When an 8 year old kid asks for a drum machine and Atari 500 computer with the intention of starting his own band, you know his future does not lie anywhere but in music.
Introducing: Jeroen Hofer aka Melon. Not your average human being. Something that becomes obvious the second he enters the room – a beaming, larger than life personality that cannot possibly be ignored. Flair and charisma have never hurt anyone in this business.
Melon is a natural artist, a DJ’s DJ who has managed to gain residencies and regular bookings at some of the world’s finest clubs and festivals, purely by being great at spinning records, such as Mazzo, Trouw, Club 11, Awakenings, Fabric, Robert Johnson, Watergate and Panorama Bar. His awesome record collection, spanning three decades of dance music, is the base for a unique sound, always a few steps ahead of the game. Timeless, muscular house music in all its glory and variety. Melon is gifted with the ability of mixing any style seamlessly, whilst turning it into his signature groove. Truly understanding and controlling the dance floor is a craft Melon has elevated into an art. He has been named as the Larry Levan of Amsterdam, but mainly he goes by the name “The Don” aka Don Melon.
Born in Basel, Switzerland and moved to The Netherlands at the age of two. His background and most of his childhood has been highly influenced by free jazz & experimental music, because this was his dad’s big passion. Instead of The Beatles or The Stones, it was John Coltrane and Fela Kuti who set the tone at home. While his dad worked as a stage builder at the local theatre “Komödie”(Basel) where cats like Archie Shepp, Eric Dolphy, Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon, Olu Dara and Lester Bowie with Art Ensemble of Chicago past by, lil’ Melon enjoyed many of these concerts in or outside his mothers belly.
In the following years Melon developed his taste and love for black music. At the age of 8, stationed in the Dutch countryside he started to record the legendary “Grandmixes” from mixmaster Ben Liebrand. Intrigued by the art of mixing music, he started to cut and paste different pieces of tapes he recorded and make loops of music. His love for mixing was conceived. All his lunchmoney went to buying and collecting records at a very young age, leading him to being the designated DJ at school parties and other small festivities.
As a teenager, he moved to Amsterdam to study graphic design. Once in Amsterdam he started to hang out in the legendary club Mazzo (r.i.p.) and became a regular visitor. After partying for a couple of years, he started to miss music and started to spin records as a quick solution. Within weeks he was already playing at small parties and founded the break-beat orientated club-night every Thursday-night, together with three others, “The Sub” at club Mazzo, in April 1998. From home base Mazzo, The Sub operated throughout the whole country with the “Sub-Soundsystem” and organised parties in clubs like Paradiso, Nighttown, Winkel van Sinkel, Simplon, Tivoli and a couple of smaller locations and underground parties. Melon became resident at the Sub Parties in Paradiso and performed together with artists like; Adam Freeland, Matthew Buschwacka, Moloko and with a live drummer (with Melon on three decks) on the main-stage.
In the meanwhile Melon also hosted a weekly Friday-night in DJ Café Vaaghuyzen, where he played a lot with close friends like Awanto3 and San Proper. In 1998 “Cheese” was born, which later turned into “Raw Meat”. A night where he went back to his Black Music roots and started playing House and Disco again. After six years this night became very notorious in Amsterdam, mostly because of Melon’s extremely long solo sets (up to 13 hours) and the freaky after-parties. Approximately one year later after The Sub stopped at Mazzo. Steffi (Klakson records) & Melon started a new concept at the Mazzo. By then Melon was really into the rising minimal sound. To promote this new sound “Lomotion” was born. With Dexter, New World Aquarium and even Ricardo Villalobos’ his first-ever Dutch gig, it turned out to be too far ahead of its time and after about a year they decided to stop. In the same period Melon became member of Acapulco Nights. Together with other resident DJ’s, Melon dressed up as a draq-queen, named Vanessa Del Rio, and toured around the country together with bizarre acts & shows, attending parties and festivals like Dance valley, Mysteryland, Impulz & 4 Elements.
After some collaborations with long time friend San Proper (Rushhour) as Zwiele Doephouse and as Together with Lauhaus (Polder), Melon came up with a new concept named “Ratio?” in the summer of 2005, to promote his irrational choice of music. The first two editions where in August 2005, when he got Isolée live, next to Ark & Soundhack, debuting in the Netherlands. One year later Ratio? had some one-offs at Club 11 in Amsterdam with live performances from The Freaks & Henrik Schwarz (both for the first time in Amsterdam). The collaboration was getting very fruitful and in 2007, 11 asked Melon to start hosting a monthly night. With guest like 2000 and One, Carl Craig, Derrick Carter, I:Cube live, Kathy Diamond live, Kerri Chandler,Larry Heard, Luke Solomon, Marcus Worgull, Maurice Fulton, Move D, Mr White live, Radio Slave, Russ Gabriel, Sascha Funke, Sebo K, Secret Sundaze, Soundstream feat. Tikiman live, Tobi Neumann & a couple of solo nights, Ratio? became one of the most successful club nights at this legendary club.
After Club 11 closing in June 2008, Melon took the concept abroad to clubs like Watergate (Berlin) & Die Registratur (Munich). After a couple of successful nights, more clubs followed and in 2009 Ratio? returned to Amsterdam at the legendary club “Trouw”. There he continued improving and reinventing himself always looking for new sounds. His way of pioneering have had a significant influence to Amsterdam’s world-famous club and music scene.
In October 2006, Ratio? expanded with a record label called “Ratio?music”. The first release “Four Seasons Part 01”, a double 12-inch including remixes by Shinedoe & Quince, got major international support and went straight to number one in the German De:Bug magazine, number eight in the German Groove magazine and number two in the Dutch DJBroadcast magazine. After the successful debut, a remix followed for Amsterdam/New York based NewHsoul (House Rules Records) and remixed their single “House u wanna play” into a old-school warehouse dub, which also got picked up very well by people like; Funk D’Void, Mark Broom, Laurent Garnier, Michel de Hey, Djinxx, Âme, Paul Mac,, Rolando and Doc Martin.
In the meanwhile, friends like Tobi Neumann and Ricardo Villalobos invited him to come and play at Robert Johnson & Panorama Bar and more gigs abroad followed. In spring 2006, the well-known German Kompakt Agency, noticed his unique blend of pure House & Techno and added him to their DJ roster. Now things really started happening and next to his residency at 11 and playing regularly at festivals like; Awakenings, Lowlands & 5 Days Off, he could be found in respected clubs all over the world.
In 2007 he got offered a residency by Monza-Ibiza and played his first Ibiza season at the mega-club “Privilege” next to the other Monza club nights in Barcelona, Berlin & Mallorca. Because of his extremely busy schedule that year, he only found the time to release one single on his own Ratio?music. In October that year “Nitzi” was born and made quiet an impact. The single sided 12-inch, limited to 500 copies, sold out three weeks before the release date and got massive support, especially from the Innervisions crew who added the track to their “Secret Weapons Part 2” compilation in 2008.
Hereafter Melon started spending more time in the studio, resulting into several successful releases in the summer of 2008 under his alias “Je Dàvu”. Both “I Zebra” (Platzhirsch) as “Music got you Movin” (Bangbang!) became underground hits and ranked high in the worldwide dance charts. His edit of INXS’ hit single “I Need you Tonight”, which he released on his own & new “Raw Meat Records”, also got massive support and made him to a highly requested remix artist.
In the future more releases, remixes, mix-cd’s & even an album are planned. He wants to expand his Ratio?music label as well as his Ratio? nights world wide.