Gig of the Week: Swindle in the house

Euro Sound: Lars Dales, left, and Maarten Smeets of Detroit Swindle

The fact Detroit Swindle’s world tour includes Queenstown is down to geography.

The Euro house DJs, Lars Dales and Maarten Smeets, pondered playing a town as far away from their Amsterdam base as possible and then locked the resort in.

The pair have played New Zealand before but never made it across the Cook Strait.

They’re headlining Electric Rush’s latest line-up — today’s daytime shindig, at 2pm, as part of its third anniversary celebrations.

Gig-goers can expect a varied set, from house to disco and afro to acid.

Smeets: “It’s got a modern vibe, but with elements leaning back to the genres of music that have inspired us such as disco, funk, soul, hip-hop and the early days of house music.

“People always tell us our tracks have a great groove and swing — it’s that particular thing that makes a Detroit Swindle track stand out.

“We’ve evolved, sure, adding new influences and expanding our own interests. But in the core, it’s still all very much related to what we’ve produced from day one.”

Getting this far has been something of an accident.

Dales had to fire Smeets from an Amsterdam nightclub gig for playing too much underground music. But after a natter the duo realised their tastes were pretty much aligned — and started working together.

There is no set formula when it comes to making music.

They’ll have a jamming session on drum-computers or synths, mess around with filters and samples and look at a variety of ideas — all while drinking a lot of coffee.

Dales: “A great track can come out of nowhere and a hook we find might be done within half an hour.

“Sometimes, you have a track and it sounds all right, but you just feel something is missing.

“You let the track rest for a while — weeks or months. You can then listen to it with fresh ears again and might find the missing piece straight away.

“Or not. And then you just discard the track and move on. Kill your darlings.”

While the pair dreamed of being global DJs, it does come with a downside.

Smeets has a wife and two youngsters and Dales has a girlfriend, who they leave behind while they tour. Smeets says the perks are pretty sweet though.

“A nice thing about doing this for a while now is that you have the opportunity to get to know loads of people, and get familiar with a lot of places.

“Going to New York, Paris, Berlin, or even Melbourne feels like a great trip and a chance to visit some of our close friends and favourite spots.”

Despite it being just the two of them there are no rows. Collaboration is very much a democracy.

Smeets: “We’re each other’s bosses. So we’re our own biggest drives and our own biggest critics.

“We always discuss what we want to bring to a show in terms of style and vibe and during the sets. And the outcome is always a combination of what we both bring into Detroit Swindle.

“If you’re playing the amount of shows together that we do, you don’t need a lot of communication. Even the slightest move or mention of one track name as a direction can sometimes do the trick.”

Detroit Swindle play Barmuda today, 2pm, Tickets $25