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Many beautiful years

have past between their first monster hit Give It Up and the entering of a new millennium. Born as first generation house producers, a complete musical revolution has taken place right in front of Zki & Dobres eyes: From the first simple sampler, to a complete digital studio built into a laptop. Rene: The most important change is that when we started, house music was still in its infancy, while nowadays pop music almost sounds like house. But I dont feel a veteran. I guess Ive past that stage by now!

DJ Zki & Dobre;

who are they and what are they up to? Two simple but pressing questions which are not easy to answer. The Dutch producers Zki & Dobre- respectively René ter Horst and Gaston Steenkist are responsible for so many productions in all kinds of styles under so many different names that they are extremely difficult to categorize. One thing is obvious though and that is that Zki & Dobre have been top notch producers ever since the 90ties!

Which road are they taking nowadays? Besides the road to their atmospheric studio to produce lively, groovy tracks and the road to lighted dance floors to spin these records.

We enjoy being in the studio and to DJ once in a while. Were not the kind of artists that perform regularly and are certainly not the types of DJs you find on posters hanging in your bedroom! All we want to do is make music that DJs play in the clubs. Great examples are I Wanna Be U (2001) and A Star Is Born (2003) which they both released under their alterego

Chocolate Puma.

In the year 2005 they kept releasing a lot of records under the name

Jark Prongo

one release, at least every two to three months. We call these our therapeutic projects, music we make for ourselves as well as the DJs according to René.

The working method of the guys is amazingly fast. No sweating and tweaking a record for weeks in the studio. Or like Gaston says: The vibe is the most important ingredient of a record. It doesnt make any sense to mix for weeks and add all kinds of sounds and ingredients, if the vibe isnt there. I then rather hear all kinds of noise, beeps and cracks but at least the vibe is right. You will hear the spontaneity if a record is good and that is really what its all about.

Lets go back in time a little. For sure a special mission from outer space has helped faith a little to ensure that these two all-round musical guys bumped into each other in the 90s.

Gaston Steenkist (Dobre)

just finished high school during which he experimented with synthesisers, samplers and decided to quit his education as a 3D Designer to focus more on making music.

René ter Horst (Zki)

on the other hand works in a music store and at night he goes from one party to the other carrying his record bag and playing records with the ambition to make his own records one day.

They meet at Renés radio show Ezkimotion, the local ZFM station in Zandvoort, Holland. Gaston responded on a request from René to send demos in and after there first meeting they start working together.

Together they produce a jingle for the radio show which later appears in Give It Up by

The Good Men,

originally meant as a b-side but grown out to be a worldwide hit. René: We are still very proud of Give It Up. It was created on a small mixer and mixed on broken speakers in Gastons bedroom. Its a unique record that people still sample and play. The whole world knows that record!

Give It Up brings them more then just international dance floors. Their own career goes through the roof! During 1995 2002 Zki & Dobre released records, 12s and singles like there lives depended on it. In total a stunning 94 (!) 12 and albums (remixes for the likes of Roger Sanchez, Stereo MCs and Britney Spears are not even accounted for).

Our ambition has always been to make people


says René. Its great to be in a club and to see the whole dance floor going wild on your records.

The true nature of their inspiration will always be a secret to them but Zki & Dobre have the gift of always reinventing themselves. Some highlights so far: the classic Vallee de LArmes (1993), the Jark Prongo project including their hit Sweet Little Thing (2001), Chocolate Puma with the floor filler I Wanna Be U (2001) to name a couple. They also gained success with projects like

Basco, Klatsch! and Tomba Vira.

One thing is clear though and that is that everything Zki & Dobre create stands for quality!

They surely are eager; while finishing the mix of a track, the sketch for the next one is already waiting to be finished. Zki & Dobre have an unfailing creative flow for which they used to create new aliases like

Collin Bros, Fresh Tunes, Mackino, Mechanical Soul Saloon, Mpari, Stainless, Glen Masters, René et Gaston.

In the past we were a little impatient states Gaston. After having finished 3 records in one week we wanted to release all 3 of them the week after. And because they all sounded different we made up all sorts of different artist names. Besides that we found out that the pressure is quite high once youve scored a hit single and we have never been really comfortable with that. And we still arent if were honest. We flourish when we can just make music without any expectations what so ever.

In 1992 they start their own label under the name

Fresh Fruit.

Eventually they release 14 extremely popular records on this label. When they decide to stop working with Rhythm Import they start a new label called


Gaston: As a reaction to the very colourful covers of the Fresh Fruit label they released Pssst material in black and silver covers. During that time we were musically all over the place. We were a bit bored with house music and started to produce break-beats, drum & bass and what have you all. A rather confusing time.

One of the highlights is their project Jark Prongo (1993) that got its first release on the


White label. The project stayed anonymous for a while.

The first hit Shake It, followed by Moving Thru Your System (1998).

René: the fun part of Jark Prongo is the fact that its so comprehensive.
If were in the studio and were not getting results on a specific project we switch over to our Jark Prongo alias and by the end of the day have finished a great track. This is because for Jark Prongo there are

no creative boundaries.

For this reason the expression lets go jarking has become their magic sentence when they are facing lack of inspiration.
Since nobody knew who or what Jark Prongo was they still receive e-mails that start of with dear mister Prongo or dear Jark.

Today a whole new generation appreciates the music of Zki and Dobre without knowing the full history of it.

Since they constantly managed to have their


appeal to todays generation there has never been the danger of an identity crisis. To be honest nothing really changed: Zki & Dobre are still working in the studio with a smile on their faces while their music is being played on dance floors around the world and this will stay this way for a very long time.