After “careful deliberation and intensive conversations with our peers,” Maarten Smeets and Lars Dales have changed the name of their production and DJ outfit from “Detroit Swindle” to “Dam Swindle.”
“When we chose the name Detroit Swindle back in 2011, it was done as a homage to the music from the Motor City,” the Swindle-rs said in a press release. “It was our mutual love for Motown and Detroit hip hop that brought us together and inspired us to start making music together. We added the ‘Swindle’ to make sure people wouldn’t think we were claiming to be from Detroit.”
The name “Dam” in “Dam Swindle” is intended to refer to “Amsterdam,” their home base for some time.
After careful deliberation and intensive conversations with our peers we’ve decided to change our name to Dam Swindle.
Check the slides for more info!
Maarten & Lars pic.twitter.com/9RRwq1Jidl
— Dam Swindle (@DamSwindle) November 23, 2020
Their previous name has “sparked conversations about cultural appropriation,” they noted. “In the past year, we’ve been thinking and talking a lot about our role in the music industry and in society in general and now more than ever, we feel it’s important to realise how our actions come across to others. We want to be reflective, learn about our blind spots and be sensitive to how other people experience and view the world.
“With that, we want to be open to change and want to contribute to the narrative of equality in a positive way: As artists, but above all as human beings. With this in mind, changing our name feels like the least we can do.”
Back in 2013, 5 Mag asked if Maarten and Lars had received “any heat” from people in Detroit over their name. They mentioned that they had a “fun interaction with someone sending us a wrestling video of a guy punching out two other guys.” The sender was Detroit DJ and producer Kris Wadsworth, though they later buried the beef.
The Swindle’s Heist Recordings recently issued their 50th release from Detroit luminaries Scan 7, which 5 Mag covered last week.
Lead photo by Lauren Murphy