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PREVIEW: Dekmantel 2019
Christian Eede , July 25th, 2019 14:48

As the festival returns for its seventh year, we take a closer look at some of the highlights from this year's opening concert programme

Premier Amsterdam festival Dekmantel returns to the city in just over a week for its seventh year, taking over - as ever - a number of locations in addition to its main leafy, idyllic base of the Amsterdamse Bos on the outskirts of Amsterdam.

This year's line-up boasts a number of Dekmantel regulars such as Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettmann, Ben UFO & Blawan (playing back-to-back), Donato Dozzy and Motor City Drum Ensemble, but there are also a healthy number of debutants playing across the weekend, from the distinctive UK techno sound of Timedance boss Batu to the gleeful house and breaks of Octo Octa & Eris Drew (playing back-to-back). Other acts making their debut at the festival include object blue, Slikback, Paquita Gordon, Bruce and SPFDJ.

2019 marks Dekmantel's boldest line-up yet as the booking team continues to broaden the scope of the sounds heard across the main site over the weekend beyond the house, techno and electro that dominated in early years. Another key factor in broadening its base has been the addition some years ago of the opening concert programme which takes place at a number of locations close to the centre of the city, including the Muziekgebouw Aan't IJ concert hall, nightclub Shelter and live music venue Bimhuis.

Below, we take a look at some of the highlights from this year's opening concert programme. To purchase a ticket for Dekmantel's opening concerts which take place on July 31 and August 1, head here.

Sunn O))) - Muziekgebouw Aan't IJ - August 1

Rounding off the programme at the Muziekgebouw Aan't IJ concert hall, Sunn O))) will play their first Dutch show since the release of their latest Steve Albini-assisted Life Metal album. You can read our review of that album here.

Suzanne Ciani - Muziekgebouw Aan't IJ - August 1

The 'Diva of the Diode' will make her debut Dekmantel appearance once again in the Muziekgebouw Aan't IJ concert hall opening up a bill that also features Yves Tumor, The Comet Is Coming and headliners Sunn O))). Having recently returned to working with the Buchla synth and mastered various other modular synths, her set will be as unpredictable as it is captivating. Read our recent interview with Ciani here.

Sarah Davachi - Bimhuis - August 1

2019 has already been a fairly busy for LA-based electroacoustic composer Sarah Davachi. In May, she teamed up with Ariel Kalma for an LP of graceful ambient and drone pieces, while last month's W.25th-released Pale Bloom saw her move away from a series of recent organ-driven releases for a piano-focused reworking of Bach's Italian Concerto. She's yet another act making her debut at Dekmantel this year. You can read our review of Pale Bloom here.

The Comet Is Coming - Muziekgebouw Aan't IJ - August 1

Led by saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, The Comet Is Coming have emerged as frontrunner of London's resurgent jazz scene in recent years. The trio's latest album, Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery, saw them - as Mike Vinti put it when reviewing the record for tQ - "take us on a tour of their boundaryless world, where Sun Ra, Slimzee, and 808 State sit side by side as key influences". They'll be bringing highlights from that album and 2016 debut Channel the Spirits to the Muziekgebouw Aan't IJ for Dekmantel this year. You can read Shabaka Hutching's Baker's Dozen here.

Caterina Barbieri - Bimhuis - August 1

Yet another artist making their debut at Dekmantel this year is Italian synthesist Caterina Barbieri who arrives at the festival off the back of one of the year's best albums, the Editions Mego-released Ecstatic Computation. Laced with gorgeous, smudged synth loops that sound like they could disintegrate at any point, it's likely you can expect more of the same from her set at Bimhuis.

Dekmantel takes place in Amsterdam from July 31 - August 4