Have you ever wondered what wine pairs well with breakbeat? Conforce (also known as Boris Bunnik) is the man with the answer. When he’s not busy performing all over the world, this multi-talented DJ/producer spends his spare time running a wine blog with his girlfriend. Back to his mix: he refuses to be limited to one style, constantly flipping between genres as one of his many alter egos and perfectly combining technology with human emotion. Anyone got a corkscrew?
Hi Boris, could you briefly introduce yourself?
I'm Boris Bunnik, a 33 year old producer/DJ/sound designer/street photographer from the Dutch island of Terschelling. I’ve been living in Rotterdam for five years and I’ve been making my living from electronic music for some years, too.
Most people know me for my Conforce releases on Delsin Records and live performances around the globe. Besides that, I DJ as well and produce music under the Versalife moniker on labels like Cultivated Electronics, TRUST and Clone West Coast.
What’s the last track you listened to?
UK74R1823040 by Aleksi Perala. He's one of the finest producers in my opinion: very authentic and sparkling sounds.
How do you approach recording a mix like this one, in terms of preparation, recording, etc.?
I make a broad selection and narrow it down to the tracks that work together. I try to get some sort of overview. I want a consistent, yet diverse mix that shows my wide interest in electronic music. For this one, I took it a little more into breaky territories.
Combining new and old music is something I always do, but what is old and new, really? Some things just stay fresh through the years. It depends on the tracks I feel attracted to in that particular moment: it's always different.
Limiting it to one hour is a challenge: you can't build it like an opening set of a club night, so it's more like a one hour radio showcase. A mix like this should have a nice build up and a point where it's rolling a bit — with some 4/4 moments — without too much testosterone.
We heard you’re into wine tasting. What would you recommend to sip while listening to your mix and why?
Yes, I studied wine tasting/theory and got a few diplomas. I’ve recently been buying more bottles of wine for my cellar than vinyl records.
I started a platform for wine consumers and lovers with my girlfriend called Winemugs. We make photo portraits of people and write articles about the producers we really like. We travel to many wine regions together and like the social aspect, rather than the snobbery.
It's more about human interest, to be honest, and we write for the people who enjoy life, even with a three euro bottle of wine from the off-licence. It's not about status or money, people who think that’s what wine is about don't get it. It's similar to music, there’s a lot of status, but in the end, who decides what's good and what's bad, you know?
Skip New Zealand, stay close to home and pay a bit more money: you will not be disappointed. I would recommend a proper Pouilly-Fumé wine from the Loire region in France: A-class Sauvignon Blanc, without the herby, explosive, green tropical character. It tends to have more mineralogy and a restrained character, really grabbing the beauty and elegance Sauvignon Blanc grapes can deliver.
I recommend a Pouilly-Fumé from Redde et Fils: one of the best in that region, in my opinion. Pure, elegant and layered wine, with the right amount of tension. If you don't have a lot of money and still want a fresh and aromatic wine that rarely disappoints, you could get a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet from any producer.
Go for something fresh and crispy. Remember, acidity keeps the tension in the wines however, I'm not a big fan of acid techno.
You experiment with a wide range of music styles, all under different monikers. What inspires you to play around with so many different genres and alter egos?
An obsession for electronic music, sound and the creative process. Everything is pigeonholed nowadays and sadly, people don’t understand that a wide variety of music can all come from one moniker.
For me, it's all music made by humans with machines, but I often find myself stuck and needing to break out of my basic cycle. Gear and boredom are good sources of inspiration.
Did growing up on the small island of Terschelling influence your approach to music?
I just had a lot of focus there and very little distraction. Maybe that is the key to making your own stuff: banning too many distractions.
Now, Rotterdam vibes influence me more.
Any upcoming releases planned?
Yes, totally: my new Conforce album will be released on Amsterdam-based Delsin records. It’s a 2x12" vinyl with 8 tracks. It's called Dawn Chorus, with artwork by Graphic Surgery.
Another Versalife release is coming in 2020, on Vision Records. It’s called Asimov's Code EP.