Amsterdam is one of Europe's clubbing capitals.
A city with a colossal underground scene, it's a true harbour city, in that it welcomes all cultures, sluicing it together to create something new.
It's also the place Timothy Clerkin calls home, with its fetid atmosphere of loose-fitting abandon seeping down into his soul.
A producer and DJ who has fought his way to the top table, Clerkin has spent the past decade entertaining dancefloors across the globe.
So he's learned a few things about how to open a DJ set along the way...
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The Juan Maclean - 'Deviant Device'
This has got to be one of my most played tracks in warm up sets - I think it’s nine years old now and it still excites me! I love the fact that it’s just got that straight groove, no heroics with the drum machine, all the movement comes from the synth line and echo.
It’s amazing how dubby you can make something sound with a Space Echo, despite there not being a guitar or piano in sight here!
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The Sabres Of Paradise - 'Edge 6'
This one is a natural corollary to me as it has a kinda dub influence too - which is strange as I’m really not into dub! But these tracks sit on the right side of it, in my horribly ill-informed opinion haha!
The Sabres have been a massive influence on me, musically, so it’s always a pleasure to play something of theirs out. Can’t beat the strings on this one too; utterly divine.
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Topo & Roby - 'Under The Ice' (Instrumental)
An Italo Disco classic that, again, doesn’t matter how many times I’ve heard it, it still sounds great.
I absolutely love those chords - they’re pretty massive and it’d be easy to get carried away in the studio and pump out a big room monster with those. But I love how understated the rest of the track is, which keeps the chords under control. And that arpeggio’d synth sound is to fucking die for.
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Amani - 'Fucked Up' (Timothy Clerkin Remix)
Narcissism time! But what’s the point of DJing if you don’t get to play your own productions every now and again?! This is one of my favourite remixes I did last year and I still like to play it whenever I can.
There is a certain satisfaction to be gained from making a dance-floor move to a 100bpm track that you made yourself. I try not to go above 110bpm when I’m warming up too, it’s obviously a bit disrespectful to the DJ after you to be smashing out 130bpm bangers, but I also like to be limited in my selection - and pitching stuff way, way down is also great fun.
You can get a completely different feel out of a track when you play it 15bpm slower.
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Earth Trax - 'I'm Not Afraid (Shall Not Fade)'
Finally stepping into the present with this choice! It’s just a gorgeous piece of music, start to finish - all the elements work together so well. It speaks to me because it contains a slow breakbeat and some lovely sounding synthesisers, both of which have been appearing in my recent productions in abundant.
I can wholeheartedly recommend checking out his album, modestly titled LP1, which is really fantastic. I’m definitely approaching him for a remix on my label soon. Also, this is the radio edit, go and find the full length version if you can!
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Timothy Clerkin's 'Psalm' EP is out on March 6th via Insult To Injury - order it HERE.
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