DJB Podcast.361: Orpheu The Wizard!

Orpheu The Wizard!, better known as Orpheu de Jong, is co-founder of the well-known Red Light Radio and has been making international waves with his radiostation over the past couple of years. After graduating at Gerrit Rietveld, De Jong decided to focus more on music which ended up in the establishment of one of the world's best radiostations together with Hugo van Heijningen. The last couple of months, we caught him playing multiple festivals (including Dekmantel) and clubs, always surprising us with loads of disco, afro, house, wave, experimental and ambient stuff. For us, he made this special podcast and we had a chat with this all-round nice guy.

As a kid and teenager you used to listen to hip-hop and metal loads. When was the moment you got into electronic music and how did your taste in music develop?
That's true, my older sister brought hip-hop into the house with NWA (I still have her OG vinyl copy of 'Straight Outta Compton', haha) and such, I must have been eight or nine or something. A little later, me and my neighbour friend got into hardrock and later metal and after that hardcore (the one with guitars, not the boing-boing). After that, as a teenager I think it was a blend of many different things, still the guitars, definitely hip-hop, but also lot of other different things, some of which I really dislike now. But there are two things that I think were my first steps towards the electronic music I enjoy now. I used to go to this bar in Amsterdam called Vaaghuyzen, they had DJs playing there, and one night there was this guy playing crazy electro stuff. I was into oldschool hip-hop at that moment, and what he was playing sounded like an even better thing to me. I asked the guy if he could make me a mix and a few weeks later I picked up a cassette mix at the bar. Must have listened to that thing a million times. No tracklist, so I discovered later it was all these classics like 'Cybotron Cosmic Cars', 'Model 500 No UFO' and more. Still don't remember who the DJ actually was. Also, Daft Punks 'Homework' came out when I was 14, that defintely made an impression. Fast forward years later; DISCO! And from there, house, afro, wave, new age, electronics, ambient. And let's not forget about rap-metal. No, just kidding. 

You graduated at Gerrit Rietveld Academie and are now responsible for the artwork of all Dekmantel releases. Would you have liked to do more with art than you’re doing at the moment?
Actually not... After graduating in 2005 I went for it for a while, it wasn't even going too bad. But after a few years, I was really fed up with art and what surrounds it, so I simply stopped doing it. I stuck a bit longer with doing graphic design, but when I started doing the radio with Hugo this was so much more fun than being designer number #9869 in Amsterdam working in the cultural/music/nightlife field, so I decided to quit doing this too. Dekmantel was an exception, I started working with them in 2006 or 2007 and they became friends, so I decided to keep doing that. So basically, I only work for them and for a few friends that release music and it's great, but I am really happy music can be my main focus nowadays. 

In 2009 you started Red Light Radio with Hugo van Heijningen, how were the last five years for you?
When we started the radio it really seemed like all the things I did before came together, almost like I had the most logical- illogical preparation leading up to it. All the different music influences I had, parties I went to and organised, things I did with music, art or design, people I met, friends I made, it all somehow fell in place with doing the radio. The past five years felt like it was exactly the thing I needed to do. Also, it was and still is the most exciting, most fun thing I ever did so far with the best colleagues ever. We worked really, really (really!) hard for the past five years and I'm very happy where we are now, can't wait for what's coming.

When you started RLR, you decided to go full focus on this and on being a parent. This year we've caught you playing multiple festivals and clubs. Are you planning to focus on the DJ-part more now? 
I always do several different things at the same time, I don't know any other way. So doing the radio, design and DJing simultaneously feels like a normal thing to me. I just really like finding out about music I didn't know before and sharing it with people by playing it to them. I first started DJing almost 10 years ago and always did it because I really like doing it. The years that I wasn't really playing out I was still discovering music, making mixes and listening to new finds with friends. The last year has been pretty crazy with a lot of festivals, multiple gigs in a weekend and so on, but I'm just psyched people ask me to come play for them and I will keep on doing so as long as they let me. Work wise the radio always has been a top priority, but trust me, I'm going full force on all fronts. 

Can you tell us little bit more about the podcast you made for us, and where you got your inspiration from?
It's a listening mix, I don't really like recording club mixes at home, it's just not the same. This mix is for listening behind the computer, on the couch, possibly mid-tempo walking and the occasional head nod or a single (slow) fistpump when no one is looking. Usually when I make a mix it starts with one or two songs that spark something and I build around it. In this case it was a crazy Japanese 7" I just discovered, number thirteen in the playlist and the 'Dip In The Pool' song, second in the mix. These are very dark days and these kind of (to me) truly beautiful songs are exactly what I need at the moment. The two songs are quite different, the 7" is very intense and the 'Dip In The Pool' one is almost like a lullaby so I tried making a story between these two. Some beautiful songs, some melancholic, some wonky and some uplifting. 

What’s coming up for you and Red Light Radio in the future?
Wwe came to a point where our agenda goes til about the end of the next year, which is great. There are collaborations, international projects, events and festivals coming up more than any year before. For me personally, let's see where the DJ thing goes, bookings are starting to come in for the coming year, so I'm looking forward. Maybe next year I will get some later slots on all those festivals (just kidding I love warm up, it's the best part of any party). And next year, I hope to find the 12" of that Nigerian version of 'Los Niños Del Parque'. 

Tracklist

Ruins - Future Tides
Dip In The Pool - Hinamari
Orquesta De Las Nubes - Sobredosis de Pasión
Steve Beresford Anne Marie Beretta - Comfortable Gestures
Auroila - 家へおいでよ
Scratch The Surface - Brighten The Night
He Said - Pump
A Vision of Panorama - Floral Rhythm
Chayell - Tropic
John Ruth - Summer Commuter
EP-4 - Any W.O.O.W.! 
The Bach Revolution - D.E. 108
C. Memi + Neo Matisse - Dream's Dream
Severed Heads - Lamborghini

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