These last couple of years the Dutch techno scene has hailed Koen Lebens as one of it’s newest talents. As a night-reveler of the first hour, this inhabitant of Leiden rapidly became an influential DJ, producer and party organizer within the local community. After a successful collaboration with ‘partner in crime’ Fokko Versloot, (inter)national success soon followed. Thus, Koen Lebens was able to apply his talents far beyond the city limits. An unblemished career, so it seemed, one that only knew highlights. However, in July 2009 the unthinkable happened, when Fokko Verloot suddenly deceased. Forced by the unfortunate circumstances, Koen Lebens started a new chapter in his tumultuous, but still promising musical career.
Born on 14 May 1984 in the city of Leiden, Lebens began his musical career at the age of twelve by playing the drums. After six years taking out his adolescent frustrations on the instrument, he exchanged his drum set for a drum computer and a set of turntables. According to his inner circle, it was only now that his talents were truly triggered; Koen found techno on his way, started performing on numerous parties and taught himself the basic steps of producing.
A couple of years later, during New Year’s Eve 2003/2004, he got to know Fokko Versloot. Soon it became clear that they shared the same musical taste and a new DJ duo was born. Surely, it will not have surprised anyone that the two rapidly conquered the nightlife of Leiden. At the same time, the productions of both DJ’s drew attention nationwide, and even the rest of the world was soon to pick up on their tracks; an extraordinary achievement.
2008 saw the first release on the well-known Amsterdam based label Outland Records. ‘Circus’ as the release was called, turned out an immediate success and appeared on the playlist of many DJ’s around the world. The same year, Koen and Fokko produced a series of booming remixes. A second club hit, a solo production of Koen Lebens called ‘Napolitanzer’, followed soon afterwards.
Just some name-dropping. Many tracks of Koen and Fokko have been played by such DJ’s as Paco Osuna, Marco Carola, Karotte, Monika Kruse, Valentino Kanzyani, Someone Else, Benny Rodrigues, Joseph Capriati, Ilario Alicante, Bart Skils, Joris Voorn, 2000 and One, and Sebastien Leger.
Keeping this success in mind, and the many productions the duo was planning to release, the summer of 2009 promised to become a true success story. There was a new release on Outland Records called ‘Moves/Sugarfree’ and the duo was booked to perform on big events like Awakenings Festival, Dance Valley and Loveland; many other parties were to come.
Only a week after the performance at Awakenings Festival last year, on 4 July 2009, the tragic death of Fokko Versloot meant an abrupt end of these prospects. With this, Koen Lebens not only lost a musical partner, with whom he achieved great successes, but also his best friend; understandably, a slap in the face that took some time to process.
As an homage to Fokko, but also because one simply has to move on, Koen revived his DJ and producer career as a solo artist. Koen performed last year solo on big events like Timewarp and Loveland. As a solo producer Koen revived by remixing some big artists and he got new releases planned for 2010.
For more information on the productions and performances of Koen Lebens, check out www.myspace.com/koenlebens