Konstrukt is an up and coming Dutch label who are onto their third release this July, featuring ambient prince Evigt Mörker and the duo Artefakt. Founders Doka and SHLTR are here to share with us the origins of the label, their most reliable tracks, what it’s like to party in caves, and the challenges of starting a label from scratch. Additionally, we have a fantastic track premiere from their latest release, Evigt Mörker’s Skenet Av Den Nedre.
How did you two meet?
DOKA: We met in a small club in the south of the Netherlands were I was the host of a party. Loy was a frequent visitor and we seemed to share similar ideas about music. That’s basically how we became friends.
How exactly did Konstrukt the label evolve out of the nights in Amsterdam?
D: A record label was always kind of the final achievement we always wanted to accomplish. You know: “one day we will have a record label.” The urge was there to leave a mark on the record industry because our ideas about music were pretty extensive. We could talk for days and days about music and everything that comes along with it. At a certain point we were just convinced that the Konstrukt label would be a perfect extension of what we do and what we believe in. It’s a good way to convert your musical ideas into practice.
What direction do you want to take the label in? Where would you like to see it in a couple of years?
SHLTR: We want to let the Konstrukt label grow along with our own musical development. The musical environment changes so fast that we decided not to make any long-term plans for the label, but let it evolve in a natural way instead. We’re inspired by many kinds of electronic music, so it would not feel right to strictly mark the label with a specific musical signature.
How did you come to choose Artefakt and Evigt Mörker for Konstrukt 003?
D: We invited Evigt Mörker and Artefakt to play at our event in Studio 80 at the time, and asked them to contribute for the label as well. We love their productions. Soundwise, I think Karl, Nick and Robin brought something new into the game which inspired us a lot.
Shltr, I’ve really enjoyed some of your mixes online – what’s the bread and butter of mixing to you?
S: When I first started DJing, I always felt like I needed to have a musical identity. So I selected music that would fit this identity, mainly harder techno. However, I got stuck at a certain point when I wanted to play tracks that didn’t fit with my ‘self made identity’. I realised then that my way was the wrong way around. Fact is, when you select and just play the tracks you’re initially attracted to, the identity takes form itself and this is what happened with me. It doesn’t mean I became less selective. For me selecting music for a mix is an intensive process because I’m (like many others) a storyteller, and it’s impossible to tell a good story without having the right words.
Shltr, I understand you used to do illegal raves in caves – would you be able to describe that atmosphere for me?
S: Those parties occurred because of the lack of a club in my home town Maastricht. Maastricht is surrounded by beautiful marl caves at the border with Belgium just outside the city. This is a perfect place for hosting parties. About 10 years ago, people didn’t really have a place to go out and listen to alternative electronic music. So they started these parties together with a few people who knew how to find the good spots inside the caves, which was sometimes a 10 minute walk trough the narrow passages. Once the sound-system was installed at a good spot, the DJ started playing (mainly techno) for hours and hours.
When I just started DJing, these parties started to increase in numbers and also took place in the open air around the caves. The setting was just perfect for deep electronic music. Somehow the environment seemed to strengthen the music played in these places and vice-versa. It’s really special. Things never escalated because people always looked after each other and cleaned up the mess they made afterwards. However the police closed down parties sporadically.
Shltr, what hardware/software gear and instruments did you use to make Konstrukt 001?
S: I used a Roland R-05 with a DIY windscreen to record field recordings. That’s where I usually start. From there on I used Elektron’s Octatrack and Analog Four to create the main parts, and used Ableton Live for processing.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your careers in music? What advice would you give to your past selves?
D: When talking about running a record label, we experienced that our biggest obstacle is simply money. Starting a label means investing money and time. Besides that, you’re also dealing with the politics of the music industry. For example, we’ve been through a lot of misery with so many clubs closing down in Amsterdam at the moment. On top of that I think you need dedicated and passionate people on your side to keep you going. I think it’s fair to say it’s not easy to keep your head above the water. The main concern when you’re doing events is simply to get people attending. You want to let the right people know what you’re doing, but at the same time you don’t want to act like an inhuman mass-advertising company only talking about ticket sales. Finding the happy medium is always a challenge.
Are there any fail-safe tracks you can share with us? Any tracks you tend to fall back on for sets?
D: A track that always works for me is Amandra – Monkaunis. It really depends on what kind of set you are playing.
S: I have this track from Donato Dozzy and Lerosa in my selections since its release in 2009. Never get bored with it.
What outside of music inspires you?
S: I’m mainly into music, but when I’m not, I like to read books or watch documentaries, mostly about humanity, psychology, evolution.
D: I can get very inspired by completely different kinds of music in comparison with the music I play or produce. Art and photography can be an enormous inspiration for me as well.
Here we have a premiere track from KONSTRUKT 003 featuring Evigt Mörker and Artefakt. Mörker‘s Skenet Av Den Nedre is a stand out, hypnotic piece of music complete with faint chanting. It’s reminiscent of Tim Hecker, but with more of a focus on groove. Check it out below on the Monument Soundcloud page. Keep up with Evigt Mörker on Facebook.
A1 / 1. Artefakt – Ritualist
A2 / 2. Artefakt – Sacrum
B1 / 3. Evigt Mörker – Skenet Av Den Nedre
B2 / 4. Evigt Mörker – Altaret Restes