Written by Ryan Hayes for Vancity Buzz
With countless anthems, including Let The Bass Kick, Who Is Ready To Jump and Make Some Noise, Chuckie has fortified Dirty Dutch as a global phenomenon. However, it is really his consummate style of mixing that sets him apart from other live acts. Mashing up tracks and sprinting through two to three times as much material as your average DJ, a Chuckie set is always organic and full of surprises.
In 2005 you held your first Dirty Dutch event in Amsterdam. Besides featuring your own musical talent the event enlisted Benny Rodrigues, Don Diablo and Laidback Luke among others, what did that first event mean to you and how has the Dutch scene changed since 2005?
It was a big step for the whole Dutch dance scene to create such an event and on such a big scale. Most of the parties back then were held in smaller clubs for around 1,500 people. It was also the first time that an event this big had a very eclectic line up. For me it was always important to melt different music styles into one dance floor. The scene back then was either house or techno. I wanted to include all the subgenres within the dance music spectrum and also wanted to blend that with more urban genres, like hip-hop, dancehall, and R&B. Back then it was almost impossible to pull it off, but I did it and that’s what separated Dirty Dutch from all the other events! Nowadays it’s widely accepted to have a very eclectic line up and I’m really happy with it!
Speaking of Laidback Luke, you both favour a very authentic and fast style of mixing; can you share a bit about your mixing style and who currently inspires you in terms of flawless turntablism?
When I play my sets it’s pretty much not just about that one hot song, I play bits and pieces of old and new songs, and mash it all up. When I started DJ’ing, guys like Kenny Dope, Armand Van Helden, Funkmaster Flex, DJ Cash Money, Tony Touch and DJ Rectangle really inspired me to mix up different genres and have fun with breaks, and scratches. That’s why I also respect Laidback Luke a lot; his sets are always full of surprises and tricks.
You can obviously tell that he is inspired by turntablists. At this point there are a lot of DJ’s but in my eyes only a few really know how to DJ. Guys like Craze, A-Trak, TJR, and DJ Snake are monsters behind the decks!
In a previous interview you cited your 2009 remix of David Guetta’s Sexy Bitch as one of your big breaks. How did your career change after Guetta released your remix?
When I just released Let The Bass Kick and Moombah, David Guetta called me and asked me if I wanted to remix Sexy Bitch in that same kind of style. Right at that moment I already had a studio session planned with LIL JON so I thought it would be a great idea for him to jump on that remix too. I think it was the first house remix with a guest rapper as a feature on the track. I’m very proud of that remix and it’s still one of my favourite remixes!
Speaking of big moments, as a brand Dirty Dutch embodies the story of how you grew up musically—can you outline three defining moments in that story?
The first time I did Dirty Dutch at the Heineken Music hall in Amsterdam for 5000 people was a historic moment for me and for the Dutch scene. I was still shaping and defining my sound and working on having a very eclectic dance floor; I was able to play with different sounds, drum patterns and vocals.
Eventually I managed to build Dirty Dutch into a household name and throw events for 30,000 people. When I released Let The Bass Kick in 2008, I never expected the song to hit globally, because to me it was still a local Dutch sound. Little did I know I had created a new sound the world had been waiting for. Being successful in the music industry is what I’ve always dreamed of, but when you’re successful enough to get acknowledged by the president of your motherland, that’s something special. I’m happy to say that I am knighted and you can officially call me Sir Clyde Narain, how awesome, hahaha!
Well, first of all bubbling was a very unique sound, created in Holland. It’s basically dancehall from the early 90’s played on much faster speed than the original tempo. We would take a 90bpm record and play it on something between 130 and 145 bpm. Back then there were no records produced that had that sound, so I decided to produce an original record, meant to be played on that tempo. The Partycrasher is one of the first Dutch bubbling records pressed on vinyl and shipped internationally.
I also made tracks like Caribbean Drums that were inspired by Latin beats but still had that defining bubbling sound. A lot of house producers from Holland were inspired by that bubbling sound and they started to mix it up with Latin house, which had a similar drum pattern. If you listen to new school producers like Wiwek, you can hear some of those snares that I also used to sample back in the 90’s…
What do you personally want your legacy to be?
I just want people to know that I’ve always liked to mix up genres and keep the girls on the dance floor happy.
In 2009 you released Moombah with Silvio Ecomo: how did that track come about and how does it tie in to the Moombahton movement?
That track was inspired by a bubbling track, Blow Up The Speakers by DJ Naffie. Basically, I wanted to make a version that could fit in to my house sets. So I called Silvio Ecomo to recreate that sound because he’s an amazing sound designer and we basically did the track in a couple of days. When I had the first version to play out, the track had no title yet. I was doing a show in Aruba at this beach club called Moomba, where I played the track for the first time and the crowd loved it. I called Silvio and told him that Moombah could be a great name for the track. When Dave Nada slowed down the record to 115 bpm, he called his style Moombahton, obviously inspired by the title.
More often than not the dance music scene is associated with a loose morals anything goes party drug laden atmosphere—do you ever find the scene at odds with your family values?
I think the most valuable lesson I learned from all this, is that you need to manage to stay clean, no matter what others in your environment do. I respect everybody’s choices but that doesn’t mean I agree with them…
In recent years you have frequented Vancouver: what three factors make our city stand out?
Vancouver crowd goes WILD, HARD & CRAAAAAZY! [laughs].
Finally, on July 3rd you are set to play FVDED in the Park—an unprecedented festival undertaking for Vancouver. With over 20,000 fans set to flock to Holland Park for each of the two days, what can fans expect from a festival Chuckie set?
Expect a lot of new tracks, bootlegs and mashups. It’s gonna be a whole lot of DIRTY FUNKIN’ BEATS and 40,000 hands up in the air!
Make sure you grab tickets to catch Sir Clyde Narain in action—day one, Chuckie, #FVDED2015 Dirty Dutch takeover.