Both members of Guz, Freek Geuze and Wouter Simons have long histories in dance music. Both from Holland, their eponymous meeting at a 2016 WMC party in Miami led to a fast friendship. And eventually an avalanche of music that was vastly different than anything they had produced under other aliases.
Their break-out hit “Playing With My Heart” on Toolroom in 2017 solidified the duo's slinky tech house sound. Both had found earlier success in their other projects but felt a renewed sense of authenticity with their new direction. However, Guz was supposed to be a studio project. Geuze continued his work as part of Spinnin’ mainstay Redondo. Simons pulled double duty as a festival organizer and on his solo project SIMUN.
They continued to press and scored releases on tastemaker labels like Simma Red, Sink or Swim, and Relief. Finally, in 2019 they decided it was time to take the show on the road. Their 2020 was already planned out with releases on Spinnin and Big Beat on the horizon.
It was all a dream come true for Simons who started DJing in bars as a teenager. He remembers telling a bit of a white lie to get on stage for the first time. “I worked at a bar during my school period. And when the bar the owner sold the bar, I had to look for another job. And I go to another bar and just tell them, I can play music. I never played music before besides [in] my bedroom.”
Because he has spent so much time in nightlife, there was never really a point where he had the aha moment where he decided to go all-in on being a career musician. “I never thought about it that way, actually. Because, I also work at an event company. I never had a day in the morning [where] I was thinking ‘shit, man, I have to go to work’“
The advantage to working on two sides of the industry, Simons says, is being an impartial observer of nightlife culture.
“You see everything backstage. You see a lot of guys. They're doing stupid things and you think, I don't want to do that.”
Another obvious advantage he appreciates is networking. Because had it not been for learning how to navigate multiple sides of dance music, he met his partner in crime, Freek.
Working together has opened his eyes to the beauty of collaboration. Simons's work on his own was fantastic. But he says the Guz project has added something new to the equation. Geuze has always stood out because of his ability to create catchy hooks that make themselves at home in your memory. It’s not easy to craft dance floor-ready hooks. And Guz’s success is an example of how underground grooves and commercial sensibilities can be so compelling.
Simons says he’s excited about the future of Guz. As 2020 dawned, while Freek was more comfortable staying in the studio, Simons was ready to tour. But when COVID knee-capped the industry that was put on hold. They instead spent their time in the studio and found new artists to bring into the equation.
"Thin Line" with boy wonder John Summit, is built around a slinky soulful vocal and a throwback piano house riff. It's an essential slice of old-school flava with a modern flair.
Their collaboration with Ferreck Dawn “Knock Me Out” further pulls on the old school thread with a dash of filtered disco house. The early oughts disco-house era heavily pulled from the iconic Salsoul Records catalog to recapture a sense of nostalgia for the disco era. Ferreck and Guz masterfully sample Inner Life’s 1981 record “(Knock Out) Let's Go Another Round” to create a modern disco-house classic.
Simons is excited to emerge from lockdowns. It means he can begin throwing events. He says he’s ready to hop on a plane and DJ again. He’s also excited about what this means for the future of dance music he says because “With dance music everything is possible.”
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