There are DJs, then there are DJs, and Chocolate Puma definitely takes the latter character. The Dutch super-duo has been spinning house music for the last 24 years and shows no signs of slowing down. René and Gaston are dubbed as true house creators and innovators. Laidback Luke dubbed them ‘the godfathers of house music.’
It goes without saying that Chocolate Puma has traveled the entire planet. They have played at the world’s hottest venues like EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland, Ushuaia in Ibiza and Ultra Music Festival in Miami. They currently run Fresh Fruit Records and Pssst Music while making appearances on Spinnin’ Records and Defected Records.
The hard-hitting basslines and hints of old school tribal music are the fuel that keeps René and Gaston going even after all these years. We think it’s safe to say that we have only seen the beginning of this truly legendary house duo.
How are you guys feeling after 25 years of producing and touring?
Blessed! Because we think it’s really rare if you still can produce music and tour the world, and still be relevant after doing that for 25 years. We are happy with the fact everything is more professional and better organized than in the early years. Also technically much more is possible now with producing on a laptop and doing gigs with CDJ’s.
Did you ever think electronic music would have gotten this big?
In the very beginning we never could have imagined that electronic music was going to be the next step in pop music and become the biggest music revolution on earth.
It seems like electronic music tends to go in waves. We started with disco, then more techno-based sounds, acid house, EDM and so on. We now seem to be going back to a more techno-style demographic. Where do you see electronic music going next?
We have no clue, probably someone will come up with something new, like a new sound or a new format. Or maybe someone will recycle an old style in something new. Maybe it’s us or maybe it’s a young person who comes up with that, who can tell.
What are your goals/outcomes when producing a track?
We make dance music, so the first goal is make a track that you can dance to. Second goal is, the next track we produce must be better than the track before. Also very important is that we make music we like, so for us it’s absolutely not about: will this be the next big (radio) hit? And we put a lot of effort in how the track sounds and is mixed down.
How did ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) go? It must be nice to play back home.
ADE was great for us as we hosted a sold out Chocolate Puma 25 ‘A Journey Through House’ celebration party with a lot of old & new friends. We also played at Oliver Heldens’ ‘Heldeep’ and Lucas & Steve’s party. We also did our first ever keynote about producing, explaining how we produced a few of our classic and new records. That was a big success.
Do you ever feel like throwing in the towel after 25 years?
No absolutely not, House music is our life…..and we are still young 🙂
How does collaborating with other musicians change your style?
We won’t really change our overall style, but if you work with other producers everyone brings in their own flavour. You often end up doing thing you would never think of. Different people inspire us to do different things
Who do you want to collaborate with that you haven’t before?
No specific names, things comes as they are. But most of the times we end up making music with people we love to hang out with.
From all the years, what is a lesson you’ve learned and will never forget?
It all starts with music. Just do what you like, what you feel.
Clubs or festivals?
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
The biggest thing this year is re-releasing hundreds of tracks from our back catalogue, going back all the way to 1992. This includes material that has only been pressed on vinyl and has never been available digital. As for new material, we’re finalizing a new track with Tommie Sunshine, and recently we toured China and hooked up with Carta, China’s no.1 DJ. So there’s also something cooking there.
Do you believe in luck?
Yes sometimes, but to be successful in music or whatever you have to work hard, or maybe better: be smart.
Check out Chocolate Puma’s new track on Heldeep Records, “HIPPO” with Moksi, below.