So, picture this. It’s around 21:15 and the humidity is just about settling into the gentle evening wind. The beverage of choice? That’s entirely up to everyone. Or anyone. We’re getting ready to connect. Obviously we don’t start on time. That wouldn’t be elegant, anyway.
Who have we gathered around the table with this very moment? Bas and Luuk, also known as Match Box, the duo who, and now we dare quote, have - and continue to - seek inspiration from the full UK sound spectrum. Before we proceed, however, they are quite clear in stating that they are more producer than DJ. Where were we? Right, everything that’s got rhythm is a fruitful source of creative ingenuity. “We are inspired by trance, echoey 90s sounds. Those big sounds, you know? Sounds that trigger”, is what we’re told. Sounds that, well, sound the way they should sound perhaps? Perhaps, yes.
We are intrigued by human interaction. We are interested in a dynamic interaction between two souls that come together to create. What inspires you to create, Bas? What drives you to produce, Luuk? Is there a certain logic that goes into this process of becoming? “Our studio is on the top floor of the building. We tend to have a good meal - curry to be precise - before we indulge upon what is to come. We walk up the stairs and it smells like old stuff, you know?” We know. “But it smells better than smoke. It smells like a club”, Bas adds. “A fallen down beer mixed with cigarettes.” Or as Luuk points out it kind of reminds him of “old dust in a synth”. The mood is set.
Welcome to the studio.
“We influence each other. In the beginning, the tasks were always clear. Now, it’s definitely more opaque. A division of forces. Learning from each other. A plan starts out very briefly and becomes complex through each others’ input. It’s a chaos that comes together. If the train drives, it’ll drive. Obviously, we sometimes forget our tickets and need a moment to catch the next train. But that’s fine, because that’s just the way things go. Is the train delayed? We’ll talk to each other. Hours on end. We’ll talk about everything really. We’ll talk about the future. A few bottles of wine? That tends to work very well.” And in that moment, Luuk switches from Cabernet Sauvignon to Pinot Noir.
“Our longest session was making Rain Check, the tune. It was a 10 hour bender that really had all the ingredients you could possibly think of when trying to create something from scratch.” What was the vision with this release? “It all started with one tune. We actually never would’ve expected these 6 tracks to come together the way they did.” A pleasant surprise, according to the two. “The differences in the tracks compliment each other in their entirety. Did we have a goal? Yes, we did. To show that we can perform a diverse show. Downtempo, house, electro, trance, techno. We wanted to marry the senses together. The result is what you hear. We like it!”
Merging the senses and generating an emotion seems like the perfect menu for production. Coming to an understanding along the way is the only way. “The goal,” they continue, “was never set in stone. The subconscious delivered. We are producers. And that is a very broad term.”
What inspires you individually to produce? What triggers your subconscious? At which point do you become conscious? “In terms of genre,” Bas says, “it’s definitely hip hop. Amethyst started out as a hip hop track, believe it or not!” So why did it change, we ask? “The synths took over and the drums gave way for somewhat of an evolution. Plus, making a hip hop track is more difficult than you’d think”, he laughs.
“My main source of inspiration would have to be indie rock,” continues Luuk. “Fluidum is kind of like the 80s. It feels that way to me, at least. It’s got this melodic catchiness that was heavily inspired by a previous life.”
Another glass was poured and it wasn’t a very subtle move. We noticed the change and were told it’s a Merlot. This is a beautiful moment. We are sitting together, chatting away, having a laugh, learning about things we otherwise would only wonder about. This is what it’s all about, right? Interaction equals life.
But is there a starting point to all of this? Is it the name or the idea, I wonder. “A name is never the starting point”, says Luuk. “That’s a bit of a romantic ideal to think that a specific set of letters forms the basis of a musical endeavour. Emotional melancholy is how we see the release in its entirety.” Indeed, “it has all come together,” Bas adds. How did they feel whilst making the tunes? “A sense of essence. The feeling of living in a certain moment in a certain space in time. Yes, that’s precisely how it felt.”
We’re in a vibe now. A sensory trip. If this release had a color, scent or shape, what would you say? Without hesitation, Bas says, “Amethyst is a purple stone. In fact, it’s a collection of stones. This one was the first name we immediately had ready.” “DR From Space actually had a different name,” Luuk laughs. “Let’s just say a friend fell down. We changed it because, well, space is also a relevant addition.”
“The release", they synonymously continue, “is round. Dark green,” says Luuk. “Definitely not black or brown. It’s a color, but not a light one. Green and purple. It smells like a wet forest.” That sounds soothing. Why? Because it is! We can all relate to a wet forest. We can now settle our senses. Early morning mist covered in wet air. A drop trickles down a leaf. This, my friends, is music. A round scent. Incense, even. You can ask these two where to buy some.
So where, then, did the other names come from? “Mutation Gamble came about because of the world today. Or at least, the world this entire past year. Kafkaesque is exactly what the word says! The tune sounds exactly like the Kafkaesque feeling. If you haven’t heard of this, check it. It’s wild. It truly is.”
The glasses are becoming empty, the conversations are still flowing though. This is a good momentum. Which dish should we be making to ease our hunger? How can we best digest an aural-starred dinner? “A curry, of course”, laughed Bas and Luuk. “A well-made curry is tasty and elegant. It’s what we love and what we’re good at making. The tastes come together just the way they should. Secretly, we’d like to believe that our tunes reflect this as well.
Curry is soft and so are the tunes. No hard pieces.”
On an anecdotal note, we decide to lean back and breathe. Slowly. It’s been a joyous ride. It’s been a journey. “Just one more thing”, before the connection is lost. “Humor and friendship is what really makes us who we are. It may sound cliché, but we can’t spend so much time together if it weren’t for these two elements. In fact, we can’t even spend so many hours together on end without listening to a casual René le Blanc. That, essentially, is what keeps us sane.”