Reliving the halcyon days of progressive house music. It’s rather difficult to push the boundaries…
The yearly conference for electronic music lovers and creative minds of the electronic music industry took place once again in the beautiful capital of the Netherlands among canals, tulips and herbs. The Amsterdam Dance Event has it all, from conferences and master classes on all manner of subjects related to electronic music, to experimental yoga sessions or art shows, and, of course, an exquisite program of performances in which, every year, labels and artists from around the world strive to be present to showcase their talents.
The annual event began in 1995 with the aim of creating a global meeting point for electronic music representatives, artists, students and lovers through an academic section (conferences, lectures, workshops) along with a recreational section, open to the general public. In 2019, it has already reached 400,000 visitors and a total of more than 1,000 events organized in about 200 locations around the city.
Actually, the most difficult thing is to choose where to be at. The festival seeks to cover every sub-genre of electronica so, even if you’re clear on your musical leanings, its worthwhile to seize the moment and let yourself be taken away by showcases, concerts and live performances of every genre spread across town. Wherever you dance, you’ll find quality in both artists and sound, with heart-stopping visuals and locations and an international crowd willing to give it all they got.
We’ll go over some of the key events that captivated us the most during our visit.
Thursday October 17th – Innervisions x Loveland
We begin with the never-failing Innervisions, a winning bet every time. For ADE, they chose two experiences in one; first, a visual show with a live performance from RX Y alongside Frank Wiedemann, and, going directly to the last course, a warehouse experience with subtle lighting and an impeccable line-up.
Âme back-to-back Dixon headlined the event with a 5-hour set that never ceased to amaze us, with their unique, hectic style, mixing different genres and keeping a steady groove that got the crowd up and dancing effortlessly. Trikk and Marcus Worgull were the perfect recipe to finish the night, one of ADE’s most remarkable ones.
Friday October 18th – Sudbeat x The Soundgarden
As customary during ADE, Sudbeat and The Soundgarden labels displayed a large caliber event led by their heads Hernán Cattaneo and Nick Warren. The pair was in charge of the main hall of the impressive Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, deploying a musical journey centered on their progressive style while adding shades of other genres and conjuring a special dynamic that few b2b’s can create for a solid 12 intense hours.
The room with the best views featured local favorite Miss Melera. Already known by Soundgarden followers, the “lady of the evening” captivated us with a superb 6 hour set while we enjoying some magestic views of Amsterdam and its canals. Dimitri, the well-know techno legend, also performed a marathon set inviting listeners to travel through multiple variants of techno in a dark and high-energy environment.
Finally, we must highlight the fusion of artists in the ‘The Chapel’ room, where Gustin, Graziano Raffa, Interaxxis, Nicolas Rada, Nick Varon and Marcelo Vasami were exponents of the progressive genre involving their own productions which are key pieces in the concept of both record labels and the future of the style.
This great event produced by Audio Obscura was undoubtedly one of the most outstanding musical offers of the week, demonstrating that progressive house is as prevailing as ever.
Friday October 18th – Awakenings x Afterlife
We assumed the night would be memorable even before going inside, and the reality was not so different. We found the mythical Gasshouder stacked with a crowd fully surrendered to a powerful line-up, charged with melodic, dark techno, and an array of lights and mappings that left us feeling spellbound.
The night began with the “producers-of-the-hour” Mathame, who lit up the dancefloor, handing it over to Recondite and then to Mind Against, who played a great set and which was continued, as usual, by Stephan Bodzin. Finally, Tale of Us had the honour of closing, who set out to put a finishing touch to the night. It really is an event to add to the “wish-list” of every modern electronica lover.
Saturday October 19th – Days Like Nights + Lost & Found
With Guy J and Eelke Kleijn as headliners, plus a selection of guest artists like Guy Mantzur, Sébastien Léger, Tensnake and live performances from Rodriguez Jr and Stereo Underground. The evening was filled with fine, well-curated music with a signature progressive sound, setting the pace for the audience, who gave it all during the entire afternoon. Guy J conquered the dancefloor with his closing set, a powerful session packed with the sounds that define his label and drive his followers crazy.
Saturday October 19th – Fryhide
After the Fryhide sell-out performance during the Barcelona OFF Week, we were able to enjoy another great gathering of the label in what was their first party at ADE. Label-founder HOSH got the Fryhide family together with an expectant start-up set from 1979 back-to-back Simao, followed by the blazing live performance from Canadian GROJ, continuing with HOSH’s distinctive melodic techno and closing the night with Tone Depth.
Together, they set out to make the crowd float all through the night, it was literally an all-out boat party, another enjoyable moment of pure “freiheit”. Incredible location and quality sound thanks to the partnership with Sound Fleet and to all the label’s family of talent.
Sunday October 20th – Modern Agenda
To close ADE in a fitting way, we danced next to the Modern Agenda label crew in their particular “icing” on the festival cake, a boat party that went on practically all day with lead guests like Nick Muir and Robert Babicz, who brought sessions of the highest level mainly with track IDs (I’ not sure what this is referring to, were they showing track IDs while they played), a dynamic that was similarly used in the Kamilo Sanclemente b2b Golan Zocher performance, who left the audience happily exhausted after a set full of their own productions.
Yes, it took some effort to recover from those days, but we’re surely not the only ones already anxiously waiting for ADE 2020, let’s dance!