EDM has a hella long tradition in the Netherlands. Since the early 80’ies when Ben Liebrand set the bar for what is possible on the dance floor, producers and DJs have poured out in a steady flow. Buddies Koen Mestrum and Teun Pranger are donning the Keljet moniker together and what they have brought to the scene is a variety of original productions and gorgeous remixes for names like Goldroom, Chela, Matvey Everson, Evvy, Kings Of Tomorrow and The Knocks.
I rounded up the lads and aksed them some questions:
What do you guys consider the biggest achievement sound wise so far?
We’re proud to have a remix out on Kitsuné, one of the labels that inspired us from the start. The amount of plays we get on some of our tracks and remixes is also something we could have never dreamed of.
What do you reckon distinguishhes the Netherlands’s sound from the rest?
There aren’t that many producers making Nu-Disco in the Netherlands so it’s quite hard to say. The Netherlands is more famous for his House and EDM dj’s, so maybe you can say the tracks that are a bit more house inspired are more influenced by other Dutch DJ’s.
Which three icons has influenced your sound the most?
Daft Punk, Kraftwerk & all the modern music we play in our DJ sets.
How does a day at the office look for the Keljet boys?
We’re in the studio two days a week at the moment. We get there early and try to make as much music as possible. All other stuff like e-mailing people, legal stuff and social media are done the other days so we can have as much quality studio time as we can.
You occasionally give away tracks for likes and for free. Labels like French Express practice the same agenda. How do you see the industry evolving? Will we see more artists and labels go in this direction?
Giving away tracks for free is a great tool to gain some following on social media quite fast. You don’t earn much by selling your music, so it might be better to just build a solid fan base that will visit your shows.
Music blogs have become trendsetters and taste makers. The whole setup for unsigned artists has changed a lot ever since the the internet has become dominant in the whole distribution game. Earlier an artist’s biggest aspiration was getting signed. Nowadays some artists even prefer staying unsigned and thus retaining their freedom. What are your aspirations?
At this point we think we should send over new material to the bigger labels in the scene, the ones that can make a difference releasing your track. When you release on a label with a following smaller than your own it might be best to release stuff yourself. It’s so easy to do with services like Songflow.com for instance. We’ll just shop around once new material is done and make up our mind then.
Which direction do you think the disco scene is taking? Has this whole retro thing run its course, or do you think there’s still inspiration and energy left in it?
There are so many differences in the Disco/Nu Disco scene. Some tracks sound really like they’re the theme song of an 80’s movie and others are just inspired by the disco sound. We think the Nu Disco scene will get even bigger in a couple of months.
How would you define your sound? Recently you have slowed down the BPM and gone for a very lush and melancholic vibe in your remixing. Is that a vibe you’re carrying on to your own productions?
We used to try to make all our remixes fit into our DJ sets. When we got a couple of remix requests for tracks that were around 100 BPM, we decided to let that go. We do play them sometimes when we play on a sunny day at a pool or something. Our new own productions are ranging from around 105 to 122 BPM so it actually did change the way we produce.
Five fast ones:
What’s slated in the near future for Keljet?
We’re working on 3 new original tracks at the moment and have 2 remixes finished that will be out in 2014. We have some remix requests on which we’re still working, but we can’t tell if something good will come from them yet haha.
Which artists are you looking out for this summer?
Kygo was playing his only show in Holland this summer so went to see him at Amsterdam Live on Stage this summer.
Biggest game changer sound wise this year?
Everyone who’s involved in making pop influenced nu-discoish housemusic haha. We support so many people at the moment, it’s hard to name one in particular.
Best Keljet moment of 2014?
The amount of plays we get on our remixes and some remix requests we got. Hearing our tracks on Dutch national radio was also one of the highlights this year.
Worst Keljet moment of 2014?
We don’t really have any hard moments this year. Maybe just some remixes we did which we really loved but didn’t get approved by the label.
Here are some of their most recent gems.
Sweden has it in it tap water supply. Crisp, clean and full of sparkle! Check out Oliver’s shizzle.
When the sublime meets the smooth. 112 % dance floor mayhem straight out of Budapest! Monkeyneck for guvanor!
An astonsihingly well crafted EP from German groove messiah Martin Hayes who consistantly has upped his game since I got to know him back in the mid zeros.
Kamp! has a unique melancholic quality to their sound. A New Leaf is no exception. Satansbraten presents yet another aspect to their sound and proves how wide they span soundwise. Lovely stuff. Now go buy!
Mø is pretty big in Denmark. In fact, she’s pretty big everywhere at the moment. Darius takes on her current megablast hit Don’t Wanna Dance and turns it out smooth, chilled and laid back like a day at the beach with cold beers and Ray Bans.
Berlin culprit Theatre Of Delays twists this one in neon. Like!
I didn’t like what they did on the original, but this really rubs my rhubarb the right way! Release of the mini EP is set for 26th May. No word on this splentacular remix.