Locked Groove

Imperfect: Locked Groove

A true example of how modern technologies afford developing talent the platform for advancement within the modern music world, young Belgian producer Locked Groove is currently picking up a lot of attention ahead of his debut release on Scuba’s Hotflush label.

Producing for three years, the Antwerp-based artist originally started out making dubstep, before turning his hand to house and techno just eight months ago. Now, for those who have heard his debut ‘Rooted’ EP, this may sound unbelievable, given the three track release’s mature, subtle and intricately built context, yet remember that 23 year old Tim Van de Meutter hails from the country that gave us R&S, Music Man and a number of defining techno imprints.

Creating ‘imperfect’ music for strict club play, Van de Meutter is not a man interested in the looped perfection his moniker may suggest. As the sample in his EP closer ‘Change’ concludes:

“making music is what I do / I’m gonna do it to the end / I never did this for the fashion of it / I never did it for the trend of it / I never did this because it was something fun / I do this because this is what I do.“

So Tim, tell us who you are, and how you first got involved with making music?
My name is Tim, I’m 23 years old and at the moment I reside in Antwerp, Belgium. It all began pretty standard. I started making music about 3 years ago, mostly dubstep. It wasn’t until I think about 7-8 months ago that I started producing house and techno. It’s actually strange because I was into house and techno before I ever heard dubstep existed, yet it never crossed my mind to actually produce it myself. Eventually I gave it a go and if felt as if a big weight fell off my shoulders. Suddenly all these ideas flowed out of me really easily. House and techno feels natural to me, both producing it and also playing it.

Locked Groove – ‘Drowning’ (clip)

How long have you been producing, and what’s your set up?
I’ve been producing for approximately 3 years, in terms of equipment I have a pretty standard set up. Computer with a decent sound card, one old Yamaha synth which is an absolute pain to use, and good audio monitors. That’s kinda how I like it, simple. Not too much fancy stuff around to distract me.

Belgium obviously has it’s house and techno history – are there any particular fellow countrymen of yours that you find particularly inspirational?
There’s certainly some names / labels that have influenced me. Buzz records was and is a big influence on me, they released some classic tunes, and old R&S records influenced me as well. In terms of people I think Koenie is the main influence as he introduced me into all kinds of music.

How did you first come across Paul Rose’s Hotflush Recordings?
I was already following Hotflush from way back when they released classic dubstep tunes. I used to work in a record store in Antwerp so I could keep track of the labels releases fairly easily.

Tell us about your musical style – what sounds/feelings are you striving for in your current work? The music has a real emotional depth to it – is each track personal to you on an emotional level?
I think my musical style is ever changing. Every track is a personal experience and a direct reflection on what is happening around me. I’m not really striving for any particular sound or style at the moment, I just want to enjoy myself, and make the music that I like.

Do you make music outside of the house/techno sphere?
I make more beats and garage influenced stuff under the moniker of Lush84 with a friend. Besides that there’s some instrumental experimental music hidden in the depths of my hardrive as well.

Locked Groove – ‘Rooted’ EP (clips)

Your debut release is picking up alot of heat at the minute, with many aligning your sound to the Berghain set of producers/DJs – what is your experience of the club itself?
Amazing, every town should have a club like Berghain, full stop.

What can we expect from your DJ style? Any plans to play in the UK this year?

There’s some UK bookings on the planning – my DJ sets will be all about variation and good vibes.
Which doesn’t mean stuff can get a bit rowdy from time to time. I think my DJ style is pretty raw and dubstep certainly had an effect on me in terms of cutting and EQ-ing.

Aside from the ‘Rooted’ EP and your forthcoming Turbo release, what else do you have in the pipeline?
There’s a remix I did for Renaissance Man wich should be out soon, also a remix for Seekea, and there’s some more stuff on the agenda, I suggest you all keep your eyes peeled!

Finally, why the Locked Groove moniker? Are you interested in the possibilities of a musical infinity, or would you like to create the perfect Locked Groove?
It’s all about a groove for me, I like the idea of a certain sound going on and on and on, and in a way that’s how my early productions were – I lifted a groove from an old disco record and looped it and just pasted a beat underneath. I don’t have any ambitions to ever make the perfect locked groove, because music isn’t about perfection for me, it’s the imperfections that make it interesting.

The ‘Rooted’ EP is released via Hotflush Recordings on January 16.