We're back to drum & bass with this week's podcast, this time coming from Lenzman, the alias of Teije van Vliet. The Dutch artist began his explorations of the genre over two decades ago, initially just playing records in his bedroom and trying to replicate these sounds with a basic laptop-based production setup. It wasn't until 2007 that he first shared any of this material, his debut coming in the shape of a two-track 12" on the UK's Spearhead Records. Within two years, and several releases later, he had enough booking requests to pursue a full-time career in music.
An enduring love of hip-hop, jazz, and funk gives Lenzman's work a soulful feel, equally melancholic and uplifting, often with warm melodies and emotive vocals. Nowhere is this more apparent than on Looking At The Stars, his album debut on Metalheadz that featured collaborations with the likes of DRS, Martyna Baker, and Steo.
After returning to Goldie's leading label for various 12"s, in March Lenzman delivered his second album, Bobby, inspired by nostalgia for his own childhood and the birth of his first child. Although more jazz-influenced than Lenzman's past records, it's similarly raw and emotive, and once again features a long list of vocal collaborators, among them Konny Kon and Tyler Daley's Children Of Zeus.
In celebration of the release, Lenzman has compiled a rare studio mix for XLR8R, made almost exclusively of unreleased and unheard material. Lenzman chose the tracks over the past month while on holiday with his family before mixing it on his return. It's made up of his own music, some music forthcoming on his label, some old gems, and a few tracks that he's just feeling right now. Grab it via the WeTransfer button below.
What have you been up to recently?
After a very hectic few years in which I set up and developed my own label, had my second daughter, and finished my second album for Metalheadz, I gave myself and the family a little break. So I was on holiday in the Caribbean for three weeks. I'm back now and it's straight back into a very hectic schedule for gigs. I'm just touring the album and doing label events around Europe.
When and where was the mix recorded?
I selected the pool of music while on holiday out in Curacao and then recorded it when I got home to Amsterdam last week.
How did you select the records that you included?
I just wanted it to be a representation of what I'm about as a DJ and music lover. I have played some of my own music, some music forthcoming on my label, some old gems, and a few tracks that I'm just feeling at the moment. I always find myself trying to keep it soulful, playing tracks that invoke a certain emotion, or groove. I do enjoy reaching back to older tracks a lot. There's so much amazing stuff there that the current generation of ravers probably doesn't remember. I get a buzz from playing these tracks, and to a lot of people in clubs, they're like new tracks.
How does it compare to one of your club sets?
I'd say in terms of the sound and where I'm coming from it's pretty similar. I used to get caught up in deviating from my game plan in clubs sometimes. I think it was just a lack of experience of confidence. I think as I've been doing this long enough, people know what to expect and sure, I might play a few hard-hitting tracks here and there to switch it up, get people's attention, but I'd say I stay true to my vision these days.
What’s next on your horizon?
I'm recharging the creative batteries at the moment. I'm not one of those people that has endless drive to write music. It comes and goes with me. It might take me a little while to find that urge again. I have done a couple of remixes recently. And I'm doing a few production things for vocalists too. But other than that I'm just focussing on working with some amazing people on my label. I love A&Ring, working with guys on their projects. FD is dropping his album Better Days on June 7, and I'm really proud of that project.
Due to issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.
01. FD "Deadly Styles" (The North Quarter)
05. Anile "Back On Days" (The North Quarter)
06. Calibre "Vice" (Creative Source)
07. Sub Focus feat. Mnek "Close" (Ivy Lab Remix)
10. Koherent feat. Charli Brix "Voices" (Shogun Audio)
11. Calibre "Key Flicks" (Signature)
14. FD "Got A Feeling" (The North Quarter)
15. Random Movement "Police State" (Understand) (Liquid V)
17. LSB "Space Between" (Footnotes)
18. FD "Bottles" (The North Quarter)
20. FD feat. Cecily "Sycamore" (The North Quarter)
21. Atlantic Connection "Water" (Advance/d)
22. Zero T feat. Steo "Can't Hide" (Integral)
23. Ivy Lab & Alix Perez "The Last Light" (Critical)
24. Lenzman "My Heart" (Metalheadz)
25. Marcus Intalex "Vintage"
26. Halogenix feat. SOLAH "Out Of Line"
28. Dogger, Mindstate & Liam Bailey "Broken Home" (1985)
Lenzman is playing Gottwood Festival in Wales this coming weekend. More information and final tickets can be found here.