Bart Claessen & Raz Nitzan Interview

The pairing of Bart Claessen & Raz Nitzan is one that automatically receives attention from all that are in the know about quality Dance music. Between them, the pair are responsible for a long line of memorable releases.

Rubicon is the brand new single release on the “Big & Dirty” branch of the illustrious “Be Yourself Music” and with a pre-release storm brewing – the anticipation for release is scorching. Backed by the likes of Nicky Romero, Marcus Schossow, W&W, Jochen Miller, Thomas Gold, Cedric Gervais and Markus Schulz – “Rubicon” is echoing around the dance-floors of the world’s finest Dance music venues.

With the release of the new single “Rubicon” landing this week, we caught up with the duo about 2013 and beyond for the House music heroes.

“Rubicon” is out this week – what’s the story behind the creation of the track? How did it come together?
Bart – Since the last track that we had worked together on, our musical styles had been growing further and further apart. Raz was totally doing his thing in the Trance scene, at the same time my productions were getting way more “Housey”. We wanted to work together again, but needed to find our own way to do something we could both be totally happy with. That turned out to be “Rubicon”. The Progressive House/Big Room sound I was working on, combined with the more melodic vibes of mister Nitzan.

Raz – Well I love Bart’s work and every now and then I’ll call Bart and hassle him to collaborate with me on a new track. He mostly works alone and does his own thing so I kind of need to nag him. Usually we’re rather fast in the studio but “Rubicon” took quite a few sessions. I wanted it to be more Trance and Bart was moving away from Trance so we were pushing and pulling till the record showed itself.

You both have a strong discography as a duo, do you prefer working together as opposed to on your own?
Bart – Working together sometimes is a good thing to do. It can bring some fresh vibes from outside the borders of your usual view and it’s great fun. But to be honest, I do see it as an adventurous addition to my solo releases, rather than it becoming the regular thing.

Raz – Well I mostly pair with Adrian Broekhuyse on vocal work, so I’m never really alone, but of course working as a duo with Bart – we bring out different qualities in each other and our individual work is rather different than our work together! #WinWin

How do you work as a pair? Do you work in the same studio or over the internet?
Bart – We work in the same studio. I am the producer, the guy behind the knobs and computer. Raz comes in with his avocado sandwiches, we talk a lot about music, listen to a lot of stuff, and then we remember that we should actually be making music instead 🙂 Ehm, as said, I do the production work, but we’re both constantly involved in where the track should go, sounds to use, melodies, etc. I’m the picky guy on the little sounds and rhythms; Raz has a wider look on the track, and the structure of the song.

Raz – We come together to Bart’s studio. Bart’s mom makes us tea and cakes – rather old fashion I’d say.

Is there anything else in the pipeline in terms of collaborations from you both?
Bart – Not that I know of. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure we’ll end up in one studio again in the future and come up with something new. We’re highly unpredictable when it comes to our collaborations.

Raz – Not that I’m aware of. It hasn’t been long enough for me to start hassling Bart again. Usually we do one track a year, and this year we’ve already done two.

Bart – what’s the best thing about working with Raz?
Bart – Sometimes he tries to force me into things I wouldn’t ever do myself, things I wouldn’t even want to try. I give him a really weird look, he convinces me to try it anyway, and I must admit that quite often it results in something actually really good 🙂

Raz – what’s the best thing about working with Bart?
Raz –(Hmmm I’m not saying this just to be nice to you) Bart is a musical genius. There’s so much music in this guy that people haven’t heard yet.

Bart – what’s the WORST thing about working with Raz?
Bart – Just one? It takes a long time usually to get lots of small production things right. But all those little things need to be 100% perfect to get the best possible overall sound. Those kind of things, Raz finds it highly boring. So he keeps on whining for hours if we can PLEAAAASE start building the track. I hate that. Please Raz, stop it!

Raz – what’s the WORST thing about working with Bart?
Raz – That it takes him two years to return my “What The Bleep?!” DVD and in the end he didn’t even watch it!  Thanks guys.

Interview by Matt Caldwell –

“Bart Claessen & Raz Nitzan – Rubicon” is out now on “Big & Dirty Recordings”

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