The Checkup Interview

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– You’re from Belgium, right? Was it a good place to experience electronic music as a teenager? What were your first experiences of it all?
Raph:
I’m actually French, with an international background having lived in many countries throughout my childhood. I actually got into dance music in the US when I was at the university.
Alex: I was born here but have two citizenships : Italian and Belgian. But I discovered House Music in London when I was 15. As soon as I came back, I began to make some music with Fast Tracker 2.

– So when did you meet each other? And where?
We met each other via our network with the Belgian label Electronical Reeds.
Raph: I really liked Alex’s music and we met up to see if we wanted to collaborate!
Alex: We really had a great time chatting with each other and Raph definitely has a great sense of humour, rhythm and he likes double kicks. We clicked right away.

– Do you think it’s better or worse than it used to be in Belgium for house music these days? Or just different?
Living in Belgium doesn’t give us that many options to dj as much as if we lived in other big cities, but we like it here, its peacefull, and we want to be based here and develop our international network.
So where’s the best clubs to go to if we’re visiting then?
Our favorite place is The Wood in Brussels, located in the middle of Le Bois de la Cambre.

– Have you ever considered moving abroad? Are you just as motivated and inspired as you’ve ever been within the Belgian scene?
You know, you always think the grass is greener somewhere else, but at the moment, we are cool living here, but definitely want to start travelling for our Live gig. We are inspired by listening to other great artists as well.

– Are there ever times were you struggle for inspiration then? What do you do in those instances?
I think it happens to everyone to lack inspiration, but usually when it happens to us, we take a break and eat a lot of very sweet cakes ☺

– And aside from yourself, what other Belgian DJs should we be looking out for?
Raph:
Personally, big fan of San Soda!
Alex: I really like Spirit Catcher. And when O.D.Math is playing, you really want to be on the dancefloor.

– Do you go out clubbing much these days? Who was the last DJ/producer to really impress you in that regard?
Not too often these days, but the last djs that we really liked were the boys from Smash TV!

– What constitutes success for you as a producer? Who influences your work the most?
Success for a producer for us is to being able to live from our music and travel the world! Last but not least, enjoying making and playing our music, and working hard to make people have a great time in the clubs.

– So can you tell us a bit about your involvement with Electronical Reeds? How did that relationship come about?
We both had solo projects and were actively releasing records there. So its been a while since we know them, and they are actually our best friends!

– So is music a full-time thing for you now? What are your other hobbies?
Yes, this is definitely a full-time job for us. We both do a lot of sports

– Can you tell me a bit about your latest EP? Is there a story behind it at all?
The last EP, we wanted to do something a bit darker, more dancefloor oriented and techy. And the vocal we found fits perfectly for the track! Wanted to do something different for a change!

– Did the EP end up as you hoped it would? Or do you generally go off on tangents when you’re producing?
It was really great! We were really happy with it, with great remixers and also made the top 10 deep house charts with the Smash TV remix!

– Are you very picky about where your music gets signed to? Is it important that the label has a similar ethos to yourself?
We are not picky per se, but of course we want to release great material on labels which musical line fits what we do, and the other way around as well.

– If you could produce on one other label and with one other producer, what would they be and why?
Maybe Todd Edwards? 😀 He’s a legend and has his signature sound. We’ve been listening to his work since 1996.

– What’s next for you that you’re particularly excited about?
Our next release on Large Music in January and our live setup for 2015. Can’t wait to hit the dancefloors!

– If you were stuck on a desert island, what would you bring?
Sun screen 😛

– So would you bring each other?
Mmm, maybe… not sure about that one 😀

– If you could use 3 words to describe your partner in The Checkup, what would they be?
Raph:
Virtuoso, goofy, brother
Alex: Groovy, dyslexic, cheerful

– And what’s your favourite sort of ‘checkup’?
Alex:
The one for my cars in Real Racing 3!

Interview by James Hopkins

 

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