Untitled 909 Podcast 179: Narathip

*MC* It’s Narathip! The Amsterdam-based DJ comes through with a heavy low-end mix that captures the essence of experiencing a soundsystem for the first time again.

A cultural curator who does it all, Narathip runs the booking agency and music platform Rhythmic Culture, hosts a regular radio show on Echobox as well as works in-house at local juggernaut Dekmantel. Late last year, Narathip celebrated 7 years of Rhythmic Culture which initially started as a Soundcloud channel and has now expanded into a booking agency – with the likes of AliA, Lieke TR, Lolo Batten, Low End Activist, ojoo, Photonz and more on their roster – and last year saw the launch of their record label with a release from Zohar & Mika Oki followed by Keita Sano. To celebrate their 7th birthday, Rhythmic Culture took over Skatecafe for an all killer, no filler event with Identified Patient, Askmelater, Lieke TR, Madba, Max Abysmal, Photonz and Thrills in +41.

In the below interview, we get to know Narathip a little more as we chat through his musical history, relationship with creativity, inspirations and approach to his craft. Plus he takes us on a deep dive into the bass bin with podcast 179.



Hi Brendan, how are you doing today? What have you been up to lately?

Hi! I’m feeling good actually. Life took some unexpected turns lately but I’m slowly feeling better. I fractured my foot some months ago and spent a lot of time at home recovering from my surgery. I never felt so uninspired and useless in my life to be honest, so I haven’t been on to so many things. But doing better now and excited to look forward and dive into upcoming projects again 🙂


Let’s start from the very beginning, what was your first introduction to music in general and then more specifically electronic music? 

It began already as a little child, as my mom played a lot of music in our house. It was a bit of everything – Dutch songs, radio music, also some music that can be considered ‘electronic’. But I think my first proper introduction to (electronic) music began when I was around 10 years old, when I had access to the internet and YouTube.


Who was the first artist or band that you were a fan of?

Probably Busta Rhymes or Sean Paul haha. I remember that I was almost obsessed with the video clip of Busta Rhymes – Gimme Some More, which also scared the shit out of me. When I was 12 I got an mp3-player for my birthday, which fitted only one album on it. The album was Sean Paul – Dutty Rock and I listened to it every day. Probably that’s why I’m so into dancehall now.


Was there a formative moment growing up, whether that’s seeing your favourite band live or an incredible DJ set, that led you to this path? 

No I don’t really think so to be honest. I’ve been collecting music already as a child, but never had the idea of starting to DJ or work in the music industry. I grew up in a small, very Christian city in the East of the Netherlands and it isn’t very common to do something in art or music there. I think I wasn’t aware that you could make a career out of music, because no one I knew did it. I got into DJing when I was 14, after someone from my school showed me this program called Virtual DJ and I started to nerd out on it.


Did you always envision yourself following a creative path? What are some of your earliest memories exploring creativity?

No I don’t think so. I mean, I liked to create stuff since I was young but never had any ambition to do it on a professional level. But I feel it really changed for me when I moved to Utrecht and all of a sudden Amsterdam was very close. It opened so many doors, because there was so much happening. They had a lot of record stores I didn’t know about, there were plenty of museums and weird galleries. It felt like I have been living under a rock or something haha. And then a few years later I started an internship at Amsterdam Dance Event, and that’s basically how I got into the music business.


What inspired you to start Rhythmic Culture? 

It’s a pretty boring story to be honest… It was a bit of an overnight decision to create a SoundCloud channel that I called Rhythmic Culture. It was one of the first names that popped into my mind, and I drew the logo with a pen on a piece of paper and scanned it. It’s still the same logo that we use now. Back then I wasn’t so well connected with the music scene and had very limited ways to show people what I was into. I never had any ambition to create a platform like it is nowadays. I think when I got more friends involved in the project, it somehow had a turning point and the friends of my friends also started to follow and share what we were doing. It grew very slow but steady. We’re 7 years further now and nothing has really changed – everything is done on our own tempo and I truly believe that brought us to the point where we are now. Of course it has been frustrating sometimes to put a lot of effort into it and not see any progress, but looking back at the process I wouldn’t have done it differently. Now we get so much amazing feedback on the platform and artists are really willing to contribute, which is amazing to see. I think our willingness and patience to make something out of it really starts to pay back now, and I feel the platform took its place in the music landscape. Working in the music industry on a professional level for a couple of years now also, made me see the industry also deals with a lot of egos and people that have too much ‘power’. I want Rhythmic Culture to be approachable and to operate from a community perspective. It’s something that drives me to keep doing it.


What is your approach to curation for both the mix series and events? 

This is a question that I get more often, but I still don’t know the exact answer to be honest. Maybe it sounds vague but it’s really just based on a feeling that I get when listening to or discovering someone. When I think an artist is interesting for our platform, I’ll try to see if we can make it work. Numbers, popularity or anything are irrelevant to me. The fun part of running your own platform is that no one tells me what to do. I can basically program whoever I want.

With events it’s a bit more complex; however I always try to curate a line-up with the same approach, most of the time a financial aspect is coming with it. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you just have to keep more different factors in mind.


How does your work through Rhythmic Culture feed into your DJ sets? 

I’m very fortunate that I have to listen to a lot of music in my work. With Rhythmic Culture, but also with my other work in the music industry it’s important to know what’s going on. The great thing about this is that you’re in contact with a lot of artists, labels and other people in the music business, so you get a lot of promo’s and also see what projects are going on. This automatically translates into DJ sets, because when I listen I will also select something when I think this is interesting for my own DJ sets. It’s a very natural process.


Where do you look for sources of inspiration outside of music? 

I think I gather inspiration from a lot of different things, but mostly from friends around. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by many talented people – seeing what they’re doing and talking with them really thrives me. But also very basic things like traveling, nature, things you see when you bike around town. Very little simple things, that can be of great inspiration if you take some time to get your head into it.


You’ve also pulled together a mix for us, what’s the concept behind this one? 

Recently I went clubbing for the first time in a while, since I’ve been stuck at home a lot in the last months due to my broken foot. I haven’t listened to any club music at all – it was too intense in a way and didn’t fit my mood. When I was back on the dance floor again, it made me realise why I love this so much. This mix is a dedication to the feeling I got hearing low frequencies very loud on a big system again.


Do you have a different approach to preparation for club sets to online mixes whether that’s for a platform or radio show?

Totally. When I’m playing in clubs I always try to feed myself with the energy that is hanging in the crowd. I also can’t prepare club sets at all – I tried many times but that’s just not how it works for me. I just tend to go and wing it. With radio shows on the other hand, I like to prepare and create something conceptual out of it. Which is a nice thing, because you can just play whatever you want. If I want to play weird, I play weird haha.


Is there a staple track in your DJ sets at the moment?

Hard one, there are a couple tracks that always find their way back to a lot of my sets. But for now I’d say Keita Sano – For Ultra Listening Enjoyment. It’s raw, though, weird but really sexy at the same time.