My First Gig Corné van der Heijden aka Sceptical C (NL)

October 21st 2017: Amsterdam Dance Event. As always, totally enjoying the company of Corné van der Heijden aka DJ/producer Sceptical C. Such a positive man with a contagious smile
In 2016 Marceline interviewed the talented and sympathetic Dutch techno DJ/producer Sceptical C about his entrance in the dance scene.

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Sceptical C Lab 1 marcelineke - My First Gig Corné van der Heijden aka Sceptical C (NL)

For the feature My First Gig, in 2016 Marceline interviewed the Dutch DJ/producer Sceptical C about the start of his flourishing career in music. The original interview was featured in Dutch on DJMag.nl. “I was pumped with positive adrenalin.”

“In 1991 I still lived on Curacao and one day I noticed two beautiful Technics SL1200’s at my neighbor Harvell’s place. His brother Cyvard practiced with them for his drive-in show. This guy had so much passion that he even made his own speakers. The 11-year old me was so impressed by this, that, instead of playing outside, I sometimes watched him for hours and listened how he mixed the records.”

Ragga

“Sometimes Cyrvard added a Denon DN-2000F MK1 to the SL’s, and at a certain point even the MK2, that he rented for special occasions. It was a necessity, because on Curacoa not all music was easily available on vinyl. And internet, or scour Discogs, didn’t exist in those days. You depended on what the local record shops like Tik-Tak had to offer. Every now and then you could get lucky, because someone had gone to Europe and brought back some more exclusive music.”

DJ crew

“My first performance was at a birthday party at my classmates Alain’s home. He wanted to form a DJ crew with me and our friend Maarten. Maarten and I would concentrate on R&B, hiphop, ragga and merengue. Alain would play dance music, which was a new genre that, at that point, didn’t much appeal to me. I wasn’t nervous at all at that debut. I was pumped with positive adrenalin to keep me focused, so I could mix smoothly. Of course, I made sa few small mistakes, but as far as I remember, I could correct them easily. In the end it was a very successful birthday party that was attended by classmates and other schoolkids. All visitors had enjoyed themselves and I went home satisfied. To continue as a group though, appeared to be undoable in the future.”

Sceptical C performing at the event Lebensgefahr in 2012

New musical door

“After high school my passion for music totally developed and totally got out of hand. In those days I moved to The Netherlands to study. To pay my way, I found a job as DJ in a local café. I was a multi-functional employee. It went that far that I sometimes gave the upcoming record a spin while putting the next one into place and simultaneously tapping beer for the customers. In general, multitasking is not my forte, but thisI could handle! Through this job, dance appeared on my radar again and I was actually starting to like it. It didn’t take long until I created some space for dance on my generally broadly oriented evenings. Though this, in 2001 a new musical door opened for me. Its name is techno!”

sceptical c aan het werk - My First Gig Corné van der Heijden aka Sceptical C (NL)

Bubbling

“At that point I wasn’t familiar with the techno scene, so some of my friends took me to several techno parties. This way I develop a passion for this sound, especially when I figured out that my link to techno had been predestined for years. Why? The link was established by a for my famous bubbling-DJ, DJ Moortje. Moortje made popular mixtapes that always included new bubbling beats. And what did he do? Of all tracks, he remixed Speedy J’s Pullover into a bubbling version. When the penny finally dropped, to me this seemed so bizarre that my connection with techno only got stronger. My biggest techno-inspiration is Lady Aïda though.”

Fails

“Of course, I had prepared myself for the live set by practicing a lot at home and testing out music. I wanted to have a common thread running through the set. Every live act has some issues during his or her set. I won’t even start about all challenges that I had to deal with throughout the years. I could fill a book with them. Making mistakes taught me a lot. In the end it all depends on you, whether you let yourself be discouraged by fails and quit. My fails actually gave me more perseverance to cherish the good moments and to make sure that I hold on to that drive to produce quality. We are people, not machines!”

Sceptical C at his DJ debut in the nineties

To evolve

“Now, in 2016, I can say that I’ve made some amazing memories at numerous gigs, underground as well as in clubs and on well-known festivals. Besides that, I’ve met many artists in the scene, Dutch and from abroad. I want to keep evolving as an artist. The old days of playing vinyl are not passé, but seen as most of my own material is digital, playing with a laptop has my preference. When push comes to shove, it shouldn’t matter with what gear you work. What matters are the sounds you play and whether the audience gets excited or not. Since they are there to be entertained!”

“Nowadays I never prepare my sets. Perhaps I’m trying out some shit in the studio and come up with an intro. The rest of the set always evolves organically right there and then, because I try to connect with the audience as much as possible. And of course, from an educational perspective, I never avoid to use a few techno classics!” (laughs)

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