Dutch beat maker and producer Dennis van der Meijden aka Terilekst recently launched his sonically amazing record Turquoise. We wanted to know more about him and talk about his musical learnings. We talked about Quentin Tarantino, sampling Barbara Streisand and his musical evolution. Read the story below.
How did you start in music?
“I entered the world of Hip Hop in 1990 at the age of 11, when my family & I moved to Blomberg, Germany. My dad was in the military, and I started listening to everything that had raps on beats. MC Hammer & Vanilla Ice but at the same time I copied & collected cassette-tapes and bought CD’s at US Army stores (NWA, PE, Big Daddy Kane, Geto Boys, Ice T, Ed OG & the Bulldogs, Digital Underground, you name it. I became totally absorbed by the culture. Danced and beatboxed in local rap groups and I was a happy kid with my Yamaha PSR-48 keyboard.”
When did you start to make beats?
“I started making beats after we moved back to The Netherlands (Venray) in 1994 or 1995 when I a classmate handed me a 3,5″ diskette with a 0,5 MB software on it called ModEdit (which later ScreamTracker, Impulse Tracker & ModplugTracker). Back then still didn’t know anything about hardware like MPC’s or SP-12(00)’s. At first had my samples from so called ‘.Mod – files’ I found on Shareware cd’s. Soon after I checked out my parents CD collection (too bad they sold all the vinyl in the early-mid 80′s) and sampled all kinds of stuff for example Barbara Streisand, Otis Redding, Johnny Mathis, a lot of classical & Blues. I think it was 1999 I began sampling from records. And started using in Propellorhead Reason & Recycle in 2001.”
Turquoise feels like an out of space sonic experience. What is the thinking behind it?
“For me it’s an inner space experience. Somewhere in the process I decided I wanted to make it symbolic for a psychedelic experience.Where literally anything can happen. Every emotion can pass. It’s not happy or sad per se, I think it is more deep & introspective. For example when you look at the artwork, you can also put it upside down. One moment you’re in an ocean with soap bubbles looking at clouds that if you look closer look like turtles and when you rotate it 180 degrees you floating above a planet traveling through space. It’s a different perspective thing, micro- & macrocosmos. I also see this as an ode to all kinds of styles of music and as early-mid nineties HipHop/ late60s- early70s nostalgia. But it’s also a dedication to the love for the art of sampling and passion for re-creation & propagation.”
You have Dutch roots, but your record feels international. Tell us more about that.
“Thanks! I see that as a compliment! Early in the process I had the idea this could be a follow-up for Kohfie Konnect ‘Hetiszover’ (then it would’ve been with Dutch raps). But it didn’t happen. I also asked a few singers and that also didn’t happen, so it became clear for me this had to be fully instrumental. And when it’s instrumental the whole world can hear, feel and interpret it in his or her own way.”
Who inspires you?
“Everyone who can play instruments or do things on a out of this world or special level. Producers & arrangers like David Axelrod, Quincy Jones, Curtis Mayfield, Galt MacDermot, Willie Mitchell. Offcourse in my younger days 90s great Hip Hop producers like Rza, Dr Dre, DJ Muggs, Hieroglyphics/ Souls of Mischief, Jay Dee (J Dilla), Madlib, DJ Scratch, Salaam Remi, Pete Rock, Premier, ATCQ, DITC, Organized Noizea and the Beatnuts. I now listen to Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, 60s/70s stuff still but also new music like the Soundcarriers, Adrian Younge, BadBadnotGood, and electronics, Dub or Trap.
Outside of music: I love a lot of visionary art by Rob Gonsalves, Mark Henson, Vladimir Kush, Wolfgang Harms, Johfra, Ernst Haeckel, Alex Grey, Dali.”
Speaking of inspiration, Turqoise reminds us of a new Quentin Tarantino soundtrack.
“Wow thanks. I love Tarantino movies. Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards, Django Unchained – all great.One of my friends said some of the tracks sound to him like an old western movie. Yeah it can also be a soundtrack for a cult type of movie. Why not? Would be great to create & produce a score.”
What would be the ultimate Turqoise music experience?
“I would love Metropole Orchestra playing Turquoise.”
What goals do you set for yourself?
“My goal for now is to push Turquoise more across the globe. And I’m working on another project I started during the process of Turquoise.”