Dutch electronic duo Tinlicker are gearing up to release their debut artist album, ‘This Is Not Our Universe’, on Anjunabeats which presents a dazzling array of styles and a dance-floor sensibility to the deeper end of the electronic spectrum. Having recently remixed Alt-J’s seminal ‘Breezeblocks’, Tinlicker aka Jordi van Achthoven and Micha Heyboer are currently on a worldwide tour including major festivals and venues. DMC took time out of Jordi and Micha’s busy schedule to speak with the duo.
Hi Jordi and Micha, thanks for speaking with DMC! We’re really excited about the release of your debut artist album ’This Is Not Our Universe’ on Anjunabeats. What can people expect from the album?
A detailed insight into our disturbed brains! No, joking, it’s a reflection of what we love in music without thinking about what genre we’re making.
How did you start working together?
We got introduced by Nicole Hofman. She’s working at Armada now, but a few years ago she was running her own PR company and did the press for both our individual releases. She said you guys live in the same city and make music that is related to each other, why don’t you meet up? So, we went for a beer and found out that we had a lot of common friends, but never ran in to one another. It was a fun night and we decided to make a track together. The vibe was good, the work flowed fast and one track lead to four which eventually lead to this album, five years later… now we’re basically married!
Your recent single ‘Breezeblocks’ reworked a seminal Alt-J track. What inspired you to remix it?
We’re both Alt-J fans and that’s how we got introduced to the song. We both come from a different musical background, so merging different genres is something we love doing. And blending this voice with our sounds created something special, so it worked out better than we expected, but at first it was just done as a homage for us to play live.
Have you heard from alt-J about what they thought about the remix?
They loved it, otherwise it wouldn’t have come out. But yes, that was an unexpected cherry on the cake.
Your latest single ’Need You’ sees you reunited with vocalist Thomas Oliver, who you’ve previously featured on ‘Nothing Without You’ and ‘Soon You’ll Be Gone’. How did you first collaborate with Thomas Oliver?
Micha has known Thomas from his drum and bass career. He’s done a few vocals for Black Sun Empire and he’s just really open minded about trying new things. So, we asked him if he’d be willing to do some vocals for Tinlicker and his attempts are golden. You should check out his solo stuff too:
With several different musical styles on the album, how do you decide which approach to take when writing?
We just make what we love, and it isn’t just one style, it’s just a reflection of what we feel like making and playing at that time in our life. We don’t think about it too much, we just start and see where it leads us and if we like it, it is Tinlicker. With this album we wrote a lot more tunes, but this final selection is the balance that defined best what we wanted the album to be.
You’re currently on an extensive worldwide tour, playing at many major festivals and venues. Are there any stages on which you would love to perform that you haven’t yet played?
One of our dreams is to play a big Dutch festival called Lowlands just because we used to go there all the time as music lovers. The diversity of the line-ups they have is special and it would be an honour to be part of it.
What has been the highlight of the tour so far?
Probably The Gorge, that setting is just stunning. What a way to have a perfect day.
Why do you think The Netherlands has produced so many successful electronic music artists?
It’s because our English accent is so bad that it’s impossible to have a successful international singing career, so we have to produce the music for other people to sing to! No, I think it’s because electronic dance music was accepted in the early stages of its existence. So, the Dutch have had a long time for it to become part of our culture. And we have to thank those early pioneers for it.
Which others DJs and producers inspire you both?
Stephan Bodzin, Jon Hopkins, Paul Kalkbrenner, Underworld, The Chemical Brothers, deadmau5, Joachim Pastor, KinK, John Monkman to name a few, but the list is long.
If you could have written any one track which you didn’t, what would it be?
Radiohead ‘Street Spirit’
With such a busy schedule, how do you unwind when not in the studio or on tour? Couch potato-ing with the people we love, a nice cold beer, cooking, and if we want to reset the brain a bit of gaming.
Finally, what can we expect from Tinlicker in 2020 and beyond?