Dutch producer/DJ and label-owner, Coco Bryce, is known for his eclectic dubstep, hip-hop and skweee DJ sets and productions, as well as his collaborations with and/or remixes for artists like SLUGABED, Kr∆mpfh∆ft, Pixelord & Kelpe. On Club Tropikana, released via Fremdtunes in March 2013, Bryce indulges in the sort of musical alchemy that sounds like a recipe for disaster on paper, yet as the album unfolds the concoction Bryce proves potent and addictive. Apart from his beats, his SoundCloud message – which reads: ‘For bookings, remixes, donations and love letters mail me’ – left us feeling highly intrigued and prompted the sending off of a little letter of our own. He was kind enough to return the love…

image: todaysart.org

image: todaysart.org

The Acid House: An acid trip and a bolt of lightning result in amiable schemie Coco Brice exchanging bodies with the baby of a middle class couple. (Wikipedia)

Your moniker, Coco Bryce, does that have anything to do with the character Coco Brice in Paul McGuigan film, The Acid House, which was adapted from Irvine Welsh’s short story collection?

Yup, that’s exactly where I got my name from.

On the Fremdtunes bio, it says you’re a ‘dadistic omnivore’. Naturally, we had to look up dadaism again.

Dadaism: A European artistic and literary movement (1916-1923) that flouted conventional aesthetic and cultural values by producing works marked by nonsense, travesty, and incongruity.

Right… What’s your take on ‘flouting conventional aesthetic and cultural values’ in terms of the work you produce? Would you say this is what you aim to do?

Well I hope my tunes don’t all come across as nonsense (laughs), though, funnily enough, I did actually make two tracks a little while ago which both had the word ‘travesty’ in their respective titles.

As far as an ‘aim’ goes, I don’t think I really have one, except for making tunes I like to play and listen to myself. I don’t set out to flout anything, it’s just that I’ve always listened to all kinds of music, never just one particular style, and I always end up making stuff that doesn’t fit 100% into a certain genre. Except for perhaps some of the bootleg crunk remixes and breakbeat rave stuff… those are pretty straight forward.

To be honest, I don’t really know why the Fremdtunes lot call me ‘Dadaistic’… I should probably give Rogier a call and tell him to stop talking shit about me on the Fremdtunes page (laughs).

You started DJing nearly 20 years ago. What was the scene like then and how did you get involved?

Back then I was mainly a hardcore and breakbeat DJ; I don’t really go to any hardcore parties anymore, so I couldn’t tell you the difference even if I wanted to. I do know, however, that by the time I stopped going to those kinds of nights, it was all starting to get a lot more racist, but that’s also a long time ago, so I don’t have a clue what it’s like right now.

The parties and festivals I play nowadays seem a lot more open to different kinds of styles. It seems like a lot of the kids today actually love to hear all kinds of stuff as opposed for example a straight-up drum ‘n bass set or non-stop hip-hop. You have to switch things up a bit, keep it interesting, which, needless to say, is exactly my cup of tea. But that’s just my experience you know. I bet there’s still tons of people that just want to hear techno 24/7, which is fine, just not my thing, I like some variety.

I started DJing because, well, I loved music. A couple of friends from school already had a set of turntables and the rest of us would just chill and hang out with them and take turns trying to mix records. I loved it right away, convinced my parents to let me plunder my savings account, and got myself a pair of really shitty belt-drive turntables.



The transition to producing, was this a natural step for you and how has being a DJ influenced/helped you as a producer?

Yeah I think it all came about pretty naturally. When you’ve been DJing for a little while, you’re going to want to make some tunes yourself as well at some point. At least I did.

I’m not sure any of it’s ever really helped me, being a DJ first, but it most definitely influenced the way I produce tracks.

Especially in the first couple of years I used to always make sure my tunes had a mixable intro. More often than not I’d start out with nothing but beats you know, just for mixing. Now, I don’t focus on making them ‘mixable’ as much as I used to, I just want my songs to sound nice from beginning to end. But I think it’s still evident even to this day, that I’m also a DJ. I was talking to my homie Jukka (aka Skweee producer VC) about this the other day. He never DJ’d and his stuff is just so damn hard to mix (laughs). I told him to make his stuff more DJ-friendly, but I don’t think he cares, he’s too real to be concerned about stuff like that.

Coco Bryce - "Club Tropicana"

Coco Bryce – “Club Tropicana”

Some have suggested that artists like Skrillex are the reason for dubstep’s so-called ‘demise’, or it moving from underground to mainstream. What’s your take on this?

Who even cares about dubstep? I never liked any of the early dubstep stuff anyways, I always thought it was incredibly boring and I didn’t even get into it until Joker and Zomby and them guys started releasing records. As far as Skrillex goes, I think he’s super good at what he does. It’s not necessarily my cup of tea, but I have nothing bad at all to say about Skrillex. If anything, in my opinion he only made dubstep better, because it couldn’t have gotten any worse than it was when it first started out. All the hating, it’s just jealousy. You can’t blame someone for being successful you know, if they do it with passion it’s all good, whether I’m a fan or not. It’s what the youngsters like to hear and dance to. I mean, I used to listen to Gabber when I was 16, so I’m pretty sure I’d listen to Skrillex and that kind of stuff as well if I were that age right now. It’s loud and has a lot of energy to it. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. And I think there’s still a ton of guys making the shitty ‘old school’ dubstep stuff, so if you don’t like Skrillex, then go and listen to that other stuff instead. Don’t hate on the dude just because there’s a lot of people who like his tunes.

Is there even such a thing as underground anymore when it comes to electronic music?

Skweee is still pretty underground. And it’ll probably stay that way as well. Mainly because it sucks balls, but also because a lot of it is only released on vinyl.

Besides that, I reckon there’s still a lot of stuff barely anyone knows about. A lot of music has become much more accessible because of the internet, but you still have to know where to look. The only difference is that you don’t have to rely on the record stores anymore to keep the weird shit in stock in order to come across it. If you really want to find new music it’s a lot easier to do so currently, but you still need to dig.

You teamed up with Tokyo native Emufucka for a collaborative 7” on Fremdtunes under the moniker Cocofucka. Any South African artists you’d like work with from across the seas and will Cocofucka be releasing any new stuff in the future?

Hmmmm… well, the only South African artists I know of are DJ Mujava, Die Antwoord and Jack Parow. I’m up for a collab with either one of them! No doubt there’ll be some more Cocofucka stuff in the future, I just don’t have any idea yet as to when this is going to happen, but we definitely have plans to do some more remixes and collabs.

In a 1982 Keyboard Magazine review of the LinnDrum it indirectly referred to The Roland TR-808 as sounding like marching anteaters. What do you think it sounds like?

I think that’s a pretty apt description. I love the sound of marching anteaters. It makes me want to dance.

Keen to collaborate with any trap music producers, maybe Waka Flocka or Gucci Mane?

I’d definitely be up for that yeah. Though I’ll stick to bootlegging them for now. No pressure.


Girl Skateboards – Mouse from ekkun on Vimeo


I read that you also skateboard. I’ve discovered so much music from watching skate videos. What’s your favourite skate video? Have you seen any of Pontus Alv‘s films, such as In Search of the Miraculous?

Ahhh yeah, I think three quarters of my musical education came from skate videos , especially in the ’90s. I’ve discovered so much brilliant stuff watching those. My all-time fav is Mouse (Girl Skateboards/Chocolate), everything is just perfect about that video, they had the illest teams back then, the dopest songs and it wasn’t as mega super big as it is right now.
I haven’t actually seen any of Pontus Alv’s videos, though I remember watching his parts when he was riding for Mad Circle, which by the way is one of my fav companies that’s now out of business, along with the almighty 101. I still have this Mad Circle jumper laying in my closet. Classic.



Rogier (Fremdtunes) and Mashville formed the SEE-A-SOUND organisation. If someone had to send you your track ‘That’s Life’ off Club Tropicana and ask you to illustrate it… What would we see?

Probably just all kinds of different textures, keep it a bit abstract. I think that particular tune features a good blend of organic and digital sounds, like the synths in that one sound really nasty, in-your-face and electronic, which is contrasted by the Asian vocal snippets and crunk-influenced blunt beats. So, I’m thinking metallic-looking textures for the synths, and then maybe a couple of Asian girls chanting the chopped-up lyrics. Abstracted Asian girls though, else the first part of my answer would not make any sense (Dadaism).

What was the production process like for Club Tropicana? What keeps you inspired during the long hours?

I just make tunes whenever I have the time for it and never really set out to work on a certain project beforehand. Club Tropicana, like my first album Boesoek, is basically just a collection of songs which I’ve made over the years preceding its release. I try to make my albums as coherent as possible though, but the selection is only done after all the tracks are finished. I don’t usually make songs with a certain release in mind. I did maybe two tracks with my album in mind, but funnily enough both of them didn’t even make the cut. Inspiration usually just comes from listening to other music.



The colourful, swirling, mashing, mixing low-fi video Club Tropicana – is this an apt insight into the album’s overall sound and mood?

I don’t know, you tell me. It probably is for the biggest chunk of the album, but if you take ‘All Day’ for example, that one has quite a different mood, much more laid back.

What are some of the sonic differences we can hear in Club Tropicana in comparison to your first album?

Club Tropicana is much more diverse. My first album was basically just hip-hop. A weird, electronic kind of hip-hop, but still pretty much everything on that first one was just my version of boom-bap. This one has all kinds of stuff I’ve always done a lot of different styles and genres, but I think at the time of my first album I kind of felt like I should stick to Hip Hop stuff as far as the releases under my Coco Bryce moniker went. Now it’s all over the place.

What did you dream of being when you were a child?


Tell me something about yourself that we cannot find on the internet?

Motëm and I are actually the same person.

Plans to ever visit South Africa?

If anyone books me a gig there! I’m always broke, so if I’d have to go there on my own expenses I don’t think it’d happen any time soon.



What’s on your playlist today?

Milk & Honey by Cohenbeats. It’s a free album on Bandcamp, you should definitely cop it. The concept has been done to death: pick a country, get records from said country and make beats with the samples, but this album is so well executed, even the lesser tunes on there are super nice. It’s been on repeat since I downloaded it a couple weeks ago. I’ve also been listening to that fake Jai Paul album a lot. And then there’s always a couple of light club songs and old rave breakbeat tunes in my playlist. Can’t go without my daily dose of pianos and pitched vocals now can I?

The most inspiring experience you’ve had this year (not on the internet!)

Don’t know yet about this year, but last year was definitely this gig I played in Zürich. So nice.

The dodgiest thing you’ve ever seen? (on the internet!)

Hmmm… probably a U2 music video.

 Coco Bryce & DisPjutR at Next Level Shit w/ Om Unit, 123MRK, Zes & more

Coco Bryce & DisPjutR at Next Level Shit w/ Om Unit, 123MRK, Zes & more

Give some of your own love to Coco Bryce:


Interview: Sarah Claire Picton
Images: Coco Bryce, Next Level Shit, 20shotsequence, todaysart.org