A cheeky grin, one hand on hip, one hand in the air; the little man looks like he’s ready to party.
He is, in fact a Gouden Kabouter, Amsterdam dance music’s answer to the Brits. This counjures up images of Jarvis Cocker bum-waggling Michael Jackson in 1996, and other memorable moments of showbiz excess, but amongst the absurdity there are catagories that carry real weight, and they are an important indication of the direction in which the European dance community is heading. The Golden Gnomes are to be awarded on Tuesday 2nd March, and up for both Best Dressed DJs and Best DJ Duo, are Amsterdam’s Homework.
Hi Tom and Zip, thanks very much for speaking to us. I believe you started playing together in Amsterdam in 2007, is that right? Can you set the scene a little for our readers – how did Homework come to be?
We met in 2007, that is correct. We were both working at a well known record store in Amsterdam, called Concerto. It took a while before we realised we were both into dj’ing. Actually it was through a mutual love for a mix album by Boris Dlugosch that we found that out and decided to DJ at a party. After that we never played separately again and things just… well, sort of took off very gradually.
We were asked to organise a club night, which we dubbed ‘Hommeles’, which is an old Dutch word for ‘trouble’. Later we co-produced a night called TAFKAF with The Heykids (kings of the Dutch underground scene) and Meneer de Beer. That night focused on a new sound from artists such as Justin Martin, Duke Dumont and Renaissance Man, who were all our guests. It was a great platform to develop and broaden our musical tastes and it taught us that you always have to look forward. So we’re always looking for new innovations.
I hear you’re up for Best Dressed at the Gouden Kabouters (and Best DJ Duo, a pretty serious one), very nice!
Since our very first gig we’ve always been dressed in white shirts and black ties. We don’t want to whine or anything, but it can be pretty damn hot wearing outfits all the time. But you have to suffer to be fashionable. That might just be the reason we’re nominated. (Of course the best thing would be to DJ without anything on, but we tried that once and people just didn’t get it. We were ahead of the hype on that one. A bit too innovative…)
I see you’ve got some of the DeadFish Audio crew on your mixtape. What record labels are Homework fans of?
Deadfish is an amazing label! Together with Sound Pellegrino, Made To Play and Dirtybird. Those labels are bringing something new and extremely fresh to house music (and dance music in general, for that matter). The artists on and around those labels, such as Mowgli, Round Table Knights, Zombie Disco Squad, Renaissance Man, Tim Green and Harvard Bass, really inspire us. Especially on a production level, because they’re pushing the boundaries of what is possible. It’s surprising what these dudes come up with sometimes. We would love to collaborate with all of these artists.
But there are lots of other interesting producers around. We’re into a very wide range of styles. The most important thing is that a record intrigues us. Then it doesn’t really matter if it’s Balkan dubstep or the sound of a washing machine playing a flute.
And your new track Fissa Tune – is it being released?
Fissa Tune is very dear to us because it was born out of our love for the music of the Round Table Knights and all those peeps. We’re not sure if it will be released. We send it to the ‘high rollers’ and got really good reactions. It would be great if somebody would release it.
What can we expect from you in 2010?
Recently we’ve been busy with our new party BOYCOTT, which we organise together with Guerilla Speakerz. There have been two nights so far, but both were sold out. BOYCOTT is a raw and underground night and is all about partying, hard. Guests include lots of locals and for the next edition we’ve got NT89 coming over.
There are a lot of new tracks coming up, and some remixes for Quinten 909, Rubix and The Century, and we hope these will reach your speakers asap!
Vote for Homework in the Gouden Kabouters here.
Download Only The Penitent Man Will Pass mixtape here.