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You might know something about Dutch hiphop? If you do, the Opgewolle era could not have escaped you. Kubus was in the midst of it and is working in music ever since. We met him in Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle where he and Dutch rapper Sticks had an audiovisual expo called ONRUST (RESTLESSNESS).

The exhibition is a response to the fleeting consumption of music nowadays. With all on-demand music that is available anytime and anywhere, people listen less and less, and music doesn’t have an impact that long. The exhibition is impactful and raw as you would expect from the beats of Kubus. In every room, his dark and ominous productions meet you. In the main room, you can experience the music in combination with exciting audiovisual stimuli.

We sat down with Bart while the lyrics of Sticks were heard on the background; ‘Je leidt je leven of je leeft je lijden.’

Who are you, can you tell us something about yourself and where do we know you from?

My name is Bart. Music lovers know me under the artist name KUBUS, and from the productions that I have done under that name for Sticks, DuvelDuvel, Jawat, Rico, Typhoon and this year with Hef for his latest album. And I’m forgetting many names now, haha.

'any people stumble upon something new on Spotify and already forgot about it the next day.'
— Bart van de Werken

What does the exposition ONRUST in De Fundatie mean for you?

Sticks came up with the idea, and together we further shaped it with Circus Family from Amsterdam who did the design of the expo. The idea came from Sticks because he thought a lot about how music is always so fluid in this era. Everything is available nowadays, everywhere and always, music no longer impresses that deep. Many people stumble upon something new on Spotify and already forget about it the next day. Back in the days, you used to go to a record store; search, listen, buy with a certain budget. You have to put more effort into the music here.

Kubus – Bops (from his album Kick Snare Snicker)

What is your dream project?

I didn’t dream of this in advance. The funny thing is that we are working on a new album for 2020, and this concept actually just popped up. It has become a very special project, but in hindsight, I hadn’t thought about it as if it were a dream project. It really is a super cool project, but I truly don’t have any real dream projects I guess?
Hmmm, but since you asked.. I actually have a dream project, to make my own electronic record. I have been doing live sets at home for years, have performed with my modular several times and have wanted to make a record with it for a long time. But somehow there is always a cool hip hop related project on my path that takes over again.

How do you measure your success?

Success for me is my well-being. That is my success; if I feel good and I like it and everything feels as if it should be, that is a success for me. I am not looking for success in numbers, if I am happy with my girlfriend and my son, I’ll call it a success. And being healthy of course. With that state of mind, unexpected things enter my path again and again. Of course, I sometimes plan something, but those are often things that I keep to myself because it is not yet materialized. If I already tell you, I have to answer for it later on, and I don’t want that responsibility.

I have been working on two other projects for a long time now. One of which is an industrial and dark techno project with which I performed at Machine Fest, this is an industrial party in Germany. And I am working on a cool album with another guy from Amsterdam, which is also a bit more danceable or house-electro if you want to give it a name. In addition, I also do other things like advertisements and documentaries, things like that. Always enough to do.

Bart selecting some old floppy disks in the studio that’s part of the exhibition.

Do you have some hidden talents no one knows about (next to producing)?

I do have some new hobbies. I climb nowadays, I really like that and I’m pretty good at it. I also started piano lessons recently, which is also quite nice and something I always wanted to do but never did for a long time. I don’t really need it for my music because I can work with melodies pretty well, but I just enjoy learning something new.

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