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A Sit Down With DJ 16 Bit Lolitas

17:45 Mar/25/2018

Hailing from Amsterdam, Peter Kriek and Ariaan Olieroock have made beautiful music together for nearly 15 years. If you aren’t familiar with the name 16 Bit Lolitas, you should be – the duo has been releasing music on the Anjunadeep label since 2008 and has an extensive catalog. Some of their most notable tracks include 2014’s “Deep in My Soul” and “Beat Organ”, both of which have received extensive play in sets from their label-mates.


"I do not want to become a prominent living person, it's nice to play records and we've done big festivals, but it's never been the intention to work towards the number one position."


Where does the name 16 Bit Lolitas come from?

That is the most-asked question actually. When we started, we were in the studio and we needed a name, but we said to leave it and just to see how things were going because we had just started making music. The first remix that we did was of Danny Howells and Stef Vrolijk, and we sent it to Yoshitoshi and they loved it so much and asked us what our name was and that they were going to release it. We didn’t have a name at the time so we were looking in a cocktail book from the 1950s and there was a cocktail called Pink Lolita. We wanted to have something from the music industry and it’s always nice to have two words that don’t really match but when you put them together it sounds nice. When you burn a CD it’s 16 bits, and so we put it with lolita.

How do you feel about playing such big venus and their huge fanbase? Are you nervous at all?

Always nervous! It’s really good to do, of course. I’ve played big venues before, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll have to up my tempo a little bit–at the moment I play a lot of 120 BPM tracks, and with them I really need to play around 124, so I’m going to change my set a little bit. What I’d normally do at the end of the set is what I’ll start with for them.

Did you have any formal music training along the way? In regards to composing or engineering/ sound design etc? and if not did anyone help you out along the way?

Aad has played the saxophone for years, I have never had formal music training. We learned a lot from different people that we worked with through the years, and by just experimenting, making a lot of music.

Would you like to give us a short virtual tour in your studio for all the music technology freaks out there? What is your favourite software and hardware that you like to use in order to produce your trademark deep atmospheric cinematic textures of the 16bit Lolitas sound?

Our mixing desk is a modified SSL4000. We have some outboard analogue eq's and compressors: 2 department of commerce limiters, 2x EQP1a, LA2A, 3x 1176, 2x Neve 1073, Neve 33609, Altec 436c, Tubetech multiband compressor, Drawmer 1960, Shadowhills mastering compressor. Some outboard FX units: Eventide H8000, Lexicon PCM80, Lexicon PCM70, Roland SDE330. And a bunch of synthesizers of course!

Was your aspiration to become famous superstar DJ’s behind the decks or well known and respected underground producers in front of a PC/Mac monitor in a dusty basement?

We're definitely not in it to become superstar DJ's. That is a bit of a selfish trip. Our aspiration is to make good underground music and as DJ's to consistently bring great music, good vibes and good parties wherever we go. We're here to glorify the music, not to glorify ourselves.

You have a bit of time off between this Anjunadeep tour and the above & beyond tour. Do you have any plans to chill out or are you straight back in the studio?

I’m definitely going to chill out for a few days, but then it’s back into the studio. I have two gigs in February in Holland, which is close for me so that’s good. March is going to be really busy with the Above & Beyond tour, then Winter Music Conference, and then some shows in Argentina, so it’s going to be busy!

How would you say 18 Bit Lolitas has changed and evolved over the years?

Of course you grow over the years, and you always need to learn. If you stop learning then it’s probably over! We both love music, we listen to a lot of new music, so of course you integrate ideas from other people you listen to. There are always new tricks, new software, new stuff going on. It’s always been our vision to just make good music.

What is it about this music that keeps you going?

Creating music is an addiction. And being in a position where DJ’s around the globeplay our music, that only feeds that addiction. It’s just a privilege for us to be in this position. We haven’t gotten bored with it yet because we never allowed ourselves to use formats or templates and we have always tried to never repeat ourselves.

Can you choose your Top 5 favourite DJ’s/producers/artists that have influenced your current sound and DJ’ing style?

1 DJ Sasha, didn’t just play out records, but told an hour’s long story with the records. Using records to create longer storylines and flows was a big influence on us. Sasha was and is the man.
2 The Orb. The music of the Orb is kind of a library of different ways to be psychedelic in music. We still totally love the Orb. Being psychedelic in music is definitely something we always try to do in our own way. It adds space and abstract meaning to tracks.
3 Ritchie Hawtin. His 'Concept 97' album is one of the first ever minimal CD's, and in our opinion the best. That album has been a big influence on Peter particularly. It's also the Techno guys that first started mixing 3 sometimes 4 tracks together in a mix. Something we have since also adopted because it allows for much more options in making transitions.
4 MTV Partyzone. Not a DJ nor producer nor artist, but who didn’t watch that show back in the day? It's a really big shame that the MTV library burnt down and they lost the original tapes of the show. If anyone has any good quality recordings of shows, upload them on YouTube why don't you!
5 All the great pop music that was ever made. Both Aad & I have listened to a lot of pop music from the 60s/70s/80s/90s and 2000s. That music will always be part of our roots.

How did the idea of this event & the featured DJs come around?

My partner and I have worked together promoting parties for a little over 10 years now, and this is pretty much the result of that. The name is a combination of of both our last names, suggested by my mother, lol. The “Deep” Part comes from 16bit’s Anjunadeep affiliation.

What advice would you give to your 18 year-old self?

Good question, keep it easy and stay true to yourself. Don’t try to go with the masses but try to seek your own path. It’s difficult because you need a lot of experience, but everybody makes mistakes in this life and I have made a shitload of mistakes in my life, everyone does. It is necessary to make mistakes to grow as a person, don’t be afraid of it.


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