(By our Norwegian correspondent Jan Ronald Stange) Trym Nævestad aka DJ 7trym had been working on an extensive Depeche Mode megamix to celebrate his 50th birthday June 7th. I got wind of this when he contacted me mid-April, asking if I had some DM remixes digitally available, and after searching my hard drives I found what he was looking for. After sharing the files I got a draft in return two days later – and as a DM fans since 1983 I’ve heard a LOT of mixes, but immediately rated this as a top 3 in my book! Feels updated with a great selection of songs and remixes, transitions that other remixers would envy, have some surprises and doesn’t get dull.
Then May 26th happened… Andrew Fletcher died, the Depeche Mode fan base mourned, and Trym decided to release the mix in Fletch’ honor the day after. As the mix was prematurely published I’d wanted to wait a few weeks, let things settle down and have his birthday pass before follow up, so earlier this week we had a mail chat.
S-L: We read about what the mix were initially made for and that you released it earlier because of Fletch’ passing – tell us what thoughts went through your head those days that made you change the purpose of the mix?
Trym: Like everyone else, I was in total shock when I got the news about Fletch. The mix was meant to be a celebration of me as a DM fanboy, but suddenly it became way more important than my little ego-trip. I had produced a lot of DJ sets scheduled around my anniversary, so I had to work quickly to find out what to do. The decision to release it ASAP was easy, even if it gave me a lot of extra work though.
S-L: What’s your process doing a mix like this?
Trym: Behind every one of my works, it’s hundreds of hours of getting to know every song by heart. That part is easy for me with DM since I’ve followed them since ’82. It’s actually way harder to find out which songs to exclude to keep the duration down to 2 hours. I have thousands of remixes to choose from. Most are bootlegs and fan made, so the quality is really varied. If I hear a good attempt but with obvious flaws or bad audio, I try to see if I can recreate it easily myself before I decide what to do with it. Software like the online service https://www.lalal.ai/ is just insanely powerful for dissecting tracks! When putting the set together, I focus on the right harmony when deciding the order to play the songs. I avoid breaking the rules of the Camelot wheel so my transitions are always in harmony. (https://mixedinkey.com/camelot-wheel/)
The final mix is done in Mixmeister, which do most of the work if you prepared well. It’s an old software and not developed anymore, but I still find it so powerful for programming DJ sets and easy access to plugins for EQ, compressors and so on. The mix is done quite quickly, but I tend to adjust knobs and filters, adding and removing beats for weeks after I really should be happy and just release it 😀
S-L: How many have heard the mix so far?
Trym: It’s passed 215 unique listeners on Mixcloud, but that’s kind of normal there. For me, the most important thing was to get it published so it can be played, used and inspire listeners for years to come.
(Editor’s note: At the moment of writing this article it’s 9th in the global vocal chart and 88th in the global electronica chart.)
S-L: How long have you been a fan of DM, and how have they impacted your life?
Trym: They came into my life in ‘82 as the older brother of my classmate was really into them then. Strange enough, my classmate was also named Trym and his older brother is Lars Holte, the man responsible for lots of the first raves in Norway and later breaking Tiësto. I just kind of fell straight into it all 😀
My first CD ever was ‘A Broken Frame’, and I was surprised because I thought I had bought ‘Speak and Spell’ when I asked the man in the record store for their album. It was probably in the summer of ‘83 because CDs were a totally new invention that year. I hunted down every vinyl edition of everything I could get hold of after that even if I didn’t have a decent record player and had spent most of my cash on that CD player.
In ‘87 I started working for a radio station, and that opened up more and more opportunities for me. I saw DM live for the first time with the ‘Music for the Masses’ tour and I started practicing as a club DJ. Radio hooked me up with Vince Clark and Andy Bell for an interview in Oslo. I only cared about Vince because of his work with DM. I remember Andy as quite offended since he wanted to be the star and I was told quite clearly that Vince was in Erasure now 😀
During the 90’s I worked hard day and night with morning shows in radios and club gigs at night. When ‘Ultra’ was released in ‘97, I attended a release party and ended up forcing the DJ out of his booth because he didn’t play DM “right”! I took over and the roof just flew off and the crowd went wild. That was the start of my long list of DM parties after that response.
The local label manager for Mute Records saw it too, took me in and used me for everything DM after that. That’s how I was placed backstage at their gigs in Scandinavia at the ‘Exciter’ tour, and on the stage of the official afterparties.
I almost missed their actual concert every time, and had to go to Vilnius in 2006 to finally see their full show as an ordinary member of the audience. It was not the plan to be more than a guest there, but even in Lithuania I ended up on the stage at the afterparty after “politely” removing the DJ that did not live up to my standards that time 😉
I was quite an active dude thinking waaaaay too high of myself at that time – hope I’m seen as more polite now. Anyway, it all worked out in the end!
There is little doubt that the internal life of DM has been rough on its members, and I’ve had the pleasure to meet and play with both Alan Wilder and Fletch when they toured away from DM. Wilder is a conundrum to understand, and Fletch was just the total opposite. Fletch talked freely and made everybody feel like we’d been friends forever. Truly an amazing man and very open about the alcohol problems both he and Martin struggled with. Maybe because I was quite troubled myself at that time so we found that as our common ground, both wanting a way out to a life that didn’t always start the days with hangovers.
S-L: Any other projects or mixes planned in the near future?
Trym: I decided to release a mix for cleaning my house the first Friday of every month, and share it willingly if it can help those mops to move 😀
I’m not playing live anywhere this year, but I’m thinking seriously about doing festival gigs again from 2023. I don’t know if I will do another DM party again though. It just feels strange now, but I hope that will change in time.
As a unique one off around my 50th anniversary, I’m releasing 7 unique DJ sets in different flavours. A new one every day to show off some of my different sides and inspire DJs to open their minds for new stuff.
It’s some high energy festival sets with bangers& mashups, a showcase of what a DJ can do with alternative rock, an Altern80s revisit, a Dark Wave set and a Sunday brunch soundscape. They can all be found on https://www.mixcloud.com/7rym
I hope people will enjoy them 🙂
PS! As a side note on how the DM community connects people, I can add that I first met Trym at a meet & greet before the ‘Exicter’ concert in Oslo, 2001, after winning a contest on Norwegian TV, with Trym being the judge. (sorry for the lousy quality, TV recording equipment on a PC wasn’t very good 21 years ago :/ )
Me and my friend Truls got tickets to the concert and the opportunity to meet the band backstage before the concert, and went out of there with an additional three new acquaintances in Trym, Lars and Frank, whom I still have occasional contact with, meet at concerts etc. 20 years later. DM for life!
Listen to the mix right here, and find other mixes by 7rym at his Mixcloud page:
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