Amsterdam-based TWR72 pioneers a forward-thinking approach towards electronic music: a fusing and pulsing rhythm with a cutting drive, binding it with a strong signature groove.
Tracky, stripped-back and tough as hell, TWR72, delivers an ultra-lean cut of prime techno.
For the 181st edition of our Global Vibe Radio mix series, the Float Records boss has put together an hour of signature TWR72 cuts, including upcoming releases from the label, tracks from his recent “The Archive” project and more.
Beyond his mix, TWR72’s relationship with our home city of Los Angeles isn’t a new one. Back in 2014 it was a collaboration with Truncate that helped propel his career, and he has since paid visit to the city a few times to perform.
Enjoy the mix below and read on for our exclusive chat with TWR72.
Thanks for the mix! Can you tell us a bit about where you put together and what is the mood you hope to convey from it?
Thanks for having me! It’s a mix with a lot of unreleased tracks, but also a lot of tracks from new discoveries from unknown producers. The mood is pretty straightforward and based on the groove.
Any standout tracks from it we should keep an ear open for?
There are a couple that are taken from the upcoming VA on my label Float Records. The VA is because of our 5 years anniversary and contains 21 tracks and 2 selected vinyl releases.
It’s set to be released in November and it’s our biggest project so far.
But there are also 2 tracks taken from my personal project ‘ The Archive’. I’m releasing a track every week for a year.
Do you feel this is a representation of what a TWR72 set would sound like today?
My sets always depend on where and on which time I play. The vibe is different in different cities, but also the time slot is very important. But I must say that this mix is pretty much a set I could play around 1 or 2am in a place that is eager to hear new music, but also want some straight forward dancing.
Your story with Los Angeles, where we are based, isn’t new. You premiered a Truncate collaboration in 2014 and have been to the city to perform since. What is your view of LA techno, the scene, the artists that have come from here, etc?
Well, the collab with Truncate was and actually is still unreal when I think back of it. He was seriously my number 1 producer that time and he said yes on the collaboration. My mind was blown and working together gave my learning curve a huge boost. His sound is still unique and I love the straight forward and club based loopy vibe of it. But what he does is actually not as easy as it may sound.
I don’t know that much about the current scene in LA. I know the guys from Droid and of course Developer, but I assume there is more going on. What I loved when I played there (which was still with Tom, as a duo) is that it was a sort of warehouse party in a really small warehouse. So you have the atmosphere of a warehouse, but the connection of playing in a small club. It’s very personal. And I was in love with the diversity of people coming to the party.
Talking about cities… you’re Amsterdam based, according to your bio. Does this mean you’re not originally from Amsterdam?
I’m born in The Hague, an hour drive from Amsterdam.
How was it where you grew up and how did you eventually discover techno?
I had a good childhood in the Hague where I discovered techno music. Pretty funny when I think of it actually, because one of my first experiences with techno music was with the designer from Float Records, Merijn van Velsen. We did go out at a pretty young age (around 14 years old) and one of our first parties was a big warehouse party. We were always super nervous to get in, because 9 times out of 10 we could get kicked out because of our age.
But my discovery with electronic music was already at a very young age, I think around 8 years old, because the niece and nephew of my father always played all kinds of different house and techno music in their car.
Who were some of the first techno artists you listened to and admired?
I remember back in days when Carl Cox was still playing heavy (tribal) techno. All the summer festivals back then were broadcasted on Dutch TV so you could watch all those sets.
I recorded that show on VHS tape, because there was one track in particular that I loved so much. Years later I found out that it was Ben Sims – Manipulated (Adam Beyer Remix). Still love that track.
Do you remember the exact moment you decided you wanted to do techno more seriously, in terms of producing and DJing gigs?
My whole career has been going pretty natural and gradually. With ups and downs though, but I don’t think there was one moment in particular that I know of.
Fair enough. Let’s backtrack to Amsterdam… what a beautiful city. What do you like about living there, and what do you dislike?
I like the city because it’s always developing. My brain needs new things and changes, so in that way Amsterdam is the perfect place. What I dislike is also what I like. The constant changes and fast pace it has. It’s hard to get some rest here and to find a quiet place.
How do you view ADE and all the other big festivals there, as a local artist?
I shouldn’t be saying this, but I’m not a big fan of ADE. It’s important for the city and electronic music. But I’m a pretty introvert guy and the rule is to network your brains out during ADE, because everybody does it. But I’m not good at networking at such a fast pace event as ADE. I get nervous and almost anxious when ADE comes to town.
I can understand that. Do you feel you’re viewed differently as a Dutch artist within the Dutch scene? Does this mean less or more bookings/support?
I’m not sure if you’re viewed differently as a Dutch artist here, but I do think the scene is a bit off. Maybe it’s because I’m not a big part of the scene here that I feel this way, but what I notice is, at least in Amsterdam, you’ve gotta make ‘friends’ to play here. In the last 5 years I’ve played 3 times in Amsterdam. And I mean, I’m not saying that I should play here every single week because of my musical output and my work with Float Records, but to get a fair shot sometimes would be nice.
It can be hard to find good food in Amsterdam if you don’t know where to look. Do you have any favorite spots?
There are so much! To get some fine dining, I always suggest Choux.
If you want to get a quick Indian Street Food bite, go to 29 Spices. If you want a tasty Massaman curry go to Ocha.
How about favorite club/venues?
As you’ve just read I don’t have much experience in Amsterdam regarding club/venues so let me bring you to Berlin. I’ve played twice in Humbolthain Club and for me, the vibe was just about perfect. Like it’s not the biggest club, but the energy and the people willing to dance and take in new music is amazing over there. Plus there is a nice garden outside to give your ears some rest.
Thank you for the recommendation. I noticed you’ve played less gigs than usual this year. Is this intentional or indicative of some trend going on in Europe?
There is a trend going on. The techno is expending with a more commercial side of techno music. So for artists like myself, with a more left-field approach, it’s harder to get booked. I believe the bigger names with the left-field approach are still getting booked, but the layer underneath is having a hard time. But I accept it and just continue making music that I love and working on my label Float Records. I’m not angry about the new commercial trend. It’s just the way it is and we have to embrace it in a way. The scene will be shifting again eventually like it has always done.
Talking about trends, techno has seen many trends and changes in the last 5-10 years. What have been some of the more positive ones in your opinion?
Well soundwise the style I’m making had a boost the last 5-6 years. Which was positive for me of course.
What I also think is positive, but still not evolving enough, is the boost of new names in the techno scene. From the start we are trying our best with Float Records to give new talents a fair shot. Because there are like crazy talents out there.
How about negative ones?
Like I said before about the commercial sound trend going on. I don’t think it’s a negative trend, it’s just negative for a lot of producers and DJs. So let’s just accept it and go on with what you love to do.
Another negative trend is that the techno scene can be really locked and sometimes a bit pretentious. In my opinion for no reason. Like if there is nothing else besides techno.
Let’s give new names more chances and let’s try to evolve the scene.
What do you do when you’re not in the studio or touring?
I’m basically in the studio 24/7. I’m always working. Besides TWR72 and Float Records I’ve got more music projects. But I’m not going to tell which ones, sorry!
Oh… we love secrets! Alright… what is your favorite thing to do or place to go to in Amsterdam outside of music?
Going to the museum with my girlfriend is almost a weekly activity on the weekends. People should really go to the museum more often. It’s fun, it triggers the brain in a good way and the story behind an artwork is mostly really satisfying.
Thank you for the mix and the chat!