Who’s your daddy?!


Vincent van Duin, one of the driving forces behind the Rotterdam innovative
fashion label Susan Bijl (don’t forget to check out their recently updated site),
and me go back a long way as you can see. This week Gyz and me did a small
interview about mainly De Rotterdamsche Knakendisco which made me think
of the very beginning of that illustruous club night.
It all started like this: When Vincent and me were eighteen, him and me and
our friend Niels Post all lived together in a house at the beukelsweg, a street
in Rotterdam. This caused us to be called ‘beukelsbrothers’, a name we
eventually called ourselves as well. Anyway, as we were exploring urban life
to the fullest we used to go out to this place called De Vlerk a lot. A Rotterdam
‘club’ that besides techno and drum’n bass played a lot of ‘independent’ guitar
music as well and by chance, this indie stuff was the kind of noise the three of
us dug especially back then.
Anyway, on thursdays there was this dance nite that wasn’t often visited by
large groups of people and we figured that was because on thursdays they’d
play the most boring brit pop dreck you ever heard. So we went up to the guys
that were running the club and told ’em we’d do a way better thursday night,
playing the latest punk rock (in the ‘punk planet’ meaning of the word) stuff
and the jazz we liked to play at home.
They fell for it and we got that thursday night. After a couple of beers we
named it At Denko’s, after the semi-legendary Dag Nasty album ‘Wig Out At
Denkos’, of which we were huge fans. Anyway, at first it was pretty ok, but
soon enough we found out we couldn’t do a better job than the lame ass
brit pop night that was kicked out because of our big mouths. By then we
came up with the ‘grootste kut-avond van Rotterdam’ (crappiest night in whole
of Rotterdam)-campaign and the ‘wat een kut-avond!’-poster, which among
others caused Gyz to become a frequent visitor [‘it’s the one and only theme
party that really makes sense!’, he always used to shout ‘it’s called kut-avond,
and it really is one! That’s why I like it!!!] and perhaps even the birth of our
cooperation and thus the HuMobisten.
In the end, when De Vlerk was closing and re-starting in another place calling
themselves WaterFront, they gave a big farewell party that lasted for three
nights in a row. Starting on a friday (I think it was) with an At Denko’s party.
Since we never played records for more than fourty people we figured ‘what
the hell… let’s invite every DJ, or guy who could spin some cool records we
know and have some fun.’ Herefore eventually Homecooking Henry, Hitmeister
D, Woei, Denny D and even Gyz (known as DJ VJ) all played together that night
and the packed house went wild. It was then we first knew ‘this weird mix of
all styles we dig could actually work for a crowd larger than fourty heads.’
A couple of weeks later Henry, Hitmeister D, Gyz, Vincent and me sat around
a Nighttown Cafe table, discussing the need of a low priced, yet high-standard
club night. The Knakendisco was born.

De Vlerk also caused us to get in touch with the guys at 75b, who were at the
same academy as Vincent and I were, but still… I for one only knew them from
the stuff they made for that club. And that stuff certainly was rad! But somehow
we (vince and me) always wanted to do our own graphics for the At Denko’s
nights. And that’s how 75b learned to know us as well. They kind of liked that
goofy style we undeliberately had, since it had nothing to do with simply
copying what designers in London did (which was pretty much the thing to do
back then) or what have you. Mostly because of our ignorance, but also
because we were pretty funny guys back then AND we seemed to have our
eyes wide open to other people’s work throughout the entire (graphic) history,
we made quite a nice identity for the parties we used to throw. A lot of it is
lost, I guess… but at least here’s an At Denko’s ad I made for Zwanger
magazine in their ‘April 1998’ issue, a Rotterdam cult zine, run by people I
still concider top banana in the creative department. But that’s all for later.
I promise to write y’all a word or two on Zwanger magazine and the people
behind it VERY soon.