Live and direct from Amsterdam is TWR72, a duo who’ve been refining a lean ‘n’ mean techno signature for the past several years. Comprised of two best friends Roger van der Zwan and Tom Doorschodt, the pair’s sound draws upon the lessons taught by masters from Detroit and Berlin and embellishes the insight with their own creative twist. Though BBC Radio 1 tagged their sound in 2010 as Future Techno — er, isn’t all techno futuristic? — the twosome continue to evolve their musical ethos in the wake of fleeting trends and fads.
2014 has so far been a standout year so far for TWR72: they forged remixes for JoeFarr and Nikola Gala, collaborated with Truncate and issued their Download EP on Turbo Recordings. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With the upcoming launch of their own label, Float Records, there’s no doubt that these techno titans are headed for even bigger things.
In this exclusive 15-track Big Shot Guest Mix featuring cuts by Mike Dehnert, Jonas Kopp, Exercise One, Benjamin Damage and two of their own productions, the guys give us a taste of their floor-rocking and uncompromising sound. “We love four by four beats with a never ending groove,” they tell us in the interview below. “So expect a mix that starts big and keeps on going.”
2014 has been a good busy so far for TWR72. How does it rate in your view?
Roger van der Zwan and Tom Doorschodt: We definitely had a great start of 2014. With the Truncate collaboration, and our new EP on Turbo Recordings, we gained a lot of new support from techno producers/DJs we’d never expect. If guys like Ben Sims and Luke Slater suddenly support your tracks, you know something is going on in a good way. But we also know we have to work hard to keep it going. We’re not even close to where we want to be. But the rest of 2014 is looking bright. We’ve got two remixes coming up for Locomatica on LCMTC, one for Nikola Gala on Edge Society, and we have a bunch of new release from ourselves in the pipeline for this year.
There’s a lot of musical variety on your new EP. How do you both stay inspired and keep things fresh?
Our inspiration comes from anywhere. Of course, we listen a lot of music from the scene we’re in, but I think we can find more inspiration out of genres you don’t expect and translate those inspirations into your own sound. But we’re not only inspired by music. It can be anything. We believe you should always be creative and get inspired by more then only music. It’s about placing all your creativity and inspiration in the right context. A common mistake is to stay within your boundaries and keep your (musical) world close.
Your collaboration with Truncate is brilliant. How did you connect? Do you see yourselves collaborating with others in the future?
Thanks! Actually, it is a pretty nice story. At that time, and still, we saw Truncate as one of the most respected producers in the genre. We absolutely love his sound. Sometimes a bit too much perhaps. Anyway, Sound Pellegrino, the label of Teki Latex and Orgasmic, contacted us if we wanted to be part of the Crossover Series. And if we would like to do the collaboration track with Truncate. Before Teki even clicked the ‘send’ button, we already answered ‘YES!’ We were more excited than ever. But then we got a bit scared, because would Truncate even collaborate with us? Would he say yes? A week later we started the project and it was great. We learned a lot from David, and we hope he learned something from us too. For the future we definitely hope to collaborate with others. We already have a list of possible names ready. We think collaborating is great to learn how others work both technically and creatively.
“We wanted to go back to the essence; solid and no-nonsense techno music, preferably for the club only. It was a good experience to discover all the music we got involved with the last 15 years. And it feels good to be back where we once started: with straightforward techno music.”
What’s the long-term plan for TWR72? Do you have any specific goals?
Our long-term plan is to become a solid and important player in the techno scene. Furthermore we have the goal to succeed with our brand-new label, Float Records, which will be launched in July 2014. It’s going to be a techno oriented label which explores the combination between perfection and simplicity. The first releases will be from ourselves. At the moment we’re looking for artists we’d love to collaborate with or to have as a remixer for future releases. We also have a cooperation with our friends NT89 and HDN as Rara Aves, which is a crossover platform with different levels of techno. Last year, and the beginning of 2014, we had some tours in France, Germany and Belgium and we have a club night in our hometown, Amsterdam. For 2014 we want to improve the brand Rara Aves with a more mature approach and the plans are to start Rara Aves Records. But perhaps our most important goal is that we want to keep improving the TWR72 sound till the max!
How has your sound evolved since you began working together a few years ago?
Our sound evolved a lot the last couple of years. As you might know our sound got picked up as a electro-techno crossover, although it was presented by BBC Radio 1 as Future Techno. The sound we had at that time was totally new, but we got a bit bored with it. The pure techno sound gained our interest since we started DJing, now almost 15 years ago. We wanted to go back to the essence; solid and no-nonsense techno music, preferably for the club only. It was a good experience to discover all the music we got involved with the last 15 years. And it feels good to be back where we once started: with straightforward techno music.
Tell us what inspired your Big Shot Guest Mix.
This mix, kinda like every one of our mixes, is inspired by the latest techno tracks. Of course we love to play the classic tracks, but it’s always nice to search for the new and surprising sounds. We love four by four beats with a never ending groove. So expect a mix that starts big and keeps on going.
Big Shot Guest Mix: TWR72
1. Mike Dehnert – ReRe (Delsin Records)
2. Peter van Hoesen – Outlands (Curle Recordings)
3. Gareth Wild – Get Raw (Samuli Kemppi Remix) (EarToGround Records)
4. Exercise One – 12 Years (Sigha’s Version) (Exone)
5. Shifted – Sektor B (Avian)
6. TWR72 – Paste (Turbo Recordings)
7. Mathias Woot – SWD (Psyk Dubbed Out Remix) (EarToGround Records)
8. Yan Cook – Release Attack (Silent Steps)
9. TWR72 – Cut (Turbo Recordings)
10. Emmanuel – Nuke (Enemy Records)
11. Developer – Drive Themes (Mote Evolver)
12. Benjamin Damage – Splash (50Weapons)
13. ? – ?
14. Jonas Kopp – Drummo (CLR)
15. Epi Centrum – RAW (Audio Injection Remix) (Synewave)