Soulection aligned Dutch talent with an eye for the timeless...
Jarreau Vandal (Credit: Vicky Grout)

“All art constantly aspires to the condition of music,” so said cultural critic Walter Pater in 1877, and all electronic music constantly aspires to the condition of the club - so said this cultural critic in 2017. The latter statement may lack the gravitas (or meaning) of the former but it’s a credo that seems particularly fitting when referring to Jarreau Vandal. This is owing to the fact that the Dutch producer crafts tracks with an inimitable bounce and maximal melody, a slurry of sure-fire party-starters and dancefloor-fillers, ever since he leapt onto the scene in 2013.

His knack for a layered groove stems from his musical upbringing. “My parents’ record collection was the first music I was exposed to; I was immersed in it,” Vandal explains. “‘Music Of My Mind’ by Stevie Wonder was one my parents played a lot and it allowed me to understand the way bands and instruments worked.” Soon, creating his own music in a home studio became a means of “expressing myself, it was a way of pushing my boundaries and becoming the best version of myself.”

Coming of age in Amsterdam, Vandal found himself at the centre of a burgeoning beats scene and with his productions in tow, he started the now-infamous Wavefiles parties. “The first Wavefiles we did was my first DJ set,” Vandal states, “it was luckily a huge success!” His DJing is now a skill that attracts him legions of fans with his seamless selections and high-energy mixes. Explaining his philosophy towards it, he states: “DJs need to play new music to people and create a night they won’t forget. You must allow them to escape from their daily struggles.”

This musical escapism is one that caught the attention of Soulection artist IAMNOBODI, who subsequently sent Vandal’s productions onto the LA label, culminating in last year’s ‘Suburb Superhero’ EP. The EP is a departure from Vandal’s previously melody-centred remix work, and instead represents an increasing complexity of production. “My music has matured because I began working with vocalists and started making music for everybody, instead of just the beat-heads and bedroom producers.”

Encompassing the lyrical dexterity of Jelani Blackman on ‘Rabbit Hole’ and the vocal range of Niya Wells on ‘Nobody Else’, the EP brings his dancefloor energy out of the club, fulfilling his aim that, simply, “timeless music is what I always aspire to make.”

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Words: Ammar Kalia
Photography: Vicky Grout

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