artists deal with the concept better than others. What do you do to pull yourself out of a “block” or what do you do to best deal with it?
SC: Breathing is all you can do. After I finished my album there was complete emptiness… It took me a while to come back from that, but now with the remixes doing well and all the good music coming out, it all came back! I realised I need to trigger my senses a lot to keep myself on top all the time. So good feedback and people liking your music helps to keep me going!
Kn: You’ve got some big gigs coming up, but you’ve also had time to put out some great releases of late, the Minerals LP is definitely one of the standouts. You’ve collaborated with a few different artists on that album – how do you survive and achieve results when you’ve got different ideas being thrown around in the studio working with others?
SC: The ‘Minerals’ idea had already been in my head for two years but I never really got it started. The best thing for me at the time was to give myself a deadline. So I ended up having only eight weeks to make the album. Therefore I checked my computer for unfinished tracks which I liked and also asked my friends and favourite producers to do collaborations with me. Kalden Bess sent over some files and I finished them as I also did with Egbert. The Ramon Tapia and Cosima tracks we worked on together and were almost finished so that was that. The Ambient CD was done afterwards and I directed Mental Youth and myself to the deeper side of sound utilizing what we already had prepared on our hard drives. The pressure helped to make things work between friends, otherwise it’s easy to say ‘let’s do it later’, haha!
Kn: Gem Records has gone from strength to strength since you founded it, the most recent release SELECTED GEMS is killer. What sort of direction is the label heading in and how do you tie it in with your own work? Are they one in the same?
SC: The tracks on Gem are tracks I have to like in the first place. It’s really my taste in (dance) music. Also all of our artists have something special that separates them from other artists in my opinion. It’s always something I care about as well, doing something different every time within the limits of my own taste. In that way things are similar you could say. I can only be happy others recognize something special. That way you communicate without using words. That’s the great thing about our music!
Kn: Where to from here Jeroen? Any ideas and/or concepts you’ve been throwing around inside that you’d like to touch on?
SC: I have a lot of ideas all the time. The online platform will be bigger and better. Also I’m about to start a vinyl only label with no print and handwritten numbers on it with the Gem artists. We’re looking for opportunities to host Gem nights in clubs around the globe and give all the Gem artists the attention they deserve. Making video’s, albums, t-shirts, tours, etc, etc. All for the love of music and each other here at Gem HQ!!!