The word rugged was built specifically for this production. After all who doesn’t love bass. Mareen Life is all about bubbling low-end theory, thumping kicks plus reverberating synth lines hinting at an incendiary melodic charge, complimented by an array sizzling sound effects. Good remix from Audio Analysts too who transform it via a heavy dose of Acid, while second track Afters Journey contrasts nicely feeling suitably deep, reflective of late nights and smouldering grooves galore. Terry Francis then supplies a hot and fiery remix working the filtered stabs alongside its crisp, rolling rhythm section into cool distraction.
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 disappointedâ€¦
Butâ€¦.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?
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.
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.
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 courseâ€¦
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.
Yo Yo Honey Groove On (DJ Pierre Wildpitch Remix) Black Sugar Music
First things first. This is an all-time House classic (not in the overplayed sense) but what else can you call it? So ok, you may be wondering why this has been credited to YoYo Honey, who released their debut album in 1992. The simple answer is that Pierre remixed Groove On for the album, however as it bizarrely wasn’t used the record company allowed him to release it under his own name for Emotive Records in 1994. Now that’s been cleared, try this and relive all that sizzling, looped intensity for yourself, and if you’re in the enviable position of hearing this for the first time â€“ lucky you!!!
Great production from Terry Francis that combines an effortless funkiness together with a probing forward-thinking texture of sounds. Intistars, opens the EP with insistent beats hooking up with taught bass, and a flash of old-time vocal samples lending this a mid-eighties cut-up flavour. The excellent title track follows with darker moods explored via an addictive Detroit styled bassline accompanied by an array of captivating sound effects punctuating the probing arrangement. Two first rate remixes compliment the original, one from Darren Roach & finally a punchy Joseph S Joyce version.
Another great release from VIVa this time sees Majesty deliver five feisty new jams that wear his references proudly. The not so subtle Pump Actions starts with a rolling bassline, a classic Disco stab and punchy vocal edits that will breathe life into even the most jaded out there. Full of life and energy the likewise Body Rock follows in a blaze of sirens and fiery snares. Next, Thump does exactly that via fizzy drum machines, while the ultra-funky swing of Money Clip gets down with no delay. Which leaves the shuffling intensity of Master System to end with an imaginative blend of moods and styles.