It's only been a couple of years since two Dutch boys with a mutual love for the old Motown sound dropped their first collaborative release as Detroit Swindle. But that's all the time Maarten Smeets and Lars Dales have needed to grow into a veritable international deep house institution. And as their chosen moniker implies, it has everything to do with the musical influences that this pair has lovingly swindled from the Motor City.
"It's mostly the old funk and soul -- the usual suspects," Smeets tells Crossfade about the duo's Detroit inspirations. "But it's also guys like J Dilla and Detroit Experiment that really inspired and keep inspiring us every day."
"Guys like Carl Craig and Mike Huckaby, who we're working with for an upcoming project, are both big examples 'cause they've been at it for a long time and are really making a difference musically as well as socially," Smeets adds. "That's something we hope to achieve as well."
Of course, it shouldn't be taken for granted that the Detroit Swindle dudes were also weaned on electronic dance music from one of Europe's most enviably cosmopolitan scenes: Amsterdam.
"Growing up in the '90s and 2000s in Amsterdam really meant we had music from all over the world at our disposal, with a few great record stores," explains Smeets. "So the European scene was just as influential as the U.S. scene, especially since Amsterdam was, and is, a place where people from all over the world come and play. Lucky us!"
Certainly, Detroit Swindle has been nothing if not prolific since breaking out in 2012, with a rapid succession of EPs, singles, and remixes burning up the charts. But it turns out the pair has also been busy working on a full-length artist album slated for an early-2014 release.
"The whole process has been cool, fulfilling, refreshing, tiring, and stressful," says Smeets of the creative process for the album. "It was great to think about a long player and see how our music could work in that format. It was also a great opportunity for us to really push ourselves into other tempos and genres, 'cause we didn't wanna do a full-on house album."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"Albums can be difficult," Smeets admits, "because people are looking for tracks that do well in a set. They wanna hear ecstatic vocals and powerful breakdowns. There's definitely a 'tracky' tendency these days and that's probably even one of the reasons people like our music.
"So we've got a little bit of everything in it, but it's 100-percent recognizable as Detroit Swindle. Stay tuned for the first single to drop in the last week of January!"
Detroit Swindle. Tuesday, January 14. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-576-7750 or visit bardotmiami.com.