16 Bit Lolitas interview
I had the opportunity to catch up with the Dutch duo 16 Bit Lolitas and ask them some basic questions to satisfy a curiosity of mine. See, at first I lumped the Lolitas in with all of that old terrible proggy garbage gone mnml. Later, I pegged them as electro and summarily dismissed them (again). But the last two collaborations with Ohmna and Glowfield for their fledgling Bits & Pieces imprint had me thinking differently about them. Here was music that was stylish and definitely big room commercially oriented and yet with some actual creative flare and tension inducing dramatics that weren't cheesy. Ever since then I've wanted to know more about these guys and finally got the opportunity. Be sure to catch them this Friday in San Francisco if you have the chance.
Tell me a little bit about your label Bits & Pieces? When did it launch? Why have you chosen to do monthly collaboratory releases?
We launched the label in 2007. At the beginning we just released some of our own material but the label lacked consistency and focus because we were also doing many releases on other labels besides Bits & Pieces. At the beginning of this year we sort of made a restart with the label. This time we're working together with some friends of ours who also contribute material for the label. It allows us to focus on a few different projects besides 16BL, such as: Ohmna, Glowfield, Koshinto, The Funky Bastard, Nick Nikolov and more. All the material gets finished in our studio and is created to be used in 16BL DJ-sets. This way we can ensure a certain level of quality and, because a team of people contributed, a nice diversity of styles.
What's the scene like in South America and Brazil as opposed to Europe and Holland? How did your Warung Brazil mix compilation happen?
The way the clubscene was here in Europe around 2000/2001, that's the way it still is over there. People still love the music and come to really have a special time. It seems people in Europe have retreated within themselves more again and have become very saturated as well with parties. It's hard these days to find a good party.
The Warung compilation came about because for some strange reason our sound worked very well in club Warung and most other countries in South America. The gigs we did over there were some of the highlights of 16BL so far. They had had plans for a compilation album for years. So at one point it all came together and we made the compilation.
Are you excited about this trip the US? Any stories from previous trips - Highlights? Lowlights? Surprises?
You could say all the travelling is the lowlight. But arriving and doing gigs is most always a highlight! We feel we haven't broken the US the way we have for instance South America. This is also due to the fact that our previous booking agent went bankrupt and left a significant part of the scene looking for new agents and also looking for unpaid fees for gigs. The last two tours with that agent we never got paid. But we're confident that our sound will find a solid fanbase over there once we play in some nice clubs in different locations of the US again.
Your sound is a little hard to pinpoint with a lot of diversity in direction, how would you describe your music to someone who is closed minded and perhaps associates melody with progressive and trance?
We don't look at styles, we just play and make music we like and music that works in clubs. That's it really. These days we just notice that by not sticking to any single style, we're able to create the diversity that keeps crowds interested. The days that a DJ can play one style the whole night are over. Audiences don't have the patience for it anymore usually. So our natural inclination not to look at styles is actually helping us provide the proper variety to still be succesfull as DJ's.
What can we expect from 16 Bit Lolitas in the next six months? An album? Another US tour? More collaborations on your new label?
A lot more releases on our label Bits & Pieces from ourselves and from Glowfield, Ohmna and others. We're working hard on our new album. This will still take a few months but we're already trying out some new bits of it on the road. We hope to release the album within this year. Hopefully we'll be back more in the States soon!
31st Jul - Vinyl, Denver, USA
1st Aug - Supperclub, San Francisco, USA
3rd Aug - Nacional @ Monday Night Social, Hollywood, USA
5th Aug - Cream Stereo Lounge, Scottsdale, USA
6th Aug – Shine, Mcallen, TX, USA
7th Aug - Spy Bar Chic will be DJing in the USA on the following dates...ago, USA