From the archives: This is from our original site, MyCityLife, posted back on 5 February 2015
Traditionally, the art of The DJ aimed for the dexterity and finesse in mastering the craft; the skills on the turntable, the proficiency in song selection according to the crowd and atmosphere, the build of the room and the tracks, the tight control of the EQ and cross faders, aurally recognising keys and phrasing points to mix tracks seamlessly into each other while also flawlessly beatmatching – so much as to manipulate the timing. All this heavily counterbalanced by an obvious passion for each and every track.
The Producer was a far different beast: conventionally, a good producer did not necessarily equate to a great DJ. The genius was in the writing, arranging, organisation and control of creating music. Producing music is something created, cultivated and practiced. It is the confidence, the mindset and the belief required to finish the music – no matter what it takes, and especially if the producer is scared, annoyed and frustrated. A producer ahead of the pack learns to face their fears.
And then, the DJ-Producer morphed into each other. They learnt to combine all of the above into the ultimate equation. But either way, the final all-important piece to the puzzle for the ultimate DJ-Producer formula came to this: no compromising on the sound. Then in the last decade, there was one more particle to tip the scales: be born Dutch.
Across the last 20 years especially, The Netherlands has forged a lineup of worthy DJ-Producers on a scale tantamount only to the production line of Sara Lee cheesecakes or the Heineken brewery. The Dutch seem to have this magic power of being born wearing their headphones to the point where if a Nederlands kind stands behind a pair of decks, they’re already on their way to Universiteit van Armada. Case in point: Egbert van der Gugten. Looking over his history, it would appear that Egbert is indeed born for techno.
“I started to produce when I was 8 years old,” he reveals about cutting his teeth in electronic music. “I got myself Scream Tracker 3 and Impulse Tracker. You were able to program special codes to convert into sounds. When I first played with them I just knew this is what I wanted to do.” Working diligently on crafting tracks and establishing his sound, Egbert continued to sit in his bedroom and write track after track after track. The discipline, drive and motivation required from such a young age goes without saying: it is indelible.
Now, some 15 years later, Egbert LIVE has emerged as one of the world’s most underground and innovative techno producers with a stack of tracks, singles, EPs and album Warm to his credit – a discography, unsurprisingly, that continues to grow and is universally well received as they undulate around the world. It’s to be expected really, given his tracks are beautifully layered, the harmonic structures balanced by deep throbbing meters and undulating basslines. His recent set at Rainbow Serpent was certainly hailed as a techno sensation.
And it doesn’t look like the Egbert LIVE flame will be waning anytime soon. While some DJ-Producers aspire to be a part of Sven Vath’s Cocoon label by sending out track after track, Egbert found out the great man was performing his productions through youtube. And it has been through Secret Cinema that Egbert’s success started rolling.
“I uploaded ‘Vlammen’ onto my myspace,” Egbert recollects, “which was picked up immediately by Michel de Hey and Secret Cinema. Secret Cinema then helped me to mix the track for release on Michel De Hey’s EC Records and offered me the chance to perform in his Woosah nights in Scheveningen. It started from there. Then I got the request asking if I would like to release on Sven’s label. It really was a great moment.”
Primarily using FL Studio, Symplan, Sylenth 1 and the Absynth, Egbert continues to produce a great many tracks in between touring around Europe. His next project will look at releasing a track a week in as many cities around the world as possible, until he has released a full album of works. Inspired by what happens during his day to listening to artists like John Gaiser, Roger Martinez and SQL, Egbert’s mindset is all about music. As an artist who clearly doesn’t follow things by numbers, the music continues to come first. “Be yourself and do your own thing,” Egbert declares. “I will never stop learning. The music keeps evolving to raise the bar higher with every track because love for the music is important.”
Photo Credit: Milan Goldbach Photography