DJ Maestro

There is a doll in the Amsterdam apartment of Martijn Barkhuis: it’s a DJ Maestro Action Figure. The box proudly mentions: ‘It really DJ’s, drinks and smokes!’ “That’s slightly exaggerated,” the real-life version says with a husky voice, while putting his Davidoff cigarette in the ashtray to fill our glasses with pinot grigio. “That doll doesn’t DJ at all.” At least, not like the human version of DJ Maestro, as many, many international dance full of sweaty and cramped calves can attest to. Mesmerize, DJ Maestro’s debut album, following the compilations he did for legendary jazz labels Blue Note (Blue Note Trip, three editions) and Verve (Delicious Jazz), is made for exactly those dance floors. “The music was inspired by the records I play and by the reactions of people who dance to those records. Some of the songs on Mesmerize are more than a year old, others I wrote only two months ago. But they have all been tested on the dance floor. When something didn’t work, we improved it.”

‘We’, in this case, are Maestro and producers Mark van de Bergh and Maarten Helsloot, aka JAAN and Marty Belmondo. They are the owners of a studio in the mundane outskirts of Amsterdam, are blessed with a good ear and the ability to transform Maestro’s ideas into beats, grooves and bass lines. “Sometimes, I hummed them a song, or described a certain feeling or vibe. I put dozens of my favourite songs on mini disc for Mark and Maarten, so they would understand what I was looking for.”

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Photos (3)

Discography

Blue Note Trip - Sunset/Sunrise

Blue Note Trip -...

Blue Note Records
2018

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DJ Maestro presents Nina Simone - Little Girl Blue Remixed

DJ Maestro presents...

Bethlehem Records
2016

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Blue Note Trip -...

Wondercap Records
2009

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Blue Note Trip - Fly...

Wondercap Records
2009

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Blue Note Trip -...

Wondercap Records
2008

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Blue Note Trip -...

Wondercap Records
2007

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