FIBER 2021 Recordings

Recording #1: Woody92

Over the coming weeks we will share some of the recordings of sets and performances to relive FIBER 2021. First in line is the recording of the Friday closing set by Woody92 with live visuals by Deborah Mora. Enter a zone where mind, body, nature and cosmic rhythms transmute into a multilayered reality. This versatile artist works like an alchemist in his sets, mixing mystical ambient with mind-altering electronics, psy-influences and tripping techno. What emerges from the vapours are sets that have the quality of abstract sound works and transcendental sets. This set was presented in collaboration with our partner The Rest Is Noise.

We have asked Woody92 a couple of questions about his set, to guide you along his world while listening to the set.

Behind the set

Your set at FIBER 2021 sounds like a new sonic direction in your already quite diverse way of spinning. Can you explain how the set came about and what your ideas behind it are?

This set is a good reflection of the sound I’m into and fascinated by. The idea behind this set was more about keeping the peace, and really giving myself time to play what I like, not making hasty decisions and going deep into the material. In combination with really building towards the point where everything comes together. The FIBER audience takes the time to listen to what the artist presents to them and that is a very nice thing. So there was room to approach a set like this. 

The set shows well that you are working on many different scales at the same time, from soft and clicking micro-rhythms – that almost feel like living organisms – to bigger, more technological techniques and patterns. These come together in sound worlds that overlap, merge and mutate. Can you explain how you navigate between all these rhythms and spheres?

I am aware that this sound has to be appropriate in a certain setting. It can look sharp, have illogical rhythms, sound organic and feel very trippy and deep. This interplay of sounds and textures is something I find interesting to work out, because it can go in any direction. But it overlaps in the right way. Choosing music and playing the right tracks is a personal thing and a moment in time. Every artist approaches it in their own way. A lot of tracks I’ve played are from people close to me. These producers all have their own vision on it but generally think the same. 

You are active in both fashion, graphic design and playing/making sets and sound experiences. In what way do you connect and merge these disciplines in your thinking and work? And in what way does this interdisciplinary practice seep through into your sets?

I see music, fashion, graphic design, visual art and other art forms as a whole or “Art”. It reinforces, can give more body and a deep undertone to a particular project or individual. Art in the broadest sense of the word is a very important part for me as an artist. I think it is important to be visually strong because that is how you distinguish yourself from the others. But every artist interprets this in his own way, of course. There is no right or wrong, it is where your fascination lies and whether you want to share that with the world. I think it’s good to give an insight into the things I do. Music is feeling. And I get that feeling by observing art and culture. So subconsciously this always influences the things I do.

With the theme of Mutation, we investigate the (im)possibilities of transforming ourselves as human beings/individuals. We also see this as spiritual, embodied or cognitive transformations that enable us to change behaviour and beliefs – or a way of seeing. We explore the ways in which art and music can provide a space or experience for people to do this. What new worlds can we imagine through storytelling and multi-sensory experiences? Could you describe how you relate to this interpretation of the theme?

I think that as a creative individual, I am always looking and trying to change someone’s view or give them a different insight of something. To show the beauty of something because it is not necessarily beautiful to the average person. To be open-minded by trying out different facets and from there creating your own world. Not clinging to one kind of train of thought and doing research on different arts or cultures. I think that music is a big part of this and can mean to strengthen a feeling or, exactly the opposite, to fade it. In other words, transforming.

It is 2021. The world has undergone a radical transformation and we are constantly looking for new answers to this situation. How do you try to deal with this in your artistic work?

I try to focus mainly on my own environment and the world I live in. Also because there is still enough to discover in my world, especially artistically. Curating my own platform/label is also part of it. 

This period has made me realise that you can present a label in different ways, and that it is important that you, as an artist, observe the world around you and anticipate because performing live has been disappearing [due to the pandemic].

A label doesn’t only have to be music related. But it can also provide a platform for fashion, visual expressions, sculptures or other forms of expression. Releasing music on vinyl is, in my opinion, a thing of the past, because of the long queues and all the associated costs. So for me, the transformation lies in looking at other possibilities to present music. This can be done in so many different ways, so the search is far from over, but very interesting to work on. 

With the new label Omen Wapta you seem to be exploring the boundaries and overlaps of different electronic genres with digital processes and artefacts. The first release works with glitch, microsampling, live coding and granular synthesis techniques, among others. How will the label develop in the field of digital processes and mutations of sound?

The development within Omen Wapta lies more in looking at different ways of expression. From the beginning, the idea was not only to focus on music, but also on fashion or visual arts, it has to become a multidisciplinary platform. Music will always be the dominant theme, but I am interested in various forms of creativity. 

Every artist I work with focuses on their own way of producing and that shows in the end result and a physical product. So the second release will be very different, where the focus lies more on experimental techno inspired by more broken-like influences. The third release will be a combination of both. Every release will have a certain similarity. Because this reflects my fascination and taste, of course. 

I am also working on a collaboration with the Dutch fashion designer Camiel Fortgens. Together we design and curate a capsule collection. These are items based on existing garments from Camiel’s older collections that are redesigned. by scanning the QR code on the hangtag you can download two unreleased tracks. This is how we try to bring music and fashion together through a collection of 9 items. 

The satisfaction of creating something with different artists is something I will always continue to do. And I hope that in the future there will be more room for different kinds of projects within Omen Wapta. 

How did you and Deborah Mora coordinate working together? And in what way do you think your work will come together?

The collaboration started because FIBER had linked us together. And I think it was a very good match. I wasn’t familiar with Deborah’s work, but as soon as I looked at it I had an idea of what it was going to be like and why FIBER had connected us. Her work fitted in well with what I had in mind in terms of sound. I told Deborah about the idea I had for this set, and that I also wanted to create space for the unknown. In the end, she anticipated in her own way and there was a good interaction between these two components. Deborah’s work gave the set an interesting indefinable visual feel. And for the listener, you perceive a certain feeling. I think this was subconsciously our idea. 

Recording #2: Nelly Dragon

The second recording we are beyond excited to share with you is from the gifted, Rotterdam-based DJ Nelly Dragon.

Together with visual artist Leeza Pritychenko, Nelly delivered a versatile set that started out exploring the tranquil regions of ambient sounds and ended up diving into the depths of rave and trance. The perfect way to close FIBER 2021 on Saturday night. 

Tap the player on the right and scroll down to read everything about Nelly’s world while submersing yourself in her set.

Behind the set

You’ve been building your career and prominence for some time now, but perhaps it would be interesting to get to know you even better. A somewhat difficult question, but can you describe who and what Nelly Dragon is?

The name Nelly Dragon is a reference to my grandmother Nelly who always wore a dragon necklace. Back in the days when I visited her, I always went upstairs to see her weaving room. There were dozens full of fine wool and loom machines that stretched out above me. She wove the most beautiful structures and patterns in the material she made.

Nowadays it’s the structures and patterns inside my mind that interest me most. How my body and brain behaves and reacts in certain ways, what and why specific emotions, moods and feelings come up. Nelly Dragon allows herself to feel everything, the good and the bad. In her world there are no bad emotions. Here she can take off her smiley face mask.

In the run-up to participating in FIBER 2021, we discussed that you wanted to play a slightly different set than you had done before. Can you explain how the set came about and what your ideas are behind it? 

On the dance floor, my goal is often to forget the world around me. To dream away to another world. A world that is sometimes reality on the dance floor. A place where I feel complete, where I can laugh and cry. Most of my club sets are filled with high energy techno tracks with a linear build up. My radio sets on the other hand have a way different build up. When I am not playing in front of a crowd I feel less pressured to play a certain way or order. My story doesn’t have to be logical, it doesn’t have to be told in order A to Z.

Being asked to play a set like this at FIBER made me jump from my chair. I was beyond excited to welcome the crowd to my world.

The set balances between rustling ambient and more dancefloor oriented rhythms, which follow each other in phases. You connect atmospheric listening records with danceable percussion-like rhythms, which are more pulsating and enchanting. Can you tell us something about navigating between these two areas?

I like to create a world where all emotions may come together, from joy to sadness. The music I played are the tracks I listen to when my emotions flow between extremes. Bringing these feelings together is one of the hardest but most beautiful things I can do to learn to deal with them. It is my therapy.

Can you tell us anything about musical or visual influences? Or are there any other influences that have a strong impact on your work?

Most inspiration and ideas arise after a walk in nature. A place, apart from the dance floor, where my thoughts can flow unlimited. In the forest I encountered the best way of self reflection. While hiking I often make notes or recordings of my thoughts. Later on I translate this into a storyboard for a new set.

Would it also be possible to share some musical influences you are inspired by? Some artists, labels you are currently following or playing more often? 

An artist that has grasped my attention this year is Thailand based artist Sunju Hargun, also known as Mogambo or Khun Fluff. A label boss, DJ and producer. His releases keep on blowing me away in many ways. From soothing ambient to hard hitting hypnotic dancefloor tracks,  Sunju can create it all. Every mix I record these days, includes at least one track from him. The atmosphere he sets down keeps on inviting me to a warm realm where I feel comfortable and safe.

Other artists and storytellers that have been on my radar recently or for a longer time are Ryuichi Sakamoto, Lena Willikens, Jon Hassel, Sara Blokland and Rosa verhoeve. They all inspire me in different ways. 

Other projects of mine that influence me are about my Indonesian roots/colonial history and in what way I can and want to incorporate this history into my life, and the life of the people and family around me. Questions I wrote my thesis about: How to deal with intergenerational trauma and how to spread more awareness about this topic.

I inherited 7 boxes of my grandma, which were filled with family pictures and documents. I was curious about her family history, so dived into the boxes. This was the start of a series of projects, which discuss her roots and the value of images and archives in today’s society.

The set was enhanced by Leeza’s live visuals. In what way did you and Leeza start to work together? And in what way do you think your work came together?

Jarl originally asked me to play a separate DJ set. But later on he came up with the idea of connecting Leeza and me. I was not very familiar with her work before but after doing some research I got extremely excited to work together with such a talented graphic designer.  After meeting online we decided to individually prepare our sets, and keep each other updated in the process. Our work came together, the moment our show started at FIBER. Leeza selected her visuals based on the tracks I played. It felt her and mine world melted together into one realm. It was special to take a step into her world while exposing my own.

It is 2021. The world has undergone a radical transformation and we are constantly looking for new answers to this situation. How do you try to deal with this in your artistic work?

2020 and 2021 are the two weirdest years of my life. In such a short time the world has changed so much. We must learn to deal with continuous changes. Something that some of us around us have been forced to do for years. After a lot of self reflection, hope and lost hope we have to pick ourselves up again and continue. We cannot and must not give up. The only way I can deal with these feelings is by incorporating them into my stories. That is my therapy and way to calm down in these uncertain and unstable times.

Recording #3: DJ Leoni

After a small hiatus we are excited to share the third set from FIBER 2021. Last October we were fortunate to welcome DJ Leoni to Tolhuistuin, where she crafted a dynamic set that swerved the room from side to side. This is the perfect mix to play right before heading to the club tonight.

DJ Leoni weaves together hypnotic sets, which are both pulsating dance floor experiences and deep ambient landscapes which you can be immersed in. With highly layered and precise mixing skills, she draws dancers and headphone dwellers into an ecosystem of sentient rhythms.

Behind the set

In addition to tearing down clubs and festivals with your sets, you’re also carving out a place for yourself in the legal field. How do these versions of yourself relate to each other? Do you shift to a different person in ‘the night’ or lie these two versions of you rather close?

When the pandemic started I thought it was a good time to finish my master’s thesis and begin my career as a lawyer. For a long time it was so uncertain when clubs would open again or if we could ever go to a festival again. At that time I decided that I needed something steadier next to being a DJ. Working for a law firm and being a DJ are two completely different things, but the alternation works well for me. As a lawyer I get to read a lot, think analytically and solve complicated legal matters. I spend a lot of time inside my own head. When I am playing in a club or at a festival it is exactly the opposite. I try not to think too much and be in the moment and absorb the energy of a venue, the night, the crowd. In either situation I am the same person, only I explore a different side of myself.   

In a time when everything seems to accelerate algorithmically – and more and more expressions are designed for the span of one social media post or on-demand media offering – the live show offers a delay and new way of listening off. The listeners are not immediately served with instant-gratification but must be patient. How do you incorporate this into your own set? 

I think this is very context dependent. Precisely because of these developments in social media, I think there are many people who crave instant gratification. On the other hand, I do think it’s up to artists to offer a contrasting experience. That’s something I’ve dared to do more and more myself in recent years. This manifests itself in the fact that I take more rest periods in my sets and am not afraid to slow down along the way. I used to do that less quickly because I was afraid of losing my audience, but I have found that it is a powerful tool. I also try to create more depth and really draw the listener into my sets. Once I’ve succeeded in that, it creates a kind of playing field in which anything is possible.  

Can you tell us a little about your musical, visual or other influences that always play a role in your work?

My musical influences are quite extensive, I listen to a wide variety of genres. Obviously, I listen to a lot of electronic music. Mostly a lot of new music, but lately I’ve been listening to some older stuff as well. When I start digging I have an open mind and go through almost all genres to check if there’s something cool in there. Besides electronic music, I also listen to a lot of jazz. 

Although that doesn’t necessarily come back in my club sets, I find it interesting at radio shows sometimes to combine ambient with jazz and new-age records. In addition, contemporary club culture is an important source of inspiration for me. Seeing other DJs doing their thing in the club is a big part of that. That always gives me a fresh perspective on DJing and makes me want to try new things. 

With the theme Mutation, we explored the (im)possibilities of transforming ourselves as humans/individuals during FIBER 2021, and again at FIBER Festival 2022. How do you relate to this festival theme?

This is a topic I think about regularly. The way I see it, people are constantly subject to a process of change. Not just people by the way, but basically everything. I am not the same person today as who I was a few years ago. And that’s a good thing, because otherwise we wouldn’t keep evolving. With my sets, I usually try to take my audience into a process of transformation. I try to do that by creating a certain dynamic by mixing contrasting tracks with each other, for example. Sometimes I switch from one track to another track that is quite different, but when they are mixed together the whole thing can suddenly take on a totally new charge and vibe. Of course this sometimes goes wrong, but the reward when it works out well is great. I try to combine this with relatively quick transitions, and in this way a set becomes very dynamic, accelerating a transformation process as it were. I think this recording of my set at FIBER Festival expresses very well what I mean by this. 

2022 is now well underway and seems to become a great year for the cultural field. What are you looking forward to, are you working on a new project, special collaboration or show?

I am incredibly excited for what this year has in store. Because I also work full-time as a lawyer, I can’t do as many shows as I’d like. But it also means that I have the freedom to play at places that I really like. This summer I will be playing at Dekmantel Festival and Drift Festival, among others. I am really looking forward to that! I also recently started a regular radio show at RRFM (Radio Radio, red.), where I have a lot of room to experiment musically. And I’m very happy that OOST will reopen this month (now open again, red.), after the club was on the verge of closing down. I’ve had a lot of room to develop my own sound in the past half decade and I’ll undoubtedly continue that process in the time to come.