Dennis Price (1972-2015) (NL): “Completely addicted to mixing”

Dennis Price, Marceline and Rose August 3d 2015
Dennis Price and I go back to 2010. Unfortunately Dennis passed away in 2015. In the years before we built up a friendship and in 2014 he shared the story of his first gig with me. "Everything was right, this was god’s house.”

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In 2010 Marceline and Dennis met through a facebook group called huppels. The online connection led to a true friendship. Unfortunately, since 2015 Dennis Price is no longer among us. Who knew him, knows of his enormous passion and drive for house music. Late 2014 he told me the story of his coming of age into house music and of course his first gig. “The acoustics in De Waakzaamheid were phenomenal.” Dennis, you are missed.

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“It all started on the radio. In 1982 I was about ten years old and listened to Ferry Maat’s The Soulshow and Decibel Dance Report on Radio Decibel, hosted by Ben Grätz aka René de Leeuw. The most incredible import music was played in that show. First disco, then hiphop and later elektro.”

House music was born

“Mixed in with those import records, sometimes you could detect a track with a hint of house music. These tracks immediately attracted me. Because I was so young, I didn’t have a lot cash to spend, but every vinyl I purchased in those days, turned out to be timeless. Every single one of them. The highlight for me in those days, was the in 1984 released legendary album: The House Sound of Chicago. With this album, house music was definitively born.”

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Digital future

“When I turned twelve, my parents’ birthday present was a mixer. My brother had a turntable with pitch control and I owned one without pitch. I started practicing until I almost dropped. By then, I was hooked on mixing. Slowly but steadily my vinyl collection grew and meanwhile I upgraded my gear. In the early nineties, I bought two CD-players with pitch control. That’s when I switched to digital. I saw a future in that.”

Waakzaamheid

“I lived in a village called Assendelft in those days. Everybody still only listened to reggae and rock, until I hit the streets with my ghettoblaster, playing hiphop and electro beats, while making the characteristic moves that went with it. In the beginning, my friends didn’t care much for it. That gradually changed when we went to the local club, de Waakzaamheid. Wow, what a place!”

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This was god’s house

“I remember my first time there so well. It was a Friday evening in 1989. A mega-stroboscope lit the whole area. The first track I heard was Frankie Bones and Lenny D’s Just As Long As I Got You. The acoustics in De Waakzaamheid were phenomenal. Everything was right, this was god’s house.”

The Nights of the Proms

“I got addicted to this place, there’s no other way to say it. On top of that, they played my favorite music. Up till around 1995, me and many of my friends were part of the regular Waakzaamheid crowd. We were mesmerized, so every week we all got into a converted Mercedes bus and drove to this awesome club. Dimitri was one of the resident DJ’s and very soon became my absolute favorite. His events The Nights of the Proms are legendary.”

Record stores

“Everyone who was around in those days knows about doing regular tours by all of the Amsterdam record stores. My favorite import stores were Dance Tracks and Outland Records. They simply offered the largest collection of import CDs that appealed to me. At least once a month, I was there for a whole day.”

Drive-in show

“By then I had gathered quite a collection of house music. On top of that, me and my brother were the proud owners of a drive-in show. I worked in a grand café when I was seventeen. At some point, I got the idea to organize a club evening at the café. The owner was interested, so we rented the necessary equipment. I was ready for my first gig.“

Smoke generator

“Everything was set up. We had a stage, amazing sound system, a fat stroboscope and a smoke generator that could handle the whole area. You could barely see the tip of your nose. I guess that the village was not quite ready for us yet. Only seventy people showed up. Still, I knew for sure: house music would become big and everyone would start believing in it! By now, me and house are 28 years down the road and the virus still runs through my blood. There’s no remedy. On the contrary, every day the virus still gets more of a hold on me.”

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Mastering ​

“After that, I played in most clubs in Amsterdam. In the period from 1999 till 2004 I was a fulltime DJ. Since 2002 I own my ow studio where I produce music for several labels. In 2006, I successfully graduated from the private course Pro Audio & Recorder Engineer. I took this course to learn more about music and mastering.”

Huppels Inc.

“Together with Misja Wielings and the unfortunately deceased Mart Moon, I organized an event called Huppels Inc. on Queensday 2011 in Amsterdam. We had an impressive line-up with among others Quazar and Isis. Unfortunately, business-wise we had different ideas, so I decided to stop with the concept. The whole adventure did open up the path to a whole new group of friends, all of them with a history in the early days of house music.”

Experience

“This year I will be playing with Dimitri Kneppers and The Promised Land crew: me, Buddy Suwijn and André Zeldenrust. We will be performing in our favorite club, the Recycle Lounge Gallery Club. I came up with the concept for The Promised Land in 2009 and now, late 2014, it’s finally taking shape. I’m very much looking forward to that. An event has to be an experience, and that’s exactly what we will offer. Because that’s exactly what I have been missing in the club circuit for a long time now.”

“Aside from that, since this year, 2014 I have been closely involved with the music label Morninglory Music. I’m responsible for their mastering, web design and event organization. If it’s up to the owner and me, lots of exciting stuff will happen in 2015.”

This interview was originally published on DJMag.nl on Thursday December 25th 2014 

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