Eelke Kleijn‘s third artist album sees the Rotterdam-based, multi-discipline composer return to the basics while building on all of his previous works. Smoldering since 2016 before flaring up like a twelve-part blast of inspiration, it limelights the Dutchman’s ability to craft up evergreen dance floor tracks, capturing a slightly more organic side of him through framework cuts such as first single ‘The Calling’, both versions of ‘Maschine’ and ‘Lost Souls’. Hypnotizing, unpredictable and saturated with the sounds of his modular synth, the album shows all the different directions its creator’s mind wanders into whenever he sits down in the studio. The album is out on his own label DAYS like NIGHTS We had the chance to speak with Eelke about the making of his album. Read the full interview below.
WWD: Hey Eelke Kleijn, Thanks for sitting with us today, hope you’re well! Tell us, what does a regular day look like for you?
Probably not so different from everybody elses! If I’m not on tour, I get up around 7.15am — my daughter has to be in school by 8.30am and I make her lunch. Afterwards I usually play an hour of guitar and answer some emails. I then work in the studio until 6pm, although some days I’ll stop at 4pm and go to the gym. In the evening I have dinner with my wife and daughter and afterwards I usually do a bit more work until 9 or so. Then some Netflix and off to bed!
WWD: You will soon release your third album on your own label DAYS like NIGHTS. From dance floor anthems like “Punta Cana” and “The Calling” to the synth-pop inspired “Drive,” you also acknowledge the need for balance by including downtempo and ambient tunes such as the LP’s title track, “Moments Of Clarity,” drawing on your training as a classical pianist. What were the key sources of inspiration fueling its creation?
Well first and foremost I wanted this to be a dance album, so from the twelve tracks there are nine I’m actually playing in my sets. But at the same time I think it’s something you can listen to at home also. I got most of the ideas for the album in 2016 and 2017. I had just redone my studio and among other things got a modular synth. I was getting pretty inspired by just messing around with that. I also liked the idea of using vocals that convey emotion but not through text, and there are a few tracks on the album playing with that. All in all I think I spent about two years on the album, off and on.
WWD: Can you explain the meaning behind the album title ‘Moments Of Clarity?’
I don’t always get inspired right away when I’m in the studio. Sometimes I go days without making something good. But then all of a sudden you come up with this idea and everything just seems to work out. Whenever that happens, I call it a ‘Moment Of Clarity,’ and they happen with everything, not just with music. All the tracks on this album were made in a moment like that, so I really liked the idea of using that as an album (and track) title.
WWD: For artists in the modern era, what do you think are the most appealing aspect to operating your own imprint?
I really like the fact that I can make all decisions myself. Working with many different labels makes it hard to control what gets released when — you have to try and synchronize everyone’s agenda. By releasing my music on my own label, I have complete control over that. Also, I can introduce other artists or new talent on the label that I admire.
WWD: What can we expect from DAYS like NIGHTS in 2019?
During the first half of 2019 we will have remixes of my artist album by a lot of artists that I really appreciate. There’s also new music from Mees Salomé, Yvel & Tristan and Simon Doty among other. On the event side, we want to continue to bring DAYS like NIGHTS to different places around the world. We recently had our first boat party in New York which went really well! The DLN radio show that I started exactly a year ago is doing well also, I’m looking forward bringing that to more stations worldwide.
WWD: What is the one piece of advice you would give now to the you from five years ago?
Buy more Bitcoin, haha!
WWD: Current favorite track?
“Underwater” by Rüfüs Du Sol. They’re an amazing band and this song is fantastic.
WWD: Who are some up and coming artists and labels to look out for?
A lot of the guys on the label are fantastic. Analog Kitchen, Mees Salomé, Simon Doty, Enamour. There’s loads of other talented artists as well. I’m really happy I can help get their music out via my label.
WWD: Are you able to tell some of your secret weapons when producing at the studio and what is your favorite synth?
My modular has been a great source of inspiration. Some of my other synths as well, especially my Moog Voyager, Bass Station and some of the guitar pedals like Strymon and Eventide. A lot of the stuff that I record will go through either those pedals, the modular or both. Even samples I will re-record a few times usually. I do all my mixing in the box, but I’m a really big fan of UAD plugins. They are a very big part of my sound.
WWD: Apart from music, what makes you happiest?
My wife says it’s eating. I say whisky.
WWD: Tell us about this track we’re premiering here today. What inspired it and how does it fit in with the rest of the album?
“Lost Souls” is a track that I started with early on in the album process. I had the basic chords and piano down and sent it to Ost. I’d been really impressed with the track “Lust for Wrong” by Vinny Villbass on which Ost did the vocals as well. After exchanging some ideas back and forth, we were really happy, but it did take me quite a while to finish the track. I even changed the bit after the breakdown completely a few times. It’s always been an important track for this album I think, it was one of the first I started on and it feels like it’s a big part of the album.
WWD: Cheers for speaking to us today Eelke!
My pleasure, thanks for having me!
Release date : November 16th, 2018. Buy Here