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16.10.2017 | Words by: Mathys Rennela

While most people rarely manage to bridge the gap between owning records and actually playing them in clubs, collecting records and messing around with music gear has always been a constant in Tammo Hesselink's life. Tammo is quite happy with the fact that he still plays some of the records that he bought when he was 16, records that he started acquiring in a record shop in Leeuwarden, whose owners helped explore, discover and shape his taste for house and techno.

Ahead of his set at De School for Het Weekend during Amsterdam Dance Event 2017, I met with Tammo to ask him a few questions about his journey as a DJ and a producer.  

Q: Your style goes from house to techno. How do you make your selection?
A: Looking at the line-up, it really depends on the place and time. I know that people don't necessarily show up to see me so I try to think about what's the best fit for one particular night. I often play the Chicago house and Detroit techno I've got, but I'm not limited to that. I really like Jungle - the musical construction most jungle tracks doesn't really make sense, and that's what make it so great.
Q: At De School you mostly play with UK artists. Do you feel a connection with that scene?
A: During high school and through the record store I worked for, Deeptrax in Leeuwarden, I was really into techno, but in the broader sense of the term. They put me onto I-F and italo disco for example and I learnt a lot about techno and was really influenced by the guys working there.
I mostly discovered the British scene through the internet, where I stubbled upon dubstep and moved on to the rest. I appreciate the focus of this scene on rhythmic and energetic music, and I can feel some difference in the way techno tends to be mixed there. To me it feels that the way a lot of British DJs play is very playful and complements the more dry, rhythmic tracks really well.
Q: You spend as much time behind the decks than in the crowd.
A: I used to get so focused behind the decks that I could barely remember what happened. Now, I'm increasingly more capable of taking the time to appreciate what I see in the crowd. I think it's important for me to enjoy quite a few nights out as well because I try to play what I want to hear in the crowd at that moment.
Q: What are you up to lately, production-wise?
A: I have two tracks who recently came out on the recent compilation on Nous'klaer Audio called Paerels. I have some more stuff scheduled for Nous'klaer by different projects I do. Some things are more techno but I find that quite hard to make sometimes. In my productions, I sometimes seem to be able to hide behind big arpeggios and don't have to worry about sound design that much. I have some friends who make music in a more chaotic, less planified way and I think that it's quite interesting to see the kind of outcomes that this way of thinking provides. I like when I can feel that a track is the product of someone having fun.
Q: Is there something that bothers you in the Amsterdam scene and that you would like to change?
A: That's a hard question. I think we are at a pretty healthy point in the scene. There are a lot of interesting things going on. I think there might be a bit too much focus on super obscure tracks, with the oddity itself being more important than the quality of the track. As long as you don't overdo it, it can work as well to just admit to yourself that you enjoy more mainstream tracks (even pop), and include some in your sets.  

Tammo Hesselink will play Het Weekend during ADE from 17:00 to 20:00 on Saturday, in Het Muzieklokaal. See full schedule here.
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