Some artists were made to play music. Some were meant to make and talk. Talk loud to mute the bad voices. Talk loud in any case. And never shut up. Even/especially when money is up. Drvg Cvltvre is part of those ones. Part of those whom each track is a surprise and a rediscovery.
« Fuck Red Bull, Fuck Boiler Room », are not words that one is used to hearing. Or reading. Or even just giving. For once, they sound right, fair and it’s nice to realise, one day, that the electronic (or alternative, any one you like) scene, still includes in its members, outspoken artists not afraid of leaving everything to be true to who they are and to who they love.
Not a surprise, then, to find his name on Chosen Family very first edition line-up, on saturday 27th july. It will take place at La Station-Gare des Mines, it will be warm and oozing. Can’t wait.
Vincent, what are you doing right now ?
Vincent : I’m at work, I’m a curator for the Municipality museum of the city of Breda
Why this name, Drvg Cvltvre ?
The name is kind of an accident, I was not planning on doing anything long term with it, but had to come up with something for a first release and was thinking about an interview I gave back in late 90’s, when someone asked me what I hate about techno parties. I told them: the drug culture.
What is the “drvg cvltvre” for you and what does it stand for ?
Mindless hedonists only interested in hearing a 4/4 bass drum, not caring about who is playing it, part of which musical legacy, not hearing the intricate melodies and arrangements on top of it and not listening to my lyrics 🙂
We like to ask artists about the VERY FIRST party they went to ?
I didnt go to parties before I started dj-ing. I heard house and new beat on the radio, so i knew it had to be beat-matched, and I started dj-ing at 16. It was 1988 and the only thing I could buy were cheap compilations. I told the local record-store guy to order anything that said ‘new beat’ and he did, and I played it. We only had a smoke machine and a stroboscope and the place was packed since the second week. It burned down after about a year, but it was a special place in a small town that must have made an impact on at least some of the kids there.
What is the most important thing you remember from it ?
Just trying to beat match with 2 cheap record players, and keeping the smoke machine filled with fluid. Also drinks were free for the dj, but since I was so young they gave me a 10 drink limit.
What’s the main reason that made you go out at that time ?
Just boredom. Nothing else to do in the little town… but you have to understand, all your questions about partying – I also played in a punk band at the same time. We played a lot of shows around the area and kids liked it. In a small town all the ‘misfits’ stick together. So the punks, young metal heads, gay kids, rave kids and new wave kids all were on the same team. the ‘NO MAINSTREAM’ team.
What were you doing, with you team then ?
Hanging, talking, smoking joints and drinking cans of beer.
What was the dark side of parties, according to you, at that time ? The thing that could have ruined everything ?
The only thing that could have ruined it was if I had stayed in that town. It was so boring and I felt so out of place.
Where do your first vibrations come from ?
The Birthday Party, The Ramones, Bad Religion, UK Subs, combined with early hiphop compilations, street sound electro compilations and a stack of new beat records.
Did you change your way of listening to music since you play and produce it ?
No not really. I sometimes hear something and think, yeah thats a preset on this synth you lazy bastard, but most of the time I listen to music that moves me emotionally. I try to stay away from music that does not communicate to me.
You are seen as a punk artist in a electronic music industry, why that according to you ?
I’m very outspoken in my political views (AS EVERY ARTIST SHOULD!) and very outspoken in what I do and do not like. If you send me a promo and its BS, I’ll tell you. I’m not listening or making music to make friends..
What motivated to put your track in free download on your soundcloud at first ?
Sometimes its so urgent to share a track you cannot wait for a label to release it. Music is communication and sometimes you are in a hurry to share your message. I dont care about the money side of music. I do care, I mean, I dont want to fund gun trade with it, but I feel very comfortable giving away lots of my music.
What’s the most important thing that changed about you, between your beginnings and now ?
Thats a difficult and big question. The biggest change is that I am now a father to a baby girl and have been with my wife for 10 years. We consider ourselves a wolf pack and the young cub gives us more responsibility to take care of the pack. I’m very protective and have no problems picking up and leaving our house, my job, everything behind if the wolf pack is in danger.
Another thing: In the past I have been signed to labels that wanted me to do stupid stuff that was not relevant to the music. I’ve always been politically active, but in recent years I also notice there are some things I just will NOT do. Fuck red bull, fuck boiler room, fuck corporate greed. You dont get to leech of my music and I will never change that.
What’s the thing that makes you happy when you play music ?
A dj set and live set are very different for me. A live set is more of a performance, which is closer to art. A dj set is playing records I really like and it makes no difference for me if its in my back yard with some friends or in front of 5000 people. The thing that makes me happy about both is that its a very direct connection with people. Music has a strange power to communicate emotion without touching each other or talking to each other. Just being in the same room listening to the same melodies, lyrics, rhythms.
Do you feel any disadvantages in the fact of belonging to the night and music industry world ?
I dont feel I belong to the music industry. MUSIC IS NOT AN INDUSTRY. Its a trancendent feeling or emotion that you can communicate with. That offers you new knowledge, that offers you temporary escape, that offers you love and hate. There is no pricetag on my music.
What do you think of the electronic music scene industry in the Netherlands ?
Its not good. Lot of big festivals that book the same shit over and over. ADE that has the same shit over and over. A lot of 130 BPM all male line-ups playing staright forward techno all night. Its fucking boring.
« Leave your FUCKING PHONES AT HOME »
Do you go out a lot, when not playing ?
Not so often. I like to visit the theatre, to go see performance and experimental or contemporary dance. I listen to a lot of dub, and try to go see as many dub shows as possible. I also listen to a lot of classical music, but those shows are even more boring than the techno shows.
According to you, why do people need to party so much in 2018 ?
For me they dont have to do anything. Just buy some cans of beer and hang out somewhere, leave your FUCKING PHONES AT HOME and just talk bullshit. Look at each other and really see and understand what people are about. Talk about your wishes and dreams and have fun.
In Europe, for a moment, parties used to be very political (by organizing them in forbidden spaces, or to protest against something, or to support something, a cause). Do you think this time is over ?
Yeah I do think the era of FREETEKNO is mostly over. It was a good way to party though. In my area, the local crews Wirwar and ZMK were always throwing raves in the woods in the late 90’s and early 00’s. It had a sense of urgency and usually they collected money for a cause or for a squad or something else. It was a lot of fun, and became even better when some of the dj’s played something else than techno.
Do you have a militancy in your way of being part of the nightlife ?
I’m too old to be part of the night life. I support progress and diversity. Promotors should give young, unknown artists a chance to develop themselves and choose to do things NOT the easy way.
« Have you ever heard the most wonderful thing in the world? A children’s sigh »
Dont choose the way of the money. Everybody can book a MORD label night or a PERC TRAX label night. But it takes more time, knowledge and love to put together a line-up that’s gender even, balances the diversity of techno or electronic music and that has a logical start and finish. There are so many kids creating new stuff. Coding music, Algorave, self built synths and bringing their own cultural background to the music. It makes no sense to just choose the easy way.
What do you like about the night that days don’t bring you ?
Its calm, the phone doesnt ring, the little girl is in her bed, my wife is sleeping . Have you ever heard the most wonderful thing in the world? A children’s sigh. If I could only hear one more sound for the rest of my life, that would be it.
How do you think young people will go out in 20 years ?
I hope they will still talk to each other. But most likely it will more of the same as we have now. Maybe with even less personal connection. Machines that pour your drinks, retina scans to get in. Security gates manned by robots. An even less personal and even more cost effective way of a party… Everything is getting destroyed by capitalist greed.
Will you still be around ? How ? With an other alias maybe ?
I’ll be around. I have to make music, I cant stop. It keeps me sane. But I’ll be playing earlier in the night, or maybe in a different setting. I’ll keep this alias for now, no sense in changing it again, but I will also be playing more often under my own name, Vincent Koreman-Lavoir with my works for piano and compositions.
What’s the track you could have been playing at 4am in a party in 1997 ?
Source Direct – Stone Killer
In 2001 at 8pm ?
Vincent : Curley – Have An Axe To Grind
In 2050 at 8am ?
Prince Far I – Deck Of Cards