This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)
After our first meet in 2015 we never stopped talking about music. In December of that year Kai Guissepin aka Dutch DJ/producer Fire Between Us told me about his first gig in his hometown Zwolle. "In our euphoria we danced on stage and tried to whip up the audience."
“When I was fifteen I met some guys in my neighborhood in Zwolle who had two Technics turntables in their mother’s attic. They had been playing around with them for w while. They recorded sets with a minidisc-player and burnt these on CD. The first time they took me to the magic attic I was sold!”
“Within a month, my parent’s living room not only held the old turntable, but also a set of second-hand Technics 1200 MKIIs and a Numark 2-channel mixer. I practiced almost every free moment I had, using the HIFI-speakers in the living room. A large sum of the money that I earned with on-and-of jobs found its way to the record store. Every time, I was ecstatic when I arrived home with three of four carefully selected records. In those days, I bought and played mostly club and dance, but also some harder trance and house records. Often I was practicing while my mother was on the couch listening or reading a book or the paper.”
The DJ Crew
“Together with those same bothers from Zwolle, I started to record B2B sets. We did this under the alias The DJ Crew. We made trance sets in the genre of Tiësto’s Search of Sunrise CDs. We had never heard of techno yet.”
“At a certain point we were asked to play at a large square in Zwolle on Liberation Day. My mother, who worked at the municipality Zwolle, had secretly handed the organization our CDs. That’s how they became aware of our existence. On the day itself, hey were expecting two to four thousand people.”
“Never before, had I been that nervous. To prepare ourselves, all three of us selected our best records and we played many B2B sessions in the attic. Finally, the big day arrived. Liberation Day, about sixteen years ago, when I was sixteen. The square was completely full and I was happy to have my two mentors standing next to me. It still felt that way, because the brothers had been playing longer than I had.”
“I remember how my hands trembled when I put the first record on the turntables, but as soon as it was mixed in well, all nerves fell away and the three of us utterly enjoyed the experience. I don’t recall how long we played exactly, but thinking back, I still feel the rush. Our first gig, immediately in front of such a huge audience, with friends and family right at the front… That feeling is unforgettable.”
“There’s one particular moment that’s still clear as yesterday. Worse, every time I think back of it, I feel the stress in my stomach. You see, in a B2B set with three peoples, sometimes you’re not busy. In our euphoria we danced on stage and tried to whip up the audience. During a slightly harder track at the end of the set, I was kicking in the air to the beat. First with my fist, later with open hand. Suddenly one of the brothers pulled my arm down and looked at me with surprise. Apparently, the enthusiastic gesture I was making towards the crowd almost resembled a Hitler-greeting. Oops! I can still feel that shame. Fortunately, at that point the feeling ebbed away soon because it was my turn to play again and I had to focus. Right after the performance, I took it hard. Until this day I still hope that no-one in the crowd noticed.”
“Later, after the first time a friend took me to The Groove Factory in poppodium Hedion in Zwolle, my style rapidly changed. From the moment that techno had touched my young brain, I was thrilled. Drum & bass also immediately stole my heart. Along the years, some more styles were added to my list. Sometimes, I still play a set at a drum & bass party. On other times, I pull the clubtracks from their spot, although these days I prefer the harder remixes and/or live mixed with patterns and samples. I like to vary, but techno is the core, the basis, the style I can never get enough of.”
“I love to get up in the middle of the night to play at an underground party, where techno is truly understood and I can go as wild as I want.”
This article is originally published on DJMag.nl on December 10th 2015.