“For the ravecave inhabitants. For the streets. For the creatures of the dark. For the night, sweaty basements and the love of woofers. For the weird, for dancing like nobody is watching and the love of deep sounds. For putting the volume on max. For the hangover. For the rebellious. For the people that can’t stand the norm. For people that come in when the club opens and won’t leave untill closing time. For the afterparty. For no sane reason, apart from the only one that matters: for the love of music.”
— Vato Gonzalez
Dirty House is a music concept founded in 2007 by Vato Gonzalez. Endeavour and registered trademark of Vato’s Dutch company Vatologic. A record label, clubnight/event, podcast, series of mixtapes and bootlegs. Cultivated by two brilliant minds. Vato doing the creative directing and his manager Stephan handling the business.
We could rewrite history here. Tell you a grand story full of planning and vision. But, this is Dirty House. Things are what they are. The origin of Dirty House not being the exception. Welcome to a brief insight into the madness that became Dirty House.
Imagine, MC Tjen going full berserk on a Playstation controller in Vato’s livingroom. Apparently he wasn’t winning too much. Vato stumbling out of the studio, high as a deep fried beaver. “Dirty House. Just invented it. We should do this”, he muttered. On which a rather distracted vocal counterpart replied; “Sure mate, let’s go!”. So, there’s the magical history down the drain.
Beyond this 2006 episode of “things that happen when two creative dipshits are in one house”. Vato had an idea. One that survived for more than a decade and a half and is still going strong. In 2007 Vato launched the first Dirty House Mixtape. Which in fashion of the Dutch saying; “didn’t make a dent in a stick of butter”. It wasn’t until the 3rd mixtape the concept skyrocketed.
Nine mixtapes later. Close to 50 million downloads and streams. Dozens of sold out events world-wide. Merchandise, prints, a recordlabel and a notorious series of not-so-legal bootlegs. A platform that jump started the career of a many headlining artists nowadays. The idea became reality.
House. But Dirty. Filthy, grimy and ever so often even murky. House back to the roots. Something that’ll make you alternate the bass-face with the lemon-face. It isn’t smooth, polished and accomplished. It is raw, gritty and in your face. Never obvious, still with a bucket load of groove. It is not about obnoxious loudness, it is about that gut feeling that house can bring.
Most of all, it isn’t a genre. Certainly not “one” genre. It floats between the realms of tech house, bass house and UK garage. To coin a popular word in an entirely different context; genre-fluid. It is a groove. A feeling. Flexible with the times. It is essentialist. The Dirty House events have very little extras. No elaborate led-wall, mesmerising dancers or a decor that will blow your mind. No VIP, no guest list and most certainly no bottle service. It is just a rave. It is all about the music and that’s all it needs to be.
We could write another screen full of verbal vichyssoise. The onslaught of sold-out events with international headliners will speak for itself. This is what we are about. Renewal and reinvention as a regular cycle in the past +15 years. New names and faces, new styles and places; always the same feeling. Sub genres of house come and go, the groove of it all is universal across generations.