INTERVIEW: NACHTBRAKERIn our INTERVIEW series, we collect a series of meaningful conversations with people that inspire us. First up is Nachtbraker, the Amsterdam-based house DJ/producer/novelist/comedian who founded his own cartoon inspired record label called Quartet Series.
Nachtbraker, your name, where did you get that?
When I was 15, I was full-on cliché making music in my parents’ attic. After having dinner with them, I used to watch TV for a bit and then I would rush to my spot to make music until 7AM. This went on for a while. At the time, my DJ name was Mousique (you can still find some bad music when you Google that name). I was about to bring out a new record and I needed a new name, so I asked my friend to think of something. He immediately said, "you’re the Nachtbraker, you live at night". So that’s that. I wanted to change it for a while, since it is not very international. However, a Dutch name was pretty cool back then; a lot of Dutch concepts with a Dutch name started, such as Dekmantel, Zeezout and a ton of others, so I thought I was okay.
Why did you start this label of yours?
It’s the urge to get people to listen to 'good' music. When I was 13 years old, I already started to harass everyone saying, "hey man, you really need to listen to this". When I released about four records, I founded the label Quartet Series together with Guiseppe from Apparel Music. Nowadays, I’m running it on my own. At the beginning, I was getting all this great music from Saine and Gnork, wanting to release this on vinyl. Soon, we started to develop the idea, calling it Fantastic Four. We kept on creating a bigger story behind it, with the good and the bad guys representing the A and the B side of the record. The A side with happy, cheerful music; the B side including not dark music nor sad music, but just different music. This year, the series include solo records; the Trophy series include music that would previously be on the A side, and the Bodybuilders series with music that would first be the B side.
What is your secret, is it magic?
I see myself being an artist, but at the same time I’m an entrepreneur. It’s important to gather a lot of good people around you that you want to be affiliated with. Also, I started to contact people with (online) magazines or blogs, eventually receiving a feature or a podcast on their page. Five years ago, I asked Lars and Maarten from Detroit Swindle to perform for 100 bucks at a party I threw, right before they really exploded. We’ve always stayed in touch; now I’m releasing music on their label and we’ve become good friends. I also share a studio with Frits Wentink and I see a lot of other people who have their studio here in the Volkshotel in Amsterdam. Nowadays I am running my own label, so I can choose the people who I work with. It’s all about finding a good group of people to work with, who get you to a higher level.
When I open my Facebook or Instagram, I often see these special images of yours, what’s up with that?
In the end, I’m a producer of danceable music, I don’t write heavy literature or create deep, meaningful paintings. I’m not saying that my music doesn’t have any meaning, but I find that a lot of people take themselves too seriously. My bio, which my friend wrote, includes a lot of bullshit saying that I wrote three books, and I love to play with writing things that people do or do not believe. The titles of the books are coming directly from a stand-up show from Hans Teeuwen. I like making fun of myself sometimes.
Which concepts or trends do you really like in the Netherlands?
I really love that the number of record stores is growing, you can see this with places like Bordello a Parigi in Amsterdam, which used to be an independent record seller on Discogs. I love that Red Light Radio is becoming bigger and bigger, being an institute with good music while they’re still residing in their beer-smelling little shed on De Wallen. And of course, Zeezout, 'my people', those guys are doing so well ever since they began. Always delivering quality and interesting line-ups, with a loyal audience and always a good vibe.
What are your ambitions?
I want to do a lot of things: I obviously want to be busy with my label; I want to throw Quartet Series showcase nights across Europe in Amsterdam, Paris, London and Berlin; and I want to do more festivals next year. In the colder months, I want to do a proper South America tour, after that I’ll be leaving to Australia and New Zealand. Partly to escape the cold weather and to embrace the summer on the Southern half of this planet. When I’m back, I will be releasing my first album and get back to Europe, because this is still the place where the magic happens.
Good to hear! Thanks a lot and good luck!
For more on Nachtbraker, visit:
Quartet Series Soundcloud