Dirt Crew Label Boss Exclusive Interview

We sat down with Dirt Crew Recordings label head honcho Peter Gijselaers for an in depth chat about Detroit Swindles Album Teaser Huh, What! EP, the label’s success and much more in this EXCLUSIVE interview


1) Peter, thanks for taking time out chat with us. 2014 marks the 10th year of Dirt Drew Recordings existence & along the way you’ve had some great releases from the likes of Till Von Sein, Tigerskin, Detroit Swindle, Adultnapper etc, what keeps you so motivated with the label? & Can you share any memorable moments that stand out personally to you from the last decade?

Yes, time really flies! back in 2004 when we started the label it was just to get more of our own music out there and promoting new upcoming talent and friends. From the very first days we had Tigerskin on our label and he is actually the only one that kept releasing on Dirt Crew, with now over 13 releases in total on his own or with his long time partner Till von Sein. He is the most consistent artist on the label and it was really great releasing his first ever Album on Dirt Crew last year. But in 10 years we’ve had so many great releases and we brought so many great new talents to the ears of the people, like Adultnapper, Mano Le Tough, Chymera, Mic Newman, Thugf*cker, Martinez to name a few that did some of their first steps on our label. It is just a great honour to be able to do this and most of all to see that they grew over the years to be very successful. Even Tensnake did one of his first releases on our sub-label Players Paradise back in 2007. I now have over 100 releases on the label to date and can look back on so many great records, really makes me proud to be still around and even doing better now than ever before!

2) Speaking of the talented Detroit Swindle, the excitement & anticipation for the ‘Boxed Out’ album is gaining major steam now. You’ve been working closely with Lars & Maarten pretty much from the get go. It must be a great achievement (with the amount of success they’ve accumulated in a short space of time) for you to be handling their first LP.

It is just one big happy dream for all of us really! i am so happy for them! back in 2011 when we first met they had just begun DJing together as Detroit Swindle and took their first steps in producing own tracks together. After they visited me in Berlin to play at a party they gave me their first ever tracks and from the beginning i was sold, actually ‘Jick Rames’ and ‘Nothing Else Matters’ were the first tracks that really got me and resulted in their first EP for Dirt Crew. That year, 2012 the guys started on their journey with one smashing release after the other. It really exploded after their ‘Creep’ EP on Freerange and the follow up ‘Guess What EP on Dirt Crew’. In 2013 it all went nuts and they already played live at Panorama Bar here in Berlin, something we would have never expected to happen. So yes i am very happy that we became good friends and that we trust each other and work closely together on all their projects.

3) This 3 track Detroit Swindle LP teaser… the ‘Huh, What! EP’ which is EXCLUSIVELY out on Traxsource certainly builds the appetite for the Album with its Chicago, Detroit and NY influences. Can you give us any more incite into what we can expect: both from this Exclusive and from the full project?

On this first EP w wanted to show a good variation on what to expect on the album, you have the bangin’ old school like title track “Huh, What!” that is very old-school Chicago/ Detroit sounding, a real club banger. The second track “The Fat Rat” has a more UK Garage like feel to it but just a typical Detroit Swindle track.. great swing and groove to it.. Deep House as it should be… just great underground dance music. With the last track “Monkey Wrench” the guys went back to what i think is their strongest point, slow burnin’ tracks much like “Jick Rames” that became a standout track for them also this “Monkey Wrench” is so slow and sexy, it just swings and should get everybody on the dancefloor. Well you will love these three tracks, but whats featured on the album is even better, unfortunately you all have to wait a bit until late march to hear it. But i can tell you that since the album was done and on my computer, i listen to it every day, and it just gets better and better. It is very varied with even more soul in it than what they made previously and they really took it deep. There are two broken beat tracks on it, very Hip Hop instrumental like, some more soul orientated cuts and of course a bunch of club bangers. We are very happy to also have Mayer Hawthorne doing vocals on one of the album tracks. It’s just a match made in heaven.

4) What’s it like running Dirt Crew Recordings on a day to day basis? And what do you want to ultimately accomplish as a record label?

At the moment it’s kinda crazy, apart from my other work i do for the digital distribution company EPM here in Berlin. I pretty much work 24hrs a day on the label and especially on everything regarding Detroit Swindle, i also do their remix and press management so you can imagine its a lot i have to do ;) And above all i do everything on my own!! artwork, social media, statements, licensing, demos you name it.. i do it all. Its really no big luxury to find someone to help me out but i still enjoy it a lot, and the good thing about working on your own is that you don’t have to wait on people and you can take all decisions yourself. Works faster than going through 2-3 people but i also have great business partners in the likes of Wordandsound in Hamburg that distributes my vinyl and EPM that does the Digital and Promotions side of things.

What do i want to accomplish ? well most importantly finding new young talent and seeing them grow like i did with Detroit Swindle. But also Urulu & Steve Huerta, Ben La Desh, Last Mood etc are great artists to work with and are growing. I am happy if i make enough money to finance some nice album projects and do high quality vinyl for my releases. Until now its still growing so i am very confident in the next few years.

5) What’s up next for Dirt Crew? & With it being 10 years (as mentioned) – any anniversary releases, compilations and/or events in the works to celebrate?

Yes, i have to start thinking about that ;) for sure i will do a big compilation around August again and maybe I’m going to do some special things with older tracks from the catalog. Release wise i am already full until October so it’s looking good!! There will be some really special remix EP’s from the Detroit Swindle Album coming up! very excited about that also there will be a remix coming up for that from one of my all time House Heroes ;)

6) Where does a music media store like Traxsource fit into your musical agenda?

Very high, at the top really. I must say since you guys revamped the store it has become so much better! I am really glad that you keep focusing on underground music and not go towards the “Dark Side” of that EDM bull…. I have been DJing myself since 1992 so i have always been a vinyl head, i also worked in a record store for 8 years, vinyl was always important but nowadays i play digital with USB and since the CDJ’s have become so good, i really enjoy it the way it is … but i think it’s important to release vinyl again. Digital and vinyl should support each other.

7) Tell your fans some interesting Dirt Crew facts they may not know about you…

Hmmm.. maybe that i am really into Heavy Metal and Rock !? haha.. i don’t listen to electronic music at all when i’m at home. Not sure if that was a good thing to tell you..haha.. Oh and that i once produced Happy Hardcore, but thats a whole another story ;) i am Dutch btw.. so that explains. Thanks a lot for the interview!! and enjoy the upcoming Detroit Swindle Exclusive and Debut Album!

Dirt Crew Follow Pages & Releases on Traxsource.

Dirt Crew Recordings