Interview | T.U.R.F.
We got our first dose of the Dutch production duo known as T.U.R.F. last September when their monster house banger, “Reggie Fox,” earned the top spot on our weekly Feedback Friday series. Since then, Lorenzo and Tom have nabbed a monthly residency on Amsterdam’s Radio Nachtlab and have supplied us with handfuls of quality feel-good EP’s and mixtapes — including their most recent one called Have A Nice Day, a three track disco laced burner that will definitely add some pleasant vibes to your summer playlists. Things are only just beginning for T.U.R.F. so we’re especially hyped they took time out of their day to answer some questions for us:
What does T.U.R.F. stand for and how did you come up with that as your name?
Tom: Although spelled with dots, it’s not an acronym. It’s named literally after “turf,” the fuel that’s made from peat. Since we both grew up in very different areas, both in towns that were built on peat-soil, we just named it after our roots.
Lorenzo: Our “common ground,” literally.
Your Soundcloud bio describes you as two “Dutch friends, DJ’s and producers joined by our love of house music.” Obviously to us listening this joining of forces was a cosmic connection, but what made you decide to work together opposed to putting music out individually?
Tom: After haven’t seeing each other for a while, Lorenzo and I met again in 2017 at a DJ gig where he suggested to have a jam session at his studio in Amsterdam. The first session was immediately like magic; it really felt like the pieces of the puzzle were coming together. We realized it would be stupid to make this a one-shot.
Lorenzo: At that time I wasn’t really producing a lot of music because I was too caught up in my daytime job. Those jam sessions gave me so much energy that I decided to put my solo project on hold and continue with T.U.R.F.
I’ve noticed some really good sample selections in your music. What kind of music did you both grow up on?
Lorenzo: I grew up with a lot of soul and disco music by my parents and my older sister was into R&B and a bit of “mellow house,” so that sort of created the base. After I got connected to the internet at an early age I discovered a lot of new music and genres. I also worked quite some time at KillaCutz, a record store in Amsterdam, where I was lucky enough to be able to dig through a lot of different music.
Tom: All kinds of music, actually. No boundaries. My sample selection is mostly inspired by the first album from The Avalanches, which taught me that literally anything could be sampled as long as you keep your mind open. Also my sampling is really inspired by the early French House scene, which taught me how to chop sounds cleverly and how to keep a loop interesting.
What role does each of you play when it comes to creating a track?
Lorenzo: We usually make loops individually and when we get together we do live jam sessions with our laptops connected. There we just keep building, tweaking samples and adding sounds to make it blend. It’s almost like DJ’ing together sometimes.
Tom: Most of the times we think our own loops aren’t that good, actually. But somehow the other always has complementing sounds which makes it sound kind of cool. At the end of each session we always end up with something worth listening to, or maybe even a real track.
In my opinion, Amsterdam is one of the best cities in the world. What’s the current house & disco scene like there and how has the overall vibe of the city influenced your sound?
Tom: I think Amsterdam has a very vibrant nightlife and festival scene with some great venues. Partying over there always gives me new energy to produce music. Not the day after though. As a kid, it was the first city where I could see my own house music heroes perform, even though it took me about three hours to get there. Seeing people like DJ Falcon, Cassius and DJ Sneak at such a young age literally changed my life.
Lorenzo: Same for me. Amsterdam was the city where I discovered house music. From Ricardo Villalobos all night long in Club 11 to a party in a small church where Tom and I heard Moodymann play live for the first time.
Tom: I’m getting nostalgic!
What other Dutch artists are you currently into?
Tom: Holland is full of amazing producers, obviously with people like Detroit Swindle, Fouk, Kraak & Smaak, Times are Ruff….
Lorenzo: … also Frits Wentink is probably one of the most genius producers out there with such a unique sound. Besides that I’m happy to know some really talented people like Cleanfield and Soultage, to name a few.
The “Have a Nice Day” EP gives off some amazing summer vibes; what’s the influence behind it and how does it differ from your past work?
Lorenzo: Just like most of our work, French House had a huge influence on creating this EP. French artists like Wuz, Demon, Cassius — those kind of vibes just keep inspiring us. I don’t think it sounds totally different from our previous releases, but this time the tracks we created happen to be a bit more disco.
Tom: And a bit more summer sounding too. For me, “Since Then” by Ian Pooley is the major influence when it comes to this kind of summer vibe — most definitely one of my favorite house albums of all time.
Labels from Exploited, to Tilly Jam, to Tensnake’s True Romance have supported you; and respected artists like Claptone, Purple Disco Machine and Horse Meat Disco are all fans of your work. How does it feel to get that kind of recognition so early on?
Tom: It still feels kind of weird actually. One moment you’re just at home having a coffee, making beats and trying to do what feels right — and the next thing you know these incredible DJ’s are actually playing the thing you came up with that one day.
Lorenzo: At the same time it’s an amazing feeling and it keeps pushing us to produce more music.
You guys are a production duo making some great tracks, any plans to bring in some vocalists?
Tom: Thank you! We have tons of unfinished tracks which are in desperate need of a vocalist. So if there are any amazing singers out there, feel free to contact us!
Lorenzo: We’re definitely going to connect with more live artists!
And lastly, any upcoming tour dates we should know about?
Tom: A few dates we can hopefully tell more about in the near future! Next up is Sisyphos, Berlin on July 14th. I can’t wait!
Lorenzo: And we just confirmed two shows at Amsterdam Dance Event. Really looking forward to it!