Tencion Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Dimitri. Let’s start with your label Lowendcommunity. Can you tell us about its ethos? And how would you describe the highs and lows of running your own label?

Hi Greg, thanks for having me! The initial idea for the label started in 2003 when I was running my own club in the Netherlands, in my hometown Eindhoven. I became really close with a guy named Ivo Rotteveel who was one of the resident DJs in that place and with whom I started the label. Due to personal circumstances it was not until the year 2010 that the label really saw the light of day. First of all we weren’t sure if anybody would ever consider releasing our music and with the basic know how in the pocket we decided to do everything ourselves. We really wanted to have a proper release with beautiful artwork which was done by Christoph Voorn (Joris Voorn’s brother) and approached already respected producers like Dimi Angélis and Jeroen Search for a remix of our first ever release called “Waking Up Benirras” (as The Low End Theory). On top of that we did very heavy social network promo to build our base. There were not too many labels and DJs doing so we kind of stood out, I guess. This first release instantly got picked up by the legendary Laurent Garnier who put the track on his PBB online radio playlist for many months….This really encouraged me to explore the boundaries of my producer skills and from that point on we just kept on doing the things we love and are facing our 10th birthday next month!

The Low End Theory – Waking Up Benirras (Original Mix)

Since running a label is not our core business and we still have daytime jobs there hasn’t been a constant stream of new releases and at some point I could not find the time and inspiration to produce new stuff myself until 2017. That year my wife Melanie encouraged me to pick up producing again under a different alias and with a new sound, so I started my Tencion project with which I aim to focus on the emotional aspects of music. The first track I did as Tencion called “Dancer in the Dark” got picked up by Terry Francis and got signed to the Fabric label to be part of the last instalment in their Fabric mix series. Eventually the track did not appear on the Fabric 100 mix album – so as you can imagine, I was a bit disappointed…

But….The fun I had with producing, making music and being a DJ every now and then was back. After ten years of searching and shaping you can say that I found my identity in this crazy and so often beautiful electronic dance community.

You are about to release your stunning new album: Culture Club on Lowendcommunity. It’s an atmospheric selection of titles which covers all aspects of music. Can you talk us through some of the influences which helped inspire such a diverse collection of sounds?

When producing: Emotion and Life itself are most influential to me, I guess. I’m also heavily influenced by 80’s bands such as Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode and Simple Minds. I really like certain aspects of the ambient/chill out genre. This has also been a big influence on my musical upbringing. I have been going to Ibiza every year since the year 2000 and it was at places like the old Café Mambo where I really started to appreciate the sound they played at sunset. One night, Pete Gooding, a resident DJ who used to play there often, dropped the track “We Have All The Time In The World” by Louis Armstrong right before sundown…and the track: A Brass Band In African Chimes by Simple Minds right after it. I still remember It brought tears to my eyes and I really felt the power of emotional music and what it could do to a person’s heart and mind. I guess I try to create the same mood and atmospheres in my own music nowadays.

Can you talk us through the process of how you created one of the tracks on the album from the initial idea through to its final production? Do you have any favourite software/ hardware that you like to use?

I had the idea to build a track just around a simple bassline in Ableton, together with the Sylenth1 plug-in. When I created the bassline I started searching for some simple tools to create emotion into that track. Just some simple string-and synthesizer notes combined with a piano chord in the middle really set the tone for this Hyperdawn track which really is a slow burner in my opinion. You have to listen multiple times to the track before it really grows on you. I really like it when there’s more to a song than you initially think. Of course everybody has its own emotions, feelings or demons you can say and of course not everybody might like it, it is something I connect to. I always try to create a song that will stand the test of time. One that can be played after 20 years or so and still will sound relevant.

listen to Hyperdawn https://www.beatport.com/track/hyperdawn-original-mix/14013719

What are your feelings on song writing in 2020 and do you feel that the power of music can communicate the same things through instrumentation alone?

I guess there hasn’t been much change in song writing the last couple of years for me. I think more and more producers go into the direction of writing more pop songs instead of doing only dance-floor bombs. This is also a result of the pandemic of course. In that light it can be really interesting to see how some producers change their sound and come up with fantastic new projects, apart from their usual four to the floor bangers. I do think that you can communicate the same emotion with instrumental tracks alone, although I have been working on some vocal cuts as well lately. My daughter Doris is a very good singer herself and I would love to do some tracks with her in the near future.

What is your favourite instrument?

I love to play the piano. Although I am not a schooled player, I can fool around all the time with my midi keyboard, trying to create new and interesting melodies for one of my releases.

How do you see club culture changing as a response to Covid-19? Do you think it will provide a chance for positive change in terms of giving more people the opportunity to be heard at a local level?

Of course! A lot of bedroom DJs can be stars at their home-parties nowadays! Nobody knows how long this crazy virus will still be with us and right now a lot of clubs and artists in the industry are having a difficult time. Clubs in the Netherlands aren’t allowed to be open so there are more and more illegal parties at home, I guess. It really is in our nature to party after a week’s work so when everyone is healthy and keeping their distance I don’t see anything wrong with that. In the end the crowd (alongside the technical equipment) is the most important part of the party. You can play at the shittiest place you could ever imagine but if the crowd is connected with you and the music it will always be a good night.

Outside of electronic music who are your most important influences?

I have to say: Life itself and my children are most influential to me. I also get a lot of inspiration from bands like Radiohead and Editors nowadays, apart from my love for 80’s bands of course…

And finally. Can you share your forthcoming plans for 2021?

I am currently working on a new Tencion EP which will be more dancefloor connected than my Culture Club album. I am planning to release this in the early spring of 2021. Hopefully the clubs will be open then!! I also love to do a release with my label partner Ivo Foreal to celebrate 10 years of Lowendcommunity.

facebook @tencionmusic

buy Tencion – Culture Club https://www.beatport.com/release/culture-club/3072246


Afterlife – REIMAGINE – Secret Life

Yes, this is a bit special. All your favourite numbers crafted via the hands of Steve Miller’s timely Afterlife reworked, or reimagined, by a rather sparkling array of stars. Of course, I’ll avoid using the word blissful in the course of this conversation, most definitely sublime, although I will have to indulge in Balearic – just for old time’s sake. The Coyote remix of Es Palmador begins proceedings beautifully, followed neatly by FSQ’s good-time funky version How Does It Feel which sounds like a band playing right before your eyes – happy days. And so the lush vibes continue with various other standouts coming from Robot 89’s interpretation of Ozo, Steve Cobby’s sonically charged take on the charming guitar strains of Tonto, plus Chris Coco’s frankly epic Blue Bar which heightens the keyed in cinematic ambience to breaking point. And beyond.

Release: April 14


The original versions…..





Gecko Beach Club Formentera: Volume Two
Compiled and mixed by Chris Coco and Pete Gooding
Seamless Recordings

Gecko Beach VOL Two High resI’m disappointed I didn’t catch that boat to Formentera now. Still, that was years ago and listening to Chris Coco’s super easy blend makes the thought of happy day come one step closer. And what better way to celebrate than with a statement of intent as Seu Jorge & Almaz’s version of Everybody Loves the Sunshine feels very suitably breezy. This is of course a first rate selection that seems particularly telling in the June sunshine. At this stage I was going to talk you through the standout tracks but there’s really little point, as they all standout. However the best thing I can recommend is that you buy a copy and switch it on in the sunshine, beside water and drift away…

The second CD is mixed by Pete Gooding and picks up the pace with a more House orientated selection that again starts sublimely with his self-penned opening track, Malibu. The sunshine vibes continue with further of his own compositions alongside those from M.A.N.D.Y. while ending on notably Waifs & Strays electronically charged Remedy. Happy days.

release: July 15






Love Is Super Food
Mobilee Records

Argentinean born DJ/Producer, Pablo Ranacat’s first EP for the label is simply spellbinding. Feeling and sounding distinctively unique this inspired collection of notes sees deep, atmospheric keys strung out across soaring string lines and funky percussion while tense voices colour the atmosphere on In Your Face, producing a touch of class. Next, the title track itself adds in a sense of melody via punchy piano and cascading synths, while The Real Milton Flow gets friskier with bouncing chords and invigorating vocal edits. Leaving final track Urself To Me to get tougher with yet more vocal snippets vying for your attention in amongst rich, deep chords and creative percussion.

release: June 10





labels_2diy4_09_path.inddRobosonic & Adana Twins
La Fique EP

Dropping right at the perfect moment is this latest production from Robosonic & Adana Twins. Let’s cut straight to the chase, La Fique is so funky it hurts, not least of all because this classic funky disco sample is so refreshingly familiar, but also just because it’s so f***king good! Not a lot goes on apart from some smooth filtering and the odd vocal addition but then this is so infectious it doesn’t matter. Barracuda again plays a classic eighties moment though this time over low-slung beats to sound seasonal and summer. Smiling faces.

release: June 24

Robosonic: www.robosonic.cc/

Adana Twins: www.adanatwins.com/



Nirosta Steel
Some Say
Wilde Calm Records

some saySteven Hall’s (Arthur Russell produced) solo project from 1985 gets revisited and updated for 2013. But to only add to the intriguing history lesson, legendary disco producer Bob Blank recorded and engineered the project, which has only recently been unearthed. Originally intended to come out on Rough Trade this just shy of three minutes track has Steven’s aka Nirosta Steel sassy vocal build the tension just before the tempo suddenly changes to challenge your preconceptions. The labels’ own Pocketknife version then expands the track letting the funky bass led groove breath over punctuating beats while likewise changing the rhythm on the outro.

release: 21 June

“Edition of 500 copies
7″ black vinyl
Full-colour insert with liner notes by Bob Blank
Hand-stamped and numbered with love”