Roots is their third album on the venerated German label Sonar Kollektiv. Having focused his attention on catchy hooks and a series of guest vocals on the former, and deeper break-beat exercises on the latter, Joris felt it was time to offer something that sits comfortably in a space between the two. . The LP features not only a host of vocalists from around the world, but also sees the producer playing with samples and dark sounds, as he tries to discover a new direction and find that sweet spot between dark and light; major and minor; new and old; Uplifting electronics and soul.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.
What first attracted you to the world of electronic music?
I think when I was around 14 or 15 years old, I got in touch with my first electronic acts. Underworld, Faithless, Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack, Groove Armada, Fatboy Slim. They were all suddenly there. Their energy, beats, samples choice etcetera, it’s still hard to catch how these acts wrote their masterpieces. I’m still figuring out how they created these tracks. There’s so much emotion in tracks like for instance, ‘Two Months Off’ by Underworld. I like it when artists can capture that human feel and yet sound electronic. Fred again.. does a great job with this nowadays, I think.
Do you remember any album or concert that made you see everything differently?
Oh there are so many. Again, Underworld’s ‘A Hundred Days Off’ album changed my musical vision. Seeing them live as well. It’s timeless music, Karl Hyde is 66 years old and still rocking it. Seeing Aphex Twin do his thing last summer at Best Kept Secret had an impact as well; it felt like one «fuck you» to the crowd. He does what he wants, plays what he wants and what people don’t expect of him. He is still a pioneer and out of this world.True inspiration.
Since you got into this professionally, what did you miss at the national and international level? And what helped you the most to grow, even to believe in yourself?
It’s important to have the right mindset to grow. Making your goals achievable. And try to work organised and disciplined. I try to go the studio 5 days a week. It’s okay to make bad tracks. As long as you move on and don’t get stuck in endless mixing the low end. Who cares if the initial track sucks anyway. Use the weekends to reflect on what tracks have the potential. Also, don’t be afraid to send your tracks to the labels you love.
How did you decide to embark on your latest work?
I work pretty intuitive. I didn’t think too much about what the third album should sound like in the beginning. I just made a lot of music and followed my intuition. Tbh, it was the hardest process to date. In this case, it was important to kill my darlings. I think I made around 27 tracks and choose the 14 best. I think the album is very eclectic, but overall very soulful. But it took me a while.
What are your favorite places to hang out in the city?
Musical wise, there’s always something going on at TivoliVredenburg. They have different venues and their concerts are very diverse. Another great area that people should check out when in Utrecht, is in Zuilen, where you have the ‘Nijverheid’, ‘Boot 122’, the ‘NAR’ and ‘dB’s. Go check it out!
Have you had time to focus on making music, spending time with your family, or planning future projects?
After I finished this album, I decided to focus a bit more on smaller projects musical wise, so I’m focusing right now a bit more on singles and EPs, since the process of making a full length album was pretty intense. It feels great to focus on a double single now and then move on. Working a lot on new material, so stay tuned!
Do you have any final words of wisdom?
In a musical context: try to make the music you truly love. Don’t make music for Spotify playlists. Believe in yourself while creating. Be patient. Experiment with sounds trying to find your voice. And a very important one for the young producers out there; try not to focus to much on one track at first. When you learn new tricks and tools, go start a new track. You’ll see that the more experienced you’ll get with the process of creating tracks, the better you get. Sometimes I make 5 tracks a week, and then there’s only one track that actually resonantes and has the most potential. So in short: create a lot, pick the best!