Interview w/ DJ Overdose

Jeroen Warmenhoven’s moniker, DJ Overdose, is an instant association for longevity on the world electronic music scene. Dutch DJ/producer originally from the Hague, now based in Rotterdam, has been active for over twenty years carefully selecting which material he’ll release, this resulted with a perfectly formed discography of now containing 33 LP’s and 4 albums, the last one being “Emulator Armour” on eminent L.I.E.S. label. He admits not going to the record stores anymore, disliking contemporary hip hop, and claiming that the 1980s were the golden age for electronic music with hip hop having second golden age from 1995 till 2005. We had the pleasure of talking with this notorious DJ/producer for you.

– Someone once said that for a Dutch electronic music producer of a certain vintage you can be viewed as an anomaly. You weren’t a part of the squat/warehouse scene that grew up around I-F’s Unit Moebius collective and the Bunker label. Can you tell us more about your beginnings, how did you start off?

I was not and still arent into techno or acid. Even though I do like some tracks. Still, the whole start of Bunker and all that stuff was in The Hague so we all played in the same places. De Blauwe Aanslag was the place for all kinds of music. There were our (DBF) Hip Hop night there was Reggae there was Jungle there was Bunker there was everything and the crowd would be lots if the same people just going there because they knew the music would at least not be shitty Bacardi house beach club crap but the music was always the good stuff of whatever the genre.

– Jeroen can you please pick three of your favorite tracks from the, as you once said, second golden age of hip hop?

There is a lot but Wu-tang’s first album, Biggie’s first album, Mobb Deep’s second, Snoop Dog’s First, A Tribe called Quest’s third. Were all albums that had a 1000 copies coming out after their release.

– Tell us more about your last album “Emulator Armour”, what’s the story behind this 13 track master class, and why did you decide to release it exclusively on cassette as a medium

It’s going to be out on vinyl too but the cassette is like a pre-release also because the cassette is back in view.

It’s nice because it sounds good. And it has that aging which can leave marks on tracks like they were meant to be there.

The thing I played over and over again on my walkman with autoreverse was a line from Boogie Down Bronx. “It goes up your back, comes down your spine and when it hits your ass it’s gonna blow your mind”

I played that part until it was almost gone from the tape.

The story of the album is that I send about 30 tracks to Ron Morelli and he picked his favorites.

And that I was saving up tracks because I wanted to do an album for LIES because they have such cool covers.

Really happy with the one I got!!

– We know that SP12 is your favorite piece of gear, what equipment did you use on your last album?

Aside from the SP, there is a lot of the modified RZ-1 on this album for the beats.

The modification makes it have a DMX, 808, and 909 kit. (Check RaZor-1 in this track I flip between the kits)

It’s a really special drum computer.

Synthwise I just use whatever inspires me that day but I think the SQ80 is on every track and 5×4 is made with just the SQ80.

– When playing an event, do you plan your set in advance, or you improvise completely by selecting the tracks on the spot?

I have been using the same backpack for years. It can hold 40 records. I just select those 40 out of about 300 records I feel work well in the club. They are always within 20 bpm of each other. I play from 127 to 147 bpm.

I don’t prepare a mix ever I just have to do it with the records I brought.

– We know you love soundtracks and that you have about 300 of them in your collection with Blade Runner being your favorite one. What are your three favorite movies and what was the last good one you watched?

It’s my favorite pairing I think a very good soundtrack very good movie. Another favorite is Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man the movie is cool but definitely not as good as the soundtrack.

Another favorite is shogun Assassin.

Also, almost anything by John Barry hits the mark for me.

Some that come to mind.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle

Bad Lieutenant

Vozvrasjtsjenie (The Return)

On The Silver Globe

Lately, I liked Dragged Across Concrete, Wind River, and a lot more but I forget what I’ve seen very quickly.

– When starting working on a new track, what’s the first thing you do? And how do you know the track is done?

I don’t have a set way, lately, I’ve been making a lot of music with just the SP1200 again. I like the restrictions and since I live on a small boat now. I don’t have my studio at hand. I just have the SP1200 a laptop Ableton with Ableton push.

I make samples in Ableton or on my iPad or even on my phone sometimes just recording hitting with something on something else hehe. Works well!

– If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be and why?

I really don’t know. I’m superhero tired.

Maybe I would like to be a superhero like RZA.

– In the end, tell me what do you think you’d be successful in doing if you weren’t such a great DJ and producer?

I used to teach kids how to swim. I think I was pretty good at it.

It was a pleasure chatting with you, thank you Jeroen. J


Music Reactions · React Podcast 069 – DJ Overdose (Vinyl set)