There’s a scarce number of producers that have instantly shook up the techno scene quite like Remco Beekwilder when he released his notorious LSD record on Dax J’s imprint, Monnom Black. Since then the Dutch native has been banging out esteemed dance floor ready records year after year, making him one of the most sought after Dutch producers of the last decade.
In a career that has only spanned a short 8 years of releasing records, Remco Beekwilder has managed to unleash some of the biggest dance floor ready 12 inches of those last eight years. Remco has helped push a new techno sound, combining prime early loopy techno influences with a more modern hard hitting sound which has gone on to influence the sound of techno today.
In a time where techno perhaps lost its groove and lost its pace, Beekwilder pronounced himself onto the scene alongside a new wave of producers like Stranger and Dax J. Propelling a hard hitting yet funky modern twist on an all too familiar loopy sound. Combining vintage rave sounds, crunchy percussive workouts, thundering kicks and piercing acid. This new techno sound was made to shake warehouses all around the globe.
Following on from Remco’s massive hit LSD on Monnom Black, he started his own imprint Emerald. Since the birth of the label, Emerald has been home to some techno giants including Introversion, Nur Jaber, Inhalt Der Nacht, Cadency, 999999999, Tim Tama, Remco himself and more. The label has helped further push Remco’s vision of pushing a more modern take on an old-school flavour of techno. The label stays loyal to Remco’s rave roots while furthering his innovation for electronic music.
In 2021 Remco returns with a three part EP release entitled Tales From Tramkade TRILOGY. Breaking the usual mould of releasing records, Remco releases a trio of records consisting of 12 tracks. The collection of works was written using recorded loops and concepts dating back from 2010 to 2015. The whole concept is totally unorthodox through the release format and production process, making for a truly unique and innovative release that screams Remco Beekwilder in every facet of its foundations.
We caught up with Remco to hear more about the project and where he’s at right now.
The recent addition to your Emerald label is a collection of works from yourself entitled Tales From Tramkade TRILOGY. The collection of music was made with loops and concepts from 2010 – 2015 that was recently reworked and reassembled. Did you find yourself connecting with a much younger Remco Beekwilder during the production process?
While being in lockdown with a curfew I found myself opening up older projects or saved loops stored at my old HD. Some of it still sounded fresh after the years and got me inspired again immediately. Luckily I was able to catch the momentums in order to finish the projects. It wasn’t really a connection with a younger me at the time, but I was pleasantly surprised to find these loops without DJ experience yet.
Would you describe the Tales From Tramkade TRILOGY as an album?
No it’s far from an album if you ask me. That’s the reason I named it a trilogy with the option to grab just a single copy instead. An album is the opportunity to explore and experiment much more instead of doing an EP. The Tales From Tramkade Trilogy wasn’t specifically made for the dancefloor as it’s finished in total absence of nightlife, but it has only 4/4 rhythms. This alone doesn’t make it a worthy album for me.
How would you describe the EMERALD sound?
That’s a tough question to answer. It’s hard to put into words as it’s more of a feeling. Everything in the range that I play or something out of line that just catches me.
For me I’ve found there’s something very nostalgic about EMERALD, tribal and rave like cuts that very much represent a divergent time in techno. Was the idea to start EMERALD based on your desire to push a sound that is slightly more individualistic to other major techno labels?
I started the label as I didn’t want to make any compromises music wise or have anyone to tell me what would work and in which following order. Creating music is something personal and the most liberating way to express your own vision is to run your own vision.
With so much new music coming out at the moment, are there any new artists that you’ve been keeping your eye on?
It’s hard to keep track of all the new music and artists that’s coming in daily. But approximately around the start of the pandemic I’ve been keeping my eye on especially Alarico, Rover Ranger, Kaiser and more recently Holden Federico. It’s been really refreshing to hear what these guys are bringing.
Your collaboration with Tim Tama in 2020 was an exemplary combination of two artists at the top of their game. How did you find it working with someone else and did the production partnership run fluently?
I really enjoyed working with Tim as we approached it more as a side project with no deadline attached. So whenever we felt like we reached out and send each other concepts or idea’s. This could be just a vocal or a percussion loop and see from there. Even though our individual take on music is different we found each other working well in the studio.
You recently played at the Unmute Us Protest in Utrecht, how did you find playing in this kind of scenario?
It was really an emotional rollercoaster being part of this particular protest. It was amazing to see the huge turnout of people from different ages into the streets all across the Netherlands. I found it breathtaking seeing parents bringing their children to the protest (children were wearing ear protection headphones) and showing their support as a family.
Your output of mixes and podcasts has been through the roof over the last few months. Now that you’re returning to playing to crowds has your relationship with DJ’ing somewhat changed in how you want to convey it or is it more or less the same?
Due to the absence of nightlife I had time to reflect the output of my label and how this translates to the sets I played. It didn’t take long before I started to doubt my present work. As a reaction I went back to the essence again. Reconnecting my love again for strong tool orientated tracks with a minimalistic approach and subtle changes, but always moving forward. I guess this translates to my sets and makes the circle round again.
What’s helped inspire your recent records?
I always feel inspired by records from the 90’s and early 2000’s as there seems to be a complete absence of boundaries. No framework for a certain sound or pattern but working an arrangement as well. This all just makes it really inspiring for me.
Now that we are returning to gigging and a more normal DJ routine, how are you finding this affecting your workflow in the studio?
To be honest I haven’t had a full month of gigs yet so it didn’t affect my studio time. But I remember my life before covid was quite hectic and never had the time to dive into the studio like I was able to since covid shut down nightlife.
One last thing before I let you go, what can we expect from you in the next few months?
Probably a big smile on my face while playing and loads of new music!