Most quality house DJs can’t have failed to notice the clutch of outstanding releases from Mercury and Clancy in 2013/14 from Spiel, Dirt Crew’s genre-spanning sub-label. So when things went quiet on the Spiel front, you would be forgiven for thinking their brief moment in the sun was over. But it was simply the weight of work that came from the huge success of Dirt Crew artists Detroit Swindle’s ‘Boxed Out’ album that had prevented the Dirt Crew team from developing Spiel further. This is about to change with the fourth Spiel release, the sublime ‘Cookies’ EP from Good Guy Mikesh (Riotvan, Push Communications, Ellum), four tracks of sophisticated, immaculately produced Deep House, Techno and Nu-Disco. Dirt Crew boss Peter Gijselaers takes up the story:
“As things with Dirt Crew really got crazy busy in 2014, mainly due to the Detroit Swindle’s “Boxed Out” album release, we had to take a lil’ break and only concentrate on the main label. Now we are ready to go in again on this baby of ours. This year we already have three new exciting projects lined up, first is the ‘Cookies’ EP from Good Guy Mikesh, who is a long-time friend of mine and very talented producer. I’m a big fan of his music and I’m so happy to be able to release this new EP by him, it’s next level, just so beautiful… hope you guys dig it too!”
Good Guy Mikesh’s ‘Cookies’ release exemplifies Peter’s A&R approach to Spiel, a broad interpretation of electronic dance music that covers many genres. Which is perhaps unsurprising given that in his own productions as Dirt Crew and Break 3000, Peter is equally at home turning out glacially-cool deep house, raw, relentless techy tracks and all points in between:
“Spiel should be anything but deep House, mainly Electronica, Balearic, Indie and Electro orientated stuff. We get so many demos and often we find incredible music that just isn’t “deep house” or that does not really fit in the Dirt Crew Recordings style. For these we started Spiel.”
So what would you say to aspiring producers who might want to send you their demo?
“It can be any genre really, as long as it is not House; as an example Clancy’s music is even a bit Trance-y in a way and the Mercury release we did was a proper Electro banger with Disco and Funk influences… Good Guy Mikesh is more Indie and Balearic; so it can be any style as long as it’s great original music.”
“Great original music” – that sounds like a pretty solid mission statement to us here at Traxource.com. It is this kind of commitment to music, above ideas of fame or fashion that have kept Dirt Crew in the spotlight for a very successful 11 years. We are always interested to get the insights of players who have been in the game longer than the latest fashion in handclaps, so we asked Peter about the secret of Dirt Crews longevity:
“Well the secret is basically to just keep going. We had hard times when vinyl sales went down but now all is back up and we do vinyl on each release again which is very important for us. We always tend to change the style of the labels a bit and keep looking out for great talent, we did a lot of first records from a bunch of very successful artists like Mano Le Tough, Francis Harris and Tensnake to more recently the wonderful Brame & Hamo, Detroit Swindle and Nachtbraker.”
So what immediate plans do you have for Spiel? Any impending style changes?
At this moment we have two other artists we’re working with for Spiel, a new artist from Budapest, Hungary called BAL.5000 who sent us great Disco and left field Techno tracks, and the other artist is still a bit secret as we are finalising the release production – hope it works out as he is a great talent and singer; it will be very soulful and jazzy, with even a touch of pop in there.
We have been seeing more and more interesting sub-genres and cross-pollination in House Music over the last couple of years and the general feeling from labels and producers is that the scene is in pretty good shape. How do you feel about the state of house music and clubbing at the moment?
“The quality of music out there has never been better than now really, I mean I remember the mid/late 00’s when it was really terrible, that whole minimal scene… depressing music all around. Nowadays we when you go out, DJ’s are playing proper Disco, Techno and House music again, and above all more and more people came back to diggin’ vinyl. Apart from that it’s great to see stores like Traxsource becoming bigger and also keeping it real. We should soon be over EDM as well!! hehe ;) From there on it will be the best times for music. We get so many cool demos from young producers who are making the deepest most underground music, so it’s def gonna last for a while!”
We hope so too – and we are very glad that this idiosyncratic and high-quality label is back and putting out super hot dance floor tracks again.