Ever since bursting onto the EDM scene thanks to the 2007 hit “Till the Sky Falls Down”, the Dutch act known as Dash Berlin has consistently hit the heady heights of the top ten in DJ Mag’s prestigious yearly collection of the globe’s best DJs.
Formed in 2006, Dash Berlin made it big after Armin Van Burren included “Till The Sky Falls Down” on his Universal Religion trance mix album, which instantly got their music in front of a huge audience willing to try new music recommended by such a reputable name.
Even though the act is instantly recognizable as the face of Jeffrey Sutorius, there is, in fact, a ghost production arrangement going on behind-the-scenes that sheds the often unfairly maligned practice in an extremely positive light. It often comes as a surprise to EDM fans when they hear that Dash Berlin is not just one person.
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Lurking in the shadows, preferring to concentrate on production rather than live performances, are Dash Berlin’s other two members — Eelke Kalberg and Sebastiaan Molijn. It’s interesting that Dash is always referred to as ‘he’, even though it’s “they”. But that’s just how Eelke and Sebastiaan want it. The duo have produced electronica for various artists in the past, including Alice Deejay’s Better Off Alone – one of the genre’s most popular tracks of all time, even for casual listeners.
They’re not shy about taking the credit for the music they produce, either. On some of Dash Berlin’s biggest tracks, including Till The Sky Falls Down” and “Waiting”, it’s actually Eelke and Sebastiaan who are listed as the producers, not Jeffrey Sutorius himself, the man thought to have produced the tracks by many EDM fans.
This unique arrangement works for all three members of Dash Berlin. Eelke and Sebastiaan essentially ghost produce for Jeffrey Sutorius, choosing to evade the limelight and focus on making music. Jeffrey is the face of Dash Berlin, he feeds off the energy of live audiences without worrying too much about being officially credited on all tracks.
It would not be stretching it to say that the cornerstone of the success of Dash Berlin is ghost production. The trio have found a method of using ghost production in a way that benefits all parties involved. Eelke and Sebastiaan get to pursue their passion for being in the studio while Jeffrey Sutorius gets to live his dream of performing live in front of thousands of people.
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If Dash Berlin isn’t a perfect case study for how great ghost production can work, then nothing is. The arrangement isn’t too dissimilar to that of Benny Benassi, who uses his brother as a ghost producer and doesn’t hide it.
In the case of Dash Berlin, one thing is clear. Without their unique ghost production arrangement, the act would’ve got where it is today because this arrangement allows the right resources to be utilized in the right places.