Maarten Vorwerk is to stranger to the educated raver. Being the most famous ghost producer of all time, you might have heard his name for sure. To producers he’s been an icon ever since his famous “Vorwerk Tip Of The Week” series, helping out beginning producers and talents all over the world. But did you know he also produced the mid-2000s Jumpstyle-act ‘Jeckyll & Hyde’? In the mid-to-late-2000s Jeckyll & Hyde had chart-topping hits like ‘Frozen Flame’ and ‘Freefall’ which were in the charts all over Europe and beyond. ‘Freefall’ just got a remix by Scantraxx talents Hypnose and this officially marked the comeback of Jeckyll & Hyde. We sat down with Maarten Vorwerk to talk all things Jeckyll & Hyde – past, present & future!
Hello Maarten! Nice to have you here today! How are you today? How’s the life in Aruba?
MV: Life is good in Aruba. 360 days a year full of sunshine and hot temperatures. Nice beaches and great people.
A lot of people might know you, but to a Harder Styles crowd you might not be such a familiar face, even though you have been quite active within the Harder Styles in the past. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your journey within the scene?
MV: Ever since I was twelve I was a big fan of the harder styles. I was a real hardcore Gabber from Rotterdam. in 2002 when hardcore was over it’s peak there was a lot of club trance music out there. I wanted to combine that with a harder twist by using harder kicks like in the Bonzai tracks I was also a great fan of. I wasn’t familiar with the term “Jumpstyle” back then, but it could be considered that. First track I did was the Ruthless & Vorwerk remix of Benny Benassi’s – Satisfaction. This was such a big sales hit that it put our names on the map right from the start. I worked at a record company back then which allowed me to release many tracks under lots of aliases. Including Jeckyll & Hyde, Vorwerk, Noise Provider, Jack & The Ripper (whores in the house) etc..
Jeckyll & Hyde is one of your most successful projects, what inspired you to revive it?
MV: I noticed an upcoming demand for Jeckyll & Hyde as a retro act. But while promoting it and listening to the old songs, I got inspired to create new music again also.
Jeckyll & Hyde were up for a huge ride in the mid 2000s! Peaking in Dutch and International Charts, being nominated for award after award. Can you give us a short ride “Back In Time” ( 😉 ) and introduce the act for us?
MV: In 2006 I produced ‘Frozen Flame’ which became very popular in the clubs. I think people considered it as something fresh and new.. But it took like 6 months and a lot of radio plugging to get it on radio for the first time. When that finally happened the station got so many messages and phone calls that they decided to put in on the playlist. From there it just took off like a rocket. I needed to make a follow up soon and produced Freefall, which ended up at Number 1 in the Dutch Top 40 within 2 weeks. Bookingsrequests started rolling in fast but I didn’t want to DJ so I decided to create a live act with Dancers and a DJ (Patrick Kars). So when they would perform I could work on new music. Jeckyll & Hyde did an incredible amount of shows and they made appearences on a lot of television shows. Biggest show was probably Koninginnedag museumplein with 250.000 people.
“I got inspired to create new music again” – Maarten Vorwerk
Next to you, who else is involved in the project?
MV: Well on paper, Ruthless was also involved. Back then we were friends and I had to involve him due to contractual obligations towards our publisher and record company. It’s safe to say he never produced a single beat under the alias Jeckyll & Hyde. He got lucky 😉
Hypnose released a remix of one of the most defining tracks of the act “Freefall” just earlier this year – what is your personal opinion on it and will we hear more remixes by other artists as well?
MV: I loved that remix. That’s why I really wanted to release it. I had heard many remixes before but they all $#@%^$@… I think Hypnose are two very talented producers from which we will hear a lot in the future.
We see a lot of Jumpstyle action going on on the J&H facebook! Do you think Jump and ‘Jumping’ will make a huge comeback soon?
MV: I was actually surprised to see how big the Jumpstyle ‘dance’ community still is. They still organise a lot of gatherings and they have taken the dance to a whole new level which you can not imagine. You should definitely check some of the movies out on my facebook page.
Where and when will we be able to see J&H on stage again? Will the act be focussing on “Classics” events only, or can we expect even more gigs from J&H on stages from all over the world?
MV: For the moment we only have “classics” events. But I foresee a future where we can combine the act with the old and with the new songs. I’m planning on releasing a couple more songs.
Can we expect more videos with the beloved building-block J&H mascots?
MV: Maybe. I do think it’s time that the music should be synched in one of the LEGO Movies.. LEGO Star Wars perhaps… Denmark are you reading this?
Right now the tracks are being released under your own imprint VRWRK, can we expect more Maarten Vorwerk approved (or made) Hard- and Jumpstyle on the label?
MV: Yes you can. But I will probably also feature some other stuff on there.
“Back In Time”, the Freefall remix, Jeckyll & Hyde – Is Maarten Vorwerk “back in the biz” when it comes to the Harder Styles?
MV: I do listen to Hardstyle, Hardcore from time to time. Few names on the top of my head I really like are Furyan, Neophyte (the older stuff), Noisecontrollers, Sub Zero Project, Wildstylez and Hypnose of course.
You’re a notoriously busy producer with a heart for newcomers, as you show every week in your “Vorwerk Tip Of The Week”, and the series was just printed as book! Can you tell us more about the book and how that happened?
MV: Every day I got so many messages with questions about producing, mixing, legal stuff etc.. That’s why three years ago I started my weekly “Vorwerk Tip Of The Week” blog where I would answer all of these questions and more for everybody to read and learn. Now three years later I decided to make an official book of it, so everybody could have a full bundle with all the production advice you’ll ever need. It covers everything from Producing, Mixing, the music industry, publishing, workflow, Motivation etcetera.
That being said, do you think there will be another book or even a book series after this?
MV: I started doing a video series of it as well. With the first 25 tips as episodes in which we can go a bit more in depth and you can actually see what I am doing. When time let’s me I will record some more. And yes I might do some more books in the future.
Any last words for your fans and the Hardstyle Fans out there?
MV: Yeah, anybody got two VIP tickets left for Qlimax? lol
Haha! Thank you for the interview, Maarten! See you next time!