#012: afrobot

The twelfth edition of our podcast series is mixed by Roeland Otten aka Afrobot. He is a true crate digger and an esteemed figure in the Rotterdam culture scene. Furthermore, he has his own monthly show on Red Light Radio and he produces edits, some released on vinyl by Salamanca Records. In his eternal search for danceable music he became, with a detour through wave, house, techno and disco, a true connaisseur of exotic music. As his name might have given away, it is mostly music from Africa in which he found his love. However, this doesn’t mean he exclusively deals with African music, it’s maybe where it began. His quest for music brings him to every musical corner of the globe. ‘Everywhere there is something you could find. Music seems like a bottomless pit’ according to Afrobot “For this Triphouse Rotterdam Podcast, I tried to make a more trippy and house, techno fueled mix. Keeping in mind how I would define Triphouse as a genre”.

Please tell us a bit about your background and how you came in contact with electronic music?

Around the age of 16 I got in touch with house music for the first time, that was something new at that time, but I was immediately hooked, it was completely different than everything I heard before – I think House Party III – The Ultimate Megamix (by Turn Up the Bass) was the first electronic music cd I bought. Before I was into ‘alternative’ and ‘independent’ music, like Sonic Youth, the Pixies and sixties stuff like Jimmy Hendrix and the Doors, but also into hip hop and reggae. Two years later my 500 piece cd collection was stolen and from that moment I started buying vinyl records – mainly acid house and I got involved with the illegal sound system KIX from Eindhoven. From that moment I was almost weekly going to illegal parties until the music became so hardcore it started boring me… From the end of the 90’s I started to dig for the originals of samples I recognised from house tracks and my taste became much broader.

What can we expect from you in the near future?

In the next months I got some exciting gigs coming up! The 8th of May there is a big African party in the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam “Enter our Garden“. I’m looking forward to and I’m psyched to dj at the New Dance Fantasy Festival in Berlin from July 8th till 11th. Besides this at the beginning of June the next release 02AM will see the light, an EP containing four amazing house tracks by a young producer from Eindhoven.

Afrobot on a cratedigging trip to Mumbai

You live in Rotterdam but you play in Amsterdam more than in your hometown. Why do you think that is? What are your thoughts on both cities?

I live in Rotterdam and I dj a bit more often in Amsterdam. I don’t know why, maybe it’s a combination of the fact that people dig my afro sound better over there? I feel in Amsterdam a slightly softer and more cosy style of music is more popular. There’s this cliche that Rotterdam is a rougher and thus more techno minded city, but of course it could also be by the fact that I was studying in Amsterdam lately and maybe networking more over there. I don’t care so much about the differences between those cities. Compared to real metropoles like London, Berlin or NYC, the ‘Randstad’ is almost like one city in which Amsterdam would be Manhattan and Rotterdam more like Brooklyn and The Hague would be the Bronx.