The Dutch duo talk us through the making of their track Mating Call
What the Fouk?
Dutch house duo Fouk – aka Daniël Leseman and Hans Peeman – have been friends and musical partners since childhood. As well as being constantly in demand for DJ sets around the world, their heavily disco-infused production style has yielded such sonic delights as Cat Lady and the KillFrenzy EP. They’ve even started their own record label, Outplay, on which they now release their own music. So where did it all begin?
“When I was ten years old, I was playing electronic organ for six or seven years,” remembers Daniël. “After that, at 16 years old, I didn’t really feel like taking lessons anymore, so I started doing electronic music and playing records.”
“I don’t have a musical background,” says Hans. “I’m not the best keyboard player – he’s a lot better than I am – but I manage. When we were around that age, we started to find out how electronic records were made, how music was made. And we’ve been trying to make something ever since. You get up to this point that it kind of feels like it’s all clicking. It took a couple of years to get to that point. We used to make progressive trance, from 2004 to 2005.”
“It took a few years to get the basics right,” agrees Daniël. “And then, once we started making house music – which was after we finished with our studies – we had a few years in between where we didn’t do a lot. Then you suddenly find the thing that works best for you, the thing which makes it your own sound.”
The frustration of unanswered demo submissions led the pair to set up Outplay Records in 2012.
“We sent demos to other labels but they didn’t respond, so we ended up founding our own label,” Daniël smiles. “We did three digital releases but we were still in love with vinyl, so the fourth release was a vinyl release, CatLady, and that one took off.”
“Starting our own record label really streamlined the whole process of being a little bit more like an established artist, you know?” explains Hans. “It kind of made us go the more professional way as well, because it all evolved from being a hobby, which is the natural way of how it goes with a lot of these things. From then on, we started thinking of it more as a profession.”
For this Producer Master class and its accompanying video, Daniël and Hans are going to deconstruct their joyous floorfiller,
MatingCall, right before your very eyes. The track started life as a sampled loop, lifted by Daniël from an unspecified record.
“This track actually started out with me just being in the studio and trying to make a quick edit from an Afro track to play around with,” he recalls. “I put it aside for a while, but then we were in the studio together, I put it on and he just started playing on top of it. And in the end we started to remove a lot of the whole edit aspect and it turned into an original track.
“It’s nice to see what’s left of the sample. We ended up just using the organ part – it’s heavily filtered. We just wanted to have the mid part of the sound, so we could add a lot of other instruments on top of it, without cluttering the rest. There’s a [Waves] SoundShifter on it – we’ve detuned it a bit. When you sample from records, sometimes they’re a little bit off.”
“So you need to get them in tune,” adds Hans, “and this is the best plugin for that. We use it a lot.” From the seed of that single sample,
MatingCall grew into a dense, percussionheavy workout of the most uplifting kind – a sublime fusion of bass-driven, Rhodestinged disco attitude and casually Latininfluenced groove. Without further ado, then, fire up the video using the URL below, sit back and spend an hour in the company of the Fouk duo as they show you how it was done…
“We like to make the synths we use sound organic – like a live band”