The world’s best techno music artists go Dutch in Barcelona

Loveland Barcelona 2016

Well that was awesome and so worth the trip. Techno music artists Sam Paganini, Gaiser, Matador, Secret Cinema and so many more gave us the performances of a lifetime in a gorgeous venue by the sea – Loveland’s first time in Barcelona, and I’d say they did a nearly perfect job.

I was a bit concerned the venue might be too big to compete during Sonar, Barcelona’s massive music fest bringing thousands to the city, but it was a relatively small space with just two stages – perfect choice I think. And the lineup was sure to bring crowds, which it did, but it never felt too crowded. And Spain got a taste of Dutch electronic dance music event organization, which is, shall we say, more impressive than typical Spanish parties? The downsides here were: no lockers, and drinks were very expensive (as they are here), which didn’t go over well with the Spaniards (who are used to paying MUCH LESS), one bit.

And did I mention Sam Paganini? Sam Paganini BCNThat man is a tour de force – I keep expecting to be bored with him (as I was with Pan Pot, for example), but nope – the creativity keeps on coming. And my new discoveries: Gaiser (yay, I can see him in Porto soon!) and Matador. They KILLED it! (Those of you who speak Spanish will know how appropriate that is for Matador in particular).

Etienne en mi BCN

Here’s my friend Etienne and I enjoying the pre-party vibe early on, before sunset. So lovely! It was so good I went back on the second day with my dear friend Edith, and the show was only live techno. This means the artists create and play music on the fly, without playing whole records or tracks from other people. It’s a bit more complicated and until recently, I didn’t like the sound too much – it was too much like a live band for me. That has all changed… and I love it all now!

 

Gare in Porto, Portugal. Check out THIS venue!

gareJust discovered that techno music artist Gaiser will be performing at Gare in Porto the week we are there in early July. I wasn’t planning to go out while on vacation, but hey – check out the look of this venue! Dark cavernous spaces and techno go so well together.

I will just have to brace myself for the late hours. In Spain, nothing opened until 12 midnight and no one actually arrived until about 1:30AM. Probably similar in Portugal. Ouch.

Dutch Loveland (and we) Are Going to Spain!

I was so excited when my friend Etienne sent me the announcement that one of my favorite Dutch dance music promoters, Loveland, was going to Barcelona to put on a two weekend events in an awesome venue!

loveland live loveland drumcode

We immediately shoved everything in our schedules around to be able to go, in part because Loveland is a spectacular electronic dance music festival and it would give me the opportunity to visit my dear friend Edith, with whom I enjoyed many a great techno party when I lived in Barcelona.

Then I heard these events would be held the same weekend as the Sonar music festival in Barcesonar crowdlona.

This is not particularly good news to me – I’ve been there and the whole city is simply swarming with zillions of dance music tourists and getting around easily and getting a table and getting a place for your towel on the beach? Not likely. Sigh.

Ah well. We found a cool AirBnB place so we can cook for ourselves if needed. As insiders, we know how and where to get out of town to the best beaches where there will be room for our towels. So there!

Then we got the great news that Víctor and Alex were going too! This is going to be great.

 

Industrial techno?!

herr zimmermanI’m heading to the Herr Zimmerman festival this weekend. It features several industrial techno music artists I’ve never heard before, including Vitalic, Fraulein Z (yay, a lady DJ), Tansman and others.

I’m normally not into industrial techno, finding it too harsh and noisy, but I think I’ll give it a shot. Why? Because it’s in Delft and I’ve never partied in Delft, and it’s in an old factory, which sounds like a super cool dance music event venue.  The SoundCloud pages sounded pretty good, and a couple of cool people are going who I haven’t seen in awhile.

Oh and the cat on their event poster is just so cute. 

So at the very least I’ll enjoy all those things and if the music isn’t to my taste, I don’t have to stay all night, right?

 


Aftermath:

I have to wonder if I was simply not meant to go to this thing. I woke up feeling unsettled and nervous, but I didn’t know why. I mean, I was going to a party in a new place with new people but that’s hardly unusual for me. Why was I feeling such unease? Then I went to the station and you heard about my extraordinarily slow bus ride to Den Haag, then I caught the train to Delft. Thinking I had all the time in the world to kill, I had a lovely late lunch on a terras in Delft, then took a nice long nap.

Then I got a message from my friend Eric that “he had arrived!” Arrived where, I wondered? Delft, the NL after his latest trip? I took another look at my ticket and realized the party was already half over. AAAAACK!

Ran into the shower and into a taxi, who *promptly got us completely lost*. I kid you not. I’d have thought he was just taking me for a “long” ride, but he was following the GPS which I could see was programmed for the address on my ticket. He himself said, But I thought it was the other way….but in the end, we didn’t see the party in either place! We were texting my friend, who said it was indeed at the address on the ticket. Somehow, the *third* time we drove down the same road, we both saw it. Arrrgh!

My two new friends found me quickly and two glasses of white wine were drunk in one swell foop. Then it started to rain! There was a big indoor hall but it was packed and I didn’t like the sound of the music, so I stayed outside huddled right next to the DJ truck, as there was a sort of awning there. About 10 or 15 of us huddled there, dancing our patooties off because the music was just so awesome, in the pouring rain. Most ended up getting soaked; I managed to keep my shoes and socks dry enough somehow.

This festival felt perhaps the most welcoming of any I’ve been to, and I noticed something interesting about the dancing: industrial techno folks dance like I do. Or I dance like they do. Everywhere I looked, there were people with my same rhythm – maybe that’s why I felt it was so welcoming?? It was fun and easy to get into each other’s groove, and this does not happen to me normally. Normally they are all doing that Dutch footwork dance, some of you know the one. This was different. We were all on this same groovy wavelength.

And at that truck anyway, it just seemed to me to be great techno, not noisy, buzzy, screechy industrial sounds like I had expected. There was some of that all over the place, mind you, but it was not all like that. Lesson learned – it was a great festival and the venue, the old factory (once FOUND) was superb. Lots of places to sit and perch when tired, lots of places to get close to the DJs when inspired. The music definitely had an industrial and electro feel overall; I think maybe I’ve gotten gradually close enough to it with my usual techno that I liked it pretty well.