Niels Mariee: “Probably drunk and stoned”

Niels Mariee 2018
In January 2020, it was finally time for an interview about Niels Mariee's first gig. "Full crate of records and a backpack with vinyl."

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

We had crossed paths here and there for several years. In January 2020, it was finally time for an interview about Niels Mariee's first gig. Niels is also known as Bassdrop. "I had a full crate of records and a backpack full of vinyl with me."

“My first house gig? Just to be sure, before this interview, I called Bicker (Edwin) and TTM (Mark) to check. We agree: it must have been somewhere in 1993.”

Niels Mariee January 2020 768x1022 - Niels Mariee: "Probably drunk and stoned"


“By the way, that wasn’t my very first gig for an audience. I had already been spinning regularly at high school parties. My repertoire back then consisted of everything and anything. From disco to classics and oldies, as long as it worked. At that time, it was done with cassette tapes or old record players, and they certainly weren’t Technics. Mixing the intros and outros and chatting between tracks. That’s how it went. Personally, as a sixteen-year-old, I mainly listened to hip-hop. Think N.W.A and Ice T.. I also listened to the Soulshow with Ferry Maat. That was ‘the shit’. I was then attending graphic school and was busy with graffiti art.”

Spider Willem

“In those days, we lived next to the Vondelpark in Amsterdam. Day and night, I was in the park or in the city. You know: enjoying drinks, smoking weed, and chilling a bit.” (laughs) “That’s how you got to know everyone, and that’s how I sometimes ran into DJ Spider Willem with his flyers. I went to places like De Theetuin next to the VU, or Het Witte Huis near the tennis courts. Additionally, I attended parties in squats or old school buildings like the Wiellingen next to the RAI. Big parties were held there in the old classrooms and courtyards. Super chill. You could also often find me in other squats, like the Omval along the Amstel in East. There were more of those kinds of places. We were off the hook.” (laughs)

“Coincidentally, one of those places is now a mosque. Other favorite spots were the Beatclub, Timemachine in the Melkweg, RoXY, iT, and Multigroove. I knew how to find the good underground parties.”

Niels Mariee a.k.a. Bassdrop 2020 768x766 - Niels Mariee: "Probably drunk and stoned"

The Grooveyard

“At home, I listened to Dano with The Grooveyard on Radio 100. I also often played there later, with Van Thomas and Fausto, who took over from Dano. I also listened to Gino (Lightner) from America with his breakbeats. On Radio 3, you still had For Those Who Like to Groove by Robin Albers (Jaydee), but I preferred the underground. Besides, we had a kind of hangout for DJs in the record store every Thursday evening. On that day, the newest vinyl came out, so everyone was in the record store.”


“Now that we’re talking about it, I suddenly remember very well where I really fell in love with house music. That was when my father took me to Ibiza. I went to Club KU, now called Privilege, for the first time. Because of my age, the bouncers initially wouldn’t let me in, but after my father insisted, I was allowed to watch for half an hour. That half hour turned into half the night. Kid Creole and the Coconuts were performing that night, and house music was playing. There was also a swimming pool. Unfortunately, at some point, I had to leave because of the bouncers. Then we went to Club Amnesia, a stone’s throw from KU. At that time, the dance floor was outdoors with a parachute draped over it as a roof. There was also heavy house music playing and a lot of smoking weed. You didn’t need to smoke to get high from all the fumes hanging under the parachute.” (laughs) “Some of the tracks that were playing were Sandy Marton’s People from Ibiza and Joe Smooth’s The Promised Land. That track by Joe Smooth also became the first house record I bought. I still have the 12″. It’s under the floor of my studio, which I raised so I could fill the space underneath with vinyl. So nowadays, I’m literally making music on top of music.”

Niels Mariee Full Moon Festival 2018 - Niels Mariee: "Probably drunk and stoned"

Brand new Technics 1200s

“After that, I started working at my father’s graphic company. I spent my first month’s salary on two brand new Technics 1200s and a mixer. I searched all the record stores for vinyl: Outland, Midtown, and Rhythm Import. I especially loved mellow house and underground techno. Then I started mixing, mixing, and mixing again.”

Dolly Rockers

“My very first house gig in Amsterdam was at the Dolly Rockers in the Graansilo. I remember it very well. The main hall didn’t exist yet. The event took place in a room at the front of the building. I estimate there were about a hundred people aged between seventeen and forty. I wasn’t nervous. I had enough experience behind the turntables and was used to playing for an audience after countless school parties. I was scheduled for just over an hour and had a full crate of records and a backpack full of vinyl with me. I always loved to mix quickly and you never know what to expect and want to play.”

Niels Mariee 2016 - Niels Mariee: "Probably drunk and stoned"

Music choice is essential

“Besides that, I learned at those same school parties that music choice is the most essential thing. If the energy or track doesn’t work, people go to the bar for a drink. That’s why I think the most important thing a DJ should do is look at what the crowd wants and make contact with the audience. Unfortunately, you see that less and less. I don’t prepare my sets in advance. I do make a selection or play what fits the club, location, or show.”

Explosive ending

“Today I take about 200 tracks per USB stick to a gig. That first time it was probably about 60 to 80 records. I do have the strategy that I work towards the best records of that moment. I create a story in my set with a good and nice start, a cool middle part, and an explosive ending. So I consciously work towards certain records and build up to that one moment. I still do that. Choosing records these days is a whole different story than before. Now there are days when 10GB comes out. Impossible! It used to be ten good tracks per week, spread over four or five record stores.”

niels mariee recent - Niels Mariee: "Probably drunk and stoned"

Drunk, stoned, and high

“I can’t tell much about what I felt at that first gig in the Graansilo. It was great! Well, I was probably drunk, stoned, and high. I used to smoke weed daily. I stood with a joint and went to bed with it. I have no idea if I made mixing mistakes that night. Like I said, I had enough experience. If I made a mistake or if the record skipped, I simply fixed it right away.”

Building deco

“My family wasn’t present at that gig. My father didn’t like it, partying and DJing. Especially not in the beginning because I had stopped working for his company. Later he was proud though. When I quit with him, I started for myself. I had already stopped with graffiti and started working with DJing and building deco. I did this for Mazzo and the Roothaanhuis, for Raymond from ESP who did Sporthallen Zuid and Dance Valley. Later I did all sorts of things for Paradiso, the Melkweg, Multigroove, Trance Buddha, Time, and so on. I probably did the setups, teardowns, and sets for Multigroove. From 1999 to 2008, I practically lived on the Hemkade in Zaandam every month and made a good living there. Besides that, I played everywhere, even in Moscow. I also did a few shows there.”

Niels maffe foto 768x1366 - Niels Mariee: "Probably drunk and stoned"


“These days I produce breakbeat, house, and bass music. I do this under the name Bassdrop. Under my own name Niels Mariée, I have been playing weekly on Thursdays on Hi-Tec Radio for ten years. I also play at the White Moon parties/festivals.”

“Do I have any tips for upcoming DJs? Pay attention to what the crowd wants. If you want to learn to mix well, it doesn’t really matter what music you play. Simply start by mixing the same tracks twice, indeed the same title, to sync them. Then a certain groove emerges.”

This interview with Niels Mariee was originally published in January 2020 on This Is Our House.

Who is Niels Mariee?

DJ Niels Mariee a.k.a. Bassdrop was born on the 1th of December 1972 in the Netherlands. Hie started playing his first house tracks back in 1996 for Amsterdam’s finest clubs as It, Paradiso, Melkweg, Mazzo Trance Buddha and the Catascombe Studio’s.

Nowadays DJ Niels Mariee also works under the alias Bassdrop. Niels Mariee creates his own sound with an mix of the finnest electric dance music. With his mixing skills, enthousiasm and his excellent choose of music and tracks Niels Mariee will make the crowd go wild.

This makes Niels Mariee a welcome guest in Dutch leading clubs and on dance events like Escape Venue, Kingdome Venue, Club Marcaniti, Lexion Venue, North Sea Venue, Club More, Club Sinners, Club Home, Club Latido, Weardse Temple, Crazyland, Decisions, Best Oldskool Events, Club Erotica, Thank god it’s Friday, Fake, Fabulous, Magnifique, Minimalistic, Nightpeople, ..PHAT!.., Xtra Large, Unique, The First XXL and Brand New.

More Niels Mariee?

Share This Post