Dave Mech: “Couldn’t stop smiling all the way through”

Dave Mech
This week in the series MY FIRST GIG Dutch live act/producer Dave Mech. “I vaguely remember the owner saying that I could play techno."

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This week in the series MY FIRST GIG Dutch David van Egmond a.k.a. live act/producer Dave Mech. “I vaguely remember the owner saying that I could play techno. However, I'm not sure if he was aware of how loud that techno would be.”

“My first official gig as a DJ was in one of the local bars in the town I grew up in: Bilthoven. It was called “De Karseboom”. This bar had a small dancing area in the back. Of course on normal weekends the music was always very mainstream: From the Dutch top40 to 80’s and 90’s hits. I visited this bar regularly with friends and always had a blast.”

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Lounge night

“A bit more than a year after I started DJing I talked about this with the owner of De Karseboom. The owner was planning a Christmas party and coincidentally I would be turning eighteen that December. He wanted me and another local DJ named DJ Ray to play that evening. DJ Ray played mainstream music. I however played hard techno and schranz. The 145+ BPM stuff. I remember vaguely that the owner said he was fine with me playing techno though I’m not entirely sure the owner was aware of just how hard that techno was going to be. The poster said ‘lounge night’.” (laughs) “Of course they didn’t have turntables, so I brought my own SL1200’s and mixer and crammed it into the tiny DJ booth.”

Enormous moving heads

“I have to paint the picture a bit. When you enter De Karseboom you’ll see it consists of two parts. The front, with a corner to the right next to the bar to sit. The bar on the right, and a space of about 2 meters wide on the left where you could sit and order. The bar was about 4 meters long and then there was this tiny DJ booth. Then the dancing floor which was about 4 by 5 meter or so. The ceiling was pretty low on the dancefloor and the owner had put up this big square truss to attach party lights on. He bought these enormous moving heads, which was pretty ridiculous since the ceiling was way too low for that. So when the moving heads were moving around, the tallest dancers really had to watch out to not hit their heads.”

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Slamming hard techno

“The Christmas party of course had a dress code: “Be part of the night and dress in white”. As far as I can remember almost nobody did. This was probably inspired by the then fairly new ‘Sensation White’ festival. Only with proper slamming hard techno haha. A lot of my friends from in and outside of school were there. It’s a pretty small town, so everybody knew each other of course. I remember wondering if they would dig it. A couple of my friends loved techno but a lot of them were mostly into different kinds of music.”


“I was a little nervous. Something I’ve always been and still am just before performing. I already had a lot of experience performing on stage. I played guitar form the age of 7 and had performed numerous times on small stages and once on the big stage in Vredenburg (Utrecht). It’s something I just love to do.”

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Plastic pitch wheel

“When I started DJing I only had Technics SL-D3 turntables, which had a wildly inaccurate plastic pitch wheel and the direct drive on them was worse than the worst belt-drive. When stopping the platter it took a full 3 seconds to get back to speed. After I learned to beat-match on those, when I got the Sl1200’s beat-matching was a breeze. So I wasn’t that nervous that the beatmatching wouldn’t go well or anything.”


“For this first DJ gig I selected about 30 records. I practiced a lot at home, but on the night self I only knew the first two or three records I would play. Sadly I can’t remember which records records I exactly played. I started out with uptempo techno and worked my way towards schranz.”

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Funky tracks

“Amazingly enough most if not all people danced their asses off. It was pretty incredible and I couldn’t help but smile all the way through. Friends were coming over to the DJ booth during my set to tell me they loved the energy and had never thought they’d like this type of music. As far as I can remember the set went great. I think the track selection went well too. I remember selecting tracks to start with that were more melodic and funky and then working my way to the proper hard stuff. I hoped they would follow that energy build up.”

Tribal energy

“It’s still funny to me to hear that older techno and just how much faster it is then now. I think I started at 138 bpm or so and worked my way to 145bpm+. Glad to see the faster techno is making a come-back. 134+ bpm just has this tribal energy in it or something. Maybe that was why people that never heard that music before were enjoying it so much that evening.”

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“The thing I learned during that gig was the importance of taking dancers by the hand and introduce them to a sound they never heard. That didn’t go that subtly that evening, but somehow it still worked out. I was a rookie so it was a great learning experience to read the crowd and how to keep them moving. It’s a wonderful give and take experience.”

“I haven’t played records for years now since I moved to play fully live with hardware, but I do incorporate a lot of DJ techniques and workflow into my sets so I can read the crowd and act accordingly. I think it’s important to be able to make a switch if necessary to keep those feet moving.”

This interview with Dave Mech is originally published in March 2019 on This Is Our House.

Who is Dave Mech?

Coming from a background of playing flamenco guitar, bass guitar and drums,
Dave Mech has a strong sense of rhythm which he uses effectively in his
techno productions. By using synthesis, field recordings and extensive
sampling techniques, Dave Mech has created his own unique sound.

Because of his musicianship, broad taste in music and his fondness for
broken sounds, Dave Mech is able to successfully combine elements that are usually
big in contrast to each other. His sound is harmonically rich and
mechanical at the same time. The grooves Dave Mech creates are atmospheric with
complex structures while retaining a rough, energetic, and methodical

For his live performance Dave Mech takes these methods onto the stage with a very
compact setup. Live he has total control over the arrangements of his
sounds and grooves. This freedom to improvise makes sure Dave Mech keeps the crowd
dancing and mesmerized at the same time.

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