Job Jobse: A legacy of Trouw incarnate

My last memory of Job Jobse is from Trouw, at the end of a night in the summer of 2014. A bright light shining in through a sliver of an opening in a window infusing favourably with the playful neon lights in situ on the main floor. I remember it as a particularly saturating summer, with nights as warm as days, and that night Job Jobse’s colorful, optimistic set, had found its perfect temperature. Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence was shaking through the sound system as the last song of the night/morning and I barely see the DJ in his booth through the sea of hands pointing to the sky ahead of me. It’s an image that has been irrevocably burned into my memory, representing so many similar nights at Trouw during its last year. It’s the only image that comes to mind when I think of that time and place today, Job Jobse playing the main room of a disused printing press, turned super club. Possibly even something close the the Mandela effect, the image puts into perspective the great impression the club left on Amsterdam with Trouw incarnate as Job Jobse. Job, still just a kid really at the age of 24, closing a night at one of the most respected clubs in the world, not only says a lot of Job Jobse’s skill but also reflects how congruous his career is with that of Trouw. “That place taught me everything I know”, exclaims Job in a recent interview with XLR8R. It’s there he cut his teeth as a DJ and a club-promoter, booking the inaugural night for Trouw, called Drukpers alongside Olaf Boswijk, while honing his DJ skills at home in the bedroom – the skills that would eventually lead to this moment four-odd years on, playing room one to a packed crowd exclusively there for the DJ’s set.

Job Jobse’s relationship with Trouw actually goes back even further than that club itself and has its roots in what was the predecessor called 11. When most seventeen year old kids were still trying to figure out a life beyond the social boundaries of a school and how to interact with the rest of the world, Job Jobse was already on the path to his nascent career. Finding a job distributing flyers for various nights at the club, Job’s mind was always on a singular path. Doing the legwork was only ever for the purpose of the guest list, “which was good because at seventeen I was not allowed in officialy”, said Job Jobse to me when I interviewed for Trouw’s blog in 2014. “Of course I was only doing this to go out to the nights. I hated the job (and) I wasn’t good at it either. I started going there in the last year it was open and because it was so special I wanted to go there as often as possible.” Job would go there alone after a night out distributing flyers, listening to the artists and DJs like James Holden, stuff on the “cheesier” side of House music that would go on to inform his musical tastes as an adolescent. It wouldn’t take long for Olaf Boswijk to notice this kid standing all by himself at the front of the club and after an introduction the co-owner of 11 and founder of Trouw, would strike up a friendship with Job over mutual respect and musical tastes. “We had a clique, right from the start, even though I was ten years younger than him”, explains Job in an interview for Deep House Amsterdam. It was a clique that made Job Jobse and integral part of Trouw’s inception, helping Olaf as an assistant booker, who had come to trust Job’s musical tastes and instincts. The inaugural night and Job’s first booking assignment would become known as Drukpers, a reference to the venue’s previous life as a printing press, and while Olaf assumed the position as resident DJ, Job brought some of the newest breed of House DJ’s to Amsterdam, laying the foundation for what would become the most sought after venues to play for any DJ. At the same time Job would be honing his DJ skills while amassing a record collection in his bedroom and when his skills behind the decks eventually found some form, he travelled down the industrial staircase of Trouw from the office to the toilets, where he would play his first sets as a DJ,

No, that’s not a typo, his first events as a DJ really were hosted in Trouw’s toilets. You have to start somewhere, and it always struck me that Job particularly loved this aspect of the origins of his career in music, and relays some of that uncanny sense of humour often extending into his work as a DJ. It wasn’t just about programming the muzaik for people to urinate to as a joke, but rather quite a serious extension of gay night at Trouw and a night that would be known as Plei-rave (a Dutch play on the word  for toilet). By the time I had come to Amsterdam, it would be gone, but remnants of it still existed as toilet attendants at the venue continued to blast the latest Rihanna tunes through a set of crappy laptop speakers. Job Jobse’s Plei-Rave however had more of a professional intent, with a proper sound system in the toilets (just let that sink in there for a bit) and Job looking for a contrast to the Electro and Techno on the main floor, with a more anthemic Disco and House sound. “I just played my Disco and Italo and synth pop records there and of course the older gay people really loved it.” It was a tentative start as a DJ with little in the way of beat-matching and mixing, before his confidence, bolstered by an admiring audience, produced a latent talent starting to flower. It was something Olaf had recognised instantly in Job, even before this moment and “in a really short time”, Job had found himself in the booth on the main floor of Trouw.

Job Jobse selections were expressive and accessible tracks crafted with a certain high-energy, a youthful exuberance brought to life through a mix that could ignite an entire dance floor almost instantaneously. There were no taboos with Job it seemed and with an entertainer’s approach to a DJ set, Job Jobse’s mixes often spoke to a large cross-section of Trouw’s diverse audiences. In a city where electronic music had been the populace norm since the late eighties, you could expect anybody from Speedy J’s legion of older fans to the trend-informed hipsters, dressed in layers of black, and Job Jobse, coming into his own in that environment, had an encompassing ability to reach the largest portion of those varying audiences on the dance floor. I’m glad to hear not much has changed in that regard, except the DJ perhaps digging more into shadowy corners of the dance floor, but the essence of Job Jobse set has remained unchanged. It was always something that managed to speak to you, regardless of your own musical tastes and there was a social aspect to it all too.

At the front of the dance floor whenever Job played at Trouw there were always a few familiar faces, a group of dedicated friends, which was a key component in Job Jobse’s appeal, I realise now. Known collectively in the as Malawi, they were people like Arif Müller and Luc Mastenbroek, people who would listen to the same music, share musical experiences and largely inform Job Jobse tastes to the point they were all “kind of the same person” for Job. He might have been the DJ “playing the music out on a Friday and Saturday night”, but they would always be there dancing, goading him on, informing his track selections with their weekly listening session, and largely responsible for creating that social air around Job. A social air which extended to Trouw, and whenever he played there, it felt like you were at a guest at a house party, and not a mere audience member at yet another super-club. Like so many of the people involved with Trouw, the Malawi boys and Job Jobse would go on to define an individual path in the wake of the club’s very short but electric existence. “Together with crews like Dekmantel and Rush Hour it brought up an entire generation of ravers, DJs and promoters”, elucidates Jobse in XLR8R of Trouw’s influence. “I strongly believe that is the reason why Amsterdam has one of the strongest scenes in the world right now.”

With his own history so entwined through Trouw, and even the pre-origins of Trouw in club 11 Job Jobse is one of these reasons too and probably the most significant figure in Amsterdam to come to prominence through a single club, and as his career keeps going from strength to strength he epitomises what the club set out to achieve for that brief moment in time, carrying on its legacy, while at the same time carving out his own career from its fertile remains.