Redondo Get Selective On Toolroom's Longplayer Series

The Dutch duo ‘Redondo’ have carved out a nice career for themselves so far considering they are still very young in the music game. Freek & Johan each make up 1/2 of the DJ/production team and their future looks bright. With various gigs all across Europe, Asia and the Americas and continuous releases on top labels such as; Spinnin, Toolroom, Material & Witty Tunes. They’ve also cultivated support from top DJs like Mark Knight, Roger Sanchez & Laurent Garnier.

Returning with the next edition of the nostalgic ‘Toolroom Records Selector Series’, Redondo dip into the Toolroom catalogue to deliver a selection of their favorites. We sit down with ‘Freek’ as he prefers to be called, in this exclusive interview.

The Interview

1) Hey Freek, it’s been awhile, how are you and where are you?

I’m currently at home, working on some interviews including this one. Johan is traveling now, I’m in the studio. I guess he’s good too! :)

2) Tell us about your latest (and first) recorded mix release compilation for the ‘Toolroom Longplayer’ Series.

Our latest release is our edition for the Selector Series on Toolroom. It was a pleasure to check their large catalogue and pick some goodies out of it. We tried to stay close to our sound. Very diverse, from atmospheric deep and summer-feeling tunes to more late night bangers. Our latest single is obviously Love Too Dee and that one is going really smooth. Big buzz in the UK and Holland. The future looks promising. First time we had an underground record that went mainstream.

3) Congrats on that! So, how did you hook up with Toolroom on this?

Mark Knight played lots of our own and label’s (Witty Tunes) stuff already and together with Ferreck Dawn we signed the track Kaduna there. After that some other tracks followed and the collaboration started working smoothly. They do a great and professional job.

4) Tell us where does the artist name ‘Redondo’ originate from?

We thought a lot about what to call our new project – at that time. It had to be something easy to pronounce in both the English and Spanish/Portuguese languages. I think Johan came up with it. It sounded familiar to our direct sound of music you know? Like a metal band that is called Dark Forces From Hell and matches the music, we had the feeling ‘Redondo’ matches that deep/tech/house sound with a positive feeling mixed into it. Later we heard Redondo means something like “perfect, no need to add more”, name well chosen we say ha-ha. :)

5) Now I get it. So as previously mentioned, you’re directly affiliated with another label called ‘Witty Tunes’ right? Tell us about that imprint, a lot of support there with key artists it seems…

The label was started by our friends Sideburn from DC. After a couple of years we were collaborating a lot with them and they invited us to join the label in 2010 and change the style a little bit. All 4 of us did and the results were great, and every year it’s getting better. We try to maintain quality in every release and that’s what we hear back from many DJ’s. Even though we release a lot, it’s all up to standard. We’re currently working with 5 people (to run things) plus we have new and amazing artwork coming and of course, top notch EP’s by talented and established producers all around the globe!

6) Tell me which you guys prefer, small intimate clubs or large festivals?

Small clubs and smaller areas at festivals. Our music is not designed for a 20,000 people audience. Clubs and outdoor events are both 2 different things. I really like the way music sounds outdoors. On the other hand a great sound-system and a sweaty small club has it’s own uniqueness as well. What a boring answer this is, but it’s really all I can make of it! Both?

7) Describe your preferred and current DJ setup when gigging?

Very easy, 2 USB sticks in 2 CDJ2000’s and a DJM800. We’re really old fashioned when it comes to that. When you play the same generic set every time, I can imagine you need loads of heavy FX equipment, but our sets are never the same. We can spend hours and hours looking on places like Traxsource and various other outlets for great new exclusive and unique sounding music. Having a label also helps here, because we get loads of good music sent to us. It would be really great to have some kind of a live-set, but I’m not sure if our music is the right genre for that. We’re watching a friend of ours, Stefan Vincent, closely who has been setting up a live-set lately, and it’s very, very awesome. Though his music is atmospheric techno with loads of pads, old-skool drum lines and patterns, that music is so great to tweak live. But you never know what the future brings! Oh and of course, we use a headphones too, don’t worry. :)

8) What’s the home studio like? Any analog gear or strictly in-the-box?

Nope, all digital. Analog gear is cool but we’re from the digital age & never worked with it and never felt the need to. When we collaborate, we sometimes like to tweak and use it, but coming home again I have the feeling that at least 50% of the coolness is the tweaking with your own hands and not a mouse.

Input from each other is the most important thing as we’re tweaking a lot. We have a lot of experience in mixing down music so when we help upcoming producers we can easily forget that sometimes.

You can give the same set of samples to producer X and he does something completely different than producer Y. It’s not something you can learn in a week, it takes practice and practice and practice. As long as you feel that every track you make sounds better you’re on a good road.

9) Give us one Redondo production/remix you’re most proud of?

“Love Too Deep”. It’s the perfect example of producing a track right and finding the right samples & vocal hooks. It’s too easy to find an acapella, put a beat to it and call it a day.

We just used some build up sentence from the track, not even the chorus and then we made a chorus out of it with a different chord scheme, which is not sampled from “Show Me Love” by the way. Of course the organ sounds familiar, that’s the great thing about it. When we produced it, we & Ferreck Dawn said to each other: “Ok who knows, this could be big”. And now, it’s starting to become big, and it’s awesome!

10) What inspires you to make music?

Good parties, other (people’s) music, the weather outside and mainly your mood at that particular moment.

11) Any promotion/marketing advice to other artists out there?

Take your own strength as your base. Don’t rely on others, because when they find a new great producer, you’re out of the picture. Also don’t spam other people with your own music on social media. ONLY use your own page & account for it. Nobody feels honored if you tag other people in a new release message. Don’t act like a C@#$ as well. I see a lot of ‘downloaded for…’ [in the feedback section] in our Witty Tunes promo pool. When you’re Hawtin or Carola, of course, that’s one thing. We don’t even (really) care what they say about it as long as they play it.

12) What was your best gig of 2014 and why?

Our Witty Tunes showcase at La Terrraza in Barcelona. It’s kind of an old outdoor place within old city-walls. The atmosphere was amazing, we played a back to back set with Ferreck & had some friends with us there. Couldn’t be better…

13) What future projects do you have in the pipe line?

We have a big big tune coming up with a friend and we can’t really say anything about it, sorry. You will hear within two months or so… Also Ferreck Dawn and ourselves are working on the follow up, which is almost done now. On the remix front, we have a remix by Zhu called ‘Faded’ coming up. Also we’ve almost finished remixing Mike Mago & Dragonette – Outlines. So lot’s of things to look out for!


Follow Redondo artist page & check their releases on Traxsource.