This is a brief presentation of how Randy Katana came to be, and some of the highlights, that made this time-period a very special one to us. Therefore we would like to thank all the die hard fans, who have mostly set aside their own private lives to attend a Randy Katana performance.
Also we would like to thank everyone, who supported us in the last 20 years, specially event organizations, booking-agents worldwide, colleagues, and everyone, who has participated in the creation of a legendary time period.
We thank you all!
Love, Randy & Shila
1989 - Atari 1040 St / Steinberg Pro 24
When I first arrived in the Netherlands in the mid 80's, I was messing around with an Roland S-10 Sampler, and an RX-7 drum computer. In the late 80's, when I moved to the center of Amsterdam, I came to meet my new neighbors. 5 younger guys living with one elder woman. Apparently they were a band living together, but were not very successful. I know, because I was feeding them...
Amazingly enough, they did not have any money for food, but did have this computer to make music. That's how I came in contact with the Atari 1040 ST and Steinberg Pro 24.
Armed with a calculator, and a sheet of paper, it took me longer than 30 days to make just one track.
1993 - Sexual Intimidation
This release obviously is a huge highlight in my career. Notice the logo, looks kind of odd. That's because it was drawn by me with a marker, and a ruler. No fancy Photoshop in those days.
A cool fact with this release, is that it was still made on the Atari 1040 ST. This is the hardware used: Akai s-1000 / Korg M1 / Roland JD-800
Notice, there is no effect processor mentioned here. That's because there was none. The track was mastered somewhere else, where the effects were added.
Katana - Sexual Intimidation
1993 - Erotmania
The second Katana release was an instant hit. The track: "Erotmania", became the best selling track ever to be released by BPM Dance for a very long time, only to be surpassed by "Silence" 6 years later in 1999.
"Erotmania" is the only track released by BPM Dance, that was licensed around the Globe, 3 times around, during a 9 year period.
Today "Erotmania" is still the best selling Classic, predating Fancy Fair and Silence. Don't be surprised to find this track at the number one position as best selling track of the first Classics Album on BEATPORT
1995 - BPM Dance / Only-Djs
In 1995 we moved our label operations to the Pilatusdam 15, in Zoetermeer. There we changed the company name to BPM Dance, and opened the DJ-Shop adjacent to the office. Within short time the DJ-Shop became the biggest vinyl store in the Netherlands, where all of the biggest Dutch, Belgium, and UK DJ's passed by, either to buy records, or to have a beer. That's how our weekly Happy hours on Friday night became famous among all DJ and Producers.
A few years later we launched the biggest on-line vinyl store in the world: www.Only-Djs.com
The software for this online shop was designed by me personal, and was written by the, at that time, very young and talented IT student: Robert Jan Tuit. Today Robert is working for Microsoft in the US, which is kind of very cool, if you think of it.
1997 - Prolekult
One of my all time favorite labels in 1997, Prolekult, was more or less one of the trend-setters in the market. Obviously I was more than ecstatic to sign a deal with them in 1997 for the first DJ Randy, which was released on Tri-Lamb, and a number of future releases.
This was an instant boost for my then DJ name: DJ Randy. Slowly but shortly the booking-requests began poring in. However, there was a big problem on the rise, which was due to the Prolekult releases.
The Prolekult concept always had a vague black man on the cover and the label. Every time I went to a booking, no one believed me, that I was DJ Randy. Everyone thought I was a tall black man. Imagine the disappointment...;-).
1998 - Undefined Sounds
The year 1998 was the year of the Germain Techno, lead by none other than the master: Andreas Kramer. The most amazing set I played that year, was on a canal boat in Amsterdam for about 100 crazy students. There were just two turn tables, a mixer, a strobe light without a switch, and a whole lot of booze. All in all a very memorable event, that almost ended with a sinking boat..
That year my good friend Feris al-Hassoni of Drizzly Records and Construct Rhythm, supported me on this venture, which made this release possible. Special thanks to Ferris, Andreas, T-Quest and the man himself: Mac Zimms who in those day's dominated all dance charts in all genres.
DJ Michel De Hey was once asked on the radio, if he could guess who was at number one in the charts that week. His answer: "It's probably Mac Zimms"...
1999 - Silence (Antic Mix)
Inspired by one of my all time favorite tracks: Grease 2000, I dove in the studio on a Thursday night, and began working with the the same sound. The plan was to write a tune, that would bring the same, or better euphoric feeling, and still be a new composition. Once I got the tune down, I did not seem to be able to shut down the Mac, and go home. At 3:00 am the wife drove all the way from our home in The Hague to the office in Zoetermeer, thinking I was messing around with some girl, because I wasn't answering my phone. But in fact, I was playing the tune over and over and over again, sounding better and better each time, and I just couldn't get enough of it....
1999 - Silence (TxiTxarro Mix)
A few years later, I was working on a track for Abel Ramos. The first setup I had, was sounding so amazing, I decided to add the Silence tune to it. Amazingly the tune fitted like a glove, and that became the famous "TxiTxarro Mix". Named after the Spanish club, that was blown up by the terrorist group ETA. According to the visitors the day before, "In Silence" was the last tune played, before the club got blown up. Thanks to DJ PG2, TxiTxarro became a memorable location for me, & my wife Shila. Gracias Pablo Garcia.
2004 - End Of BPM Dance
In 2003 I just got ADSL hooked up at home, and was testing my new Internet connection. I looked at the TV, where MTV was playing a "Whitney Houston" track. I then went on to enter the name on Napster, and waited for the result. I was horrified, when about 20 different mixes appeared on the screen, all ready for download, before the track finished playing on the TV.
That's when I realized it was the beginning of the end....
In 2003 our vinyl sales and license income all dropped with 80%, and the following year, again dropped 80%. Even though the company could have survived that nightmare, some of our staff we had working at that time, weren't very cooperative to this major problem, so I was forced to close down everything, including BPM Dance and Only-Djs.
2005 - DJ Mag Top 100
Just as the door was closing on the BPM Dance and Only-Djs era, the Randy Katana era door opened very wide and quickly it was blowing all over the place. Right away I was booked all over the world in 2004, and in 2005 all hell broke loose.
Before I closed down BPM Dance in 2004, I made sure every single producer got 50% of their Royalties paid, and for the other 50% everyone got their Copyrights of their releases returned back to them. This was also the case with myself, and I had loads of releases waiting. As soon as the doors closed, the Publisher came knocking and dropped down some serious cash for what was about to come.
2005 - Play It Louder
This was also the year the beast was released. After I teared up the crowd for one hour straight on Dance Valley 2005, I walked over to the next stage, where Armin van buuren was playing. I then personally handed over a copy of "Play It Louder" to him.....
The rest is history...
fact: The first times I played this track in the UK, people were looking at me, like I was crazy... They didn't get it....;-)
2007 - Spirit Of The Drums
2007 became the year of the Drums. As far as I know, I was the first ever DJ to perform a live set for 3 hours, and drum live at the same time.
This was also the tittle of my first Randy Katana album, which I had a very hard time making. The music was in the process of changing to Electro, and so it was making the production of the album very difficult.
One tune that came out of this album, making a lot of noise for the coming years,
was the new mix of:
2008 - Crash
After 2007, the worldwide mainstream music style changed to electro everywhere, and I was now buying music on Beatport, which was unbelievable. To make matters worst, in November 2008 all bookings crashed, just like the stock market.
I was now looking for a way to go online with my own labels... However, it proved to be more of a challenge, than I expected.
2009 - The Hype
This track was produced during the crash of 2008. Had no idea what to make, so I was playing around and experimenting. I never played it, and never took it too seriously, but then the most amazing thing happened.
During one of my trips to Spain, I gave the track to a friend of mine, as a exchange for his tracks. Unbelievably, a year later, he does the same thing, with some other Dutch DJ. The track then begins to live it's own life under the name of the Spanish guy. I was waiting to play my set on an event one day, and the DJ before me was playing that track ...the crowd went out of their minds.
Apparently my track became a huge hit, and no one knew it was mine. That was the moment I decided to release it....
2009 - You & I
Produced during the most miserable time of my life (my wife and I were separated for 3 weeks), so I got seriously smashed, and and produced "You & I". Just like "The Hype", this track also was dumped in the archives for almost a year. Ironically, a year later, i was playing it in the studio, and the wife jumped up, when she heard it. She convinced me to release it, and it went straight to number one.
But wait., the story does not end there. At the same time this track was released, an artist named Medina also released a track called "You And I"......huh?
2014 - You & I (Shila Elario)
Ok, so now the artist called: Medina released "You And I" in 2010. Some 3 years later some guy decides to drop the "You And I" vocals of Medina on my "You & I" track, which my wife found, whilst listening to tracks on Soundcloud: they seemed to fit like a glove.
Ironically a year later, the wife is now singing the Medina vocals on my track "You & I", and I found her vocals made my track sound even better than before.
2012 - Back To School
In 2011, I made two attempts with two different companies, in order to get a decent web-presents. Unfortunately both companies ended up filing for bankruptcy, and taking my hard earned cash with them. Like they say, third time is a charm, well the only charm I was going to get is by doing it myself. That's why in 2012 I closed everything studio, and settled down studying with the help of my laptop till 2013.
So now, next to DJ/Producer, I can also add the following to my resume: Graphic & Web- designer, Video editor, Hosting, domains, and so on...In other words, If you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself. The new company, named Premium Bizz is the result of that.
2013 - ComBeatz
At the end of 2012, I finally concluded a long time dream of running the labels as before, but now online.
Just when I thought, everything was going in to high gear, the Music Industry hits me with a new curve-ball: Streaming....
2013 - Dot Com
Next to a bunch of amazing remixes of "In Silence" by various artists, I managed to produce my favorite track DOT COM. At first I never thought I could ever surpass "Play It Louder" as my all time favorite, however with this track I did.
The track has a way of creeping up to you unknowingly. It was released together with the "In Silence" remixes, and managed to oversell all of them a year later. This is the track I play in the studio when I'm working on the hardware, or cleaning the workplace.
fact: Originally intended to be released with the Randy Katana website as promotion.
2013 - Pleasure Island
An absolute highlight in my career is definitely "Pleasure Island festival" in 2006. Organizer Mike van Seumeren came up with this crazy idea to make a killer entrance by jumping out of a helicopter, land in front of the stage, and then start playing. Easier said than done. Check the video for the complete story.
So now I placed this one in 2013, because now I'm making my own video's. The biggest challenge was, to find the footage. Horrible DV quality of a cheap camera taped to my hands, turned out quite nicely thank you....
2014 - EDM
So now the music industry has lost it completely. Just like the Electro in 2007, a new style has invaded the market. At first it was called: "Big Room", which is a very obvious name. Loved it, tried it, and started to play it myself. But now, "Big Room" has gone mainstream, and suddenly it is called EDM. A certain Dutch group has managed to get airplay with a tune, and now the whole world has gone mad. Every one is making, and playing the same thing....
In all my 20 years in this business, I have never experienced what is currently happening on the market today. Considering what happened with the artists, who became famous with Trance music a few years ago, god help the ones that do with EDM. I have decided to jump ship on this rat race, and take a complete new course.
01 - 04 - 2015
- Randy Katana: Techno
- Katana: Classics
Due to popular demand form friends and fans, I have decided to resume the name Randy Katana for Techno music, instead of Randy Code. For my classic sets, I will be using the name it all started with: Katana