Turbo Mix Session 001: TWR72

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Who are you and where did you come from?

We are Tom and Roger, brothers from another mother. Which is obvious because one is by far more handsome than the other. We both went to the same school and grew up in the Netherlands, in two adjacent towns called Voorburg and The Hague. That’s where we discovered music and life in general.

Tell us a bit about your new record…

Der Ausgang EP is a ‘tribute’ to our dearest friends Dennis, Merijn, Rik, Stefan and Steie. It’s in anticipation of the bigger release ‘Endless’ coming this summer (see next question). With these tracks, we’ve tried to progress the specific sound people know us from. The combination of electro and, the term that has been introduced to describe our tracks, future techno. At some point we had to take a step back to move two steps forward. And that’s what we did with Der Ausgang EP. All tracks are easy to use dj tools with the energy and drive TWR72 is known for, but with a more techno vibe then you’d might expect from us. Like we mentioned, the tracks are inspired by our best friends. Merijn is a track with a big beat and a synth that never changes and keeps on going representing his persistency. But like the synth he lets go some times to have fun. Rik is the big guy that deserves some big kicks and claps which are accompanied by an ‘in-your-face’ vocal representing his honest and no-nonsense style. Dennis is a guy that likes beer and cigarettes. Difficult to make a track about, but we think we succeeded (imagine the synth saying “drinking, smoking, drinking, smoking”). And like the tracks this guy is truly unstoppable! Stefan and his unconditional love for the African female species are represented by this moaning synth and big tribal beat. And last but not least Steie, who has his own signature way of thinking which is represented by a combination of sounds that is creativity at a whole ‘nother level.

And tell us even more about the upcoming ENDLESS locked groove 12″.

We always try to give our fans and ourselves something extra with every release. Last year the idea grew to do something new instead of release another EP.  At the same time we were sure that a TWR72 album wasn’t the way to go since we got bombed as dj tool creators. Therefore it didn’t make sense to make twelve tools and call it an album. With this in mind we came up with the perfect idea to create a short and simple tool and make it an important feature for every self-respecting dj. Back in the days, when we still bought every track we played on vinyl, we supplemented our collection with a couple of vinyls consisting of a compilation of locked grooves; short loops grabbed from different existing tracks by multiple artists. None of them consisted of custom made grooves from one unique artist. This is how the idea grew; why not make 72 original TWR72 grooves? A.k.a. the perfect dj tool. Something that, as far as we know, has never been done before. Even though we worked hard on it for at least a year, we’re sure it was worth every second when we hold the 12” in our hands. On the record there’s a selection of 72 of the best grooves we could make. And every groove we dedicated to a friend / collaborator / supporter / inspiration who has played a role in the development of us as artists you now know.

Shouting out all your friends is nice. Are these people we should know or just school friends?

You are on it as well! And the same counts for our parents. In a way it sounds really cheesy to give a shout-out to all the dear people who helped us to the point where you can find us now.  Let’s say we love and appreciate all the people who helped and supported us along the way, also the ones who aren’t on the tracklist, but we shouldn’t take it to serious. But it has the advantage that we don’t need a ‘special thanks to’ list in the credits. We’re curious if you’ll recognize the less familiar names of some well known artists, because we only used their birth names.

‘Vinyl-only.’ Does it disgust you when people are purists? Discuss. Do you ever play or buy vinyl?

Actually we love purists, however they mustn’t exaggerate. In our opinion it’s incredibly important to keep your eyes open for every new possibility. In general, purists in every form (to stay in the musical terms: synth geeks, vinyl geeks, engineer geeks)  are very important. They are the connections between creativity and quality. We can all learn from purists. On the other hand, purists can be very stubborn. For example when vinyl purists talk about the exquisite sound quality of vinyl compared to cd’s or mp3’s. We’re the last ones to deny the amazing sound of vinyl, but you need the right soundsystem and equipment for it. So is it necessary to keep playing with vinyl in clubs for the sound quality? We don’t think so. You have to put everything in perspective. Same as when people see pictures of Justice or any other big artists playing live without the cables plugged in their setup and start wining about it. Most of the times they don’t have a clue what the context is in such situations. It doesn’t take away any of the talent and creativity that those guys possess.

Your sound walks the line between more ‘serious’ techno and something a bit more playful. Things always seem very restrained and minimal, but pumping. There is claps-on-the-kicks Dutchness going on but it never gets the least bit cheesy. This is more a compliment than a question, but it does feel that you’ve honed in on something quite precise and certainly very effective… who do you see as being other artists that you relate to? Who would you like to be booked alongside?

We’re really glad you’re mentioning the claps-on-the-kicks. You think that’s that Dutch? We thought the ghetto house invented it. That’s where we stole it from. By the way, did you hear the difference in sound in the track Rik when a new clap is introduced at 2:27 minutes? That is literally one of the best things we’ve ever done. But to answer your question, the artist we love the most nowadays is Truncate (also known as Audio Injection). Every production coming from his hands is spot on. The drive in his tracks is incredible. When there’s a new Truncate release we can play it in our set without listening to it beforehand. Always top of the bill.

How did you two start working together? Do you have very different approaches or aesthetics? Any solo output?

It’s funny because we come from totally different backgrounds. Roger started with house and techno records while Tom was more into the hiphop sound. At the age of 15/16 we started dj’ing together (back then still in our own bedrooms) because we liked each others taste of music. At that time we both became big fans of the relatively unknown French sound. Our approach in music is certainly different. Tom is the one with a more rational way of thinking while Roger uses his senses more and has a bigger creativity. Which for us creates a perfect balance with giving ideas form and work them out.

As far as solo projects, Roger releases tracks and remixes as Rogerseventytwo, most famous for his single ‘You Take me Higher’ released on Fool’s Gold. Tom has a solo project called ‘becoming a doctor’. This year he’ll graduate his medical study and he will be in the running becoming the world’s best doctor.

Who do you think is the most exciting EDM producer out there right now? 

Rogerseventytwo is most definitely the one too watch in the EDM future.

What music do you want to hear when you put away your DJ cap and want to go out dancing?

One of Roger’s (bad) habits is that he almost never goes out to clubs because he doesn’t like banging music at some random party with too much drugs and alcohol. Instead he goes for the opposite, going to live performances of big pop artists. Most preferable the biggest acts in the world at big venues with over-the-top productions. Last year there was Beyonce, Swedish House Maffia and Alicia Keys for example. Even if it isn’t your taste in music, the shows are always crazy. But before you think he only likes commercial pop music, he also goes to intimate piano concerts like the one from Olafur Arnalds.

On the opposite, Tom really likes drugs and alcohol accompanied by loud banging music on random parties and he can’t remember what kind of music he likes to dance on. It must be techno or something.

Let’s talk HYPE. Daft Punk / Jai Paul / Zomby / Boards of Canada. Who deserves it the most in your opinion? Do you think there’s anything you get from any of these campaigns that you want to replicate in your own career?

Yeah let’s talk Daft Punk. Did you hear that annoying little click on the end of every 16 (or so) bars in ‘Give Life Back to Music’, track number one of the album? The purists have been cutting their recording tapes incorrectly. So because of that, they don’t deserve it, even though we’re huge longtime fans. They’ve already had their successes anyway. Maybe Jai Paul is the most interesting one in this bunch. A bit hipster styled music, but it’s pretty creative and really impressive to create such a hype with only 2 released tracks (which were then sampled by Drake and Beyonce) and a fake leaked album (which sounded great in our opinion). Yeah let’s give Jai Paul the golden medal. Although the new album of Boards Of Canada is some quality work too. This brought us to an idea. Maybe we could leak our Endless 12”? Or do you think it’s too expensive to throw vinyls on the streets and in bars for free?