What is clear about Jasper after only chatting to him for a little while, is his absolute passion for sound. Yes he has released on some of the hottest labels in house music, yes he played at some of the most reverred venues around Europe, but what we always came back to in our conversations, was sound. Currently living in the Netherlands, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this fantastic, down to earth young man, who was kind enough to share with me his passion for hardware and his journey in music so far. Just before we had our first chat, Jasper was finishing up something on a track…
Hey Jasper, how’s it going?
Really good man!
What were you doing with your track just then?
I was just doing some dubbing actually, like I’ve done some beats, bassline, some synths and now it needs something else so we’ll see… maybe that’s going to be the A1 of the new VBX EP.
Ah nice, so you are layering your parts on top of each other? Cool. Have you ever done just one big recording of everything together? Or is it always drums first, then…
Haha well sometimes it’s a couple of recordings but it depends, I’m not really a producer that has a certain way of doing things. Sometimes I record separately, sometimes in one go. Sometimes I’ll start with drums, background, sometimes with a bassline… I don’t really have a plan. I just go in, do what I feel and when something sounds good then yeah!
Nice. So, how were you making your tracks on the computer before you had equipment? How were you ‘dubbing’ and recording and arranging and stuff?
Haha you look troubled
Yeah I was thinking of arranging back then!
Was that the reason why you wanted to jump to hardware?
Why I went to analog? It was more because of the sound. I did SAE and I found out while I was there that the high end is so much easier to mix when you’re working with an analog mixer.
Ah yes I see. I actually steal my high end from other tracks because mine sounds so dull coming out of the computer!
Yeah, it sounds actually very sharp as well, like somebody is putting a knife in your ear!
Whereas it should sound toasty and warm…
So at what point did you start buying gear man?
So I first bought a module, a Jomox kick drum module, maybe three or four years ago? And afterwards I started sharing a studio with my friend Reiss, he owns the Dialegestai label (you spoke about with Malin in his interview). So yeah, we went to a place in the North of Amsterdam, and we just built a little room and did some improvements on the acoustics, bought some gear together…
Yes and now we make music together under the name, ‘Spokenn,’ it’s just new but we are working on our first EP now…
And you are in the same place now?
No actually we had to move out of that studio, and we finally got this one, and we are sharing with a few more friends and have combined even more gear.
Ah so is that how you got hold of a 909?
Yeah I didn’t buy that. I was lucky because Gijs already had it, who we are sharing with, so now I can use it. That is the fun of sharing a space you know.
Yeah that’s really cool, I’m jealous you have a 909.
I think it’s a bit overestimated man. The clap and the kick drum are nice but…
I thought a lot of your music had this ‘warmth’ because you were using a 909… I guess it’s the whole combination of things you are using though. Like your Studer mixer as well… tell me about that, is that giving lots of character and warmth too? Im really intrigued by this
Yes that is something else. I mean at first I was thinking ‘Ah, it’s an old analog mixer and it’s gonna make my sound warm,’ but it actually makes it sound more… smooth? Yeah, it isn’t adding a lot of character, it’s more making the sound clean and smooth and gentle for your ears. It’s not very warm per se. When I bought it I thought it’s gonna be really…
call cuts out
That was my laptop… it’s from 2009 sorry… haha!
Really? Hahaha dude it gives it a nice analog sound though so it’s fine!
Haha yeah it’s the analog chip in it. Anyway, where was I? Yes, it wasn’t that it was warm, it just made it really smooth and the EQ on the high end is like… yeah, that’s from some place else, I don’t know how they did it.
Yes, and it’s very fucking heavy.
Was it really expensive?
Yes. More than a 909
Worth it though?
Definitely man. Thing is, I’m an audiophile, I’m addicted to gear. I’m really addicted and I will never stop buying nice, expensive or rare shit, I just want to improve my sound.
What about collaboration man, like you are sharing a studio, I know you have worked with a lot of other producers, do you actually prefer making tracks with other people?
I prefer to make music on my own, although collaborating can give me inspiration. I work really quickly so this is why I am working a lot with others, I make a lot of music and I finish everything directly. I always finish a track when I’m working.
You always finish it?
Always mastering in the end.
Really? You do your own mastering?
Yeah, I just use my earphones.
Really? That’s mad!
Yeah but I listen so much with these headphones you know? It’s actually really easy to master if you know it. For example, everything that Nick (Malin Genie) is playing in his MEOKO mix is mastered by myself.
I can’t quite believe that! Haha, now speaking of Nick, I think I heard a track you did together on a Julian Alexander mix? It’s sick!
Yeah yeah, we wanna do an EP together but there’s not much time man, you know. Thing is, if I wanna make an EP, I wanna sit one week with him, five days in a row, because then we can really, yeah, build a good vibe with each other.
Like with my release forthcoming with Ross (Rossko), he came here, spent a week with me, slept at my place and we ate together, watched movies together, and then we went to the studio and yeah… you build a connection. And from that connection you make better tracks, so if I wanna do a collab I will do it this way from now on, that is what I learned you know.
Well yeah, because then I discovered this with him.
Yeah that makes sense. And if you think about it mate, probably all the best music you made is stuff based on real connection or emotion. Stuff from the heart.
Definitely. Like a couple of tracks from the Oscillat EP, you know the a2? And b1? I was angry! I made those two tracks in… two days!?
How comes you were angry man?
… I think I was seeking some conformation that I was a good producer or something? Every artist needs conformation, or like recognition you know?
That’s natural though man, I think every creative feels this at points. Also, I wanted to ask about VBX… is this is your label right?
Well, VBX started off with doing events, then later on we created the label. We’ve done a lot of events over the past few years, mostly in Amsterdam, but have ventured out to Moscow and Berlin as well. There are some nice parties planned for ADE and we also have Raresh booked in December. As far as the the label goes, we released the first EP last year, and right now we are making the track selections for 002!
Wicked… and yes, you should definitely have this dub tune from your MEOKO mix and Malin’s MEOKO mix for the new EP, It’s amazing.
Yeah it’s fucking wicked
It will be on there 😉
Yes! What is it called?
Well it is named after something somebody said to me in my dreams, then I just made a little rhyme out of it to name the EP and the tracks. ‘I’ll see you again when the stars are in a different place.’ Really weird.
Wow that’s interesting.
Yeah when I woke up I remembered it and now I’ll name two of the tracks out of that, and the rest out of a little rhyme I made up afterwards.
I should of realised as well, you always have curious names for your songs, like the ‘You Are Not Your Mind’ EP on FUSE. Class.
I always try to bring something spiritual in my titles you know.
Do you meditate as well?
Yes, not too much though. And you?
Yeah, sometimes if I need to be calm or be sharp for something I will do it… Or when I’m down. The world can be intense sometimes!
Yeah, it’s always been crazy man, but I think we’re heading in a good direction. Sometimes you have to go down before you go up. You have to defeat the dragon before you can get to the gold.
Yeah that’s a really nice way of putting it. Have you experienced some downs before?
I think so man. Sometimes. Like yesterday I was really fucking down man, really really really really down. I was in the studio and it didn’t work, sometimes I’m stuck you know.
As in your making music and it wasn’t going anywhere?
Exactly, then I walked out and I felt so compressed, you know, like numb? Then I have to go out and eat something.
You should never underestimate food either man! If you don’t eat, your mind does mad things to you!
True. I eat again now.
Yeah, because I forget that I don’t eat. But also you know, I don’t like to say it but I am always busy in my head as well, always philosophically, always thinking of everything. It can drive me nuts! I have this thing with numerology as well you know?
For example, when I’m in the studio and I see 44, which I actually see now, then I make a decision, I know I’m on the right path you know? I can either cut the sound, leave it in, whatever. Sometimes I don’t even listen, I just go on my intuition. That’s very strange because every other guy, musician, whoever, would say I’m crazy! Maybe the other thing was better?
Amazing. I don’t meet many other people who are into numerology man, so that’s cool. Anyway dude, what have you’ve got coming up in the next few months? I just got hold of your remix on Slapfunk!
Ah lovely, it’s finally released… it took nine months! The next release will be for Lessizmore, which is a really cool label from Brussels… Then yes, the one with Ross as Ferrossko, and after that the solo on VBX.
Ferrossko? Lol, nice.
Yeah that was an easy one!
Will you be playing with Ross and the FUSE guys again next week for ADE?
Yes, last year we did a party on Thursday night which was really cool… The vibe was great.
Was this when you played while Ricardo Villalobos was playing in the other room?
No, actually that was for HYTE, which was the day after FUSE. That was amazing.
Oh I see…
Normally its not so easy to play while Ricardo is playing the other room, but this turned out to be one of my best gigs in 2015. The reaction from the crowd was amazing and the vibe was just on point. So yeah, this year we are gonna do it all over again. This year we won’t be collaborating with FUSE on Thursday night, but with Loud & Contact from Barcelona, you know?
Ah okay, they did the RPR party for off week at Sonár this year?
Yeah! So we’re doing a party together with them on Thursday with Treatment, Vera, Francesco del Garda, and we are playing as well (Spokenn)
Vera? Yes, that is gonna be a sick party!
And then I play on Friday night for HYTE and FUSE, on my own, same situation as last year, Ricardo will be playing in Room 1 and FUSE will host Room 2. I’m gonna do the exact same spot as last year, so I’m really happy with that!
Yes I hope so too haha! And lastly, what about ADE man, it is a huge event now… Were you going there as a raver before you were DJing there?
Yes I went before I was playing. I went to Contakt, (Richie Hawtins party) and Cocoon. At the moment ADE feels like all my friends from abroad come over, and this time I am the host. Like a dinner party at my place! It feels nice to be the host sometimes!
Thanks, you too man!
Listen to Ferro’s MEOKO mix here!