Bartez: Holland's Latest Trance Prodigy
Monday, 3 September 200121 year old Dutchman Bart Clausen recently enjoyed the unusual experience of seeing the very first track he'd ever finished, a keyboard drenched fast trance anthem called On The Move, being signed and released by a record company (in this case Dutch label Tremelo). From there, the track went on to go top 10 in Germany, Holland, Spain and Denmark before being signed by Positiva, who presumably hope to achieve the same results in the UK, shortly. Accessible, high tempo and distinctly Edam flavoured in its accessibility, the Dave Pearce backed record comes out in the UK on Monday (September 3rd). Skrufff's Benedetta Ferraro charted to him this week, from his studio in Holland.
Skrufff: You're a classically trained musician, what turned you on to electronic dance music in the first place-
Barthezz: "I've always liked dance music, since I was very young, even when I started playing the piano at the age of five. Playing the piano makes it easier to produce dance music, more so than if I'd played any other instrument."
Skrufff: How does your family feel about you turning from a career as a classically trained pianist to producing dance records-
Barthezz: "They are totally supportive towards me. My parents don't really like dance music, but they do like what I do. The more they listen to it the more they like it, and they've realised that dance music today has become a musical style in it's own right with an awful lot of potential."
Skrufff: How many more completed songs do you have in the bag-
Barthezz: "Not many. 'On The Move' was the first song I've ever finished. I've produced a few remixes for it and I have also done more remixes for other artists in the meantime, including one for DJ Jean, who's the biggest DJ and producer over here in Holland. I've also just finished my follow up single, and completed a new remix of 'Never Stop That Feeling' for happy hardcore legend Mark'O', who's releasing his greatest hits album very shortly. Plus I've done some work for Fragma and since everybody wants an album from me, I'm also working on that right now."
Skrufff: 'On The Move' has already cracked Germany, how much difference is there between European countries and the way they understand your music-
Barthezz: "I couldn't answer that because I haven't really performed much around Europe except from in the Netherlands and Germany. I believe the Germans prefer harder remixes compared to Holland, where they prefer to listen to the original version of a track instead. I suppose in England they would call the same version 'cheesy'…"
Skrufff: You're very popular with DJs such as Dave Pearce and Judge Jules, how well known are they in Holland-
Barthezz: "They're only known to those who go clubbing regularly. Most of my friends didn't know their names before I mentioned them. Since they're not in the Dutch charts, I guess the general public don't know about them either. Jules is, however, the most popular DJ amongst clubbers and he's well respected by other DJs here in Holland."
Skrufff: Holland is always associated with cannabis cafes, yet my understanding is that these places are filled with tourists rather than Dutch people, how much are they a part of your day to day life-
Barthezz: "They are not part of my life at all. I've never smoked cannabis and none of my friends do. Some (Dutch) people go to the cafes for sure, but I wouldn't say that, because of the cafes, people in Holland smoke cannabis more than anywhere else in the world."
Skrufff: Why do you think the Dutch prefer tolerance towards drug use as opposed to US style prohibition-
Barthezz: "Prohibition promotes extortion and criminality, it doesn't stop people from using drugs. Decriminalizing drugs, especially softer ones, only makes them safer for the users, therefore the problem becomes more controllable."
Bartez's debut single On The Run is out on September 3rd on Positiva (UK)