EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: CROUWEL

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Having enjoyed a successful run of quality output from the likes of Amy Root, Mees Salomé, Klangstof and OIJ since forming back in 2018, burgeoning Dutch imprint Reflektor Records continues its fine run of form into 2020 as it announces Crouwel as the next exciting addition to its ever-expanding label roster. Warmly welcoming the hotly-tipped Dutch talent for his eagerly anticipated Reflektor Records debut, Crouwel now emulates the success of his inaugural, critically-acclaimed EP ‘Chasing The Morning Sun’, as he presents his exquisite new sophomore package, ‘Floating’. We sat down with Crouwel to find out more…

Hi Valentijn! Welcome to We Own The Nite and thanks for taking time out of your schedule to talk to us. How are you?

Thanks for having me! I’m doing well. Although quite bummed out about nightlife being closed, I’m navigating my way through songwriting and production of new tracks. 

Where in the world are you right now?

I’m in (sunny) Amsterdam!

Crouwel is a relatively new project for you — how would you best describe your sound for those that may not be familiar?

I’d say Crouwel is a blend between Indie Dance, Techno, Melodic House / Techno and Deep House. Dark beats that keep you moving with mezmerizing spacious melodies. 

What were you doing before you launched Crouwel? 

I’ve been making music for quite some years now, I used to produce a lot of edgy electronic pop music, leaning towards indie electronic. Before that I was in a band.

Who were your biggest musical inspirations growing up and how did you get into electronic music?

I was raised listening to a lot of hip-hop, like Snoop Dogg, Master P, Notorious B.I.G. and Big Punisher. Then my musical interest turned more towards rock and punk. The first album I ever bought was the Blood Hound Gang – One Fierce Beer Coaster and after that I got an album by Supergrass – In It For The Money. Slowly with time I started listening more and more to electronic music up to where I am right now. I’ve had quite the genre journey and am still listening to a lot of different music. There is so much new music and genre blending music coming out, I love to explore new songs.

You’re just about to drop your beautiful 3-track Floating EP. Can you tell us a bit more about the release?

Floating is a track with a dark beat yet light and ambient melodies. Because of this interesting match, we decided to make 3 different versions. The normal version is good for DJ sets, as it has a longer in- and outtro and very dancable groove. The synthapella is able to take you more on an ambient journey, without the beat. The edit cuts to the cure of the track at a quicker pace.

What studio gear did you use to create the EP?

For the creation of the song I worked together with a friend of mine, Chris Mulder (Yakumo Orchestra a.o.). I had made the initial groove/beat at my studio and then did a session together where we combined my Moog Sub Phatty with his modular rig, which contains great oscillators, clouds and rings to really go in a huge ambient direction. We also added some extra percussion with his Vermona DRM1 and the reverbs are coming from one of my favorite pedals, the Strymon blueSky. I always produce in Ableton Live, as for me it is the most efficient way to trigger my creativity.

DJing or producing — if you had to pick one, what would you choose and why?  

That’s a tough one, as both are very intertwined for me. I produce my songs to DJ / perform them live, yet also love to see the reaction of people to my music and others’ when I DJ. I’ll let Corona nudge me in the direction of producing right now though, as I can’t play any shows and am enjoying the full focus on production currently. 

What are you most looking forward to for the rest of this year? Any more cool projects you can tell us about?

I’ve got many tracks in the pipeline! Apart from the negative impacts on society, Corona has also increased productivity, allowing me to focus on production. I have some interesting collaborations coming up which I hope to be able to share soon, when the releases are confirmed! I’ll be sure to let you know.  

Crouwel – Floating EP is out now via Reflektor Records

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