Interview: Secret Cinema

One of the most consistent producers and DJs over the years has been Dutch musical authority Secret Cinema, and 2018 seen him take things to an even higher level of quality. His Gem Records label has been by his side along the way, and he also put out music on Drumcode and EGG London’s What Came First.

We spoke to him about what the future holds for both him and Gem Records, how he approaches different projects and who he’s got an eye on for the coming year. Find the full interview below.

Secret Cinema, how is life?

Pretty good I must say! I’m in a solid flow production wise. That usually tells me how I feel. I’m also getting ready for an Australia tour including Bali and Thailand so winter is not coming which is always nice.

In the past few months you have dropped an EP on your own Gem Records, appeared on Drumcode and put out a remix for Transcode on What Came First, tell us about approaching each project?

Latino Acido EP on Gem Records is an experiment showcasing my new sound. I try to be a bit different from most of the music being released. That means trance melodies, snare drum breaks and loud distorted kicks are off limits, but it still has to work for the big crowds I play for. It’s a risk, but I’m lucky to have my own record label to experiment on. I made Pain Thing with Reinier Zonneveld. I made an edit of it that worked well on the dancefloor and sent it to Adam for Drumcode. He signed it right away as a last-minute addition to the A-sides compilation. It was my third contribution to the legendary compilation series. I did the Transcode remix after I met him and his manager at EGG club London. I really enjoyed their vibe so I was happy to contribute a remix. I stayed really close to the original and it turned out to be a bit old school proggy.

And what’s to come from yourself in terms of future releases?

As I mentioned, I am in a really good flow in the studio so I have a lot of material waiting for a release. An album? A new sub-label for Gem Records? I will be sharing more soon. I have a remix coming up for Rob Hes on his Pursuit imprint which I’m very happy with. I’m also collaborating with young artists such as SAMA and VNTM. The first finished tracks with the lads are ready to be club tested.

How about DJing? What’s the tour schedule looking like?

I have plenty of things going on. I just had an amazing night at club Basis in Utrecht where I played a 7 hour all night set. Next is an Australian tour with Egbert followed by a festival in Thailand. Then it’s back to Holland and Germany with highlights including Loveland van Oranje Festival and Music On Festival.

You’re now considered by most as a veteran of your craft, do you feel any added pressure when working on a track or preparing for a DJ set?

When working on a track yes, I always feel some pressure to do it different every time. It’s in my nature to always be searching for something new. I think I have found my new sound on the edge between Secret Cinema and what works on the dancefloor today. I love DJ-ing. I only played my own music live for the first 15 years of my career. Switching to DJing gave me lots more room to experiment. It keeps me in touch with the sound and what’s going on in the music world.

And let’s talk about Gem Records, what is coming on there, any special artists making their debuts?

We have DJ Lion coming up soon. Richie Hawtin always supports his tracks. I have been playing his release for a while and it works every time! After that we have Stefan Weise, Ramon Tapia, SQL and Transcode coming up. So Gem Records is ready for the festival season.

It was great to take some time to chat, let’s wrap things up with your one to watch for 2019?

Avengers End Game? Haha. It’s hard to pick one. I really like Joe Farr. KASST is also always in my record box. And finally, I would have to name Sama. I think he could be big quite soon. Thanks for having me!