ITW : DEEP SPACE SERIES [HENDRIK & GLENN]

Deep Space Series promotes some of the best electronic, ambient and deep techno artists. Their mix series, born in October 2015, includes works by emerging and established artists from Belgium and around the world. The concept is quite simple, the deepest possible ambient/techno music compiled into one central platform on Soundcloud. The format doesn’t matter, set lengths don’t matter, the fame of an artist does not matter… Only the selection and the mix matters.

Hi Hendrik, Glenn. First of all, could you tell us how you got into electronic music and techno, and how did you start your channel Deep Space Series ?

Glenn: Ever since my mid teens I was into all kinds of music. I started listening to classic rock records I got from family around 15-16 y/o, and started collecting a little after. My taste in music kept evolving ever since. I was really into dubstep/DnB/jungle back in the day. I still love listening to this. At 16 I went to my first party with proper DJ’s. Hendrik started DSS so you’ll have to ask him.

Hendrik: I started DSS because of my own interest in the deeper electronic music spectrum. Originally it started because i wanted to find exclusive music more easily. As i am a bit egocentric i thought i should make personal contact with artists via a podcast platform and then ask for tracklistings as i am a hobby DJ myself.

My vision about DSS changed after the first podcast, it wasn’t about easy tracklistings anymore. The platform was shaped by Ness his first DSS session. I experienced a sudden drive to try and find some more artists as i was really impressed by Ness his set.

I started taking this platform seriously and started my search for new and cool artists for DSS.

I started listening music at a very young age and this quickly turned in to an obsession. In my younger years i listened all types of core (hardcore, breakcore, french …). This evolved into my passion for techno music.

Could you tell us more about the idea behind Deep Space Series and its sonic identity?

Hendrik: The idea is quite simple, the deepest possible ambient/techno music compiled into one central platform on Soundcloud. The format doesn’t matter, set lengths don’t matter, the fame of an artist does not matter, nothing matters really… Only the selection and the mix matters.

” The format doesn’t matter, set lengths don’t matter, the fame of an artist does not matter, nothing matters really… Only the selection and the mix matters.

Who would you recommend for readers to listen to on Deep Space Series, for those unfamiliar with the channel ? 

Hendrik: My absolute favorite is DSS by Ntogn (Hypnus label boss). He is also my fave artist of all time. Emotional experience. Also THNTS if you want some grad A techno music.

Glenn: DSS 033 for me, Efraim Kent delivered a mix full of great minimal music. Some of it unreleased too so we had to turn off the downloads.

What would say is the ideal setting to listen to your podcast series ?

Hendrik: Anywhere with a decent soundsystem or headphones, preferably listen alone…

We’d love to know a bit more about the programming. What’s your starting point when building the planning ? How do you decide which artists to publish each months ?

Hendrik: Only a gut feeling, we don’t really plan artists. If we like a sound, we try and acquire it for the platform.

Glenn: We’re picky and busy people so we don’t contact that many artists. The schedule became a little more flexible over time. Most important is the music itself. Quality > quantity. It’s very rewarding to see that some DJ’s mix things up for DSS, for example with an ambient mix, or an extra deep one.

You also do the artwork yourself, which is super cool. How important is the artwork when it comes to setting the tone of your channel ?

Glenn: I basically apply the brand image Hendrik developed before I was part of DSS. I only use images about life and nature, mostly structures and patterns.

Hendrik, as dj and Deep Space Series’s owner, in your experience, what’s the recipe for the perfect podcast ?

Hendrik: Hard to explain, when you feel disconnected from your self. My all time favorite time slot (as a DJ and raver) is the warm up slot, unlike most DJ’s I prefer an early slot opposed to a peak time slot.
Because I specialise in these warm up sessions, I started playing alot of ambient and experimental trax. My obsession for mind expanding music began in my early days as an warm up DJ.

My approach to a warm up set is exactly the same as my approach to DSS. I want to create a ritual, some kind of ceremony if you will. This ritual should warm up the mind and the body, but it also has to leave breathing room for the second artist of that night. If you finish your warm up set with 140+BPM trance… You did something wrong in my honest opinion.

” If you finish your warm up set with 140+BPM trance… You did something wrong in my honest opinion.

The warm up set at a quality event should be an intimate experience that sets the standard for the whole night. In my opinion this DJ slot is essential for a decent event.

Are there any contemporary artists who make a big impression on you or leave a remarkable impact on the music scene ?

Glenn: That’s a tough one. There are so many. I’ll divide into techno and other.

Techno: Donato Dozzy, Surgeon, Oscar Mulero, Peter van Hoesen, Mike Parker, Marco Shuttle, Rrose, Svreca, Mad Mike, Function.

Other: Susumu Yokota, Aphex Twin, Justin Broadrick, Mala, Boards of Canada, Klaus Schulze, Pete Namlook, Kraftwerk, Gerald Donald, James Stinson

Hendrik: Dozzy, Svreca, Varg, Valentino Mora, Tobias, Claro intelecto, Deepbass, Ness, Svarog, Swarm intelligence, Mulero, Van Hoesen, Shuttle, Rrose, Notgn, Korridor, Anthony Linell, …

And what can you tell us about the Belgian local scene and sound in general ? And what about events and clubs ?

Glenn: Techno and club culture in Belgium changed over the last few years. Fast and rough, often industrial, techno tends to attract bigger crowds now. Clubs and events need to adapt, reinvent themselves. Or mostly book the crowd pleasers.

But I feel like a new generation of artists is emerging: A. Brehme, Parallel Circuit, Lunar Convoy, Altinbas, Initial Code, Border One,… All sick DJ’s/producers that push a psychedelic sound (and to be heard on DSS).

” But I feel like a new generation of artists is emerging: A. Brehme, Parallel Circuit, Lunar Convoy, Altinbas, Initial Code, Border One,… All sick DJ’s/producers that push a psychedelic sound (and to be heard on DSS).

I used to enjoy parties a lot in Belgium, but the ones I went to regularly are mostly gone (Hertz, Technoon). You can find me at Fuse or C12 most nowadays. Initiate is the party I like most at Fuse. C12 is a huge win for the Belgian scene. Great line-ups and venue. I hope to have them around for some more years.

Hendrik: I only go to C12, only club that matters to me. Horst and Voltage interest me. I detest big money machines with 0 identity.

However, the multiplication of live streams and podcasts series during the quarantine can make it hard for artists to have their content being seen – especially those with a smaller network. With quantity sometimes prevailing over quality, some can also show less interest in these mediums of creativity and prefer to focus on their productions. What do you think about this current situation ?

Glenn: Interesting, I thought about this too recently. It feels a bit like overkill. We didn’t do one.  Maybe it’s better for artists or organisations to do only one (or a couple). On the other side, when reaching a lot of people is the goal it makes sense to do a lot of them. I don’t blame clubs to do so. Time’s are tough for them. Staying top of mind might be key to success. The flipside is maybe a lack of artistry. 

Hendrik: Total overkill, absolutely not interested in doing a stream

What are your future plans ? Where would you like to take Deep Space Series in the future ?

Hendrik: We will try and continue our platform with cool artists. We are starting some collaborations with “De Stelplaats” in Leuven and “De Serre” in Hasselt. We will organise lay down/sit down DSS ambient session (sometimes combined with a brunch). There are not many events in Belgium for this type of mind expansion. So we will organise some events to see if people like this idea, or maybe don’t like it at all…

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