Heroes: Interview with Erik Snoek & Jasper Kersten (Schurkenbiefstuk, Den Bosch)

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Schurkenbiefstuk is a very successful party in Den Bosch, Netherlands. DJ-veteran Erik Snoek and young talent Jasper Kersten are doing it for 4 years. And maybe the main reason behind their success is the party is not only about DJs, music and alcohol. Art perfomances, theatre, food, painting and other kinds of art are included. We talked with Erik And Jasper about their unique concept of a party, records, hunting for the perfect party-place, Titanic and far more.

So guys, where are you at the moment?

Erik: In Den Bosch-Holland in our pop-up record store with tons of vinyl.

Is it sort of flea-market?

Jasper: No, not a flea-market, more like a garage sale. It’s basically the place where we store our records.

Oh yeah! I saw a pic today! How big is your city? Has it a big record junkie community?

Erik: It is the 6th biggest city of Holland with 120.000 citizens — all vinyl addicted.

)))

Jasper: Hehe, he wishes, it only has one small record store with different genres than we’re into. It’s a decent city tho.

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I wish to be there one day! We have only one record store in Kiev, and almost in Ukraine. Discogs & Juno are our places.

Erik: Yes, we also buy a lot of our records on the internet. Other then the internet we buy at shops, for example at Red Light Records Amsterdam, such a great shop! Big Schurkenbiefstuk favourite! We have to come to Kiev one day!

How long is the road to Amsterdam?

Jasper: Much alike then, Sasha. It takes like a small hour to Amsterdam by train. So it’s very doable.

Ok) Excuse me guys, but from the first time I thought that Jasper is Swedish) Is Jasper a Swedish name? Erik is more international)

Erik: No, Jasper is very Dutch and mine too. I was born in the south of Holland.

Jasper: My name is from the north of the Netherlands I think but I’m also born in the south.

And how you both got to Den Bosch?

Jasper: We actually moved to Den Bosch around the same time like 6-7 years ago, we didn’t know each other back then.

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And you met in the club..?

Jasper: Actually, no. I heard this new guy moved in town throwing parties, with good music too!Which, frankly, was quite rare in this town. As being a new guy myself I didn’t hesitate and contact him, trying to get a spot to deejay and all. We got to talk about our shared passion, the music. And eventually I get to help with the parties. I stuck around from there on.

Great! I heard Erik DJ-ed about 20 years, it’s fantastic. Erik, were it raves in the beginning?

Jasper: Yeah, quite the inspiring stuff! He’s basically my mentor, such inspiring collection and stories from back in the days!

Erik: No, no raves in the beginning. In 1987 I played for the first time for a big audience and collected Detroit and Chicago house music. The more melodic stuff like Don Carlos, Mr Fingers, Derrick May, Vincent Floyd etc. 1987 was also the time when I first organised myself a party. In 1990 house music became too commercial for me and I went monthly to London to buy there “black music” like jazz, latin, bossa, soul, funk etc.

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Are you more fulfilling today with soul/disco/funk then back in the days with Chicago & Detroit? As a DJ

Erik: No, 1988 was the music year for me. It was full of surprises and new experiences. I think the music which I buy now is musically stronger but has not got the atmosphere of those days. I still try to collect record with that house feeling from the end of the 80’s. If it is afro stuff or latin or boogie or jaaa or whatever what that does not matter with me, as long as it has a very strong atmosphere.

Jasper, was Erik for you a taste-changer? Or you were already in black music?

Jasper: I was very much into the black music and downtempo stuff, mostly into the newer things like Idjut Boys etc. But also very much into the early 80’s sound. Erik was quite the taste-changer though because he plays like classical and ambient records mixed with, for example: latin, broken beats, jazz etc. genres which I wasn’t very much into. He really thought me to listen better and be more open-minded towards my selection. Quite the eye opener for sure!

And how your project was started? Why Schurkenbiefstuk? It means villain and steak on Dutch…

Jasper: Why not? ) The name is a sort of a joke that stuck around.

Erik: It was founded 4 years ago by me. Many names are quite ambitious. We connect all kinds of art together with this music like theatre, food, painting, performances and like to surprise people with special things which happen during a Schurkenbiefstuk night.

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Is it a monthly thing?

Erik: It is about 5 times a year. And the response is fantastic. We did it now for 11 times and always are sold out (400 people).

Amazing!!! Describe for example your last event? How these components were combined?

Jasper: Each time we try to create our biggest fantasy night out, with new and challenging combinations, we try to create lasting experiences. Last time it took place at an old army depot, a very atmospheric building. We kept it very dark and moody, with tense colours, red/purple and so on. We set the mood with actress with dark make up walking around.

Erik: I am inspired by people like Alexander McQueen, David Lynch, Serge Noyelle, Verner Panton. All people who are enormous creative in building new worlds. That is the kind of music I am always looking for. It has to have a lot of fantasy in it.

And you are the conductors of this big performance. Are you only DJs or maybe you are also chiefs, painters there?

Erik: No, I’m just the creator and can’t perform myself. We are very critical and will try to create a unique atmosphere. We did book a lot of DJs but it’s hard for them to bring the SCHURKENBIEFSTUK sounds, so we decided to DJ ourselves and that works the best. The crowd loved it.

Jasper: Each event differs from the last, we always find new inspiring locations to build new themes for. We write down the concepts and let real artist do their job, we all inspire each other. As deejays we try to be on the background a bit, we try to avoid static things as much as possible and let the focus be more on the whole.

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Do you want to tour with your project, spread it worldwide?

Jasper: We don’t intent too, we really love the small and atmospheric areas, we don’t have a commercial drive. We do it for our love for music and theatre.

Have you a hymn guys? Or some permanent records people are waiting for? I see like you’re battling right now about it)))

Jasper: Hehe, we are.

Erik: Yes we do. For example Shadow – Let’s Get Together and Wally Badarou — Give It Away.

Jasper: We’re arguing.

Jasper, what’s your version?)

Jasper: Those are very good for us, indeed. I have very good memories playing Barricentro tittle tattle and errr JM Black — Lipstick (Shout!), both great party tracks!

Was it on last party?

Jasper: No, not the last one, the one before.

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Are you DJing outside of your party?

Erik: Yes, we DJ also outside our parties. I’m DJing for over 25 years now. But we do have a daughter so not every week anymore.

Jasper: For me it’s once in a while. I really would like to play more tho. It’s quite hard even in the Netherlands…

So your party is always like coming back home. Familiar faces, the mood…

Erik: Yes, it is fantastic and is still growing and getting more and more attention. The crowd in Den Bosch is really nice and enthusiastic. Den Bosch has always been a place which brings new music. It’s maybe faster than Amsterdam to be honest. Many talents come from Den Bosch and later move to the big city.

Amazing, guys! And what is the next crazy idea about party?

Jasper: We are searching for a new location at the moment, we have this idea to separate the men from the woman at the start, build the tension and then suddenly get them back together again.

Genius! I’m seriously) It will be like the ending of Titanic on the start)

Jasper: Hehe, it just might be, thanks! But that’s always the great thing, you never know how people will react.

Erik: Tension is what it is all about and I miss that really when going out.

Jasper: Exactly! We need more tension

Erik: Just staring at a DJ is so boring we think.

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Agree) So guys, keep doing what you are doing! I never heard of parties like this before.

Erik: Thanks for having us. Keep the music alive and play that vinyl wild.

Jasper: Thanks a lot!

Yeah, maestros!

Check Schurkenbiefstuk website and MixcloudWords: Sasha Tessio, Artem Super Ikra
Cover picture: Sasha Tessio