The distance between Amsterdam and Los Angeles spans 5,550 miles. Despite that physical separation, the cities share quite a bit in common, remaining creative hotbeds for their respective continents. Both locations fortified the foundation of YELLOW CLAW’s second full-length album, the appropriately titled LOS AMSTERDAM (Mad Decent). For the first time, the Dutch electronic duo—Jim Aasgier and Nizzle—enjoyed an extended stay in the City of Angels in order to write and record before heading back to Amsterdam to fine-tune their compositions throughout 2016. The process mirrors the musicians’ distinct sonic alchemy, fusing elements of European dancefloor panache and gritty American trap seamlessly.
“Over the past year, we’ve been thinking about how Los Angeles and Amsterdam are very similar cities,” exclaims Jim. “They’re based on a lot of creativity and diversity regarding genres, people, and work ethic. LOS AMSTERDAM represents that spirit. At the same time, there’s this big music industry in L.A. with all of these writers making all types of songs. In Europe, there’s a dance industry with artists making beats and drops. Combining those two things was our goal from the start as we’ve been trying to mix pop and dance music for years. We like to bring stuff together. On a personal level, the balance on this album is everything we’ve been working towards.”
Since 2010, YELLOW CLAW has been quietly inching towards electronic dance music supremacy. Their November 2015 debut, Blood For Mercy, bowed at #1 on Billboard’s Heat Seekers Chart and Top/Dance Electronic Albums Chart and scored an Edison Award—the Dutch equivalent of a GRAMMY. It spawned the mega-smash “In My Room” (feat. Ty Dolla $ign, Tyga, & DJ Mustard), which notched over 104 million Spotify streams. The album illuminated their penchant for studio synergy as they welcomed the likes of Pusha T, Ty Dolla $ign, Tiesto, Flux Pavilion, DJ Mustard, and more into their creative ecosystem.