Behind the Beat: Bingo Players
The history of dance music would not be complete without a chapter on the contributions of Bingo Players to the electro house music scene. Formed in 2006, Maarten Hoogstraten continues the legacy of Bingo Players after the death of co-founder Paul Bäumer in 2013. In addition to producing music, Bingo Players and Hoogstraten maintain the record label ”Hysteria Records” and tour throughout the world from small venues to major festivals. Bingo Players are not only a part of the history of dance music, but a wealth of knowledge regarding the development of dance music and the key people, locations and sounds involved in what makes dance music successful from a contemporary and historical perspective.
Only The Beat: You have produced hits like “”Cry” and “Rattle,” have major residencies and even started your own record label. What is a personal milestone in your career so far?
Bingo Players: Wow, it is really hard to say what I am most proud of at the moment. I was talking to a few friends that went to Ultra and Miami Music Week back in 2007 and we saw artists like Armin Van Buuren, Prodigy and few others on the mainstage. Paul and I were visitors at the show back then and we said that we want to play Ultra one time at the mainstage, so we worked hard after we got back from Miami and two or three years later we were playing at the mainstage at Ultra. This was a milestone because we had a goal to play somewhere and it was so satisfying to hit that goal after all the hard work. Playing at Ultra on the mainstage gave us the sense of ”we made it” and something that we dreamed about for a number of years. As an aspiring DJ and producer, it is important to set goals and strive for them.
OTB: At Hysteria Records, who would you say are the rising stars right now?
Bingo Players: You never know. We signed MAKJ way back in the day when he was starting out as a producer, but we believed in him. It is hard to tell when someone is going to be a rising star, but we like to sign music that is unique and people that we believe in at that moment. We recently signed two artists KANDY and Zookeper and maybe in two or three years they will be playing on mainstages all over the world. You never know, but we at Hysteria want to sign what we think is going to be big, unique and that is all that matters. Sometimes it does not work out commercially, but sometimes it does, which makes running a label fun and challenging. It is rewarding to be able to give young talent an opportunity to release their songs.
OTB: You started producing music from a young age. Can you tell us about how you got started producing music?
Bingo Players: I started producing music when I was eleven years old. I remember begging my parents to buy me a Soundcard, which was super expensive. Eventually, I got one when I was thirteen years old and it was great trying reproduce what was going on at the clubs at that time. I had never been to a club at that time, but I had all of those compilations and I tried to make rave music going back 22 years ago. After all the technology evolved so fast and I got new software, I really started going. I was really into electronic music from a young age in Holland where dance music was really popular on the radio and I wanted to emulate that music.
OTB: Name your top three dance music tracks of all time.
Bingo Players: Number one of all-time is going to be ‘Da Funk’ by Daft Punk, which is the fourth track on the ‘Homework’ album. When I first heard the ‘Homework’ album it really blew my mind. At the time there was a lot of Trance, groovy House or Deep House, but at that time it was something different like an Acid House track with a really slow BPM. Number two would be the The KLF. You probably have not heard about them in the U.S., but they were the guys who first brought Big Room House into the clubs. It was even before Daft Punk in 1991 they did a track called ‘Last Train to Trancentral’. If you hear that track you will hear stuff that you hear still today in big EDM tracks. Big synths, big drums. The guys did the song just for fun. They did not produce the track for money and they took all the money they got from the royalties, which was a lot because it was a number one track in a lot of European countries and they burned all of the money in a fire pit. They even wrote a book about it. Number three would be ‘Stardust’ and the track ”Music Sounds Better Without You”. The main guy from Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter did a side project called ‘Stardust’ and he produced the French track. That track is so good because it was French Disco mixed together with Chaka Khan records.
OTB: Outside of Djing and producing music, what are your interests or hobbies?
Bingo Players: Family comes first. I have a little son and a girlfriend. Outside of that I like videogaming. We actually went to the video game store here in D.C. today and I bought some games.
OTB: I’ve spoken with other DJs and producers about the integration of live instruments during DJ sets in addition to other trends in dance music. Where do you think the industry is moving and what do you think the next big thing will be?
Bingo Players: When I first started DJing, we had a lot of live instruments like saxophones and it just didn’t work because they didn’t know the timing or the songs. They would try to innovate, but it just didn’t sound really good. I do think there will be acts coming up and a few out there already that nail that type of style, but for me the person playing the instruments would really have to know the timing and understand my sets. I think that in order for live instruments to mix with a DJ set you would have to be together for a really, long time and have an extensive understanding of the music and what to expect from one another. I can’t go on stage tonight and just have someone go improvise and play along because they do not know what I am going to play. If you want to be successful you have to start as a band from the beginning.
OTB: What can we expect from Bingo Players this year? Any big shows, releases or collaborations coming up?
Bingo Players: I finally finished a lot of songs. Last year and the year before, I did only a few songs. I took a break during January and February just to work on music and I already have about four songs done. This year I will finally have the chance to release a lot of new music. I am also touring and doing all of the big shows this year. I can’t wait to see how people will respond to the new music at the shows this year.
Bingo Players spent the early months of 2016 in the studio preparing new music for festival season, which was showcased during Miami Music Week. The latest track ”Lonewolf”, features everything from children chanting to strumming guitar chords mixed with an Electro melody and a classic Bingo Player’s heavy drop.
Bingo Players – Lonewolf
Personally, I am a big fan of the new track ‘Lonewolf’ and look forward to going to another Bingo Players show this year to listen to more new music and feel the excitement and energy once again.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
Apr 14 – Bungalow – Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Apr 15 – M2 – Shanghai, China
Apr 16 – Zouk – Bandar Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Apr 29 – Mösspåtagning – Josefinas – Stockholm, Sweden
Apr 30 – Valborgsyran – Malmo, Sweden
May 15 – 7th Sunday Festival – Beek En Donk, Netherlands
May 28 – Elements Festival – Dormettingen, Germany
Jun 03 – Vestrock Festival – Hulst, Netherlands
Jun 11 – Euphoria Nightclub – Portland, OR
Jul 30 – Ultrasonic Festival – Utrecht, Netherlands
Sep 10 – Dancefestopia 2016 w/Big Makk – Kansas City, MO