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Beats for Change | Indigenous Tribes, Social Work, Beats, and Life with Dagger DX

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Using the Power
of Music for Social Awareness and Change

Indigenous Tribes, Social Work, Beats, and Life with Dagger DX

March 11, 2014 | admin

First off introduce yourself to the Beats for Change community
I’m Fagus Pattimahu, most people know me by the name of Atu. Yeah I’ve had that nickname since my childhood years but many people mistake me with the other producer –a great one by the way. I live in the great city of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. I’ve been doing social work for years with troubled youth, mentally limited people and addicts. Currently I’m making a career change, which will lead to a lot of great things, or at least that’s my goal. I keep working with music though.

So you DJ and produce, how long have you been into that for, where did it all begin what kind of sounds are you into making and playing?
During my highschool years I started making music. Back then I worked with tracker software to make Gabber music (that was originated in Rotterdam by the way). A style that may not be considered as ‘real music’ by many, but the energy was so high it immediately drew my attention. Working on tracker software was pretty intensive stuff; controlling effects for instance, that was was based on typing numbers for the levels. Before this becomes a technical story, I could say that I learned a lot on detailing from it.

As stated before, listening to and making music is all about energy for me. Music based on various moods, spaces and situations don’t really make my productions easy to define as one particulair genre. Something within the range of instrumental beats and bassmusic I guess.

Besides that, I have a hard time with any genre named with ‘Future’. Energy is timeless, so it’s possible that -for example- you hear elements of 70s jazz-fusion or 80s boogie in my productions.

The same counts for my selections as a DJ. I’ve started playing music some two years ago. Although I select Beats most of the time, I like to mix it with other –sometimes unexpected- genres as long as that fits into the story I want to tell. A little bit of good old Jazz, mix it with Footwork and some obscure psychedelic rock song and I may be ending up playing dirty french Electro. I even did a few events playing boogie and yacht-rock and G-funk all night.

Tell us a bit about the scene where you’re from in Rotterdam, what’s your involvement?
Rotterdam has Europe’s largest seaport and for most parts the city is rebuilt after World War II. Add the large working class to that and together it forms the city’s character: being down to earth and direct, actions speak louder than words and (the need) to be always under construction. There’s a lot of creativity around here and the raw edge of the city is constantly challenging.

I’m grateful to live here because it is a really inspiring environment.

Talking about a Beat-scene, there are so many talented beat makers around here, and it’s good to see them all connecting in someway. Probably there are many more we don’t even know about. Yet.

I find the ‘The Beatmakers Union’ a very interesting movement. They organize beatmaking-sessions just for inspiration. I play music representing my collective ‘Los Bangeles’, and sometimes alongside DJs Mo’Luxe and Mieras.

If we look at contemporary music, Rotterdam has a pioneer status in raw Hiphop and Techno, with steady local scenes. There aren’t so many beats-based events yet; I believe we’re just at the take-off. Especially when you compare it to the Los Angeles Beat-scene, to name one. It takes time for people to get used to the sometimes avant-gardist sound but we are connecting here, and it feels good.

I’m always interested in social structures and interaction. I hope that I can play a role with some positive influence. Musically as Dagger DX, my work on behalf of the Los Bangeles collective, and with my future day-job.

Tell us more about Los Bangeles, how did it start, what’s your role? What are some current or future projects you can tell us about?
A friend of mine, Maarten Mieras, started Los Bangeles as a visual travelblog for his trips to the city of LA. Three years ago I co-founded Los Bangeles, as it is in its current form (does that make me vice-president or something?) I believe every member of the crew has an essential role, with specific qualities. We’re very much inspired by the creative scenes in LA. It’s all about that sunny vibe: positive energy and connecting people. We have our own online magazine (www.losbangeles.com) dedicated to telling the stories behind inspiring people and initiatives. Next to that we’ve become active more and more in the offline world: events with other organisations and also we did two exhibitions by ourselves last year, with the works of local and international artists. The past few years people have been asking us to do music-events, but we’d rather do things step by step. Our online magazine has the priority.

We experience a lot of dedicated support and we want to grow in terms of vision, workflow, and offline activities. At the moment we’re working on a new website, setting up our own music-event at Rotown Rotterdam and we’re planning to release music this year. I have a good feeling about this, so you’ll hear from us soon. By the way, if there’s anyone who would like to contribute, feel free to contact us.

Atu-DJWhen you’re not into music related stuff what are you doing?
That’s a pretty confronting question. To be honest: I spend most of the time on the toilet, shirtless and making selfies. Also it has the best acoustics, so there I’ve installed a home cinema set. But thinking about it, there are so many music-related things in my life. Well, I like to be with family and friends, just hanging out. I also like to watch documentaries and I love to talk about cultures and society. And I make pretty bad jokes.

In your upcoming guest mix for Beats for Change what kind of vibe can we expect?
The soundtrack to this interview.

If there was one area in the world you’d like to see improved (social related) what would that be and why?
All parts of Planet Earth outside of indigenous tribe-land. Indigenous tribes have been living in cosmic harmony for thousands of years, so we can trust on their societies and the only thing we have to do is leave them alone.
Actually I find it difficult to describe one particular area or situation, since there are so many people suffering from the same injustice, greed and oppression by destructive people, or companies, or whole societies. So I would support all the efforts to make it better, albeit small. Sometimes we lose hope and don’t believe we can change a whole system. But we have to let the little things count and that begins within ourselves.

We should take more time to rest in this fast lane nowadays and we should think about our positive and negative impact on others in our environment. So if there was one area in the world I would like to see improved, social related; then it would be the human heart.

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