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Recognise: Identified Patient

Recognise is DJ Mag’s new monthly mix series, introducing artists we love that are bursting onto the global electronic music scene. This month, we speak to an artist questioning the boundaries of what techno can be, Identified Patient...

Identified Patient is part of a new wave of artists questioning the boundaries of what techno can be, at a time when the mainstream is awash with increasingly linear sounds.

Making rough-edged, undulating music that flirts equally with electro, EBM, acid, wave sounds, post punk and industrial, without cementing its roots firmly in any, the Amsterdam-based artist is part of a stable of DJ/producers who circulate labels like Pinkman, Mannequin, Brokntoys, L.I.E.S. Records and Common Ground. Although they all have a distinct sound from each other, Identified Patient, as well as Kris Baha, Alesssandro Adriani, Black Merlin, Raw Ambassador and countless more, all follow a similar aesthetic that’s become rife on electronic music’s more discerning dancefloors.

Identified Patient’s debut EP, ‘The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania’, landed via Common Thread in 2016, and was on heavy rotation at that year’s Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE). However, real name Job Veerman, his breakthrough came on his debut release on Rotterdam-based label Pinkman in the ‘Weeshuis Der Verloren Zielen’ release. Four tracks of sinister machine-music built around dark, wallowing grooves smeared across industrial percussion and heavy, heaving basslines, it quickly found its way into the box of selectors like De Sluwe Vos and Marsman.

“Patrick [Marsman] is really doing important work for the industry,” Veerman tells DJ Mag of the Pinkman label boss over Skype from his home in Amsterdam. “After that EP, there was more movement and my DJ sets got more exposed. The label gives trust and believes in young artists,” something he says is key for pushing electronic music forward.

Veerman’s artist bio describes him as “from aqua jujitsu to war beats: no genre restrictions”, but the follow-up EP in collaboration with his girlfriend Sophie du Palais, titled ‘Abort Your Dreams’, leant heavily on EBM sensibilities, with tracks like ‘Everything Is Done’ seemingly tapping into the darkest end of the human subconscious.

“Sophie and I are always trying to keep some sort of fetish or dirty feeling to our music, and that resulted in these tracks,” Veerman enthuses. “We’ve been together for six years now, so we have full trust in each other and can really be honest. If either of us don’t like the vibe, we are able to change that in a natural way. That means we can go to a lot of different places. When I work with Sophie, we tend to make tracks faster and work directly on a finished project.”

Pairing the wallowing chaos of previous Identified Patient releases with du Palais’ scorching vocals came at a time the unstoppable influence of EBM became clear to see again. He agrees it also landed at a time when people are becoming more open to experimental music in clubs. “It’s definitely exciting to have stranger electronics on the dancefloor,” he explains. “As a DJ I play everything and love to keep it interesting that way. It’s very important to me to get triggered by new music since I am also always trying to give that to my audience.”

Despite his EBM-tinged releases with du Palais, Veerman says he doesn’t identify as an EBM artist. “The other EPs and tracks are definitely not the classic EBM formula,” he continues. “When I work on my own, I am more conscious about what I do. It is nice to switch between these different mind-sets. I can just work a whole day creating new samples with my machines and feel satisfied.”

Veerman played his debut London show earlier this month (March) at a Brokntoys’ showcase — the prolific London label that has been pushing music on the rougher end of techno for five years, with releases from London Modular Alliance, Luke Eargoggle and more. The booking saw Veerman deliver a three-hour performance with a texture more akin to a live show than that of a typical DJ set, building a complex soundscape that encompassed much of the sound present in his productions.

Through the rest of the year, he’s already booked to spin at revered Amsterdam club De School and Rewire Festival in The Hague, as well as gaining the support of Dekmantel, the Dutch collective that have done much to push new and underground electronic music over the last decade. He’s booked to play their main festival in August, as well as Dekmantel Selectors in September.

“They bring a big audience together with cool music,” Veerman says of the collective. “So the support means a lot and it’s cool to play these big events. It’s also cool to see they are open for younger artists and get them in contact with a broader audience too.

“Amsterdam feels like a big village, though. You have places like Red Light Radio, Garage Noord and De School, who are all constantly pushing forward to stimulate a free spirit and try to be on top of cool bookings.”

“It’s definitely exciting to have stranger electronics on the dancefloor.”

Veerman’s next release is a split EP with Scarlit Port that lands on Brokntoys in May. The two Identified Patient tracks on the release he describes as “sleazy electronics”, and are much less club-orientated than the music Veerman has put out under the Identified Patient name so far. Following that he also has a new mini album in the pipeline for Pinkman, as well as working on a live show with Sophie du Palais and more new material with a male vocalist that he hopes will be released before the end of 2018.

For his Recognise mix, Veerman delivers an hour of music that circulates the vast chasm of sound surrounding his own productions. Beginning with the eerie echoes of The Grid, before working its way through industrial clatter, downtempo acid, sinister electro, haunting vocals delivered from the depths and warped techno, it closes with the bold combination of Osynlige Mann and Alan Vega. “I wanted the mix to be somewhere between home listening and a feeling of the dancefloor,” Veerman explains of his Recognise mix. “So it flirts with both aesthetics and energies.”

Listen to Identified Patient’s Recognise mix below. No tracklist on this one, so get digging.

Want more? Check out last month’s Recognise mix from skewed electro/warped jungle maniac, Textasy.

Rob McCallum is DJ Mag’s deputy digital editor. Follow him on Twitter here.