CultureInterviewMusicWhat's New

Ingo the Gringo: Experimental Jazz Fusion Meets Electric Club Nights

Last year, hard techno’s takeover of the dance scene reached its peak. For many, it wasn’t a real party unless the bpm was above 140. Yet it left me wondering, where was the innovation, the experimentation? Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to fist-bump the air with powerful, ecstatic frenzy; but sometimes I need something different, something fresh, something warm. Like a good meal to feed your soul after too much fast food.

Ingo the Gringo is that something.

I follow Ingo up a characteristically steep and deadly Dutch staircase. On the top floor of his townhouse we settle into a cozy living room. On the door, a hand-painted sign reads The Comfort Zone. It’s an ode, he tells me, to when he and a friend joked about starting a new religion – “comfortism”, where what is worshiped is the pursuit of comfort. 

(Photos by Sim Tunal)

Gravitating more toward experimental music, he finds a home in “that unnerving weird jazz stuff that doesn’t let you sit easy in your chair; that you have to actively listen to to enjoy.”

When Ingo speaks, he often stops to qualify what he’s said, in measured consideration of his words. Everything takes time to come out, though filled with meaning when it does. By contrast, when he’s playing music, every sound comes out sure and smooth. The mark of a real musician – someone who doesn’t just communicate through music, but who communicates best through music.


“I’m more of a hiding behind my music kind of guy; don’t pay attention to me, but to this music.” (Photos by Sim Tunal)

For the past 5 years, Ingo has been organizing parties that experiment in mixing experimental electronic, hip-hop, jazz, funk, disco, and house. Yowsah! takes place every couple months at Simplon; the next one will be on February 23rd.

What ties the experience together is the audience Ingo attracts. If your average techno rave’s mission is to worship the bass, Yowsah’s is to worship comfy vibes and cratedigger music – the church of comfortism having found its foundation after all. 

“People there always dance without shame and sort of go all out with wacky dances and weird moves. They feel very free,” Ingo says very proudly. 

“It’s just fun and playful and wholesome; Sort of feel good, while also catering to music lovers… people who are really into it and who want to be surprised and want to explore new sounds.”

Towards Electronic-Jazz Fusion

Ingo’s diverse selection of music is strung together through sounds from the jazzier side of things. 

“I feel like people don’t really characterize jazz music as dance music even though that’s its origins.”

Jazz was born from the African-American community blending African and European sounds. Its popularity bloomed in the roaring ‘20s, when illegal speakeasies would play Jazz to people ready to let loose. Not too unlike the way electronic music blossomed from illegal raves. 

Ingo dug deeper into jazz sounds during the pandemic when he switched from bartending to being a postman, cycling through Groningen. 

“I had a lot of extra time to listen to music so I actively chose a lot of new things I didn’t know much about and actively explored different things.”

While delivering packages, Ingo would tune in to radio shows, like the one hosted by Gilles Peterson, and compilations like Dave Lee and WIll Fox’s Breaking the Beats

“These different, new sounds, to me, really excited me so I started getting into it more. That’s when it really changed and it definitely coincided with the revival.”

Within this revival, Ingo discovered a new wave of jazz geared towards clubs. He credits Yusuf Dayes, Kamal Williams, and other London musicians building off the broken beat history there; a history of unifying classic club genres like house with the organic sounds from jazz and production techniques from hip-hop. From there, the ideas and sounds of this new wave have spread.

“I feel like it’s quite lively for the last years, but it’s still a niche. But I feel the niche is still alive and kicking.”

As an example of a track from this niche that Ingo spins, he puts on Australian percussionist Alexander Flood’s Deja Vu.

“This is kind of weird, right? Cause it isn’t four to the floor, easy dancing along, but it’s super brainy. I like it when your brain gets tingly because there’s so much interesting stuff going on. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, it’s just that there’s unexpected things happening to sort of keep you there.”

The song plays out a breakbeat influenced pattern of percussion, dropping into a smooth flute break before building up again. It stirs something, elevating my heartbeat as I listen. Yet it does so in a way in which I feel simultaneously soothed by its rippling sounds; like ever crashing ocean waves crashing against a fast moving boat.

“A lot of the music I like to play as a DJ is very well cut out for getting into at home. But I feel there’s a lot of power and energy in these songs that you can tap into for the dancefloor. It’s uptempo which is suitable for dance, but it’s so soulful and jazzy… If you change the context…people can pick up on that.”

Hip-Hop: The Gateway Sound

“I think all of the things I enjoyed before are still things I enjoy now and are still a part of my musical blueprint.”

In Ingo’s sets, the “shades of hip-hop” and “warm, soulful, funky threads” from his past are still present.

“It’s just a bigger blend of more different things. Which I feel is a natural progression for people who are into music. You get old, you listen to more stuff and you like more different things. It’s nothing special, I believe; but it’s definitely very valuable because you get a bigger understanding of how the pieces fit together in the endless puzzle of music.” 

Ingo’s music has evolved alongside him. When he first started frequenting turntables in VERA’s medieval basement, his selection had skewed more towards funk and hip-hop. After all, hip-hop had been his gateway into becoming a music enthusiast.

“When I first started getting into music as a teenager, developing my own taste, I was really into Pete Philly & Perquisite, a Dutch hip-hop duo. It’s still a really vibrant flavor of hip-hop… I saw [them] play multiple times here at Oosterpoort, and they would have a full band, and they would be playing jazz… You can branch out easily.”

He credits “conscious-style” hip-hop artists like Pete Philly & Perquisite and A Tribe Called Quest (pioneers of jazz-rap) with leading him to the other genres he blends together in his sets.

“Hip-hop is a tapestry of different music that came before.… There’s a lot of sampling, a lot of referencing, a lot of paying homage. They really wear their influences on their sleeves. You don’t really need to look too hard for the next thing. They will literally point you where to go.”


Ingo the Gringo has also been a regular at Relate Radio since the early days. He was one of the first to start a regular show there. At first, he titled his show Ingo’s Ochtendshow in de Middag (Morning Show in The Afternoon).

The idea to do a show “with sounds to wake up to, to ease you into the day”, came from a morning spent with Coco, his partner and Groningen music giant (aside from being a class DJ who’s played festivals the likes of Lowlands and Wildeburg, she’s involved almost everywhere in Groningen – including Relate Radio and VERA).

“… we were getting up and I  was playing some tunes while we were making breakfast. Super smooth stuff. I jokingly presented the next song into a makeshift microphone now we’re moving to blah blah by blah blah, and Coco was like hey that’s really nice!”

The door to their kitchen is taped up with photographs and posters of Ingo and Coco’s music-filled lives. (Photo by Sim Tunal)

Ingo did the show for 2 years before it transformed to his current feature, Adventures in Rhythm and Grooves

“There weren’t any morning slots at Relate, and also, I’m generally asleep in the morning. So we came up with the idea of doing a morning show in the afternoon… Then the afternoon slots were gone and I thought well maybe it’s really pushing it to do a morning show in the evening, so maybe let’s just align it with Yowsah to flesh that out more. So now there’s more upbeat, club beats in the show I’m doing now.”

Adventures in Rhythm and Grooves references the polyrhythms and other rhythm variations abundant in jazz and the idea that each party should take you on an adventurous  “sonic trip”.


“One of my fondest memories was back in 2018 with Geert Jan,” founder of and DJ at Relate Radio.

“Loft was doing a festival at EM2. We were programmed to play together because we were both working at Geert Jan’s nightclub IIWII. So they were like we’ll book them for a back-to-back. It was kind of random because we had never played together and we were kind of into different things. We liked each other’s things, but they were different.” 

To top things off, the stage they had was a very wobbly school bus.

Ingo discovered this old photograph of his and Geert’s mayhem set by surprise at a friend’s house long ago. (Photo by Sim Tunal)

“Geert Jan only brought his records and I only brought my USB. But one of the CDJs was broken and one of the record players was broken. So we could only do one digital song and one vinyl song.”

So they had to alternate, no other option.

“…we just had all these super weird blends of different things we were doing and it was all really sloppy and chaotic; but it really fitted the atmosphere of the bus. The mayhem side-stage craziness. It was just super wonky and weird but it really worked.”

The audience began to climb on the roof of the bus… by getting up on the DJ booth to reach the windows!

“Geert Jan would pick up the record player to lift it so it wouldn’t shake and the record would keep playing. We were like what’s going on… it was just pure chaos but I just remember having such a good time.”

At some point, Geert Jan starts playing a new track, looks over at Ingo and says “good luck.” What followed was this “super gritty acid house sort of thing that he knew I wouldn’t really have an answer to and was just like you figure it out. I just switched it up and started playing something like Nelly’s Hot in Here, something completely different.”

“That was definitely one for the books. When I think back on some of the more fun gigs, it’s definitely up there.”