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Zki and Dobre, Jark Prongo, The Good Men or just plain old Rene et Gaston; whatever you prefer to call the DJ and production duo most commonly hailed as Chocolate Puma, chances are you know them one way or another. Gaston Steenkist and René ter Horst are two of Holland’s most celebrated electronic producers and with a career spanning 20 years, 200-odd releases and countless remixes under their various guises are a duo whose influence on the European dance music scene cannot be underestimated.
Their career got off to a turbo-charged start with the release of what would become one of the defining records of their career. Recording under The Good Men the duo released what they hoped would be a popular club track, ‘Give It Up’ on their own Fresh Fruit label in 1992. The record surpassed all expectations, reaching #1 on the US Dance Chart and #5 in the UK Singles Chart when it was re-released a year later, propelling them to unexpected global stardom. One of the best known of their other alter-egos was Jark Prongo, the increased recent support for records like ‘Moving Thru Your System’ proving just how ahead of their time they were. But it was under their Chocolate Puma moniker that they would become best-known. Like The Good Men, Chocolate Puma got off to a dream start with the release of ‘I Wanne Be U’; another ‘underground’ record that became a worldwide hit and reached #6 in the UK Singles chart, promting an appearance from the duo on Tops of the Pops. Since then, Chocolate Puma have amassed both a loyal legion of fans over the world and unparalleled respect among their peers.
Head to see a Chocolate Puma DJ set and three quarters of the record you hear will be produced or remixed by them, with the rest of the set made up of personal edits of some of their favourite tracks. Over the last few years, Chocolate Puma and leading house label Defected Records have enjoyed a close relationship, with the duo fast establishing themselves as key artists both in the studio and behind the decks. Records like ‘Morning Rain’, ‘Back Home’ and Beatport #1 ‘Tonco Tone’ as well as countless well-received remixes have placed Chocolate Puma in a league of their own, resulting in a dedicated House Masters compilation in 2011 showcasing the very best of their illustrious catalogue, an accolade they described as “a huge honour”. Last year saw the re-launch of their Pssst Music label, an outlet they are excited about focussing on more heavily in the future as a home for their more techno-orientated releases and saw the release of Pssst Assorti Vol.1 – a collection of some of the imprint’s finest moments to date and the first in a continuing series for the label. 2012 saw an In The House mix compilation for Defected as well as a new collaboration between Chocolate Puma and countrymen Firebeatz on ‘One More Time’, a record that was duly awarded the accolade of Essential New tune by Radio 1’s erstwhile Pete