Bob Squat (NL): “Happy as a kid in a candy store”

Bob Squat en Marceline  november 2018 Ruigoord
Bob Keller aka dj Bob Squat was present when the legendary Amsterdam Club iT prospered. His first gig took place at a camping disco in a small Dutch town.

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

Bob Squat first gig

Bob Squat's first performance in front of an audience took place over 25 years ago. In 2014 he told Marceline the story of his DJ debut.

“My first performance in front of an audience was over 25 years ago. It was the summer of 1989, in discotheque De Ossenstal. The club was situated on a camping site in Scherpenzeel, De Lucht.”

Nobody cared about mixing

“In those days nobody cared about mixing. You had to work with two turntables and two regular CD-players, something that resembled a mixer, and a microphone. That’s it.”

Silly joke

“Nobody cared about DJs either. They weren’t very interesting. We were rather considered to be a weird ornithological species that verbally connected one track to another, including an obligatory silly joke here and there.”

Immediately sold

“In the DJ-booth there were tons of cases with vinyl. I was immediately sold! I would love to do this every single evening! Well, for the next four years, during high season, every single day me and my moped covered the sixty kilometers from Amsterdam to Scherpenzeel and back. I loved it.”

Ready for the big city

“One day my cousin, Rooie Cor, came over to listen to me playing. Consequently, he offered me the opportunity to play at the Leidseplein in Amsterdam. After that I went to Baroque, at the Lijnbaansgracht in Amsterdam, across the street from The Melkweg.”

Choices

“At a certain point, I had to chose in between my construction work or full-on DJing. It was a simple choice. In no time, I got acquainted with house and mellow. Every Sundaynight you could find me in the legendary club iT (nowadays Club AIR, red.). Here I enjoyed the sounds of labels like Outland Records and Fresh Fruit Records.”

Club Ja

“A good friend, Hans of discotheque Cash, knew everyone who mattered in the house scene. He asked me if I wanted to get started as the resident DJ at club iT. Not the club itself by the way, but its little sister, Club Ja, around the corner, in de Paardenstraat, close to the Rembrandtplein. the owner of Club iT, Manfred Langer, once had started with his parties at Club Ja. When these events got more and more popular, they moved to the other building at the Amstel river.”

After parties

“Club Ja had been closed for a while. The landlord, Kees, who also owned the iT-building, wanted to reopen the place for afterparties. It was a large club with two floors. It was everything a DJ dreamt of. And so I was thrown off the deep end. With shaky legs and a small mistake here and there, I made my debut. I was as happy as a kid in candy store.”

Shooting

“About six months later, when the business got back on its feet, it was sold. For a short period it had been a R&B club, but after a shooting the doors were shut for good.”

“I found my path in the underground scene on my own. I also played on the radio and started organizing my own parties in squatted buildings and under bridges in and around Amsterdam. Hence the alias Bob Squat. My big examples were and still are Carl Cox and Jeff Mills. The way they set the atmosphere and create the ultimate experience, is pure art. From techno to minimal, house is my life.”

This article is originally published on September 4th 2014 on DJMag.nl.

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