Forty mixes in and the Off The Record series has seen a wide spanning in range of artists and styles. Its dug deep into DJ’s record bags and has let us hear some of their holiest gems. Our 40th mix comes from one of the most solid selectors Amsterdam has to offer; Olf van Elden aka Interstellar Funk.
Having started off working at the Dutch institution that is Rush Hour Records as a label manager and playing sets year in and year out at the monumental Dekmantel, Interstellar Funk has taken himself worldwide as well as releasing records on labels like L.I.E.S, Berceuse Heroique, Rush Hour, Dekmantel along with his own Artificial Dance label. A label he has run with a keen ear since 2017 releasing artists like Genetic Factor, June, Black Merlin and more.
For Off The Record 40 Interstellar Funk takes us in the realms of home and club listening with a well crafted mix that builds and warms us into the floor beautifully. We had a chat with the artist about the mix and about what he has going on:
Hey, thanks for joining us Olf! Can you tell us about your mix and what the idea behind it was?
Hi Daire, I recorded a mix featuring tracks that I’ve recently been playing in clubs. I really enjoy making selections and recording mixes, whether it’s for a radio show or a website. I like to build up the mix as I would do when I play in a club. It’s harder for me to record an hour of high-energy tracks without having a crowd in front of me. Most club music is made for the energy on the dancefloor, and without any response, it can feel a bit random at times.
Can you tell us a bit about how you usually approach recording a mix or a set?
It depends on the platform, but if it’s for a radio show like NTS, I approach it differently. I collect all kinds of music, and a radio show is the perfect platform to play a wider range of music without thinking about the dancefloor. When I listen to the radio myself, I don’t really enjoy listening to techno or house, and I prefer to hear other stuff. I do enjoy listening back to recordings of other DJs, but then you know it was recorded on the dancefloor. For this mix, I started putting tracks in a folder a while ago and added more as time went on. I wanted to record a mix that’s slightly more clubby but also build it up a bit. It could be a mix that I would play in a club, but I think it’s also nice to listen to at home.
What are your preferred methods for finding new music—do you still enjoy digging around in dusty crates, or do you prefer to buy online?
I find music in many different ways. I still buy quite a lot of records, but most of the time, I use Discogs accounts from shops. I filter by year or genre and listen to everything. I also find a lot via Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and promos. When I’m abroad, I always love to visit local record stores, especially when it’s secondhand.
How did Artificial Dance come around? Is there a core centre idea or was it a reflection of the varied vibes you are feeling at certain moments in time? Or am I waaaay off?
I worked at Rush Hour for eight years and mainly worked as a label manager. So, I already knew how things worked, and at some point, I decided to start a label myself. I like the curation and the fact that you can give artists a platform to release their music. It’s getting harder nowadays to release vinyl. The prices have gone up, and fewer people buy vinyl. It’s really become a luxury product, and I don’t like that idea. I never really had a clear idea of what I wanted to release. For me, good music is good music, and it doesn’t have to be one genre or sound. I guess my interest has always been in the more leftfieldish and the weirder side of electronic music (whatever that means).
If there was any other artist you could work with or DJ you could play with who would it be and why?
There are many artists and DJs I would like to play or collaborate with. I’ve invited quite a few for my residencies at De School and Garage Noord. I always enjoy working with other people in the studio as well. It’s very inspiring to see other people work. Everyone has their own methods, and you can learn a lot.
What do you both have up your sleeve for 2023?
In preparation for the Dekmantel festival, I’ve been working on new music for my live show and also working on a remix. besides that I have been playing quite somee gigs. Last but not least, I have been working on a plan to open my own venue in Amsterdam, which will finally happen at the end of this year.
Thanks Olf 🙂