Interivew with Reinier Zonneveld


What is good thing about being young? And what is good thing about being old(mature)? Definitely I love mature dj and producers who makes me feel nostalgia and history, but definitely I can’t help my excitement when I find new young talent.

When Ronald (owner of Illegal Alien Records) asked me to listen to new album from Reinier Zonneveld I was pretty impressed by music’s quality, but when i heard he was born in 1991, I was pretty shocked, ‘damn, what I’ve done when i was 20?’ that’s what i thought, and I’m sure some of you thinking same;)))

So, yes , we support young talent, especially when old/mature senior producer (like Ronald ) recommends so… let me introduce  Reinier Zonneveld

Hi  Reinier! Could you please introduce yourself briefly to our readers?

Yeah sure, I’m a Dutch producer and musician, 22 years old, almost finishing my studies at the University of Utrecht.

 You are  very young, but your music reflect an unmistakable quality , when did u start making music?

Around 18 years ago, I wanted to make music. Back then I was already listening to lots of stuff, and decided I wanted to play the piano. 6 years later I started fiddling around with simple producing software just for fun. Always came back to this, but it was when I was around 16 years old I really got the hang of it and put in way more time and serious effort in production. From then on I started producing everyday for hours and hours, trying to improve my skills, and of actually I’ve enjoyed every second of it.

 You seem to really like techno and most of your productions adhere to this genre?

I like techno a lot. The repetitive and hypnotic nature of the music, as well as the power and rawness are the things I like the most. But also the fact you can take techno everywhere you want. There’s not a standard template of things you should or shouldn’t do, the freedom is enormous. But it’s not just straight up techno I produce. 18 july a track of me will be released on Traum Schallplatten, which is more melodic and less harsh sounding than the techno you come across on my album. Also, I produce ambient, tech-house and down-tempo music. Actually, at the moment I’m working on a piano album, which is modern classical music. For me boundries of genres don’t mean a lot, I think there are lots of different ways to express yourself, and sometimes combining methods make me able to do this in a way which suits me better.

 In my impression, Netherlands’ scene is a lot more housey (may be cause RH record), but you make pretty hard techno, so I  wonder whether Holland has a solid techno scene as well?

There’s certainly a big techno scene in Holland, in growing in size quickly since the popularity of the famous 2000s minimal sound. Sure, there’s a big house scene, but from my experience many people like more than just one genre of electronic music, just like me. Big techno masters come to Holland on a regular basis. One of the labels I work with – Moments Music – throws parties every couple of months in Rotterdam, in Factory 010. It’s a on the 10th floor of an old industrial plant, they’ve had artists playing there like Paul Ritch, Marco Bailey, Egbert, and a lot more. There are certainly enough parties to enjoy for real technoheads.

 Let’s talk about your album: you already have few releases on AI records but how was this album’s idea born?

When I was working on a live PA for a radio station, I wanted to fade out with an evolving echo on the last track, which ended with a piano chord. Tweaking the echo feedback with distortion, delays and other stuff, I figured it would be great to build a whole new sound based on weird modulation like this. I chopped out this one and a half minute part, and sended it to Ronald. He liked the sound very much. After talking around, I decided to try and make a full length album and release it on IA.

 What  about the  album’s concept? How did u collect the tracks, and what were your main influences , etc.

Well, collecting the parts of the tracks was one of the things I really enjoyed. When I came across sounds I liked, I instantly recorded this. For example, cars driving over a bridge, a rattling old coffee machine, or hitting a guitar with random objects. Also I went to a studio to make piano recordings. You can hear the result obviously in the track “Intro”, but a lot of the sound is masked by transposing, editing and modulating these recordings. Next to that lots of work went in to recording other instruments, and some vocal tracks. The thing I like about this is that it sorts of makes it unable to tell which sounds are actually acoustic, and which are synthesized, through combining and layering these sounds. I really love using physical gear, and most of the synthesized parts of my album are analogue or heavily processed with all sorts of effects, like tube amps, delay/reverb units, filters etc. If I like the sound I use it. I once picked up a broken, 40 year old compressor. The thing doesn’t really compress anymore, but the way it distorts basses when overdriven is just amazing (this is how the bass of the title track is overdriven).

 The concept was to create something in which I could create a certain world of sound, by approaching this idea from different directions. Not worrying about the energy levels of tracks, but pure about the emotional impact of the content. The title for me means that some sounds can be put totally out of context, and can have a totally different meaning this way, than when you hear the sounds in isolation.

 It’s hard for me to point out main influences, but they’re off course some artists I like a lot. Contemporary artists which I listen to regularly include Speedy J, Par Grindvik, Heron, Ricardo Garduno, JPLS, Lucy, Audio Injection / Truncate, Egbert, Gary Beck, Extrawelt, Andhim, I.A. Bericochea, Len Faki, Miro Pajic, Paul Ritch, Olene Kadar, Einmusik, and many more (in random order). One of my favorite piano composers is Erik Satie (1866-1925). His work is just out of this world, and in my opinion ahead of his time. It’s very minimalistic, and impressionistic, espcially his “Gnossiennes”. I want to mention Steve Reich as well, his work on electronic and minimal music is very important to me.

 In your album, you have 13 tracks which is plenty but  do u have some particular thrack you want to talk about? A favourite?

 To be honest, I don’t have one favorite track. Every track has a purpose, and I like them in different ways. However,” When Different Worlds Collide” is special in a way, that it was an experiment to write a sort of orchestral piece, but with a minimalistic approach. Through the track there’s only 4 chords being used. Still it works because, in my opinion, it succeeds in bringing a message, in a way most people won’t even notice it’s just the some couple of notes being repeated over and over again. This sort of approach also applies to “Landing”. But, the harder techno tracks have a place as well. I really like techno with a very high energetic level, and this was my focus when creating tracks like “Haywired Society” and “Plateau 4”, while still maintaning the soundscapes of the ambient tracks.

 What are your future plans? Do you have anything exciting planned for the rest of 2013?

My plan is to go on producing and playing music, and at the moment I’m already working on new releases. As mentioned before, 18 July a track will be released on Traum Schallplatten. Next to that, a compilation on IA is planned as well, somewhere in the first week of July. I made an acid track for this release, which is comparable in sound to some of the harder tracks on my album. 12 August an EP with 4 original tracks will come out on Trapez, also techno. These 4 tracks are dancefloor focused bangers, and something you should check out if you like the sound of my album.

 Next to studio work, I got a couple of ever evolving livesets. I play using various synthesizers, drumcomputers and effecs, coupled with ableton live. At the moment I have one for techno, ambient, tech-house and minimal. After the release of my album I’ll will focus on playing out more, now that I’m content with the material I’ve got to offer the audience. I love DJing as well, but for me livesets will always be something special in the way in which you can s

hare your music to many people in a creative way.

Thank you Reinier and we can’t wait to hear “Reverse Psychology”

Thank you, Red Pig Flower and HDNSM!

Interview by Red Pig Flower

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