The ClubPlanet Interview: 16 Bit Lolitas

The ClubPlanet Interview: 16 Bit Lolitas

by DJ Ron Slomowicz
01.07.2015

Deep house is the next big thing, but we should really take a look at the guys who have been doing it consistently for a long time.  Progressive house duo 16 Bit Lolitas (Arian Olieroock and Peter Kriek) have stayed true to their sound since the early aughts.  Building a solid catalog of tracks on respected labels like Shinichi, CR2, and Hope Recordings, they launched their own label Bits and Pieces to unify their sound. Now teaming up with AnjunaDeep, they are touring extensively and have a strong set of releases in the pipeline.

RS: There are two of you, aren’t there?
Ariaan Olieroock: Normally there are two of us, but my partner is in the studio at the moment. I do the interviews and normally play on my own, so it’s a little better that I do the interviews on my own.

RS: So when you go out on the road it is you DJing, and then when you are in the studio do you work with him?
Ariaan Olieroock: Yeah, we work together, but it depends on how we start the tracks. Sometimes he starts tracks and sometimes I do, and there are times when we are both in the studio together, but it is always a mashup between the two of us.

RS: Do you work in Logic?
Ariaan Olieroock: I work in Ableton at the moment. We used to work in Logic 551 for the PC, and then they had Logic 8 for the Mac, but at one point the plugins didn’t run anymore so we had to change over. We already used Ableton Live 1, but the sound quality wasn’t that good, but starting with 7, 8, and 09 the quality is around the same as Logic. Logic is a little bit better, but I like working with Ableton and I like the workflow.

RS: You two work together as a partnership, if you were together in a videogame, would you be Mario or Luigi?
Ariaan Olieroock: It depends, sometimes I would be Mario and sometimes I would be Luigi, we could be both of them.

RS: You just played TomorrowWorld in Atlanta, how did they react? The Americans aren’t into the deep house as much?
Ariaan Olieroock: They loved it; we did it on the Anjunadeep stage. The stage was split up for three days, one day it was Anjunadeep and the other day it was Black Butter Label and the other day was another label. I think Anjunadeep did the best day of the festival. It was not a big stage, but it was really nice and people were really into it and you can see deep house growing in the US.

RS: It’s funny, the deep house sound has come around now to be the big thing coming from the UK with the nu-house, but you have been doing it all along.
Ariaan Olieroock: I have been doing this for a long time, and at one point we were a little bit lost because EDM came in while were in the progressive scene, so we felt like maybe we needed to go that way- but we didn’t want to because we didn’t feel it. We stayed with our roots and there were some difficult years there, but it’s picking up again.

RS: For me, when I think about a festival I think about jumping up and down and bangers and I am just wondering how your music interacts with that crowd?
Ariaan Olieroock: It depends; deep house is not the big breaks and the come up, but with a good sound system and the right people enjoying music, I think you can do an equally good set as an EDM artist or any other artist that brings big tracks.

RS: How do you decide what comes out on Bits & Pieces and what comes out on Anjunadeep?
Ariaan Olieroock: We put Bits & Pieces aside at the moment because we want to focus a little bit more with some people around us. If you have your own label, you are backed into it by yourself and we really want to be out there with some other people and some bigger outlets and teams around us. We don’t have a team around us to promote our stuff, etc., but Anjunadeep does, and they have amazing people and everybody is really into the music. We just decided to focus a little bit more on that and to see if we can branch back into the industry like we were before.

RS: Is your recent track “Deep In My Soul” a sample from Funky Green Dogs?
Ariaan Olieroock: It is, but we couldn’t use the original sample, so it was resung and then I edited it in the same way I did with the original sample. Indeed it was Funky Green Dogs as the original sample, but we paid for it right?

RS: Hey, you did it the legal way. Are you working towards an album right now or are you just doing EP by EP?
Ariaan Olieroock: We are doing EP by EP at the moment, but of course there is going to be a new album at one point. It depends on the inspiration, and we do other stuff, some movie stuff and global music, but there will be an album at some point.

RS: You said movies, are you doing soundtracks?
Ariaan Olieroock: Yeah, we try to be in that industry as well, but more with the trailers because if you want to do a big score it will take you half a year or 8 months to do it and it will take a lot of work and a lot of effort.

RS: Very cool. Where does the name 16 Bit Lolitas come from?
Ariaan Olieroock: That is the most-asked question actually. When we started, we were in the studio and we needed a name, but we said to leave it and just to see how things were going because we had just started making music. The first remix that we did was of Danny Howells and Stef Vrolijk, and we sent it to Yoshitoshi and they loved it so much and asked us what our name was and that they were going to release it. We didn’t have a name at the time so we were looking in a cocktail book from the 1950s and there was a cocktail called Pink Lolita. We wanted to have something from the music industry and it’s always nice to have two words that don’t really match but when you put them together it sounds nice. When you burn a CD it’s 16 bits, and so we put it with lolita.

RS: It’s brilliant. Fitting with lolitas, your radio show is called Frisky Radio, how does frisky work with deep house? It seems different to me.
Ariaan Olieroock: We have done this since 2005, and I met this guy the first time that I was in Miami. He said he loved my music and asked me if I wanted to do a show on Frisky Radio and that is how it came up and we never left. One of the first sets that we did was a 4-hour set of our own music and people loved it so much and we had so many people listen that we decided to stay on Frisky Radio and continue with them.

RS: As someone who really knows the scene like you do, who is a new person that we should be looking for?
Ariaan Olieroock: That is really difficult because I don’t really look at the industry from that perspective; I just play music and try to keep it blank for myself.  Of course I listen to music and I check out other music, but I try to keep it blank because I like to have my own perspective on music and have my own influences. If you are being influenced too much by all the other music it just becomes too much of the same thing.

RS: Who is a new producer that you like that we might not know about that we should know about.
Ariaan Olieroock: I recently played with some of the guys from Anjuna like Lane 8, Vincenzo, and Lancelot. They are great guys and producers and before that I didn’t really notice them, but now that we started to play with them and I heard their music I really like those guys. My inspiration is Ame and Dixon. That kind of sound and more of a German style. They are really big at the moment so you probably already know about them.

RS: What advice would you give to your 18 year-old self?
Ariaan Olieroock: Good question, keep it easy and stay true to yourself. Don’t try to go with the masses but try to seek your own path. It’s difficult because you need a lot of experience, but everybody makes mistakes in this life and I have made a shitload of mistakes in my life, everyone does. It is necessary to make mistakes to grow as a person, don’t be afraid of it.

RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out here?
Ariaan Olieroock: Thank you, I love you. Everyone has supported us so greatly over the years and everyone knows our name and I hear great stories.

Interview conducted during Amsterdam Dance Event 2014.


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