He’s back with his feature series with a chat, free download and intro of The Hague’s Specialist…
I’m back with another interview to get your eyes around… It’s time to get things up to speed up again with the I+Rs – and today it’s the turn of Specialist from The Hague, the Netherlands. Sit back, read along and enjoy the FKOF Free Download attached, it’s a BIG one!
How I met this man is quite a funny story…
Two months ago I decided to go to this party called BASZ in Paard van Troje, the Hague – which focuses on DnB & dubstep. In the Facebook event I wrote ‘Follow the FKOF logo’ (meaning that FatKidOnFire was going to represented at the event). When I arrived, I grabbed a drink and went into the dubstep area and just enjoyed my night!
When I decided to have a cigarette in the smoking area, this girl came up to me asking me if I was Olaf from FatKidOnFire. So I answered “yes” and she enthusiastically started talking about how she and her boyfriend were looking for me for quite a while that very night – as they both had been following FKOF for a long time! Apparently her boyfriend was a DJ by the name of Specialist AKA Ruben van Dort from The Hague.
Ruben’s a really nice and chill guy with love for good music, likewise for his awesome girlfriend! We started talking about life, music, FKOF and the features I take care of… And before I knew it, Ruben had passed me a disc with some of his new dubs for me to check out at home. He was really excited, so I told him I was going to check it out when I got home.
I told him that: “it’s great to see that people start to know and support FKOF, the message is spreading”! I didn’t expect this ‘meet and greet’ to happen really, but it does show that FKOF is getting more known throughout Europe… Which excites me very much [and AMAZES me - out to the international family!]! After a long talk about a lot of topics, I decided to head home and give Ruben’s CD a listen…
On the CD were 3 tracks, one of them called ‘Aegis’. When I heard this tune for the first time, I immediately decided to give him a call and let him know that I was interested in featuring it for FKOF and meeting up with him to have a chat. Two weeks later we met up in The Hague again, but this time his friend had booked us together to play out in the same venue. After the gig, we sat down for a little interview…
Specialist, tell me something about yourself and your past?
I am Ruben van Dort, a 21 year old from The Hague, Netherlands. I am a DJ and producer of a fair few years now. I live together with my girlfriend and cat in the center of The Hague. When I started producing/ DJing I was into heavier styles, DnB/jungle and breakcore to be precise, (the likes of Technical Itch), but after a few years I got more into deep and dark dubstep, 2-step, and garage. Furthermore, I work at a record store and I like to consumate the chronic.
When did you start producing and who or what has influenced you?
Well, that’s actually kind of a funny story. My neighbour introduced me to Madtracker Pro and we made music together for quite a while. At first we made DnB and weird breaks, but it did not take long before we started to listen to Skream, Mala and 2562 and began making dubstep. I had some more friends who were making music, but they were more into Terror and Hardstyle, and at the time I didn’t really care for that. They eventually introduced me to Ableton and I started to make music with them and they taught me almost everything I know. The friendship with my neighbour is no more (a long story), but I am grateful he helped me at the very beginning.
But to answer the question I have been producing for 4-5 years and DJing for 3. My biggest influences are Skream, Mala, Coki, Loefah, Kromestar, Distance, 2562 and Kryptic Minds, and in more recent days: Killawatt, Thelem, Phaeleh, Synkro, Hatti Vatti, Sleeper, District, Commodo, Icicle and TMSV.
What’s been your biggest gig, and which DJ/ producer would you want to play out with in the future?
Smeerboel in Utrecht, September 8, was really crazy, and the BASZ at F.a.s.t. Surfdorp (Surftown), Scheveningen this summer were also really nice. People were going crazy! I am one of the resident DJs for BASZ, which is a monthly event for dubstep, DnB, electro and all bass-related music at Paard van Troje, The Hague, but during the summer months it’s usually at F.a.s.t..
Thinking of which producer I would like to play out with I have to say: Phaeleh, Synkro or Hatti Vatti.
How do your tracks come about?
I usually just start with a beat, then build a nice atmosphere around it and work it out to a smooth drop. As I said before I use Ableton, but I am familiar with other DAWs. I endlessly fool around with one loop, throw it away and start something new, repeat that until I have something I think will work. Then I add some one-shots or a vocal sample or something and try things out and work out ideas until I’m satisfied!
What are your goals for the future?
Together with 2 of my friends: Theo (Daijobu) and Andreas (Clipslice), we host events for experimental electronic music and we just need to put some more effort in it to make it grow, and I would like to see some more ‘big names’ in the scene of the Netherlands. Next to that maybe do some bigger events with BASZ but I’m not yet really sure about what direction that’s going. I’ll just stay busy and see where it will take me.
What direction will your music take in the future?
I like many styles and genres, but I have to say I really don’t know. Usually it depends on what gives me the inspiration to make music. Yes, there are some collaborations on the way and I hope to gain some knowledge on creating soundscapes and that kind of stuff because I find that really inspiring.
Who would you like to thank for their support?
I would like to thank everyone supporting! Andreas, Theo, Patrick, Gerrit, Bart, Ferenc, Marielle, Anna, Jeroen @ de Vinger, Martijn @ Antilounge, Edward, Richard, Arto, David, Julius, Savas, Fro, Liam, Anduo, Cris, Roos, Sanne, Dean, the rest + everyone I forgot and ofcourse Olaf (Korrupt) for having me for this interview!
Tell me the story behind the track you are sharing as a free FKOF download?
I made this track in a hot summer weekend, I was really geekin’ out on the intro on this one, but altogether I think it came out quite nice. I decided to name it ‘Aegis’ because of the kind of ancient tribal feel. Initially it was a part of a 4 track EP, but one of them is now forthcoming on the Puzzling Pulses compilation, and this one is free for all of you to enjoy!
Again, cheers for having me and enjoy the track!
Ruben’s set at the venue we were booked to play at together was great. He ended his set with this Killawatt tune, which he still hasn’t identified haha! Check out his SoundCloud and Facebook page, and support him if you feel his music!
I hope you enjoyed the interview, enjoy Specialist’s ‘Aegis’ – and big shout to Ruben and the BASZ family!
Another interview coming soon.. Just keep your eyes peeled!
Cheers and love,
Specialist’s ‘Aegis’ is one of my favourites of the recent FKOF frees; empty space, killer percussion and a bit of reverb thrown in for good measure. It’s definitely a good one to open a mix with – or a tune to end one with. Meditative bassweight!
Click to DOWNLOAD
Korrupt’s review of Specialist’s ‘Aegis’:
“The intro to ‘Aegis’ starts with subtle midtones, but soon evolves into a dark and emotive roller – with some intense hi-hats bringing in the first drop…
“The drop is heavy, with well-balanced mids and low-end coming through the mix. Some of the basslines are panned and then cross each other, combing with solid drum patterns and the percussive elements present. The harsh drums sound fierce, adding to the dark elements involved in the mix – with some great reverb added. The pads and synth contain a great amount of energy hitting the whole way through.
“The break is well chosen, with emotion and energy coming at the listener in a short period of time. There’s then an interesting implementation of samples like strange radio signals and a bitcrushed one, leading to the second drop. The second drop is powerful, showing great development and continues to release more energy until the end of the track. A weighty roller with some nice surprises, Specialist rolling through!”
Peace, love and respect.