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Photo Credit: Joe Meijer
The music career of Dimitri Kneppers (1967), better known as ‘Dimitri from Amsterdam’, reads like an encyclopedia. A Dutch house encyclopedia, that is. After 30 years of spinning records, you could call him a real veteran, known for his enormous sensitivity, true feeling, and mixing skills.
Now, Dimitri joins this year’s ADE edition of The Soundgarden x Sudbeat alongside Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren, Miss Melera, Graziano Raffa, Marcelo Vasami, Nick Varon, Gustin, and Interaxxis. Get your tickets here!
Electronic Groove: Hi Dimitri, and welcome to EG. We have to start by asking you about your 15hr set coming up this September. How do you prepare for such a massive event?
Dimitri: Hello all. I prepare a structure of maps with different styles of dance music that I’d like to play. Because 15 hours is a long ride I need this structure for the build-up. l don’t want to peak too many times too early. Obviously I need to know all the tracks by heart to know when is the right time to play it and mix it. It’s mostly improvisation. Since l play mostly new stuff, I have to do a lot of homework.
EG: How did the idea to do such a long performance come about?
Dimitri: Back in the 80’s and early 90’s it was very usual to play all night long 6-hour sets. I did this at least two times a week for 12 years in RoXY and Richter in Amsterdam, later in Twilo, New York as well. In the late 2000’s all night long sets became popular again. I did this in club Trouw, Amsterdam for some years. Then in Thuishaven, it came with the idea of 10-hour shows and l was asked to host one as well. After doing this for a couple of years l wanted to set a new record for myself, playing 15 hours in a row. This is what I did on September 7th, 2019, and it was a huge success. You can listen to 80 minutes below!
EG: Moving a bit forward to October, you will be playing at Sudbeat x Soundgarden ADE 2019 alongside Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren, and Miss Melera. Whare are your thoughts on the event?
Dimitri: l think this will be a beautiful, melodic, dreamy, spacey house music party, especially with these great artists. Since l am really into these styles as well, in my own way, I am really looking forward to playing this all-day long set, I’m going really deep and underground in these styles in particular.
EG: Do you have any prior experience working with Nick and Hernan?
Dimitri: I remember playing with Nick at some parties, also in the United States, but really I don’t remember where and when this was.
EG: The event will pack multiple rooms with different music styles. Are you fond of this?
Dimitri: To tell you the truth l prefer parties with only one space and one sound system. This way we are all in the same vibe and can go on a journey together in harmony. When there are different areas people like to go from one to the other to see if they’re missing out on something. But usually when there are more stages, once people get settled it can go off in a really good way.
EG: What do you think that makes this event so special?
Dimitri: It is a very strong lineup and very good location, great sound and a beautiful mix of people from all over the world who are visiting ADE and going to this event because they love this particular sound.
“After doing this for a couple of years l wanted to set a new record for myself, playing 15 hours in a row”
EG: You’ve been playing for quite some time. What advice do you have for those visiting ADE for the first time?
Dimitri: Rent a bike! Amsterdam is not so big and flat as it can be. Taxis are really expensive here. With the offer and variety of artists (over 2.500), conferences, workshops, exhibits, speakers, label parties in clubs, hotels, and festivals, you need to make a schedule to know where to go to. Get tickets in advance too, a lot will be sold out on the day itself. And make sure you get some rest between the 24-hour party options. I am sure it will be overwhelming if you are visiting for the first time.
Electronic Groove: What makes Amsterdam such a great city to host a festival like ADE?
Dimitri: It’s a very liberal city, no closing time rules (at least for that week) and the Dutch are very experienced with organizing big events like this.
EG: Audio Obscura is in charge of producing the event. Have you had past experiences with them?
Dimitri: Audio Obscura stands for quality. Stunning, very original locations, and excellent artists. l played a party with Joris Voorn in Het Concertgebouw for them. It was the bomb.
EG: Do you have any personal recommendations for places to visit, drink or eat around town?
Dimitri: The Lighthouse Island for a great dinner. They pick you up by boat from The Loyd Hotel to this unique restaurant on the small island. Restaurant DS in the famous club De School. Great food and a great 24-hour club. And for great art expositions visit Stedelijk Museum.