Frits Wentink celebrates 50 vinyl releases by reflecting on some milestones

Frits Wentink 50

Will & Ink 006Will & InkFrits Wentink - BODOMRGWLD02

It’s taken Frits Wentink five years and seven different aliases to reach the magic milestone of 50 vinyl releases, across a range of his own albums and EPs, plus VAs and remixes. Our fondness for the Dutch producer and his unconventional approach to making house is well-documented, so we shan’t harp on too much; this one’s about Frits. We’ll pass it onto him to talk us through five milestone releases within the 50, alongside some fancy snaps he’s taken with a 3D camera from the 60s. Keep scrolling for a premiere of his new 12″ – Boiler Room Dubplates on his own Bobby Donny imprint, and check out his Stamp Mix last year for further listening.

“I never intended to release this much, but making music and presenting it on black gold is just to damn exciting. I am very grateful to everyone that has bought the now almost 25,000 records that exist out there. Thank you so much.

I goes without saying that the majority of all EPs and albums would never have seen daylight if it wasn’t for all the love put into it by everyone around me. From my side as the artist, the label owners and artwork designers, we often went a long way to make something worthy, yet always unsure of reaching the break even point. I have done releases with hand screen printed sleeves, even two releases with folded posters as artwork containing a picture of a synthesizer that I made only for that release. I picked 5 records that are dear to me and will explain my personal story behind them.”

Urkelle – When Her Language Goes On Holiday EP (Lomechanik, 2012)

This is the only vinyl release I did as Urkelle. This particular moniker stems from a joke: my friends always called me Urkel, since my first name is Steve. It was released by the label Lomechanik. At that time, they did the most interesting left field stuff in a city called Nijmegen, which happens to be the city where I grew up. I always had great respect for them and when they asked me to do a release, I set it out to make something special. I kept some house influences on there, but I went a bit further to experiment with other tempos. ‘Darcy Dobyns’ is my fav here. It’s that cross over sound that I like to achieve on most music I did after this. It sold really bad though, (*laughs), probably because of the combination of niche music, and our naivety/inexperience in the record selling world. It’s such a small scene, a lovely niche though. Not a lot of people actually buy this sort of stuff, let alone buy it on vinyl.

At this point – back in 2012 – I hadn’t even graduated from art school yet, and I was still knee deep in music that was challenging. To this day that is still something that rocks my boat. I was fortunate enough to release Yaleesa Hall’s album on my Will & Ink label two months ago for instance. That made me realise that, after four years at last, I can finally put out records that have that same quality. It just took a few more years of grinding away and a completely different route to get here.

Will & Ink – Fermat EP (Will & Ink, 2013)

This record is particularly special to me because it marks the start of my first record label Will & Ink. It has always been an ambition of mine to start a label, but I never really knew how. Big decisions had to be made regarding artwork, artistic approach and such. Also, we had to deal with our own (high) expectations on how the first record would be received. Luckily it did really well. I set out to make techno with a bass-driven edge to it, and I think the A-side really represents that. Also pushing things, I didn’t want to do something that someone else could have done in the same way – “Will & Ink label can be relied on to do things differently.” (Resident Advisor)

This month the 12th record will see daylight. It’s an EP with Mosca, Chevel, Asusu and the Yaleesa Hall x Malin dream team, plus new stuff from Bambounou, Simo Cell and Andeh Lang coming up as well. I feel so proud how it went from this record to where it is now.

WOLFEP031Felix Lenferink on ShipwrecUrkelle - When Her Language Goes On Holiday (Lomechanik)

Felix Lenferink – The Same Species Occur EP (Chasing Unicorns, 2014)

So before I released music as Frits Wentink I called myself Felix, Felix Lenferink. I did a couple of releases on Shipwrec and the London based Fourth Wave label. The release I picked here is the last one I did under this name. Nevertheless, it’s still one of my favourites. Some of the tracks on this EP where actually produced for an album. It was planned to be released on the label Ghostly International. Sadly, it never came to a release, and out of frustration I just couldn’t listen to the music anymore. After not having listened to the album material for roughly a year I opened my old projects again, redid the lot, made ‘em better and finished this set of tracks.

Frits Wentink – BODOMRGWLD02 (Mary Go Wild, 2016)

A while ago the guys from Mary Go Wild got in touch with me about doing a record. Mary Go Wild is a record and book store based in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. They explained to me they had started something they called the vinyl club. Basically a group of subscribers that pay yearly to receive a random record every month, and all these records had something special. I absolutely loved this idea.

First of all, there’s the surprise element. Secondly – and this really appealed to me – the fact that people paid upfront for something they didn’t know what it was till they received it in the mail. To me this meant I could produce anything I wanted without having to worry about break even or sales. And that thought is exactly what shaped this BODOMRGWLD series.

For the first edition I remember there where a few emails from the vinyl club subscribers. One stating: “I connected my turntable to my amplifier. The speakers are also working in the same way that I normally listen to music to. But for some reason the record you send me still sounds out of tune. Am I doing something wrong?”

Frits Wentink - Rarely Pure, Never Simple (WOLFLP002)Frits Wentink - Live Fast, Dwayne Young (BODO001)Felix Lenferink - Fourth Wave

For the upcoming BODOMRGWLD02 I was speaking to other producers about a possible contribution. I know a lot of producers who make dance floor music, they’re very good at it, but also make the most brilliant non house/techno skits. I set out to collect this and I was absolutely amazed by the number of great producers I found willing to contribute and also allow me to fiddle and play around with it to make it into the record it is now. It turned out to be almost 40 minutes long. One of the first pieces I was sent was by Adam (Iron Galaxy). I played a gig at Mutek in Montreal and Adam did a Boiler Room there on that same day. He performed a great live show and when his 60 minutes where up he improvised a beatless outro. Hearing that outro I knew it had to be on this record. Another great thing is that I got my dad to work in this project as well. He has my grandparent’s old tube radio from the 50s in his study, still in perfect original shape. I asked him to jam about on that thing switching from short to long wave etc. Its so interesting to hear what sort of sounds you can make on that just by tuning. The whole take he delivered truly sounded like an avant-garde piece. There will be a limited number of copies sold worldwide in shops from the end of February 2017.

For the third edition, I plan to make an electronic opera. Not sure yet how and what, but I already started collecting ideas and moodboards. Probably Rhodes and autotune. Lots of autotune.

Frits Wentink – BODOX001 (Boiler Room Dubplates) (Bobby Donny, 2017)

My most recent Boiler Room set was in March 2016. In the weeks leading up to this I was fiddling with some sketches. Tracks and themes I was into that I had done quite quickly, but I just could not get them finished. I knew a guy from London, Jonny, who had a dub plate cutter. I thought it would be nice to play a couple of those unfinished things on the BR show to give it a nice personal touch, so I asked him to cut a few of those sketches.

When the broadcast was up on Youtube I got loads of requests about those tracks in particular. I didn’t want to finish them to go on the next EP, mainly because that would have meant changing them. I figured it would be funny to press these tracks on a 10 inch vinyl. Limited run, hand numbered and all that, just with the name “Frits Wentink – Boiler Room Dub Plate Tracks, they are a separate catalogue series on my label Bobby Donny. The artwork photo is done by Matthijs Diederiks, who also did the first 3 EPs. His style really fits my ideas, so I’m happy to be working with him again.

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