Bingo Players is a mainstay name that holds a significant place in electronic music, having turned the scene upside down in 2011 with massive tunes like "Rattle" and "Cry Just A Little"- and have since been defined as a powerhouse that nests alongside the likes of STEVE AOKI, HARDWELL, NICKY ROMERO and more.
Earlier in the year, Marteen Hoogstraten wrapped up the "10 Year Anniversary Tour" in collaboration with F*ck Cancer, of which all ticket proceeds from the tour went straight to charity to honor the loving memory of Paul Baumer. Marteen continues to carry on the BINGO PLAYERS legacy by playing shows and festivals all over the world, spearheading the Hysteria Records imprint and releasing banger after banger such as groovy new hit "No. 1 Disco"- that'll make you wanna boogie your way on over to the nearest discotheque, guaranteed.
We were able to hang with the incredibly humble, kind and driven Dutch-man before his set at Marquee NYC later that night- to talk about the new tune, signing talent onto Hysteria, video games and much more:
Excited to play Marquee tonight?
Of course, always love to play New York!
It's good to have you back, is there anything in particular you're looking forward to playing out tonight?
Yeah! Got some new tracks that I just wrapped up in the studio along with a collaboration with these new guys called UMLAUT and I'm gonna play that tonight for the first time so we'll see how that goes down. Plus I've got a lot of new stuff from other DJ's so we'll see how the vibe is.
So "No.1 Disco" dropped today- you excited about it?
Yeah, I actually got the first feedback sheet from all the DJ's and it was really good. Lot of support and I'm curious to see how it'll do on the charts and how the general crowd will react.
You went for a totally different sound with this one than what you normally do-
what was the process of making this specific track?
The song is actually really old, like 10 years old or something, and we made it in 2006 and played it out a couple of times; people loved it, but we never got to release it. Everyone now is making future bass and trap and I want to make more club records- so I was listening to some old demos and I heard the "No.1 Disco" demo and I was like "we should pick this up again". So I polished it a little bit because it sounded really outdated, mixed it again and made some new beats and it sounded cool! Has a super old school throwback type of sound to it.
Do you have any interest in experimenting with any other possible new genres?
I try to go back to the old school and I love making club records because a lot of people are doing the same thing right now so I like the challenge of doing something different than what everyone else is doing. I think going back to that funky, old stuff is cool to me and I'm feeling comfortable with that. I can make a trap song that's not me and when I release it, people will be like, "what're you doing?" and I'll be a little ashamed as well and not be feeling what I put out.
So the track was put out on your own label, on Hysteria- tell me a bit about where the label is at right now.
We started Hysteria a couple of years ago because we wanted to have control over our own stuff and don't want to be dependent on other labels that would be like "we'll release your song in April". Now, I can decide when and how I want to release my track, you know? It's a bit more difficult if you're a smaller label but in the end,
I think a lot of people are recognizing that Hysteria sound and stuff we sign from other artists and it's great to have your own identity. We're our own A&R and that freedom gives you a lot of peace of mind and really motivates you to work and build on it, rather than to just send out your demo. It's a bit of a job because we get like 100 demos a week but thankfully we have an A&R guy and I sign and test out records in clubs that we get that I think will do well.
What do you look for when signing talent onto Hysteria?
Something unique. There has to be something in a track that I've never heard before. The thing that happens a lot of the time is that when there's a record that's really hot at the moment, people tend to copy that. After Avicii did "Levels", we got like 200 copies of demos that sounded exactly like it. Now we want something new. We always try to stress to upcoming producers to do something unique that's weird to you but that weirdness can stand out.
The market has become so over-saturated unfortunately and people try doing the same sound over and over again, so you gotta get something unique out there.
I kid you not- sometimes we get records that I literally hear which patches they used from which songs and I'm just like "come on, do something different" but other times I'll get demos and it's just like ,"wow, how did you do this?". That's what I love to sign.
Growing up, did you always know you wanted to be a producer?
I always knew I wanted to make music but i never thought I would've ended up DJing because that was something I was doing on the side. I never had any interest in DJing and then we started getting booking requests and we actually got a gig and we didn't even know how to DJ, so we learned like in a couple of weeks how to DJ.
What would you advise up and comers?
For upcoming producers, just do something unique and different from the rest. You can fail many times but once you get that sound that everyone is hooked to then you're up there, because you've got your own sound. With DJing, it's more of a learning process and you start off doing small shows and then gradually grow more into DJing. DJing you do right away for a crowd where as producing you can do in the safe space of your bedroom- they're two completely different things but both of them require doing something you're passionate about.
You have to be able to have a good balance of both. On that note, would you say you prefer producing or touring more?
To be honest, producing. That's where my first love started from and DJing is great because we get to play all over the world with all kinds of people. We got to do great festivals and great clubs so it's amazing the things I've been able to see around the world- we're truly blessed that we can do this. But if I had to choose if I can only DJ or only produce, I would pick producing.
What was the most memorable set you've played?
I think it was Nocturnal Wonderland somewhere in 2011 or 2010. It was the first time we were in the U.S. for a couple of weeks and I will never forget it. We were in a golf cart pulling up to the stage and we were like "we're playing THIS stage?!" I couldn't believe it. We've never played for that big of a crowd before and we were so nervous. Everything went wrong and the sound cut off because the person playing before us played with a laptop and we didn't know how to switch to a mixer. But then we started with Daft Punk "One More Time" and the crowd just went crazy.
Thinking about it right now gives me goosebumps and for me it was that moment where we were like "wow, we made it in the U.S". It's the American Dream for 2 kids coming from a small city in the Netherlands- it something we could only dream of. After that came Ultra Miami, and 12 or 13 years ago as visitors and looked up to the stage and were like "one day we'll be up on that stage" and then in 2013, we did it. I'm not patting myself on the back- but once you dream of something, envision it and work hard towards it and then you're there, it's a great feeling.
That's the biggest way to succeed in life! Speaking of Ultra, how was Miami Music Week?
It was good! We did a party at Nikki Beach called Bingo Beach- it was sold out and there were good vibes. It was raining but people still stayed there- it was the 3rd year selling out so it was great for us!
You curate the Bingo Beach lineups yourself right? So if you could pick any artist, no limit, to make your very own lineup for a fest or show, who would you pick?
Headlining would be Daft Punk for sure- they're my favorite. I saw them 10 years ago in Amsterdam.
You're on tour right now- how's that going?
It's going good! It's only a short weekend. New York tonight, tomorrow Vegas and then Seattle, so it's 3 shows in 24 hours. Then going back home for a while, doing Asia for 2 weeks and coming back to the U.S., so it's a lot of back-and-forth.
When you're not touring, what do you like to do in your down time then?
I love playing video games! *laughs*
*laughs*What's your favorite video game?
Oh man there's so many. Right now, I'm playing the new Zelda and it's really good.
So what's in the works for the future? Any upcoming EP's or albums potentially?
So tonight I'm gonna test out that new track with Umlaut. I'm also working on another track that'll be coming out in June but I still don't know the name of it, which is gonna be more of a club record- and I'm also working on an EP for the end of the year. I'm trying to make old French house, like a Daft Punk-esque type of sound but updated, so something kind of like disco house. I'm still figuring out how to do that but hopefully I'll release that by the end of the year. We also have 7 or 8 tracks this year which is good since the last couple of years we didn't get to put out that much.
Will any of those be collabs?
You know what, it's actually really hard for me to collaborate with someone. With the guys from Umlaut for the new record, it worked really well because I know the guys really well but otherwise lately I'm having a hard time collaborating with other producers.
When I have an idea of how something should be and to have someone be like "no no, let's do this", I'm always like "ehh yeahhh". It's not that I don't like their input, but if I have a feeling about a track then it has to be like that or it would just clash really quickly. I tried in the past with other artists and it never worked out- it only worked back in the day with CHOCOLATE PUMA when we first started. I don't know about future collaborations but I'll keep trying, so we'll see!