Dutch duo Lövestad are fast making a name for themselves with their lush grooves and vibrant live performance. The pair have emerged from the Dutch underground, chalking up impressive appearances with their hardware based live set at the likes of Into The Woods Festival, Welcome To The Future, Wildeburg and Loveland. They have gone on to bring their sleek emotive jams to some of Berlin’s finest too including Panorama Bar, Katerblau and IPSE. Ahead of their 2020 concert tour, we caught up with the boys to get the lowdown on how it all began.
WWD: Hey guys, thanks for sitting with us! So you’ve just released your debut EP Miles on Freerange but you’ve actually been touring the live show for 5 years. How did that come about?
Haha, thanks for reminding us 😉 We always loved jamming and playing live, even before we met each other. We never really thought about releasing music. We just started recording jam video’s at our home studio, improvising with our drum computers and synthesizers. Those video’s got picked up quickly and before we knew it we were asked by Panorama Bar for one of our very first shows.
Things moved quickly from there. We started playing live at festivals and clubs, from Fusion Festival to the Royal Concert Hall in Amsterdam, curating our own nights at De Marktkantine. It was always our main priority to let our live set evolve and grow, there was never really a lot of time for releasing music. Deep down we felt it was time to release some of those jams, but it was tough. Translating the live energy into something that is steady enough to listen to or play out and still wild enough to be part of us wasn’t that easy. It wasn’t really until we wrote our track ‘Miles’ that we thought: ‘Yes, this might be something that can be released on a label’.
WWD: So, let us get this straight, you played one of your very first gigs in the Panorama Bar?
Yep, we couldn’t believe it either at that time! We thought a friend was pranking us. One of the programmers of the Panorama Bar saw a video of us jamming on Youtube and decided to book us. It wasn’t until we entered the building in Berlin with all our gear, that we really believed it was happening. It was an amazing night, morning and afternoon ;-). It really kickstarted our career. Before we only played a handful of smaller gigs with just a couple of people on the dancefloor. Can you imagine how nervous we were? Haha!
WWD: Tell us a bit more about the Miles EP…
Well,we both listen to very different kinds of music, but jazz was always our overlap. ‘Miles’ is really an homage to our jazzy taste. Sjors just got his new Dave Smith OB-6 synthesizer in and started writing some jazzy pads and a wobbly bassline with it. It was the first jam we recorded that really captured the energy we produce live, but is also something that we thought that could be played out. We sent it to Freerange Records and labelboss Jimpster really helped us shape the EP. It was also his idea to add an ‘Edit’ and ‘Dub’ to the release and we are very happy he did, because man we love that magic he put in the Dub version.
WWD: What makes your liveset so different from others?
It’s really something like a jazz improv take on an electronic performance.We take a whole bunch of synthesizers, drumsynths and controllers with us and basically let the moment take us in different directions. Ableton is at the heart of it all. By improvising with our gear and interacting with the crowd, we course through bits and pieces of music we write during the week in the studio. The way we think of our performance is as if we’ve already prepped the colors for our painting, but the blank canvas is yet to be filled in during the show. High energy, emotion and groove are key.
WWD: Did you experience any struggles doing it this way?
Yes, for sure! At first we used to show up with shopping bags full of expensive gear and had to build up everything in dark smokey clubs. There was never enough space for us on the DJ-booth. This became somewhat of a happy accident as we started building up our setup in front of the DJ-booth in the middle of the crowd. This really made us connect with the dancing people. Nowadays we have our gear safely stored in flightcases and most of the times there is room on the DJ-booth. Although sometimes we just go for it and build up in the middle of the crowd again!
WWD: So what’s next for Lövestad?
It has become somewhat of a tradition to post one recorded liveset a year. We’ve had Fusion Festival, Wildeburg and the Panorama Bar before. This year we’re releasing a live set recorded at De Marktkantine. This club has become somewhat of our homebase in Amsterdam. We curate nights here, inviting artist like Session Victim, Paul Woolford and Tunnelvisions. The recording of this set took place at one of these nights. We think it really captures the good vibes!
After that, 2020 will start with our first ‘2.5-hour Concert Tour’. For this tour we’ll invite guest musicians on stage, bring way too much synthesizers and invite the crowd to participate in our jams. And of course, releasing music felt good and tastes like more! Exciting times 🙂