The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

News

Preview: Dekmantel 2017
The Quietus , July 6th, 2017 14:48

With Amsterdam's Dekmantel Festival now just a month away, we rounded up a selection of the figures close to the collective to look back over highlights from five years of the festival and ten years of parties

Amsterdam's Dekmantel Festival returns to the leafy surroundings of the Amsterdamse Bos next month, bringing with it a line-up that includes Robert Hood, Jeff Mills & Tony Allen, Helena Hauff, Lena Willikens, Nina Kraviz, Arca & Jesse Kanda and plenty more.

As ever, they've assembled a line-up that stands as a who's who of the finest names in electronic music, making way too for one or two curveballs. Headline acts such as Nina Kraviz, Marcel Dettmann and Motor City Drum Ensemble will forego the peak-time sets they've played at the festival in recent years for extended opening sets on the festival's Selectors Stage, giving them a chance to dig deeper and present something different.

The festival has also pulled together a hefty billing of opening concerts, starting on August 2 with a set from none other than Steve Reich. He will play the grand music hall setting of the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. The following night, Gas, Floating Points, Dopplereffekt, Factory Floor, Lorenzo Senni, Andy Stott, Optimo and many more play across a number of Amsterdam venues for a further series of opening concerts before the festival gets fully underway on August 4.

This year also marks five years of existence for the festival, and 10 years for Dekmantel as a party series, making 2017 a particularly significant year for them. With that milestone in mind and with the festival now a month away, we collected thoughts from a number of those affiliated with the festival, from its organisers and visual designers to those who've been playing their events for many years now. Find out what they had to say below.

The festival takes place across Amsterdam from August 2-6. For more information, click here.

Casper Tielrooij (co-founder, one-half of Dekmantel Soundsystem)

All time favourite set or moment?

Casper Tielrooij: I have two actually. Legowelt is one of my favourite producers. He is a man of many aliases, one of them being Occult Orientated Crime. He did a live set under that moniker for us at a pre-party for our Lente Kabinet Festival in 2015 at the FOAM photo museum. For me this sort of felt like a spiritual experience and I remember it vividly. Next to that I go back to our three-year anniversary at Paradiso, Amsterdam. Robert Hood played a live-set there and it was an hour of pure craziness. Back then I would never have believed the fact that seven years later we would release his album.

Quick additional highlights?

CT: As I’m in charge of the label, the first release by Juju & Jordash is a big highlight for me. It was back in 2009 that they sent us their music. We figured it was so good that we just had to release it as an album immediately. Speaking of first times, our first party was themed 'Detroit Spirit'. On the bill were Dutch giants like San Proper and Aardvarck. The latter played a Kenny Larkin track called 'Lifeforms' that is still in the bag today.

Matthijs Theben Terville (co-founder)

All time favourite set or moment?

Matthijs Theben Terville: My thoughts go to two sets of Marcel Dettman, back in 2013 and 2014. Both were played at our Sunday party during Amsterdam Dance Event where we hosted Ostgun Ton's label showcases. As will be recognisable to all people that go to ADE, the Sunday really requires your last bit of energy - especially when you have just organised four parties. On both those Sundays I could finally enjoy the party as a visitor instead of witnessing the nights in an organiser role. Dettmann closed both years and did so in an amazing way, playing tenebrous, intense, and enthralling sets.

Quick additional highlights?

MTT: Although we did a lot over the last six years, I have extremely strong feelings about doing our first Dekmantel Festival in São Paulo in February this year. I lived there for four months and made friends for life while working on the festival, which in the end was all I hoped for.

Palms Trax

All time favourite set or moment?

Palms Trax: My favourite moment was probably ending with 'Rave Child' in the Greenhouse a couple of years ago. I’d never played a festival before, and this was back when I would still be loading Rekordbox on the way to the venue. I turned up, went to play my first track and it just said 'media file collapsed'. Same again with the next one, and all others after that. I had to just drag 50 random tunes onto my stick and construct the set with them. I think that closing track was the first time I’d breathed for the entire two hours.

Quick additional highlights?

PT: Tasty Dutch pommes!

Juju & Jordash

All time favourite set or moment?

Gal Aner: Traxx's set at the Selectors Stage in the first year was monumental. Out of this world selection combined with amazing mixing skills really uplifted everyone who was there to new heights.

Quick additional highlights?

Jordan Czamanski: We're grateful for the artistic freedom we feel we have under the Dekmantel umbrella to explore stuff we are into both in terms of the type of live performances we want to do and records we want to make. No creative doors are shut.

Orpheu The Wizard (Dekmantel designer for logo and label covers)

All time favourite set or moment?

Orpheu The Wizard: Ooh, there have been so many. One specific thing I will never forget is Young Marco and Gilb’R closing the Red Light Radio stage at Lente Kabinet in a back-to-back session. I have never seen a crowd as wild as this. On a more general note, these guys have been building gradually for the past 10 years, only upwards but step by step, and to see their faces every time a new step upwards succeeds is the best.

Quick additional highlights?

OTW: I mean, the story of Dekmantel is the real highlight: the first release, the first big party, the first album on the label, the first Lente Kabinet, the first compilation, the first Dekmantel Festival, the first adventure abroad, Selectors Festival, and it keeps on going. They are always thinking about the next two steps and I have great respect for that.

Motor City Drum Ensemble

All time favourite set or moment?

Motor City Drum Ensemble: That infamous Boiler Room at Dekmantel 2014 of course. That was wild! Another favourite was closing the festival on the main stage last year, i felt quite intimidated but somehow it just worked.

Quick additional highlights?

MCDE: Everything they do is just very well thought-out; no funny surprises, well organised, etc. The programming is top notch as well. There are so many highlights over the years, and it keeps just getting better and better, and more diverse musically, which for a festival of this size is not something that common.

Sassy J

All time favourite set or moment?

Sassy J: Tough one! My personal highlight was playing last year at the Selectors Stage - I had so much fun.

Quick additional highlights?

SJ: I loved seeing Actress's live set, Three Chairs, Antal, Hunee and Floating Points together, Ron Morelli, Volcov, Roy Ayers, DMZ, Azymuth, Aardvarck and Awanto3.

Children of Light (Dekmantel live visuals)

All time favourite set or moment?

Arnout Hulskamp: All of the moments with Jeff Mills, but in particular his Dekmantel Festival 2015 closing set on Saturday. In the last minute the moon just aligned exactly in the center of the stage [see below], as if it was giving its blessing.

Quick additional highlights?

AH: Last year’s Dekmantel Festival at the closing set by Motor City Drum Ensemble. I kept all the visuals quite abstract for hours, and then, when the people went crazy at the end, dancing on top of the speakers and all, I put fire on the screens, and it just looked like everyone was dancing on fire.

San Proper

All time favourite set or moment?

San Proper: There's really too much to pick from, but I've really enjoyed all the sets I've played there. Last year really rocked the boat. But also the first set I did for Boiler Room which they didn't archive because I got cheeky on the mic. The second set for Boiler Room is online though and it went quite viral. The Selectors Stage has a magical feel too and I enjoyed the sets I played with Melon, and by myself the year after. The vibe at the Greenhouse was luminous green last year too. I really enjoyed Egyptian Lover and Moodymann.

Quick additional highlights?

SP: This year I will try to focus more on the main stage, although Red Light Radio's hut is always one of those guilty pleasures one should attend as well. The entire festival is one big highlight.

Interstellar Funk

All time favourite set or moment?

Interstellar Funk: Last year's set at Selectors Festival was surely my favourite set at a Dekmantel event since my very first gig with them eight years ago. The crowd and the overall vibe was insane, even Thomas [Martojo, co-founder] took off his shirt!

Quick additional highlights?

IF: The festival amazes me every single year. Amazing stages, solid production and lovely artists for the whole weekend!

Call Super

All time favourite set or moment?

Call Super: I think my favourite is probably seeing ESG last year with some of my best friends around. Seeing all of us totally lose control during the set and then catching my partner having conversations with the sisters by the toilets afterwards was so surreal. I was far too shy to go and say hello but it was so sweet just watching them in a daze.

Nina Kraviz

All time favourite set or moment?

Nina Kraviz: My favourite thing about Dekmantel is the opportunity to enjoy sets by favourite artists. Two years ago I went to check out I-F. He dropped ABBA in the middle of his set and the whole place went nuts including myself. I never hugged more people than at that moment. Absolute happiness.

Dekmantel Festival takes place in Amsterdam from August 2-6. For opening concert tickets and more information, head here

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.