The Bingo Players have been one of the most dominant and creative producer duos on the electro and progressive house scene. Maarten Hoogstraten and Paul Bäumer met when they were teenagers growing up in Holland, finding a common bond in using the same early production software called ProTracker. Bingo Players quickly rose to prominence on the worldwide EDM festival scene thanks to stimulating electro elements and catchy vocal hooks in tracks like "Cry (Just A Little)," "L'Amour" and "Rattle."
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Tragedy struck the duo when Paul Bäumer was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and passed away later that year. It was Paul's wish that Maarten would continue to produce and perform under the Bingo Players name. After taking time off to grieve and evaluate his future, Maarten found the strength and resolve to resume touring under the duo's name.
We recently had a chance to chat with Maarten following the release of his record label Hysteria's first EP.
Let’s talk about your latest release 'Knock You Out.' The vocals are powerful and the music video fits perfectly with the lyrics. What was your inspiration behind making this song? Did you help write the lyrics?
Actually we got the vocal demo that Sia wrote and we immediately loved it! The melody, the vibe, the lyrics. It really grabbed us. We started producing around the vocals and the end result is as you hear it now.
Your label Hysteria Records just released its first EP. I’ve listened to the tracks and they’re massive. How does it feel to cross this milestone and how involved were you with picking the tracks for the EP?
We started Hysteria to be more in control of our own music and give upcoming and lesser known talent a platform to release their tracks. It’s very satisfying to see the label grow more and more, and get a lot of support. I’m proud releasing this first EP. I have a great A&R that filters all the demos and gives me a selection of good ones, then I pick the ones that appeal to me. I always test the tracks out live and see what the reaction of the crowd is.
I was really looking forward to seeing you perform at Electric Zoo last month. Where were you when you heard the rest of Day 3, including your set, was cancelled and how did you react?
I was actually on my way to the festival when it started to thunder and rain. We got flash flood warnings and right before we pulled up to the site, we heard it was officially cancelled. I was very disappointed, because EZoo is great to play. On the other hand, safety first!
I’ve read some of your other interviews where you’ve talked about how supportive your fans have been as you started to play shows on your own after Paul’s passing per his wishes. What’s been the most memorable show of support from your fans since you started doing shows solo?
There have been many, I can’t really pick one. If I had to pick one, it would be the Remembrance show we set up during last Miami Music Conference in honor of Paul. But still at all the shows, there are people with banners, shirts, and flags about Paul. It’s a good feeling to know people care and will not forget.
You’ve said that Paul was a great source of feedback when producing tracks in the studio. How has your studio routine changed, if at all, without Paul there?
It’s been hard going into the studio and sitting next to an empty chair. We had great chemistry in the studio which always resulted in the best of both worlds regarding our ideas. Now, that is gone, and I have no instant feedback or ideas coming from him. Gladly, I've learned a lot from him when it comes down to concepts, arrangement and thinking differently. Sometimes it’s like I hear Paul talking to me when I have to decide on which way to go with the track.
Do you have any other releases coming up that you’d like to talk about?
For Hysteria we have a big release coming up from a big name, so look out for that one! I’m currently finishing a few Bingo Players songs and hope to release later this year.
Listen to Bingo Players' latest single "Knock You Out," as well as the new EP on their label Hysteria Records, below!