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Tuesday 24th, January 2006
DJ Dazzle

DJ Dazzle was born January 25th 1977 as Martijn Wittenbols. At the age of 15 he visited the local club Spock and heard DJ Tiësto for the first time. He was hooked on dance music. He bought his own turntables and mixer and started to play at student parties with his own gear. Two years after he became a resident dj at The Spock DJ Dazzle started out at Black-Hole Recordings with the Freedom mixcompilation series. After the succes of the first Freedom, 3 sequels followed. DJ Dazzle also released Soundbox, a 2CD and a few weeks ago his compilation Forward (also a 2CD) saw a release. All mixes are documents of Dazzle's excellent taste and superb mixing skills. From the first freedom on, his sound has developed into the style of music that he plays at his gigs nowadays, rhythmic and energetic tech-trance and tech-house. DJ Dazzle also produces his own tracks, and has worked together with other artists such as Cor Fijneman, Misja Helsloot, Erik de Koning (Three Drives) and Geert Huinink. He remixed tracks by artists such as Way Out West, 2Souls, Andain, Q-lock and Vank. Nowdays Dazzle is booked all over the world and he has played from Mexico city to Oslo and from Tel Aviv to Miami.

Trance.nu: Your new mixcompilation ‘Forward’ was released at the end of 2005. How are the reactions on the CD so far?
Dazzle: The reactions I received so far are all very positive. There were some good reviews on a few websites and the people I talked to like the CD very much. Some people prefer CD 1 and others like CD 2 a lot. I’m glad of course that I didn’t get any negative reactions so far, so I’m very happy with the result and the reactions.

Trance.nu: What can people who didn’t heard the CD yet, expect of it?
Dazzle: I tried to make a CD that is similar to my DJ sets. Of course it’s not 100% the same, since I think I will play more trancy on bigger events and more tech house on smaller parties for example, but it is pretty easy to compare the two discs to my sets. I tried to put all styles I like myself on both CD’s, so you can expect vocal progressive trance music to tech house and techno. There are also some older records on the CD’s, like ‘Beautiful Things’ and ‘Amphetamine’, which are real classics for me. So it’s very various, but it’s everything that I like to play combined together.

Trance.nu: The CD is called ‘Forward’. Why did you gave the CD that title?
Dazzle: I wanted to give the CD this title because I’m really taking a step forward with this CD. The CD is released on my new label (Mostly Recordings) and in 2005 I joined the famous ‘Fast Forward Dance Parade’ in Rotterdam. I mean, I did a lot of things to profile myself more as a DJ last year. The title ‘Forward’ was one of the names we had put on a list. When I was going to do the ‘Fast Forward Dance Parade’, my bookings manager came up with the idea to use ‘Forward’ for the CD. It’s a short, simple, but cool name.

Trance.nu: In the past you already did some other mix compilations such as ‘Soundbox’, ‘Maxim’ and four editions in the ‘Freedom’ series on the Black Hole sublabel ‘Songbird’. What’s the big difference between the new ‘Forward’ CD and the mix compilations you did before?
Dazzle: I don’t think that there is a very big difference between the old albums and the new one. The previous mix compilations are also pretty various, with some happy club trance tracks to very deep progressive. I think you can find all genres that I played last years on those albums. With the new CD I tried to combine all those things together on 2 CD’s.

Trance.nu: When did you decided to start with DJ-ing?
Dazzle: At the moment I’m 29 years old and I’m busy with DJ-ing now for over twelve years. It started for me by clubbing in the ‘Spock’ in Breda. At that time a very young and unknown DJ was playing there three days a week. Nowadays everybody know him as Tiësto, who started out as a DJ there. I was fascinated when I saw how he was ‘playing’ with the audience and how he managed to get everybody dancing, jumping and screaming during his sets. When I saw that, I was like “I want to do that too!”, so I bought myself some turntables and I started practicing a lot. So since I was a young boy I’m already busy with music. By becoming a resident at the ‘Spock’ a few years later my first dream came true!

Trance.nu: So you were pretty young when you started with DJ-ing? How did you managed to do your gigs and go to school in that period?
Dazzle: Haha, that’s a good one! When I was fifteen I was already going out. Every Thursday evening we went out. But I also had my school of course, so Friday mornings were pretty hard sometimes, haha! My parents always told me that I could do whatever I wanted with going out and parties. As long as I finished my study it was okay for them. When I started another study (NHTV in Breda) I was also a bit further with DJ-ing, so I had some gigs in the weekends. From time to time I was abroad for gigs in Norway or Israel for example. I was pretty busy with everything, because I also had my study and school. So on Fridays I was still at school, in the evening I went to another country for a DJ gig. And Sundays I went back home again. Mondays a new week at school started again, so it was pretty tough sometimes as you can imagine. But because I liked it so much (and I still do!) I saw it more as a hobby. It was a great time!

Trance.nu: Did you used the name ‘Dazzle’ already from the very first start?
Dazzle: Yes, I did. I always wanted to have an artist name with a double ‘Z’. In that time there were a lot of DJ’s with a special name instead of their own name, like you have nowadays with Ferry Corsten, Armin van Buuren, Cor Fijneman etc. I wanted to have an artist name, so I skimmed the English dictionary and I found the word ‘Dazzle’. I like the meaning and the word itself as well. For the rest it had the double ‘Z’, so it was a perfect name for me.

Trance.nu: What was your best DJ gig ever so far?
Dazzle: It was a gig that I did in Tel Aviv in Israel a few years ago. It was very nice, since it was an open air gig and crowded as well, as I played for three thousand people. The gig was in the neighborhood of the airport, so planes flew over us while I was doing my gig. It was during summer, so the temperature was very high as well and there were fireworks and stuff like that, so the whole event was just great! I was pretty impressed by the whole party and the atmosphere!

Trance.nu: Do you have favorite clubs or countries to perform?
Dazzle: The countries I mentioned before, Israel and Norway, are really cool! I haven’t been there for a while now, but I really hope to go back to those countries for sure! Two years ago I played club ‘Space’ in Miami during the ‘Winter Music Conference’, which was also amazing! At the moment I’m playing lot’s of gigs in The Netherlands and I’m hoping to get more gigs abroad because of my new ‘Forward’ CD.

Trance.nu: For the people who don’t know you, what kind of music do you play in your sets?
Dazzle: It depends on the moment when I’m spinning of course. When I’m playing early in the evening, I’ll play a bit more relaxed and I try to build up for the next DJ. But when I’m playing a closing set it’s more pumping and harder of course. I really try to feel what the people on the floor want to hear. When there are more girls in the club, I’ll play more vocals, since they seem to like that. If they start to dance, men will dance as well. So I play various stuff: from relaxed, vocal, to pumping techno to the ‘real’ trance, which I still really like a lot myself!

Trance.nu: Do you have DJ’s that you like a lot yourself?
Dazzle: Tiësto will always be my favorite DJ. I started with spinning music because of him. He’s a real perfectionist. Besides that he’s a very good technical DJ and I also like his choice of music a lot. Besides Tiësto I really like Sasha a lot. I really love his CD’s and during the years I’ve heard him perform a few times as well. What he does on stage during his sets is absolutely phenomenal! The things he does with Ableton live for example are just great! And last but not least I really like Lucien Foort a lot. He will play at my next event and I’m pretty happy with that, since I admire his productions and his mix compilations for over years now! So he’s also one of my DJ heroes.

Trance.nu: You have your own party concept with ‘Area 51’. For a while you’re doing events by that name. Can you tell us something more about those ‘Area 51’ parties?
Dazzle: We started with ‘Area 51’ because in my opinion there are to less small but nice parties with good DJ’s with a low entrance fee. The location where I host Area 51 is ‘Kerkplein’, in the centre of Breda. We’re trying to give small parties with a maximum of 800 visitors and a low entrance fee, so you only have to pay ten euro. We have had DJ’s such as Johan Gielen, Marcel Woods and Benjamin Bates and of course I’m playing myself at each ‘Area 51’ party as well. Breda is still my hometown and I really like to play there of course! In the second area we always make way for new talent. Because there are so many DJ’s already it’s sometimes hard to get gigs for them, so with putting them on the ‘Area 51’ events, I’m trying to help them to get some more attention and recognition.

Trance.nu: For when is the next ‘Area 51’ party scheduled?
Dazzle: On Friday January 27, in ‘Kerkplein’ in Breda. This edition people can expect Misja Helsloot, Lucien Foort and myself. In the second area Sven van Vuren, also a party promotor from Breda and DJ PM, which is Pieter Versteeg, maybe not so well known yet, but a very good DJ. He plays real cool tech-house, almost minimal progressive. It’s a very nice mixture of various styles and I really like his style a lot myself!

Trance.nu: This is the fourth edition of the event, isn’t it?
Dazzle: Yes, it is. And we’re planning to go on with the parties for a long time!

Trance.nu: In July 2005 the Dazzle-tracks ‘Radar’ and ‘Clino’ were released. Can we expect new tracks made by you in the near future?
Dazzle: New tracks, that’s always a good question, haha! At the moment I’m busy with producing new tracks myself and I have a few tracks finished already. I have a few productions finished that are ready to be released coming months. My focus is on producing right now, so I am pretty busy with this part of my career.

Trance.nu: Do you have your own studio?
Dazzle: Of course. I’m trying to work out my idea’s there and I’m also busy with producing the tracks in the studio. But the finishing touch, such as mixing and mastering, is done by other people in a professional studio, since I I’m not very good at things like that, to be honest. So I think it’s much better if professionals take care of that part of the production process. So that’s what I’m doing in my studio and of course I’m busy with recording mixes, listening to new records and things like that.

Trance.nu: You made some productions and remixes with people such as Erik de Koning, Geert Huinink, Misja Helsloot, Vincent Kriek and Cor Fijneman for example. Are there other people that you would like to work with in the future?
Dazzle: Yes, someone I mentioned before: I would love to work together with Lucien Foort, since he’s doing a sort of crossover between progressive, house and trance.

Trance.nu: Besides producing you also remixed tracks by artists such as Way Out West, Andain, Mistral, Jaimy & Kenny D. Are there new remixes made by you scheduled already?
Dazzle: In 2005 I made my last remix so far, which was for Bram Vank. That was on the Gesture-label by Misja Helsloot. For now there are no new remixes scheduled. For now I want to concentrate myself first on my own productions. But if there are interesting remix requests, I will do them for sure of course!

Trance.nu: What are your favorite records of this time?
Dazzle: There are a few tracks that I play in almost every of my recent gigs. One of them is released on Five AM Records, which is called ‘Russ James - Redneck’. I really like this one! It has a sort of an oldskool piano sound but in the meanwhile it’s really trancy. Very good track! I also like to play ‘Benjamin Bates - The Manimal’ a lot. That one always works on the dance floor, so that’s why it’s on my new CD as well!

Trance.nu: What kind of music do you listen when you’re at home or in your car?
Dazzle: I only listen to house or electronic dance music myself. Mix compilations by Sasha, Lucien Foort or my own recorded mixes for example. I listen to a lot of my own mixes to be honest. But I have to admit that I don’t listen to much other styles of music. I’m pretty hooked on electronic dance music.

Trance.nu: Do you check a lot on the internet to view reactions about your releases, your sets and mix compilations?
Dazzle: Yes, I check the internet often to see what people write about me and about others. I’m not a member of forums myself, because I think as an artist you have to be open minded and listen to the audience, instead of discuss a lot yourself. When somebody doesn’t like my music or writes that I did a bad DJ set, that’s their rightful opinion. I read those comments and if I can do something with it in the future I will of course. But I do check the various internet sites and forums for sure! It’s always good to be up to date with what’s hot and not and stuff like that.

Trance.nu: What can we expect of you in the near future?
Dazzle: I hope a lot! For now and in the future I’m trying my best to have as much people as possible to get to know me. I want to do the ‘Fast Forward Dance Parade’ in Rotterdam again this year, maybe the ‘Streetparade’ in Zurich as well, I hope to release more mix compilations, and I want to release more productions as well. And last but not least, of course I hope to do more bookings. That’s where the action really is.

Trance.nu: Thank you very much for your time and good luck in the future!
Dazzle: Thank you for your time as well!

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