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In conversation with Citruks

Citruks (Luuk van de Klundert) is the musician, radiomaker and DJ that opened ADE’s Glamcult Selects x Echobox last week! We got to speak to him about his inspirations (think: punk, poetry and broken compositions) and his interest in human failure. He likes it unpolished, messy, personal, but also honest and fun and is his sets are set out to make you feel alive. Read below to find out his thoughts on apples, awkwardness, and autumn playlists. <3

Hey Luuk! How are you today?
Hey! I’m fine. I had my first autumn bike ride this morning which was a nice vibration.

Yeah, it’s kind of getting cold! Are you an Autumn-Winter person?
During the first two months, I really like the cold, but after that, I’m completely done with it. But it’s always a big thing for me to make an autumn playlist, it’s a yearly tradition, and I’m always happy when that moment arrives. Even though the playlist is always done at the moment that autumn is over because I take so long.

I’m curious to hear it. I read in your bio that you take inspiration from ‘punk, poetry, broken compositions, buildings and promises’. Can you elaborate on this for me?
I think in my musical taste, I like things to be very unpolished and very messy, and I like rhythms that feel organic in a lot of different ways. I do like more machine-ish and technological and electronic sounds as well, but I really like it when it feels unexpected, as that always feels very honest to me. In all of the music that I listen to, you can feel that something is off, like the singer can’t really sing, or you feel like the rhythm isn’t really working or isn’t really right.  I find it particularly fascinating when you experience a touch of human failure.

Why is the notion of Human Failure fascinating to you?
I don’t know. I believe it signifies a strong personal connection where someone feels at ease in revealing their vulnerable side. You feel that as a listener, I think.

You describe your set as striving to be awkward, honest, and fun. What do you like about being, or making people feel, awkward?
I think that awkwardness is one of the most intriguing emotions, as it indicates inner self-awareness and not many people notice it when you’re feeling awkward. You are the only one that’s feeling it, and that’s really beautiful to me. I also like awkwardness because it makes me feel a certain internal tension, where I’m either discovering something new about myself or becoming aware of something. It’s like the sensation of stepping out of a comfort zone. I, for instance, feel awkward in a lot of social situations because I’m just not good at small talk at all! Even so, I try to go out of my comfort zone as it means that I am learning, and trying something different. I like to see this process in or feeling in not just music, but films and art as well. For me, it’s important to genuinely feel what I’m doing in order to make it connect with myself. This connection helps motivate me to try more — it makes me closer to me.

What you’re describing is not only awkwardness but also courageousness; being able to step out of your comfort zone. Maybe you’re describing growth?
Yeah, definitely. Also acknowledging that it is not a bad thing. I’m always awkward on dance floors or in clubs but afterwards, I always feel energised because I tried something that was awkward for me. Yeah, that’s always a good thing.

I appreciate that. And besides DJing, what do you do in your daily life?
So mostly making music. I’m in the mixing process of my first EP, which is made up of Dutch-language songs, which I would describe as weird, experimental songs with a lot of punky stuff too. So far, it’s fun, ambient and electronic. I also work at the Van Gogh Museum as a programmer for Vincent op Vrijdag. It’s a monthly event that we host in the museum for younger people to feel welcome and connect the traditional museum world with nightlife and other events.

That sounds exciting. Were you at work during the Pokemon craze? [ When the museum gave out Pikachu X Van Gogh Pokeman cards…the audience went wild!]
Oh my God. So in the end, the museum just had to stop giving out the Pokemon cards. People were really fighting over them!

Which other DJs or musical artists inspire you the most?
I think when it comes to music, I always get inspired by David Bowie through the many phases of his career. From the age of 16, every year I went through a different David Bowie phase or era. Alongside Bowie, Section 25 is one of my favourite bands, it’s more of a post-punk group. And when it comes to DJs… DJ Marcelle

I can see why!
Yeah, she’s just so great and it was off her that I learnt to embrace the feeling of awkwardness on the dancefloor. A lot of DJs try to create a very cosy situation, where you sometimes forget the presence of the DJ, but her physical presence is very strong, and the lights are always on so you can see everyone — it’s super radical but super fun.

DJ Marcelle will really have you dancing to goat screeches. What would your dream collaboration be, no restrictions!
I’ve actually thought a lot about this question and I don’t think I have a good answer. Maybe I would say DJ Marcelle but I don’t know if she would be a good collaborator for me, she is her own thing. It would be too awkward! Plus Plus equals minus? I want to keep seeing her as an inspiration and not as a colleague in the booth. Generally, most DJs I feel intimidated by. I think I also just really like listening to and watching DJs without feeling like I have to add something myself.

If you could curate your favourite club lineup, who would you book?
For a club, I like nights that are wildly manic and hectic showcasing all types of music. I would love both live music and a couple of DJs. So, I think a night with some Dutch Post-Punk bands, maybe Baby’s Berserk, I really like them, and some DJs surrounding that — I really like the mixture between post-punk and Jungle so maybe DJRUM or Skee Mask would really fit a night that was punky in it’s aesthetic.

Zoë Mcpherson and John T. Gast would also be great. I’m just trying to think how I would finish the lineup. Hmmmm. Maybe some more weird stuff so Guenter Råler? They are good friends of mine and I really like their sets, very energetic and wild in that context. But yeah, that’s what I think I will pick for now haha

What is your favourite song at the moment?
Haha, okay wait let me see what I have been listening to… I’ve been listening to a lot of Anja Lauvdal… So it’s ‘Fantasie for Agathe Backer Grøndahl’ from her record ‘From a story now lost’.

What do you think is the most overrated or overplayed song in your DJ scene right now?
I think I am starting to cool down on the Toxic edits hahaha. It was long before lockdown when Lyzza first started playing it around 2017-2018. It’s a really good song, and I loved it at the time, but I think that I am starting to get over it. But I have to confess… I have three of the remixes in my iTunes library haha.

Lol. What makes someone in the crowd stand out to you?
I think what I always really like is when you see someone with their eyes closed and they are moving and you feel like they are completely dissolved into their own world — I always find it touching and beautiful to see  – because it’s always so scary to feel trust in an environment that you put yourself in a vulnerable position. And I always have a lot of respect for people who move their arms around I think that’s quite scary to do haha.

And what’s something that you can’t live without?
I think now we are in the autumn mood, the apples at this time of the year are one of my favourite things.

What kind of apples do you like?

Elstar supremacy!
All the other apples are irrelevant haha. One time someone asked me can I bring you something from the supermarket — and they received a 5-minute long description from me on how to pick the right apple!

How does one find the perfect Elstar apple?
Okay so if it’s shiny don’t do it — it’s fake, it’s probably a year old and has just been in the freezer. Apple season is only a couple of months the rest of the year they come from the freezer. It’s really sad, you don’t want to think about it too much haha. It has to be a bit matte, a bit of colour but not entirely red otherwise they might be too processed haha. You can squeeze into it with your thumb – I you feel a bit of pushback then it’s ripe but when you can push too easily through it… don’t go for it!

I am always looking for the right contrast between the red blush and the green. But good answer! So, who are you most excited to see for Glamcult Selects?
I think for me it would be Kleine Crack because I listen to their music so much, and it’s so punky and it’s so scary and so cool you really feel it when you listen to it… the shivers… it’s like watching a horror movie. They’re whispering as well, it’s almost ASMR when you hear it using earbuds, and you feel like they are right behind you.

What are you manifesting for the rest of 2023?
Oh, that’s a big one! It’s been a really nice year for me already. I think some good apples and Finishing my EP. Also, keeping music and DJing enjoyable. I believe that when creating art, if you are too busy or putting a lot of pressure on yourself, you forget that it is something that you do because you like it. Therefore, I wish to stay close to that core as a music lover, constantly looking for stuff, experimenting and finding joy in the process.

Thank you very much for talking with me, for two self-described awkward people I think this went very well.

Words by Pykel van Latum

Images courtesy of the artist