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In 1990 Marcel Neuvel aka DJ Neuv had a strong opinion about the music that was played in the dance scene. His views were noticed and subsequently he was asked to start working as a DJ. In no time he earned his place. “I was known as a criticaster.” In 2014 he told me the story of his first gig.
“I bought my first records when I was about ten years old. It started with 45 rpm singles. When I changed to 12”, somewhere in 1980/81, I started mixing.”
“Like almost everyone else in the dance scene at that point, I was a huge admirer of Ben Liebrand. Around 1990 I was known as criticaster of some DJs in those days like Paul Jay, Per and Gino Lightner. This was manifested by semi-serious ranting in front of the DJ booth and teasing them boisterous: ‘You didn’t have money for new tracks’ or ‘Tell me where you live so I can come to your house to thank you for the rubbish you play’.” (laughs) “The music these men played at that time, just wasn’t hard enough for my taste.”
“My strong opinions reached some people who hung out with Raymond Oostendorp. Raymond got well-known as organizer of Hellraiser and The Playground Maze. After hearing of me, he contacted me and asked whether I wanted to DJ at his first event, named Armageddon. He didn’t have to ask twice!”
“Location of the event was de Buikslotermeer church in Amsterdam. My debut was immediately an eight-hour-set: I played from 10 PM till 6 AM. Around 2 AM I went downstairs to see how the atmosphere was. When the enthusiastic crowd saw me, I was literally carried around. Never before had they experienced a set where every track was a banging one!”
Hard Belgian and German vinyls
“That evening I had filled my flightbag with hard Belgian and German vinyls, much harder tracks than people were used to in those days. Coincidentally, a reporter of the Krant op Zondag (a local newspaper) attended the event and immediately wanted to interview me. With this performance I conquered my spot in de scene.”
“I also started organizing parties myself in those early 90s. First under the alias M.F. P. in de Jan van Galen Hal, also in Amsterdam. I did this together with my uncle, Kees Neuvel. After a while, we took different roads and that’s when I started organizing the Mayhem-events on my own. Those events were a huge success! Meanwhile, I was still active for other organizations.”
“When the hardcore of 1990, with the hardest tracks available at that point, changed to the hardcore as we know now, I was done. That wasn’t my music. 180 BPM was too much for me and hardcore events as Hellraiser and Multigroove were the only events that wanted to book me. For me, great hard house is set at about 135 BPM, but unfortunately no-one asked me for those parties anymore. That’s when I decided to stop playing.”
“Of course, that was quite unfortunate, but the tracks that I heard around me, had nothing to do with the music that I had started out with. I went along reluctantly in the beginning, but after three or four years I was done.”
“A few years ago, by chance I ran into Wooferland organizer Bas Kaspers at DJ cafe TWSTD in Amsterdam. He invited me to play and this way every once in a while, I can be active in de dance scene again.”
This article is originally published on DJMag.nl on September 18th 2014.