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Xceed Premiere 019: Crouwel – Floating (Synthapella)

This is the sound of the ambient version of "Floating", the track that marks the debut of Dutchman Crouwel on Reflektor Records

Anyone who hears the synthapella version of “Floating” will be tempted to think that the track evokes the times of the pandemic, coronavirus and confinement. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Dutchman Crouwel tells us that “Floating” is a work that “comes from before the outbreak that changed the world, although the song does resonate quite well with the current times, as it is also a matter of holding on to get through and adapt to the changes in the world”.

I started to work on this release last year with a friend of mine (Chris Mulder, Yakumo Orchestra a.o.). I had created quite a groovy beat, having been listening to some of the older Bob Moses tracks, and went over to Chris’ with some of my gear to jam with him and his modular rig. We wanted to make a song that was both punchy and dark in the beat with a melodic ambient soundscape. That is also where the name “Floating” comes from as if you are floating around in a soothing ambience with the risk of slipping away into the darkness of the beat.

Image: © The Echo Agency

Crouwel is a young electronic music producer with a passion for the sound of synthesizers. Not surprisingly, synth-pop has always been one of his passions, embracing melodic techno when it comes to making people dance in a club. Crouwel has been playing the piano since he was five years old. He was born into a family of creatives, and that made it easy for his passion to become his profession. After his first release -the Chasing The Morning Sun EP– on Babara Records last year, Crouwel fires again, this time on one of the most established labels in Berlin.

I’m very excited about releasing with Reflektor Records. They are a great match with Crouwel, and I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish together. Previous releases, like the ones from Amy Root, have shown they are very capable and understand this genre of music like no other does.

The Floating EP is made up of three tracks: an original track totally focused on the dancefloor, a downtempo edit with slowed down and atmospheric bases and the synthapella version, which is the one we premiere here and in which the percussions step aside so that the cinematic synthesizers provide us with a beautiful ambient journey. Crouwel tells us that he always uses Ableton Live for his productions, as it is “the best program to help trigger creativity with its freedom when manipulating sounds and grooves”. Many of the ambient melodic sounds were born in Chris Murder’s modular rig, although Crouwel doesn’t hide his unconditional love for Omnisphere, his “favourite synth plugin”, without which he assures he cannot live. The recipe is not complete without the Strymon BlueSky reverbs.

Musically speaking, I’m very happy with how the song turned out. I can see it being played at the beginning of a set to warm up the audience, but also as a breather in a harder set in the middle of the night. I hope the listeners will enjoy the track as much as I did while creating it.


  1. Crouwel – Floating (Original Mix)
  2. Crouwel – Floating (Synthapella)
  3. Crouwel – Floating (Edit)


(Cover Image: © Reflektor Records)



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