ARTIST TO ARTIST - DAVE CLARKE & MR JONES

They took this opportunity to talk Armin Van Buuren, Elvis Presley and Dutch colonies. We thought we'd heard it all...

ARTIST TO ARTIST - DAVE CLARKE & MR JONES

They took this opportunity to talk Armin Van Buuren, Elvis Presley and Dutch colonies. We thought we'd heard it all...

It's that time of the month again where we pitch two artists against one another to talk absolutely everything and anything, no holds barred. Dave Clarke and Mr Jones took this opportunity to talk Armin Van Buuren, Elvis Presley and Dutch colonies. We thought we'd heard it all...


DC:

This is Dave Clarke

MJ:

And this is Mr Jonas and we are _Unsubscribe_

DC:

So let give this thing a go… Mr Jones your name is Jonas Uittenbosch, but I believe you are half Moluccan.

MJ:

Yes, I’ve got a bit of an interesting background.

DC:

So explain to me, because it’s a bit of a mystery. When I first came to Holland I’ve never heard about Maluku and Surinam and all these places, so tell me a bit about how Moluccan people first came to Holland.

MJ:

It’s also a very of a hot topic at the moment because the Moluccan people have been in the Netherlands for 65 years, because we work and fight for the Dutch Government and for the queen to in Indonesia to protect the position there.  After the second world war ended it wasn’t safe for them to stay there and they were taken to the Netherlands by the dutch government for their safety. So I’m really from Indonesia.

DC:

So which country was trying to invade Indonesia?

MJ:

Japan, and after they left the Indonesian people turned against the Dutch people as they were a Dutch colony who wanted to be free.

DC:

How are things for Moluccan People now?

MJ:

In the beginning it was a struggle as they were not allowed to work, but they could speak the language and were able to grow into the Dutch society over the next 5 - 10 years.

But it was not easy and we did some bad things too. We hijacked a train and a school to gain attention from the government for help.  It didn’t work out so they only way was to work for yourself which is what my Mother did. She went out of the Moluccan community and into the big world which is how she met my father.

And Dave you also have very interesting background. You know live in Amsterdam for 8 years.  What made you decide to stay in Amsterdam and leave Brighton.

DC:

I lived in Brighton for 26 years, then left as I felt Brighton was not big enough for me, I felt and it was holding me back, even though everyone has this romantic view of what Brighton is like, I and it’s nice to visit but it’s very claustrophobic.

MJ:

You mean for the music industry?

DC:

Just trying to do anything, one of the guys I think from Orbital said this infamous joke about Brighton people: He goes into a pub and everyone said ‘I could have been something’ but they weren’t because the people get held back or they hold other people back and they just don’t do things. Most people from outside of Brighton are the ones who would sort of succeed, you had Nick Cave moving into Brighton and, Royal Blood are a band for Brighton who are doing quite well for Brighton but generally it’s quite difficult.

In the end I didn’t want to move to London as that was never on my radar at all.  I ended up in the countryside just outside of Brighton as at that time I still had family and grandparents and parents and stuff then so it made sense to stay around, then I drew a little semi circle around the airports that were nearby and I needed up living equidistant for Gatwick and Heathrow as it made my job a lot easier for traveling.

But the countryside was never really for me and besides having really bad hay fever it’s just fucking boring.  I mean I’m not 60 years old wanting to retire and play golf and ride horses I tried to get into it but generally I didn’t. I did enjoy somethings, but generally it was a not a lifestyle for me.

MJ:

How was it before you were a DJ for your parents for example. Did they know what you were doing?

DC:

My parents didn’t know generally what I was doing from the age of 9, but I think they frowned upon it.  My father was a little bit more supportive, he helped me get my first decks, but he was much more into technical stuff anyway and music so it was like an extension of a hobby for him.

Anyway after I got divorced I’d already been over to Amsterdam in the 90’s and did a DJ gig over there and fell in love with it.

Then I met another woman in Amsterdam about 10 months after I’d divorced and fell in love again with Amsterdam so I was coming over backwards and forwards, coming backwards and forwards.  That relationship didn’t last, but my relationship with Amsterdam really did. And then I realised that there is a place where I feel really good at and a friend of mine called Bailey who played keys on one of the tracks Miles away on Archive one who I’ve known for many years as he used to come into the record shop (Jellyjam) and I was just lying on the floor in the sun thinking in the middle of the country side thinking what the fuck am I doing and where the fuck am I going to go and he said look there’s nothing for you here, and in many ways he was right for reason that I can explain in a few years.

MJ:

Was it a different mindset for you?

DC:

Yeh, what I like about Amsterdam is it’s still tiny. Really Really tiny, I mean in the centre there is only about 300,000 people so its’ actually smaller than Brighton, but it has this amazing modern multicultural vibe and I just feel really comfortable here.  I think it was inevitable that I was going to end up living here and I’ve got no regrets and i don’t have to live anywhere else at all.  It’s where I want to be.

MJ:

What is it about London what made you say no?

DC:

Because the same amount of time it takes to go to Germany for here is the same amount of time it takes to cross London.  And there is no infrastructure there that is good in the UK. There are just finishing Crossrail now which is good but the transport infrastructure is really for Victorian times and it’s done remarkable well considering but there is no foresight for infrastructure and London is such a busy busy city.

MJ:

But how is the music over there compared to Amsterdam?

DC:

That’s the thing, I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up in Holland for the time that I grew up in England as growing up in England there was a lot more music available to me.  Everyone here talks about the Roxy and that’s really cute and really sweet but that fact was that it is years behind everything that was happening in there UK (even when I went in the late 80’s) so I would have either missed a lot or got it later in Amsterdam regarding dance music. 

MJ:

Yes

DC:

And we can talk about it with romantic eyes, but if you’ve seen other things beforehand you don’t see it with romantic eyes you just see it as a bit slow, but if you were here of course it means a lot. Growing up in England at that time was probably the golden age of the English pop music and English pop culture.

MJ:

Then electronic music came.

DC:

Yeh of cause then electronic music came over first to the UK from America, because of course the UK is always this bridge part between the cultures of Europe and America and it came over from there which is ironic and it also came over from Germany as well so it was an interesting cycle and Belgium was also very important for European electronic music, but again it was coming over in England and we did this embraced the Belgian New Beat thing in England which was really massive, then it comes to Holland about a year later.

MJ:

So the music we know now was shaped in the UK.

DC:

Yeh definitely, I grew up on Punk music, new wave, electronic, Ska, Reggae and the whole thing you were talking about when Moluccan people came to Holland, when Jamaican people came to England they brought all this culture of reggae, which came through London and was taken in by Punks.

MJ:

We brought Rock’n’roll music. Even in Germany. Elvis Presley, we are better than him.

DC:

OK you heard it here first, apparently Moluccans are still in the building and Elvis has left!

So yeh, always grateful for growing up at that time within the UK as was a fantastic time to grow up musically, but my heart is in Amsterdam.

So where are you living at the moment Mr Jones?

MJ:

I also moved to Amsterdam at the beginning of the year.  I only lived about half and hour outside the city but the vibe was really different, music wise and you also have for every city a sort of subculture going on, do you feel it here in Amsterdam?

DC:

No not at all.  And actually  like that.  I feel like I do my thing.  And of course there are lots of things happening within in Amsterdam, like I’d feel really uncomfortable if I was in Berlin for example, It would freak the shit out of me, I’d hate it, I’d hate it to my core.  But over here there are load of things going on by you don’t have to feel part if a clique and I don’t want to be part of a clique. It’s not who I am.

Why did you start making music?

MJ:

The music was already in my family like it was yours, because my father always listened to music when I was a kid with vinyl back in the day,  blues and the Rolling Stones so I start to play the saxophone and the drums, then I fell in love with electronic music because all my cousins listened to house and Speedy J back then so the beginning of things getting started here from house to hardcore then drum’n’ bass came around.  I fell in love with making music but i lived outside Amsterdam and it was like being on a sort of small island and I had to learn everything my myself without the internet.

DC:

That’s an interesting thing so without the internet you had to learn everything yourself which meant research & read magazines to see what other people are doing and learn from them.  Did that push you harder because the quest for knowledge was on top of your mind instead of just fucking looking it up on Google and see how I feel about it. Do you think that made it a stronger things for you?

MJ:

Yes because the discovery of what did what in a machine like the Midi, I didn’t know what Midi was!

DC:

Musical Instrument Digital Interface, 33.6 kbg per second and uses the 3 inside pins  and it’s opto isolated.

MJ:

Exactly, I did not know about all that stuff!

DC:

Invented by Dave Smith as well apparently

MJ:

There you go. I saw something happen in the machine, I didn’t hear it i found out later I had the wrong interface and it took me like 5 years to get the whole system started up and in time it worked. I did it wrong, but it also made me use and make the sound different like it sounds now.

DC:

I’m going to do a bit of a Dave Pensado now, as what you guys don’t know it that when we have a little bit of down time in the studio we watch a bit of Dave Pensado, because it’s quite interesting sometimes.

So I’m going to do Batters Box, so we’re in the lair right now and I’m doing to throw some questions at you really quick.

First machine that you ever bought?

MJ:

To start with a Midi Board and a G4 Mac and Logic 4 or something.

DC:

First plugin that you bought?

MJ:

I wasn’t aware of the plug ins back than because the plug ins on Logic were quite solid back then. It was Emagic or something.

DC:

First Record you ever bought?

MJ:

Ooooh, I have to be honest it was hardcore but I don’t know the name…  I thought it was Roger van…

DC:

Kloot? As in everything is a load of bollocks. Was it the one with a picture of a barge going through Rotterdam?

MJ:

No it was the one with a digitalised skull on it.

DC:

OK, And you’re least favourite Dutch DJ who doesn’t play techno, the one you dislike the most.

MJ:

EDM? Er, I don’t like them all. Armin Van Buuren. They’re guys a nice person but the music, fuck it!

MJ:

So Dave, first machine that you ever bought?

DC:

That would have been a Yamahas RX21 and 21L Drum Machine the L stands for Latin  and I actually bought them from a shop at the top of Sackville Road in Hove. And I would go in there every single week with 10 or 20 pounds I’d saved from working in the shoe shop and I’d go in there so often with this small amount of money

MJ:

It took you years right?

DC:

It took me 6 months actually and they let me off about £40 as he was fed up of seeing me.  So my plan worked.

MJ:

Your first plug in??

DC:

That would have been was Waves Mercury. I bought the whole package as I wanted to commit to a decent amount of plugins and although at that time the algorithms and code and everything for the plugins was good the computers couldn’t really cope with the way that I’d imagined they could as I was still used to using XXXX Lexicons, TC in hardware form with quick recall and no problems.  so it would have been Waves Mercury then I left it alone for 3 or 4 years because I was disappointed with the computer performance not the plug ins themselves.

MJ:

But you worked with hardware before, what was the reason you switched for hardware to software?

DC:

The reason was actually divorce and moving country.  I had to sell a lot of my equipment because of the divorce and at that time the whole record industry was a bit in flux, so I good time for something bad to happen like that so then I was waiting to see what was happening so I tried the plug ins. 

It was at a time when I’d just finished Devils Advocate and I was using things like Lexicon 960L and a couple of other Lexicons and a few other TC things and some other weird other things that were fun, but a lot of that equipment sort of came to the end of its life anyway, but maybe 4 years further forward and I just had to get rid of it due to moving country and divorce.


MJ:

I did’t have any money to buy the hardware, I only had the computers and that was it. Even to buy the technics decks was crazy money back then. Like 4 or 500 Guliders back then.  And even to buy the records was 10 or 12 Guilders.

DC:

14 Guilders 90, for an import because I remember going to BouDisc and getting my SA42 12s from that shop

MJ:

It’s crazy. For me it was like my parents looking at what saying what you doing? It’s a hobby and you’re spending all your money and we have to buy shoes and clothes.

DC:

And food?

MJ:

Nah I was still living with my parents

DC:

I had that choice of equipment of food. And most people who saw that picture of me in the R&S studios realised that I chose equipment over food.

MJ:

It was like Noodle soup all the time right?

What was your favourite piece of equipment to work with?

DC:

It took me a long long time actually, the thing that I missed the most was actually the tactile surface of a mixing desk and it took me ages to work out why I wasn’t having much fun even just monitoring until I got the Advocet  in the new studio.  Because I was used to have a central monitoring thing on my old mixing desk it was a simple as that you just don’t think about it.  So the whole routing thing was a bit of a muddle for me as I still wanted to incorporate analogue hardware but I just didn’t want to toggle in the box, not that there is anything wrong with it, it was just my own approach.   So it was really really difficult for me,

MJ:

It’s the smallest thing that makes the work much easier

DC:

yeh and then you don’t think about it, that’s the fun thing once it happens you just take that piece of equipment for granted and you just don’t think about it.

So all of a sudden in the studio their became an easy way of actually monitoring a different speaker system with offsets and stuff like that and it makes it a lot easier and you just don’t think about it and you take it for granted.

But before you had to think I’m going to route it though here to go there and now it’s just a switch. And the PCI cable was a pain in the arse, but I think the final piece of the puzzle for me was  ATC monitors and for years i’d been on Tannoys and I wanted them to continue and get better but they just weren’t investing because I think TC  bought the whole brand and then they just lost their footing in the studio market and I felt I had to betray my fathers memory because he was Tannoy man.

MJ:

I had the ARk's  8 and I moved out now I need ti find new monitors as they are way big for anything now.

DC:

So what is coming up for you now?

Second artist album, EP’s, remixes and looking forward to playing on Kings Day

MJ:

And what about you?

DC:

I’m working on my new album my 3rd artist album.  I seem to release  one every 15 years so this might be my last !….. but maybe I’ve got a few more in me who knows. I’ve got coming out on Record Store day ‘Charcoal Eyes’ which is a compilation of remixes, some of which we worked together on and the Boys Noize ‘Unsubscribe’record coming out

MJ:

Yeeees!

DC:

And we also have an _Unsubscribe_ track on Houndstooth and we’re starting up our own Unsubscribe label and we’re going to complete our first EP in May.  We’ll probably need a year and a half to get that pressed up on vilely but we’ll see how it goes.

MJ:

Exciting times man! _Unsubscribe_ here we come!


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