FEATURE INTERVIEW: POP ON ACID
Straight out of Rotterdam, POP ON ACID has been running the most popular club in the City for some time. Bahn was an institution and a club that would sell out events within a few days of announcing online. This guy is a character and a well-respected DJ who’s keeping the club scene alive in Rotterdam, with a new venture on the horizon and something that he’s been working hard to achieve for some time. I had the pleasure of meeting Dirk Schmidt aka Pop On Acid at ADE last year after he was a speaker and he’s become a friend of mine. So it was a great opportunity to interview Dirk to open up what he’s about and some background information about his brand. Dirk has performed at a number of festivals in the Netherlands such as Mysteryland, Milkshake Festival, Vrije Volk Festival, Gay Pride & Outdoor Stereo Festival, as well as countless clubs. He’s also a label owner, with his imprint Pastel Recordings that showcases some of his work as well as various others.
You’ve been at the forefront of the underground scene in Rotterdam for a while now, tell us a bit about how you started DJ-ing and where?
Well! that was such a long time ago, mid 90’s that I bought my first turntables. No technics of course because I couldn’t afford that. It was then that i start buying rave and hardcore records. Playing those records at school parties etc. A few years later I was having my designer company. So I was out for 6 years. Until Aziz & Ted Langenbach asked me to play next to Lady Gaga at Club Watt and the same week with Mister Oizo. Then I got immediately addicted to playing for crowds again. Can you describe your sound please, from what I’ve heard, there’s a mixture of new and old music that really sets the dancefloor alight. That’s basically true. For me, it’s important to play the best records, produced until now. So I use the timespan between everything from 1980 until now. And it is true I like to surprise my crowds with a spontaneous classic, for example.
You recently had to close your club Bahn, you must have been sad to see the doors close for the last time?
Not at all! The closing of one chapter can be the start of even a greater story again. So we started building something even better. So during the closing nights of Bahn were emotional but in a good way, my mind was already our next adventure. What makes clubbing in Rotterdam so special? Nothing at the moment honestly. I think a lot will change in Rotterdam the coming years. But I really miss the true club experience in the city.
You made a visit to the UK for Krafted earlier this year, how do you think the UK compares to Rotterdam clubbing?
I didn’t do enough events yet in the UK to tell you. But a club such as The Winchester in Bournemouth felt a bit like Bahn although there were not so many drugs as in Rotterdam, haha. And no after parties! But I’m really looking forward to play at the Ministry of Sound, that’s really an institute. We’ve seen some posts on social media about your new venture ‘Trash’, tell us what that’s all about and who you are working with? With TRASH we provide Rotterdam with club nights on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. This time we have focused more than ever on the full club experience, with dancers and a beautiful stage where the deejay is in the middle of the crowd. We have a great group of resident deejays such as Taras van de Voorde (Defected, NOIR), Lucien Foort, Jan van Kampen (Dekmantel Soundsystem) and others. What’s your favorite place in the world to DJ and why? It must have been my own good’ol Bahn. That was the best so far. Creating friendships and introducing the rave experience for the younger crowd, amazing.
Who have been major influences during your career as a DJ and how have they affected what you play?
Gabber era Rotterdam. And Club X at the end of the 90’s, French electro (edbanger). And that grew into a more sophisticated sound later. What can we expect from Pop On Acid in the future, what’s on the horizon? Fully focused on the new venue TRASH. And I’m playing in Rotterdam exclusively at TRASH. I want to explore more other countries and venues, so that’s my focus for the coming club season.
Do you expect to take your concept to other countries in the future, we heard a rumor of Ibiza, Barcelona, and Amsterdam?
At the moment we’re still fighting for a night at Ibiza. Barcelona is the POPSHOP adventure, we’re looking at the possibilities at the moment to open the club there. But that’s a plan for the longer term, first thing first! What about production, can we expect to hear any releases from you soon? At Krafted I will bring out some new work soon! And there are a lot of new releases planned for my own record label Pastel Recordings.
Finally, what do you love to do in your spare time?
What’s spare time?
Words By Paul Sawyer
Pics By Wiebe Kuipers