From illegal raves to sold out vinyls, we speak with one of the The Netherlands' true underground warriors about his rise through the rave and his record hunting methods.
Like all good movements in dance music, Utrecht's SlapFunk crew started with a crew of friends putting on parties. Samuel Deep has emerged as one of the imprint's key stars in recent years, but his roots with the label run back to the mid 2000s and illegal parties in the city's tower blocks and parks. In 2017, the label is a respected vinyl imprint that is synonymous with jacking, house music in the Netherlands and Deep is one of its key stars.
Ibiza Voice: How was your year?
Samuel Deep: We had our five year anniversary tour with SlapFunk this year which has been amazing. We had some crazy showcases in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Holland and France. I just finished my [next] solo EP after a long time. This one is coming out early 2018 on our own SlapFunk Records.
Where do you get your music from and how much of your time is spent digging?
Everywhere. I love to go to a physical record store and find some hidden stuff. Here in Holland are Seawolf Records, Killacutz, That's It, 33/45 vinyl and sometimes the second hand section of Rush Hour [are] my picks. For online collecting, I mainly use Discogs because I love the old second hand stuff. For new stuff, I use Decks.de, Deejay.de, Juno.co.uk, Subwax BCN to name a few.
I do check promos but I don't often find [much] interesting stuff. I’ve got some friends who make amazing music as well and I play [their music] a lot. I spend about two hours a day on digging. It could be more or less, depending on how busy I am.
Tell us about your record collection?
I started collecting records in 2007 and haven’t stopped since. I’ve got a big wall full of stuff. Not everything is still that relevant but I try to keep it organised. Records that I don't like anymore I put away at my other storage and save that for when I'll open my own record store one day. There is mainly house, tech house, techno, minimal or breaks in there but I’ve also got a big selection of some UK stuff (UK garage, grime, dubstep, jungle) and some hip hop, funk, bossa nova as well.
Do any of these records tell a story about you?
Every single records tells a story because when I see or play it, it reminds me of that moment when and where I bought it. Some records have a better story than others, but there are some particular records that I bought back in the days and still have huge personal value like this one:
I bought and listened to this record some years ago while living in Utrecht with two friends and every time I hear it, I think about those crazy-good summer times. This is another one. I bought this five years ago for a reasonable price and it hasn’t left my bag. I'm a huge Daniel Bell fan and this is a special one for me:
Tell us about the scene you came up in?
I started going to house music parties back in 2005. It was more US jacking/electro house music with a bit of UK garage. Then in 2006/2007, I started to visit minimal/techno parties here in Utrecht and that changed the game. There was this basement club called Poema where they had club nights every week. I saw some some amazing artists there like Raresh. That club gave influenced me a lot. We also went to Club 11 in Amsterdam which was on the 11th floor next to Central Station. I remember going up with the elevator and entering the room with the view over Amsterdam. That venue was just perfect. Also Now & Wow in Rotterdam (nowadays called Maassilo) had a huge impact on me.
At that time, Amsterdam was the minimal capital of the world I think and that sound influenced me a lot. I was and still am collecting all kind of styles in house music so I'm influenced by everything. I respect all genres and music because it all comes from an artistic heart and I think if you're open for everything, you can enjoy it to the max.
Is there a story behind your involvement with SlapFunk?
We are all friends for a long time. I have known these guys since I was 15 I think. Some of them know each other since they were kids. We started going out and riding that musical path together but then in 2009 on my birthday we threw an illegal rave in the woods next to FC Utrecht stadium. This turned out to be the beginning of SlapFunk. Here is a video:
After that, we did a some more raves including one on the 13th floor [of a building] in the middle of Utrecht on New Year’s day.
Utrecht was on fire that period with crazy parties in clubs as well as illegal ones. Then in 2012 we decided to take a serious step and start our own label SlapFunk Records and do regular club nights. These are still going strong.
You've been a resident for Zoo Project for a few years, can you make any predictions for this year on the island?
I'm with the Zoo now since 2013 and you can see [Ibiza] changing a bit. When you go to the big clubs, there are a lot of people who are there for the hype. Which is not a problem but sometimes you just want a party with real heads so you can create a vibe and understanding which goes beyond levels. That's why I love intimate, small parties. That real house feeling.
How would you describe the scene in Amsterdam currently?
The scene went down a bit after Cruqiusgilde, Studio 80, Closure and Trouw closed their doors. But then it made a comeback with Shelter, Claire, De School, Thuishaven and Bret. Now it's alive again and there are some strong parties every week. Also the 24 hour license gave the city a big boost and a certain kind of freedom which we were missing in the scene.
I'd love to see more venues open like the ones in Berlin like Heidegluehen, Club der Visionaere or Sisyphos. Especially in summer when the weather is good, it's nice to hang out in the garden of a club which gives [the party] an extra touch and good vibes.
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