With two sumptuous EP’s from Budakid and Hosini laying the groundwork, label XYZ continues their emergence by revisiting their debut release for a set of remixes. Rising Dutch duo Esteble have stepped forward to deliver a deep and groovy cut of Budakid’s progressive gem ‘Quixotic’.
The Rotterdam-based pair has been turning heads with their unique blend of melodic, downtempo, and darker dancefloor-oriented sounds on labels such as Do Not Sit, Stil vor Talent, Diynamic, and Anjunadeep,. With support from Solomun, Sebastian Leger, and James Grant, Esteble are among the best rising European producers and live acts in the scene.
We caught up with Esteble to touch base on their new remix, their musical path thus far, and what we can look forward to in 2019.
Electronic Groove: Hi guys, thanks for your time today. ‘Quixotic’ is the first track you’ve remixed in quite some time. What elements do you look for in a track when considering doing a remix?
Esteble: Hello all! That’s true, our first track we put on Soundcloud was a remix of Ben Howard’s ‘Depth of Distance’. This one got a lot of attention and it inspired us to make new music together, secondly we made a remix of Chymera’s ‘Fathom’s which was part of a competition. We really wanted to make our own music so we mainly focussed on that. We look for tracks that inspire and spark some creativity within us. For us the atmosphere, groove and sound design are important aspects of a track. Of course there must be enough room left for our own approach, so we can make our own interpretation of the track.
EG: How did you approach this remix? When you heard the original did you have an idea for where you wanted to take the track?
Esteble: We picked apart the elements we thought worked best and jammed around that. For this remix we had the idea of taking a more straightforward approach beatwise while focusing on the atmospheric side of the track. Of course the vocals are still an important part of the remix.
EG: How did you meet and how long did it take for you to start your project?
Esteble : We met each other in Rotterdam in 2009 through a mutual friend and there was a click right away. Musically we matched really well also, although both coming from different musical upbringings. Joep introduced me to the ‘deep house’ side of music, as I (Bram) was more into downtempo electronica at that moment. We played guitar together and ended up recording some of our jam sessions, which we made into downtempo tracks. We started looking for names, and Joep came up with Esteble.
We both attended a Diynamic label night at ADE in 2012, for us that party was a big motivator to start a musical project together. We started Esteble right away, that same year.
EG: Are you from musical backgrounds/families?
Bram: My mom played and teached organ in church, and her dad built wooden organs. My dad played a lot of music at home when I grew up, varying from Handel to Crosby Stills Nash & Young, to Madonna. I started playing acoustic guitar when I was 12. When I bought my first 2nd hand iPod at 16, I got inspired by a lot of electronic music which was still on that gadget from the previous owner. From this point I really started developing my own musical taste.
Joep: My dad used (and still does) to play a lot of vinyl while cleaning the house: Nick Drake, The Beach Boys, Velvet Underground, plus he played the guitar. My uncle is a singer in a band but that’s about it as far as I know about the musical roots in my family.
“Esteble describes feelings of clarity and profound insight”
EG: What is Esteble and how did you come up with the name?
Joep: Actually the name started as a joke, it has to do with slang from where I grew up. I removed some letters and it became Esteble which is actually a thing, it describes feelings of clarity and profound insight. We think it fits perfectly with our music, so it’s more of a happy accident!
Joep: We really work in harmony so it is hard to pick apart who does what, it is good that we both are able to add elements, work on idea’s and continue a project together.
EG: Who have been your biggest inspirations in your careers?
Esteble: Back in the day we got inspired by labels such as Diynamic but this has changed over time, as our music has changed too. I think now we get inspired more by things in the experimental space; this is not just limited to music but also art, surroundings and nature.
EG: What do you feel each of your roles in the studio is? What do you feel you each bring to the creative process?
Bram: It depends, we both work on new material, mostly together but sometimes also apart. We share our studio in our apartment so we can work on the music whenever we want. We really have the same vision and idea of what a track should sound like so we complement each other really well.
EG: How do you manage making music as a duo? Do you always start working on your projects together?
Esteble: This actually goes pretty naturally. We sometimes listen to older projects, or synth recordings, and make new music from this starting point. This is the way our ‘Ardent’ EP was born for example.
“We really have the same vision and idea of what a track should sound like so we complement each other really well”
EG: What are a couple of your favorite past times for when you need a break from music?
Esteble: Going on vacation and for small breaks, we love to drink cappuccinos and go and play epic tennis battles.
EG: How does a hybrid live set influence how you go about preparation and your response mechanism on stage?
Esteble: This is still a work in progress but last time we tried to add new elements to our liveset; synthesizer, bells and a kalimba. For us it’s more interesting, we try to go for a less standard approach and serve the people with something new. With the amount of gear to carry around it is not always possible to do it this way though. We still have a lot of freedom like in a DJ set, but we also have the live and improvisation part that keeps it musical and exciting for us and the audience.
EG: You guys have created quite a recognizable sound. What do you feel have been the most important lessons you’ve learned that have helped you do that?
Esteble: This might be a bit of a cliché but it is important to really go your own way as an artist and be able to let go, let go of expectations the outside world might have from you. Experimentation is key and a free mind too.
EG: What are you guys excited about this year? What do we have to look forward to from you?
Esteble: We have some new projects in the pipeline and working on a new remix too. This year we might collaborate more with other artists which is exciting for us too and should bring new things to the table.