Interview: Darko Esser / Tripeo

Darko Esser / Tripeo

So, let’s start off by talking a bit about what you’ve been up to lately from a production standpoint, and then we’ll move on to discussing details of the Dutch techno scene. Your most recent album came out under the alias Tripeo, following up a series of five stamped white-label EPs. The name of the album is something I’m unfamiliar with – Anipintiros. What does that mean?

It’s an anagram for a word that was the key element for writing this album. That’s all I can say… [Editor’s note: I think it’s an anagram of “inspiration”]

Looking through your list of upcoming gigs, there’s an event that’s listed as being in a secret locations. Is this sort of underground, “secret show” method common in the contemporary Dutch techno scene?

It happens more than it did a couple of years ago. Usually secret locations are being revealed shortly before the event if it’s a new, unused warehouse. Plus it concerns legal events with permits, etc. most of the time. Nowadays it’s pretty much impossible to put on an illegal event without authorities finding out about it thanks to the magic of social media.

One of the places that you are most associated with, of course, is Doornroosje, which is a club in Nijmegen, the region of the Netherlands that you live in. My understanding is that you are a sort of event coordinator for this venue. The name translated in English to “Sleeping Beauty,” which we all know of as a children’s fairy tale. What is the atmosphere of the club like?

I am the in-house booker for dance & electronic music in Doornroosje. I do the bookings for our own events like Planet Rose, Give it Dub and IMPACT as well as on occasion for co-ops with third parties. In that sense I’m an event coordinator as well and watch over the agenda for the whole year for consistency and coherence.

It’s by far my favorite club in the world. I’ve been working there for 14 years now and experienced such amazing moments and met so many beautiful people in there, that I think no venue will ever be able to top that for me. Doornroosje and Nijmegen continue to challenge me after all these years, it’s amazing. We are about to open the doors to a brand new, purposed build venue 2 weeks from now, where we will be able to do even more & diverse events then we did until now. Exciting times!

And there is also a secondary club managed by Doornroosje called Merleyn, meaning “Merlin,” which keeps that sort of “magical” theme. How do these clubs differ? Which sort of artists would you book in each of them?

Merleyn used to function independently from us until 2008. The old management had to file for bankruptcy, unfortunately. Local government thought it was important that the venue kept its function as a popcentre and asked us to step in. Merleyn has it’s own identity but at the same time can be seen as the little brother of Doornroosje. We believe in ‘chains’ when it comes to delivering pop and dance music culture to our community. Merleyn is the first step, it’s small and lowkey, Doornroosje is the next step with a small room of 400 and main room of 1100 and then there’s De Vereeniging (1800) and festivals like Drift, Valkhof festival and more. It works really well for developing a vibrant music scene in Nijmegen.

You’re also spending some of your time managing a label, Wolfskuil, which has been around now for over a decade. In that time, you’ve had everyone from Joris Voorn to Steve Rachmad to Tommy Four Seven incorporated into the label’s vision. What is next for the label? Where is the sound of the label headed?

Wolfskuil has 2 divisions: the main label is focused in ‘bigger’ tracks from Benny Rodrigues, Doka and Qindek for example. The Ltd subdivision is for deeper and more eclectic sounds. EP’s from Eric Cloutier and Edanticonf are up next. BALANS is 100% techno in the broadest sense with EP’s from Simon Haydo, Staffan Linzatti in the works.

Finally, we always end with the same question: which up-and-coming (new) artists and labels are you excited about right now?

I’m excited about a lot of fresh artists. There’s so much talent all around. I’m going to keep it close to home. Ones to watch are: Doka, Qindek, Eric Cloutier, Edantifonf, Simon Haydo, Border One, Circular Vector Patterns aka Eli Dorsman, Cadans, Aiken, NX1 a.o.

Labels: Shipwrec, Deep Sound Channel, Forbidden Planet, Leisure System, Lobster Theremin, Manucci’s Mistress, Dystopian, Rawthenticity, Lazare Hoche, Indigo Area, Construct Re-Form to name a few.