On the Record: Unraveling the €URO TRA$H Phenomenon
May 27, 2023
9 min read
In the ever-evolving oasis of dance music, change is the only constant. Dutch duo Jim Taihuttu and Nils Rondhuis, have ventured into intriguing sonic territory, a shift heralded by their alias: €URO TRA$H.
No strangers to risk-taking, the duo's music has always had an element of diversity, a nod to their European roots and the genres they've explored over the years. €URO TRA$H, however, is a step into the realm of house and techno music, two genres that remained a constant in their hearts despite their heavier sound under the Yellow Claw moniker.
Born amidst the global events of 2020 that left many artists reflecting on their craft and exploring new directions, €URO TRA$H sprang to life as an unexpected but exciting venture. With a collection of house tunes that simply demanded to be released, the pair embarked on this new journey, infusing the €URO TRA$H brand with the same energy that has become their trademark.
€URO TRA$H caters to the smaller, more intimate venues, where old-school house music reigns supreme, providing a deeper, groovier alternative for those willing to step into the darker side of the room.
The name €URO TRA$H, a tongue-in-cheek nod to wealthy, carefree Europeans, perfectly encapsulates the project's energy and tone. It's a cheeky wink at their European roots and the flamboyant, sun-soaked, champagne-fueled lifestyles of the "newly rich." It's less about ostentation and more about the liberating act of not taking oneself too seriously, embracing the vibe and spirit of their music.
This chapter in their musical journey is not without its challenges, but it also carries its share of rewarding moments. It's about proving themselves anew, not just as musicians, but as tastemakers. It's about revisiting the past while crafting the future. It's about shattering genre barriers and championing the fluidity of dance music.
Whether it's through their unique version of a "trashy" mix made for HÖR BERLIN, collaborations with artists like Bonnie Strange and Psycho Boys Club, or their pioneering album ¥€$, €URO TRA$H is unapologetically bringing all the heat and grooves.
As artists who have been successful in one genre, what made you decide to take the risk of venturing into new territory with €URO TRA$H?
I didn’t feel like that at all. All our albums have always contained at least one decent house music song. Check out a song like “Run Away” we did almost ten years ago. They just never ended up in our DJ sets because we like to go hard with the Yellow Claw sets.
But in essence, all our stuff has big European ‘90s house music roots, because we are both ‘80s kids that grew up in Holland in the ‘90s when there was so much happening music-wise. At a certain point somewhere in 2020 without playing any shows, we suddenly found ourselves with four to five house tunes that we just really wanted to drop. So we did it.
But it wasn’t until we made “1F2F” that we made a connection on a specific sound connecting to the €URO TRA$H brand and energy. And from that one, we made a whole bunch more and just put it on an album exploring that specific sound.
€URO TRA$H was named after a slang term for wealthy Europeans. How has this applied to your new alias, and what led you to choose this name with this meaning for your project?
The Urban Dictionary says this: "A person, male or female, from Continental Europe who spends most of the time partying and jet-setting around the globe in the most conspicuous (sometimes rude) manner to seek fun and sunshine. Often seen sporting fashion from designer hoses like Versace and Dolce & Gabanna with bold colors and animal prints. Too tanned and always adorned with excessive 18K gold jewelry and sunglasses. Far from subtle and often newly rich. Eats caviar and drinks champagne like water just because they’re expensive while having no idea or appreciation whatsoever." I mean, who has been spying on us? That’s like our Twitter bio right there.
What are some specific elements from your previous music experiences that you've brought into the €URO TRA$H project?
Just growing up in Holland in the ‘90s and going to those early raves as teenagers. Just really seeing that whole thing grow into what it is right now.
How would you describe the transition from your signature sound to house and techno? What challenges did you face during this process? What were the best moments?
I think the biggest challenge was not relying on a certain slot time at a festival or big groups of fans that are coming to hear some of the more known Yellow Claw songs. I think going back to square one and trying to prove yourself as a DJ and tastemaker behind the decks. Even convincing that one guy in the back of the club decided that he was a techno connoisseur eight months ago after deleting his @dubstepwarriorbro1 Instagram account.
Nah just kidding, but people tend to be so serious about these genres and imaginary genre rules. Dance music has already proven itself to move in circles, all feeding off the same sounds and loops. They are just presented differently. I remember seeing a great set by Amelie Lens a few years ago and just thinking, ‘Wow, this whole set, the sound of it is so close to what an early rave gabber DJ would have played in Rotterdam back in the day.’ That whole idea of that circle is such a beautiful thing.
How has the public perceived this transition? If there were any mixed reactions, how did you address them?
There is no transition we still drop new hard-knocking Yellow Claw rave music every month and play the biggest festivals in the world with that name. We do, however, have another one in which we play small intimate afterparty rooms with trashy and sexy old-school house music. If you are into that, I would advise you to come check it out, if that’s not your thing and you are not open to new musical experiences with us, I would advise you to not come. It’s that easy. And, if you don’t like it, that is perfectly fine too. No biggie. But genre thinking has been dead for a while and will never come back from that. Look at which people are working together now, and what crazy lineups festivals and clubs dropping.
In terms of music and aesthetics, were there any other artists you drew inspiration from for this project?
Not that much in aesthetics, the whole idea of the €URO TRA$H aesthetic is that it’s not about overthinking. That is why there is a non-visual show, no effects, no co2, and no smooth artwork. It is just about the music and feeling the vibe in the club. It is not an EDM spectacle. It’s just going back to the roots. And yes, some super inspiring artists are balancing vintage with those new sounds. People like Sosa, Westend, Clonee, Wax Motif, and so on.
What has been the most “wow this worked" moment or turning point in the development of €URO TRA$H so far? How have those differed from your Yellow Claw performances?
I think when we first made "1F2F" and played it that same night in the Bootshaus club, that was the ‘yeah this connects, this is what it should sound like when it all comes together.’ Another moment was when we played a surprise set at House of Wax at the Palladium in Los Angeles last year, that’s a big venue with a lot of history, and it was filled up with house music fans of Wax [Motif]. That is when we got them not relying on the Yellow Claw brand. We felt like this could become a thing, not knowing that soon after we would be playing shows in New York, Tokyo, and Bangkok. Now sometimes we have a show request for YC and ET on the same day in different parts of the world, and hard decisions must be made.
Were there any moments you were hesitant about launching this project? If so, why, or why not?
No, we just wanted to do it right, because we initially made the songs to DJ them, and we know it’s a tough transition in a DJ set going from 160 bpm hard techno or trap, and then suddenly going back to this super groovy and vibey 126 bpm song. We didn’t want it that way and just really were excited about playing these long sets where you play all the drops of a song, not just the first.
In 2020, you released a video on YouTube named “Yellow Claw presents €URO TRA$H: The Art of €URO TRA$H.” Where did the inspiration for dressing like the '1700s come from?
Ahh, that was merely a joke, I kept seeing this meme on all these techno accounts of these three guys from this vampire movie looking down on the people from this balcony. We recreated that meme and did a DJ set like, just to f*ck with the people and their perceptions. I’m surprised you don’t know the meme hahaha. No judgment though.
How did working with Bonnie Strange and Psycho Boys Club contribute to the first LEGIT TECHNO BANGER, “Trust You”? Can you share any interesting stories from the making of the track and its music video?
All of us were hanging out in Bali for a while, and we wanted to create this Berlin-style techno banger with Bonnie. The video is in the same aesthetic too, and was just super fun to do. Looking back at it now, I feel the song was still too hard and loud for what €URO TRA$H would later become. It is way closer to a Yellow Claw thing. Maybe we should remix it ourselves.
What was the motive and interest behind the ¥€$ album, and how did you manage to maintain a consistent theme centered around wealth, partying, and ego throughout the entire record?
Well that wasn’t easy, but we kept on repeating the same mantra in our minds. All this music is made for the first Miami strip club that only plays real house music. That was the holy grail. House music for strippers.