Dutch duo Lars Dales and Maarten Smeets have carved out a space all of their own at the zenith of the global deep house pyramid. They've set an exceptionally high bar from themselves thanks to the club-shaking productions they've routinely launched over the past decade, and it feels as though they've been around for far longer, such is the weight of their magnificent output. They've released on labels including Freerange, Aus, Defected, Wolf Music, and most commonly via their very own Heist Recordings. Their reliably club-friendly production is perennially on point. In the midst of a lengthy late-night set and under pressure to keep the dance floor bubbling, I can report with a degree of certainty that by heading for the 'Swindle's section of your record box or USB drive, you're effectively guaranteeing to keep bodies moving.
Until very recently the duo recorded and performed together under the name Detroit Swindle – a name chosen to honour the illustrious musical output of the motor city – but following discussions with friends and peers regarding cultural appropriation, they opted for a respectful rebrand, with the new 'Dam' prefix chosen to represent their home city of Amsterdam. “We want to be open to change and want to contribute to the narrative of equality in a positive way: As artists, but above all as human beings,” they said last November via a press release. “With this in mind, changing our name feels like the least we can do.”
We were thrilled when they agreed to submit to us a list of some of their favourite party jams for our Guest List segment, and were even more ecstatic when their tune choices arrived at Mixmag Asia HQ. There's is a selection that is bound to lift spirits in this most challenging of times, while the majority of us are waiting impatiently for the doors of our favourite venues to swing open and welcome us inside. Until that glorious day arrives, sit back, press on the respective play buttons, and lose yourself in Dam Swindle's super tight playlist.
Huge thanks to Lars and Maarten for the good time vibes they've supplied here.
1 Mood II Swing 'Move Me'
“This track has been stuck in our bags since forever. The raw mix is a bit unconventional for them and we always turn up the low EQ for more power, but it’s such a great track.”
2 Erik Cosaque & Voltage 8 'Bazouka'
“A percussive tool with the vibe of a live jam, and the energy of a strong dance floor production.”
3 Masarima 'Freak Like U'
“This was destined to be one of the biggest tracks of 2020’s summer, but things turned out otherwise. Essential tune.”
4 Crown Heights Affair 'Far Out'
“We love the energy of CHA and this track is really great. The horn section, key groove and the vocal can do wonders for any dance floor.”
5 Unknown Artist 'ZIK' (Cobra edits)
“The Cobra Edits are always really cool and this one fits nicely in that weird, dry disco chopped territory you might expect from guys like Soundhack.”
6 Raoul de Souza 'Sweet Lucy'
“If there’s one track we love to end our sets with, it’s this one. Going out with a bang and smiles all around.”
7 Scan7 'The Resistance'
“We’re huge fans of Scan7 and the message, production and keys on this track are so powerful. You can expect some more music from them with us in 2021, so it’s great we’re working so closely together with these legends.”
8 Alonzo Turner 'Whoever Said It'
“It’s been edited, reworked and sampled, but the original is still the one.”
9 Jeannette Ndiaye 'Makom Ma Bobe'
“Reissued by Kalita last year, and another example of the world class African disco.”
10 Crue 05 'Track 2'
“We’ve even had Crue do a remix for us and we still don’t know who he is. Doesn’t really matter though. The sampling, gritty production and vibe is just really cool.”
11 Boogaloo Assassin’s 'No No No'
“A Boogaloo cover of 90’s reggae hit No no no by Dawn Penn. A bit cheesy, but sometimes, cheesy is good.”
Fouk 'Blue Steel EP' –
the latest release from Dam Swindle's Heist Recordings – is out
today. You can listen and buy it here