Patrice Bäumel is considered as one of the finest DJ’s in the Amsterdam music circuit. His music strikes a fine balance between the emotional and technical plains. Patrice is well known for his residency at legendary Club 11 and Trouw clubs where he made quite the name for himself. Over the years, Patrice has proven his skills with some stellar releases on Kompakt, !K7, Get Physical, My Favorite Robot and Systematic as well as his acclaimed debut album “Vapour”. His impeccable skills also landed him a Balance Presents compilation which has featured legends like Guy J, Kölsch, Fur Coat and jozif.
We had a nice warm chat with Patrice after his insane set at sLick‘s annual property A Day Of sLick in Goa last week. We are still reeling from that madness and are super excited about his upcoming India Tour. Yes, you heard it right, he is coming back soon for a proper multi city tour. Read the full interview below.
Hello Patrice, how are you doing? How did you kickoff 2017? You made your India debut last week at A Day Of sLick 2X in Goa, how was the experience?
I started the year the same way I ended it: in good spirits and putting a lot of studio hours in. I worked through Christmas, I worked on the plane, I do 18 hour shifts in the studio. And I love it. I feel really fit and positive. I spent NYE in Tulum where I played at an open air party in a beautiful nature setting. Goa right before that was an amazing experience on many levels. The last time I had been to India was 13 years ago. The country has changed so much! The old round white taxi cabs are gone. Everything is more modern. The people are as positive and smiley as ever! I had nothing but good experiences and returned home with a heart full of love.
How was 2016 for you? What are the most memorable moments from last year?
2016 was the busiest year of my career. The most wonderful experience was to see so many people enjoy the records I made, it’s the best way for me to contribute good energy to this world. Releasing my first official mix compilation on Balance was a dream come true. Travelling to quite a few new countries has taught me a lot about the world, the cultural exchange with other people is the biggest gift of this profession. My favourite party was Desert Hearts festival in California – pure love.
Your remix of Cubicolor’s Dead End Thrills has blown everyone away and garnered an insane support from a lot of artists and fans alike. How did this remix come about?
In a very traditional way. The Anjunadeep label approached me, I listened to the track and immediately said yes. It reminds me so much of Depeche Mode, my favourite band of all time. Dead End Thrills is a beautifully constructed song with so many interesting elements that remixing it was a piece of cake – I think I was done in a day. I wanted to pay respect to the song and stick relatively close to the original while creating the right dynamic that works in a club environment. Still, I am really surprised that it is getting such strong support from a wide variety of DJ’s. It gives me confidence in my work and I feel I am getting better and better at producing music as the years go by.
You have done residency in a couple of renowned clubs in Europe over the past couple of years. Could you tell us how a residency affects an artist’s career progression?
Playing to the same crowd many times over can give you confidence to experiment. It helps you grow as a dj and learn much more about crowd control and selection. At the same time, being too closely related to a certain club brand can also limit your personal development – people start seeing you as “that guy from Trouw”. It can also make you a little lazy and give you a sense of security of a steady income that might work counterproductive. Personally, my career really took off after Trouw Amsterdam had closed – the club I had been resident dj at for 6 years. I felt really free and motivated to spread my wings and stand on my own feet.
Your father was a music journalist. How did that help you while you were growing up? Did it influence your music choice in any way?
It trained my musical ear from an early age. Even without any musical training, I feel I understand sound and the dynamics of music, how a song unfolds, how to tell a story with music, how to paint certain emotions with it. My dad’s record collection had a big influence on me, I am extremely thankful to him.
Since the last 2-3 years, you have been producing your own style of techno music which you have dubbed ‘Techno for Grown-Ups’. Tell us more about your style. What inspires it?
My music is influenced by “happy accidents”. I never know beforehand what I am going to make. First, I play like a child, push buttons, try crazy things. Once I have found something interesting in that chaos I use that as a starting point. The music writes itself. Things that inspire me are modern art, nature, film scores, parties.
How has your relationship with Kompact been so far? How is their creative process?
Absolutely wonderful. We are one big family. It is amazing to work outside of any hypes with a group of grown-ups who share a passion and support each other. They trust and motivate me in the right way. They totally let me do my thing and just give me delivery deadlines. Michael Mayer and John Berry do the A&R at Kompakt and when I deliver something new they will give some feedback that always helps me improve my music further. There are no egos, just a desire to make interesting music.
What does Patrice like to do in his free time when he is not touring or in the studio?
I like being with my wife and dog, traveling, going to museums, doing a little bit of sports like running, surfing and the gym. On a weeknight we also just hang out and watch stupid comedies or series. Just normal life. I also love watching Mixed Martial Arts fights, a complex and fascinating sport.
You are an artist who hasn’t restricted himself to a particular genre but have been more on the free shifting side of it. How difficult is it to shift across the spectrum while maintaining a balance in your music?
I don’t even think about genres, everything happens automatically. Making music feels like I don’t have a choice, like I am just a medium and it happens through me. The only thing I always want to achieve is to make music that takes off, that goes “bang”. Peaktime material. There is so little good peaktime music out there, it’s a very good niche to be in. Everybody loves a hit record.
- Stroopwaffles or Chocomel?
Stroopwafels. I used to be addicted to them when I first moved to the Netherlands. Now I’m kind of over them. I never liked Chocomel all that much, I prefer real homemade hot chocolate.
- 3 things you never forget to carry on a tour.
Goggles in case there is a pool somewhere. My credit card, which will bail me out whenever I have forgotten to bring something important. And a bunch of podcasts on my phone to get through long travel hours. I like talk podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience or Tim Ferriss.
- Last played track on your iPhone/iPod ?
Barker & Baumecker – Club Entropicana
- Ferrari or Bentley ?
Neither. I would not want to be seen in either one of them, a total waste of money. I have always driven old second hand cars that cost next to nothing. A to B, not some ego trip.
- Sky Diving or Scuba Diving?
Sky Diving. I have done it once and it was a lot less scary than I thought. You are so high up in the sky that it feels surreal. I would love to scuba dive but I have a small hole in my ear drum which keeps me from equalising the pressure. But snorkeling is fun, too, and I love the underwater world.