Bart Skils Talks Travel, Sport & Drumcode

Based in Holland, he is an iconic techno artist who regularly works with Adam Beyer.

Bart Skils recently dropped his new ‘Horsepower’ EP via Drumcode.

Bart Skils is a Dutch techno artist who has released top-selling tracks on labels that range from Reinier Zonneveld’s Filth On Acid to Christian Smith’s Tronic, but he is best known for his many releases on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode.

He is also an accomplished DJ that plays regular headline sets at festivals and other large events across the globe as well as being known for his trademark style that fuses explosive percussion and spine-tingling synth lines.

Having wracked up more than 10 releases on Drumcode, Bart Skils recently dropped a new EP titled ‘Horsepower’ which features two of his original tracks. We invited him for this interview so we can learn more about the release plus some of his passions outside of music…

Hi Bart, thanks for talking with me today. Can you start by telling me what part of the world you are currently living in, and what the local music scene is like?

I’m living in Haarlem very close to Amsterdam. I grew up in Amsterdam, but a few years ago moved more towards the seaside because I love to spend time in nature. The techno scene in Amsterdam and The Netherlands is very strong at the moment. We have countless good festivals and clubs which can run 24 hours over the weekend. Especially in the summertime, it’s just so so good!

You are a popular DJ who has a busy touring schedule, can you list some of your favourite travel destinations?

We plan our touring around the yearly agenda, so in the summertime, I’m mostly in Europe because of the festival season and every now and then I’ll plan a trip to the USA. When autumn comes, I start to go more intercontinental with Latin America, Asia and Australia. I love to have a proper tour in Latin America and I’ve been doing it for many years. The scene in places like Argentina, Columbia and Chile is just amazing. I feel very welcome there and connected with the people.

Ignoring the gigs themselves, what have been some of your most memorable travelling experiences, and what made those activities or locations so special?

Last February I was touring with Carl Cox and Reinier Zonneveld in Australia. When I had finished the first week in Western Australia, I rented a campervan and drove 3000 km back to the east coast. It took me through the desert and I enjoyed incredible ocean views with nobody around for days. I love to have new travel experiences like this.

Doing so much travelling must sometimes make it hard to keep fit, do you play any sports or have a specific workout routine?

Besides music, I’ve always had a passion for sports. When I was younger, I was in the Dutch national team for fencing, and nowadays I play squash two or three times a week. It gets me in balance after touring and it’s perfect to get my head clear and focused for studio work.

Are there any sports you enjoy watching, and which teams do you support?

My two sons are into football and I watch Ajax play with them. It’s a great way to relax together and enjoy some entertainment together.

Your latest release is our on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode, could you tell us about the release and its concept?

I’ve been super busy in the studio this year and this is my third release on Drumcode. For the main track ‘Horsepower” I used an old Jefferson Airplane vocal from 1969 and reworked it into a killer track. The vocal “one pill makes you larger, one pill makes you small” stands out in every set!

How many releases have you done with Drumcode, and how did you first meet Adam Beyer?

Uhh no idea, but it’s a lot. I’ve known Adam since the end of the ’90s from Awakenings. I was the Dutch resident and he was the international resident. He was always playing my tracks, so I decided to give him a few new ones. Since then we’ve developed a strong friendship with DC as my techno family.

Do you have any more plans to collaborate on music with Adam Beyer, as your joint track “Your Mind” has become something of a classic?

Yeah maybe, we talk and share a lot of new music and discuss new projects all the time. So maybe in the future.

Can you list a couple of melodic techno tracks that you feel are timeless or inspiring?

I really like Dino Lenny – tokyo (Damon Jee Mix), Dee Montero – Halcyon, and Gregor Tresher – Quiet Distortion. All of those tracks have the timeless sound I love. 

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, is there a message for fans or anything you want to add before we finish?

Enjoy the music and hope to see you around on the dance floor!

You can buy a copy of Bart Skils new ‘Horsepower’ EP on Drumvode from HERE


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