Brilliant in their own lanes and positively electric together are KAMMA and Masalo, two burgeoning Dutch DJs on the vanguard of a new wave of artists representing a fresh Amsterdam aesthetic.
Tell us about the first time the two of you played together. What was that first experience like?
Masalo: Electrifying! It felt like we’d been doing it for years. This sounds really Disneyland but it’s just the simple truth.
KAMMA: Of course some struggles came afterwards when we’re criticizing each other and bringing all the subtleties into the craft to take it to a higher level.
At 6:00 you play Wealthy Humans by Céline Gillain (LP: Bad Woman on Drama). It’s lyrics referring to the oddness of consumerism and polarization of classes in the 21st century. How have you seen these social processes affecting Amsterdam?
Masalo: Obviously it’s affecting our city quite a lot in terms of housing, money-driven societies wearing generic ‘fashion’ and dancing to soulless music. I’m content they have their space and that it can coexist with what we can call ‘our’ music community. Taste and preference for arts though should not be divided by a financial status and I still like to believe that through music we can minimize the polarization of classes and it’s our duty as DJs and musicians to break the patterns in a creative way. Céline Gillain does this in a great way.
KAMMA: I believe the main message in this track is something that affects our whole planet and not only our city; climate change. She sings ‘breathing is cheap, for now’. Also in the end part (we didn’t include it in our mix) she says ‘instead of saving money, you could save me’. I think the ‘me’ is our planet and we should take this message seriously. It’s time to wake up people!
Where Bad Woman was released very recently, your mix also integrates a lot of older tracks from the 80s and 90s. Do you actively try to keep a balance between the old and the new?
KAMMA: There is no particular balance for us to keep in that sense. If the music touches us, we play it. There is so much music coming out but its not necessarily better than what has been made already.
Masalo: Sonically speaking, some of the newer produced music can sound really good on a system. But less contemporary music can sound more organic and more alive in some cases. We try to keep a balance in terms of frequencies and liveliness.
If you could live in any city on the planet, which one would it be?
Masalo: Space is the place but Amsterdam is home.
KAMMA: Indeed Amsterdam is home but as a kid I always dreamed of living in Area 51.
In the video SSFB made about Kamma you get a fine sneak peek into her life as an Amsterdammer, DJ, kid of two DJs, producer and automatic bike-rider. Masalo, has she yet convinced you to get an automatic bike?
Masalo: Haha, she sounded really convincing yes! Actually I convinced her to get it. She wasn’t that enthusiastic when I got it, but she turned around quickly! It’s such a game changer, you have different speed modes, assistance modes, lots of space to carry records and gear, I’m drifting off here…
In less than a week you will play at Strange Sounds From Beyond Festival. What other performance are you mostly looking forward to?
Masalo: So many dope acts to hear! Never experienced Mabuta so definitely looking out for that. Also highly looking forward to the arts of Laraaji and a slamming dance session with Mutant Beat Dance.
KAMMA: Really wish we could see Parrish Smith closing the RLR stage, but we’ll be playing at the same time, closing the Rush Hour stage!
Check out the video portrait we made of KAMMA recently.
KAMMA & Masalo will be playing at Strange Sounds From Beyond 2019 on Saturday, June 22. Tickets are available here.