Amsterdam based DJ, producer, booker, occasional blogger and weekend warrior Some Chemistry created the 12th Atomnation podcast. A one-hour long set that resonates between world-influenced music, disco, techno and sometimes even electro – a mix of styles that is signature to the sound that Ridzert Beetstra developed as a DJ and event promotor the past years. We asked him a few questions about this mix, his hometown, work as a program director and how traveling shaped him as a DJ.
Hi Ridz, thanks for your podcast. We really enjoy the tropical vibes and different styles in your mix. Could you tell us something about where you lived and traveled the past years and how this influenced your musical taste?
Well, there’s actually quite a list of places I have lived throughout my life, a few highlights:
Wirdum (Friesland, NL)
Koudougou (Burkina Faso, Africa)
Cochabamba (Bolivia, South America)
Gouda (Cheese capital, Zuid-Holland, NL)
Right now I’m based in Amsterdam, for almost 10 years. I guess the tropical vibes have something to do with the period I lived in Bolivia, or Burkina Faso. That’s where the strong sense for rhythm and melody got into my system I guess. Everything they do over there (like cooking, or gardening, or whatever) has to be guided through rhythm and dance. It’s in the DNA of the people. I love it. When I moved back to Holland I started a punk band and later on I started getting into minimal techno when I moved to Amsterdam.. Which ruined the soulful side of my musical spectrum in a way back then, but taught me so much more about merging different kinds of music nowadays. Like you can probably hear in the mix I did. I approached it as a dj-set, on the fly, and did not post-edit it whatsoever. Otherwise I’m never happy about it, and start changing too much.
How do you look to Amsterdam nowadays in terms of music. And do you think people that travel here get influenced by our music and culture?
Well I certainly got influenced by this town when I moved here.. As I just mentioned I used to be a (slightly soft core) punk rocker before moving to Amsterdam. I played in indie rock bands, and I became a total techno-head after exploring this sin city. My musical horizon grew so hard. Some of my university mates introduced me to the legendary Stubnitz, Club 11 and Studio 80 for example. A few places that defined my carrier now. After hearing all those bleeps in clubs and seeing what it does to people I knew I wanted to be the guy making and performing them too. So I know for a fact that there are hundreds, or even thousands of kids every weekend in Amsterdam who get inspired or influenced by its music venues, and nightlife like I did. Simply because there are just so many more events nowadays. I can safely say Amsterdam is the dance capital of the world right now. Berlin still wins when it comes to underground clubs and creativity, as does London with its range of indie rock output, but nowhere in the world is the electronic music industry as professional and lively as it is in Amsterdam. Also, the music scene over here serves all the musical niche-needs that you can think of. I hope we stay on the forefront of this, and don’t get hampered by new conservative regulation and laws. Which I’m always afraid of.. So far we’ve been moving forward with our beloved major for the last 7 years, let’s keep the cultural diversity level high forever though!
As a founder of Next Mondays hangover, is there any artist in specific you would like to bring to Amsterdam anytime soon?
In the 7 or 8 years I’ve been professionally involved in events, I can say I have managed to invite most of my personal heroes, like James Holden in 2013, Dj Koze in 2014, Mano Le Tough in 2015, or Bicep in 2016.. Not to mention we did two insane events just over a week ago during ADE with Giegling and Innervisions (including Dixon himself), two of the worlds most influential labels right now. But if I have to name someone I would really like to invite, it’s definitely Nicolas Jaar. A game changer. Someone who does not compromise his sound live. A genius in my opinion.
If you can pick one track in this mix – what would be your favorite and why.
That’s easy. It’s one track before the last, which is actually my favourite track of 2017. It’s called ‘A1 – P‘, and it’s an edit of some kind of old movie or something. I think it’s supposed to remain secret but it’s actually Pional who made this edit (sorry), and it was recently released on a (limited vinyl) compilation curated by Marvin & Guy called Equation 3. Every time I play that track somewhere the crowd goes wild! I recently even played it twice during one set, because I couldn’t get enough of it.
What is coming up for you in the new year?
Actually, still to drop before the end of the year, there is a Some Chemistry original release coming up on an italo disco label from Amsterdam called Bordello A Parigi (November). There are some key performances planned before the end of the year as well, for example a gig in Shelter together with Dj Tennis on November 25th, also a show right after Michael Mayer on December 2nd in Tilburg, and right before the end of year a special gig with non other than Red Axes in Amsterdam, on December 30th ;), which will be announced soon. So let’s make sure we go out with a bang this year, as it has honestly been a pretty shitty one worldwide, so far.. Before committing to the next one.