He’s one of the Netherlands most revered underground DJs, and rightfully so. Job Veerman, better known as Identified Patient, is an otherworldly storyteller whose leftfield mixes are ever full of twists and turns, and can potentially include any musical genre, tempo or mood.
Words by Leendert Sonnevelt
His productions commonly drift between wave, techno, acid and industrial – and just like his DJ-sets are marked by a severe but sensual irreverence the artist himself would likely describe as ‘sleaze’. Since chances are high you’ve danced to this mastermind in pre-covid times, more introductory words are completely redundant. Instead, we got you an update on all things Identified Patient (including some must-hear playlist material).
Job! Unfortunately there’s not a lot of surprise in (night)life right now, so what do your ups, downs and the in-betweens look like?
Since the last lockdown, life has been pretty simple in terms of activity. The daily grind has been the same for quite a while and I’m living outside the city these days, on the green outskirts of Amsterdam. You’d think there is more time for focus and structure, but I don’t necessarily see more output than before. In fact, in the last two months I’ve made less and less music. But I do feel I’m at the end of that stage and the hunger for creating is getting bigger. The in-betweens are the rides to the supermarket in my 1999 Hyundai Excel. You could say I’m blessed to have a stable situation, but the lure of the bottomless pit is always present.
Music journalists like to describe your work as dark or gloomy, yet I’ve always felt a dreamy and energetic undertone. This is all a matter of perception, of course, so how do you experience these contrasting elements yourself?
Yes, definitely a matter of perception. That’s always the case with these kinds of terms; hard to put a spell on, and easy to end in clichés. But I guess for you, as for me, it feels less depressed. Also, our concept of depressing music is linked to different situations and of course different tones. For example, a depressed-as-fuck song can make for a good memory in a club. If you play that on your iPhone while riding your bike in the morning, it can make the day very happy. In my opinion my songs tend to be more like passive aggressive, not full-blown dark.
"In my opinion my songs tend to be more like passive aggressive, not full-blown dark."
You’ve previously talked about testing your own productions on the dancefloor. Now that this is impossible, are you saving up new tracks for post-corona times?
I’d love to have a big list of new homemade sleaze by now, but the list could be bigger (again, that will come). For some reason, every year I make a lot of tunes between December and March. Also, unfortunately, this year’s plan to heavily expand the studio ended up like an implosion.
What is a DJ/producer without a live audience?
It’s frustrating to not perform and make something for a night/day at a club or festival. That stoked feeling right before or in the middle of it when things are going – just letting the beast out for a few hours – is magic. I mean, we all miss it right? But I’m lucky enough to still be in the studio and able to make music.
"It’s frustrating to not perform and make something for a night/day at a club or festival. That stoked feeling right before or in the middle of it when things are going – just letting the beast out for a few hours – is magic."
Speaking of audiences, do you remember your first ever DJ set for an audience?
I played my first real gigs together with my good friend Berend, I think around eight years ago. It was mostly electro. I recently saw an old live recording of it from Studio 80… good old days. Way back we also played at our own high school parties – but that was more about teens enjoying free alcohol.
Is there anything from those days you still play all the time?
I recently played this one from around that time, which I’d still love to play when there is room for it…
I’d love to hear more about your track and EP titles. They can be quite (melo)dramatic, even cinematic. How do you come up with them? Do you consider yourself a storyteller?
Most of the track titles just pop up. I guess it’s the feeling you get when you listen to music for a long period of time when you’re making it. When you’re putting all the pieces together, you always try to explain to yourself what it is or what kind of vibe it reflects. When finally you save the song, usually the title is there. I think my titles often sound like what you hear, if that makes sense – not always, of course, those are usually not the strongest ones…
My favourite title is Low Kust. When creating it, I constantly had this old vibe of a video game called Gears of War 1 in mind. There’s these green textures with a darker undertone and an enemy called Locust. That’s how it became what it is now.
"You also need to surprise yourself and if you feel comfortable behind the decks, gluing genres together can be so much better."
Something that can be said of all your DJ-sets is the musical diversity and element of surprise. How do you go about sourcing your raw materials? And what do you consider the binding factor between all these different sounds/genres?
I’m always grinding on Bandcamp and YouTube for new, interesting things. Especially Bandcamp is fucking amazing; no-nonsense, quality format, offline streaming, plus you’re supporting other artists. (This is not a sponsored ad!) After that, the binding of things depends on the mood and practical matters. It’s how much you are willing to dare on a night, as that’s where the elements of surprise can happen. You also need to surprise yourself and if you feel comfortable behind the decks, gluing genres together can be so much better. Of course it’s not always for the good and sometimes the best vibe is to stay on a straight line. I always like to have a big bag of music with me so it’s possible to go different roads. Hey, bam, nice cliché there.
What’s been your go-to music in times of isolation?
Oh, difficult to say. But these always find some playtime when cooking or driving:
Plus: a lot of music from T5UMUT5UMU, which just keeps on giving dope productions through Bandcamp.