Supplier of a diverse scope of dance music styles and master of them all, Bart Claessen has established himself as one of The Netherlands’ most intuitive and musically versatile producers. With his very first track (2001’s ‘On The Move’) he scored national top 10 hits in over 10 countries. Most recently releases like ‘How I Roll’ and ‘Fonky Flanger’ on his own label PLAYMO Sounds and ‘Machiavelli’ on the Big & Dirty imprint have seen his music pop on the playlists of the biggest house DJs. Through a litany of club hits (‘Playmo’, ‘Elf’, ‘Hartseer’, ‘First Light’, ‘Fantomah’, ‘Chimaera’ and numerous others) his music has fed floors with one seismic moment after another. As a DJ of dexterous skill (not to mention repute), over the last decade he has spun in the proverbial A to Z of club capitals. Ranked among them have been Creamfields, Ministry of Sound, GodsKitchen, Amsterdam Dance Event, ASOT, Full on Ferry and dozens of others. His list of remix credits spans multiple electronic music genres. It has included reworks of music by GTA, Above & Beyond, Chocolate Puma, Tiësto, Dannii Minogue, Cosmic Gate, Funk D’Void, Ferry Corsten & Guru, Meck and many more. Productions: from progressive and tech, through trance and on to electro and house, Claessen characterizes the modern day producer-without-borders. Making music purely on instinct, as a studio initiate in 2000 he created ‘On The Move’. The release consumed the next 4 years of Claessen’s life. Under the name Barthezz, the track became a national top 10 chart hit in a dozen countries (including his native Netherlands); was released on leading labels including Positiva, Avex, and Ultra and subsequently propelled him into the world of the DJ.
By the time its dust had settled, musically Bart had already moved on and had his head firmly into a new sound. ‘Persona Non Grata’ on United Recordings laid the groundwork and set the pace. By the time its follow-up ‘Playmo’ landed, fans old and new were prepped. The track provided Bart with the gateway hit under his own name. Tougher, harder and more propulsive in its sound design, it became part of the tip of the Dutch techtrance spear. Bootlegged together with Motorcycle’s ‘As The Rush Comes’ by Hungarian DJ Shane 54, the track took on a life of its own. In the year of the mash-up, it became the biggest of the lot and was still enjoying substantial DJ rotation 12 months after it was produced. Also enjoying considerable success was his remould of Riva Ft. Dannii Minogue’s ‘Stringer’ (Who Do You Love Now), which, off the back of a raft of DJ support, was picked up for a full release by the original label. He also recorded ‘Hartseer’, which was inked to Flashover Recordings. Quickly establishing underground classic status, Ferry Corsten named it as his favourite track of 2010. Bart also began finding homes for his material with labels outside The Netherlands. In 2008 he began to sign tracks to the UK’s Anjunabeats stable. Alongside many farsighted co-productions, it produced notable club hits, including ‘Elf’ and ’90 Nights of Summer’. To date Anjunabeats have released 6 Claessen productions and 9 of his remixes.
After moving on to a new house sound and a Buzz Chart #1 with ‘King Of Kongs’, late 2014 marked the launch of his own label PLAYMO Sounds, focusing on Claessen’s typically freaky unpredictable style, dropping new music at a fast pace releasing 5 tracks in the first 6 months, including 2 Beatport Top 100’s. Remixes: Equally as adept in the art of the remix, as he is creating his own productions, Claessen’s reworks have remained in constant demand. Stylistically they span a wide range of labels and styles. He’s as much at home rewiring tracks released on labels like Toolroom and Soma as he is on ones for ThreeSixZero/Warner or Anjunabeats and Armada. Throughout his career he’s reshaped tracks for heroes like GTA, Chocolate Puma and Meck and legends like Above & Beyond, Tiësto, BT, Cosmic Gate and Ferry Corsten. In 2010 he reworked ‘Times Are Changing’ for award winning rock outfit DI-RECT’ and recalibrated Funk D’Void’s techno classic ‘Diabla’.
Often remixing tracks to fit his DJ sets in 2011 (working alongside Tom Fall) his fresh spin on Massive Attack’s
‘Teardrop’ struck a big chord with DJs of many persuasions. The DJ: propelled by their desire to see the man behind the music, demand for Bart Claessen DJ sets skyrocketed around the millennium. Week in, week out he ritualistically brings clubs, arenas and festivals to boiling point with his kinetic, bombastic and visually gripping sets. To date he’s rocked festivals that have included Creamfields and Dance Valley and smashed arena-sized stadia like ASOT500, Energy and Innercity.
He’s also made his mark on the Balearics, spinning at Cream & Full On Ferry Ibiza and rocked iconic clubs like
Ministry of Sound, Matrixx, Gatecrasher, GodsKitchen and Judgement Sundays. Playmo Radio: in 2008 Bart joined the dance music radio revolution with his Playmo show. Originally showcasing prime cuts of tech and trance inspired music, the bi-weekly broadcast began to syndicate at speed. By the end of 2010 Playmo Radio was being broadcast on 20 FM, digital & web-based stations and saw the music policy widen to simply ‘dance music’. A year later, in conjunction with French music/lifestyle website Flaix.fr the show became available as an iTunes podcast.