Paulus DB (NL): “They didn’t understand shit!”

Paulus DB and Marceline 2012
We met in 2012 though a facebook group named Huppels. Nowadays Paulus DB plays mostly live music and concentrates on different music-related projects. At the time of his first gig though, he played mostly reggae and dance-hall. "The audience existed of pimply boys and screaming girls."

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

When Dutch DJ/musician Paulus DB enters the room, it becomes a little more relaxed and brighter. There’s never any stress surrounding him. Paulus DB started out as a reggae and dance-hall DJ and can work with practically all genres, including dance and drum & bass. These days he mostly plays live sets with musicians, but he remembers his first DJ gig very well. “The DJs were also listening and I think I saw one of them tap this foot to the rhythm.”

“My first time playing in front of an audience? Pooh, that was quite a while ago. I don’t remember the exact date, but we have to go back in time at least 27 years. In any case, that gig took place in youth center De Kern in Purmerend.


“My audience consisted of kids covered with pimples who smelled like Clearasil and I was one of them. Besides that, we had on Bubblicious chewing and screaming girls. Unfortunately, they weren’t screaming for me. It was just something girls did in those days: they screamed.” (laughs)

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“At that point I was totally into dance-hall. To keep up with other hiphopping DJs, during the weeks before the gig every Saturday I had bought some tracks at record store Boudisque in Amsterdam. By now the store is gone but getting those records then were small adventures in itself. There I was in the reggae department, surrounded by the real big music lovers in town. I knew some names, but not enough. So, I just checked out the crates to see what was new and listened to some tracks. Meanwhile, I watched like a hawk to see what the rasta’s bought, who seemed physically connected to the Technics in the store. Those were the records I wanted as well, of course!”

Perfect learning school

“When I got home I immediately played them loud and worriless on my headset via my stereo. We mixed on tapes by pushing the pause button at the right moment, bam, next track. I didn’t own turntables in those days, so it was quite a challenge to be playing in the local youth center. On top of that, it was also the perfect learning school, because I really didn’t understand the gear that well yet.”

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Different stuff

“And then, finally, the moment was there. I was allowed to put on a record, because the resident DJs also had a right to their breaks. I thought: ‘I’m going to kick off with a fat track, Cutty Cranks!’ Six million ways to die, choose one.” (laughs) “And yes, everyone looked up! ‘Huh, this is different stuff, no hiphop, wat the fuck!”


“The DJs were also listening and I think I saw one of them tap this foot to the rhythm, so I was happy. The best part of the experience though, was to hear my music playing loud through the speakers. Amazing, that shit! Wake the man, a who that a come. Three tracks later I understood how to mix the tracks. I appeared to be a natural and completely got into the flow, yo.” 

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They didn’t understand shit

“When I was searching for my fourth track, one of the hiphop DJs tapped on my shoulder. Most visitors, all twelve (!) of them, preferred hiphop. I still played my fourth track and took another moment in the booth. I thought: ‘Fuck all of you, I will definitely play some more later. Until you understand’. In the end, they didn’t understand shit, but I kept on playing.”

paul sime wooferland 2018 - Paulus DB (NL): "They didn’t understand shit!"

“Until this day, I still play, albeit more joints than records.” (laughs) “Sometimes I play reggae, sometimes funk, sometimes dance, sometimes drum & bass and sometimes I mix them all up. And occasionally I also still play that track: Wake the man, who no think me the don! One love!”

This article is originally published on on Thursday September 24th 2015.

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