It is fair to say that Amsterdam nightlife would look and sound very different without Olaf Boswijk. As music programmer at Club 11 to the the man who set up Trouw—and then co-founded De School—he brought a fresh underground sound and many revered international artists to the city. As well, he nurtured plenty of local talents with residencies at the club, thereby helping to create a real city-wide buzz around electronic music that is still going strong today .
Since July 2015, Olaf has been travelling from Canada, all the way through Central and South America to Patagonia in Argentina. He is doing so in a camper van and is documenting his travels with a sonic diary podcast called Radio Balthasar, which features the music he is listening to as well as found sound recordings of nature, the people he meets and adventures he has.
All of these experiences inform the music he plays in clubs and mean that he is not just concerned with functional grooves but with musical colour, charm and emotion. They have given him a greater understanding of the world, opened him up to new influences and cultures and given him a sense of freedom he didn’t have before.
As such, that carries over into the club, where he feels compelled to educate people about expression, open mindedness and freedom. Playing for—at least—four or five hours is what Olaf does best. It is then that he can really stretch his legs and play ambient, soul, afro, disco and early proto-house and techno. Not afraid of a big piano or diva vocal, he can be as charming as he can cerebral when in the DJ booth.
In his time, Olaf has studied Sound Engineering, worked at the first Dutch national electronic radio station and programmed and managed countless events as well as working as a journalist, all of which have given him a 360 degree understanding of this culture and what it takes to build an audience and an atmosphere. Of course, then also as a dj, he has taken this knowledge to plenty of high profile international clubs and festivals all around Europe and America which mean he is intuitive and well informed, musical and majestic, and a true adventurer both in person and as a DJ.