It is my favorite time of year again! For 5 days in October, the entire city lights up with yellow and black flags and events are everywhere (and I mean everywhere) from big to small, free to super expensive and everything in between.
After being exhausted last year from trying to do something each day or night, this year I was only going to go to two events: Afterlife on Thursday night and Dockyard on Saturday during the day, with a nice day off in between. I almost stuck to that plan…
First twist in the schedule came when I read about a free “secret” basement rave underneath a bookstore in the Red Light District – that sure sounded fun! And one of the DJs last year was Gregor Tresher – can’t go wrong with that. Maybe 50-100 people maximum. As it was in the afternoon of Thursday, I thought I could probably fit it in. Then when Secret Cinema posted about it as if he’d be there, I was in. I had to wait two hours in line (and I really, really hate waiting in line…) but I’m glad I did.
Here’s a good video that gives you the vibe (only on FB, unfortunately), but this was the place, below the bookstore Mary Go Wild:
It was hot and sweaty and friendly and whooping and we were inches from the DJs. Cool.
Next was a stop at a Chinese restaurant for wonton noodle soup, my new absolutely favorite in-between parties replenishment meal. There I met new friend Sasha and off we went with Rowine to Afterlife, an event I selected because it was put together by Tale of Us, my favorite DJ duo of the moment.
I hoped they would choose other artists who share their passion for more spiritual and melodic, yet still pounding techno. However, I had not heard of many of the artists they chose, and that was ok with me because I thought I would take it very easy that night in anticipation of Dockyard, which was sure to be the most killer party of all. I’d probably get home by 3am at the latest.
Sasha and Rowine were fabulous company! Rowine had heard of many of these artists and she happily showed me around. Tale of Us did indeed choose artists that all offered the kind of deep techno I am in the mood for these days. And, I found an absolute new favorite, DIXON. I still don’t know how to adequately describe the journey he took us on.
The video doesn’t capture any of the incredible visuals that accompanied his set. I can’t even call him a mere DJ because it was a full audio and visual experience, but some of the power of his music is captured here. Give it time. Give it the whole 7 minutes to feel the vortex as he drew us in. This is not your usual techno. As I mentioned, I was saving up my energy for Saturday so I avoided drinking too much and I know what I saw and heard were all real. Then of course I had to stay for Tale of Us….who were also outstanding, but it was still just a DJ set…and then it was 6am and the party was over. So much for getting home early!
I did take it extremely easy the next day, venturing out only for pasta (more replenishment) and just to stroll around lovely Amsterdam in the fall. I headed back to the hotel early at 8pm to get ready for bed, and what did I find there in Centraal Station but an excellent techno party happening right in the middle of it! I mean really good sound, and really good music. Everyone from old to young, local and foreign, were all getting down together, which was a lovely sight. I was so happy that people got to hear some great techno, helping dispel the myth that it’s all boring repetitive nonsense. I had to dance just a little bit, ya know…fortunately for me it ended at 9pm.
Then the last event for me was Dockyard, a festival I’ve been to twice and enjoyed thoroughly each time. I was excited to introduce my new friend Costyn to the festival and to the music, and to my friends as well. Unfortunately, Dockyard didn’t live up to the last two editions. I thought they generally moved too quickly into the hard stuff, and the music didn’t get good until Monika Kruse came on at 5pm. She and Art Department were perhaps the best of show for the whole night. Dubfire was pretty innovative as well. But overall, it seemed a bit lacking in…something. Part of it was the tent environment vs. the club that Afterlife was held in, Mediahaven, which seriously has the best sound system I’ve ever heard. Even with Funktion 1, in tents it just doesn’t come across quite as well. I did have, however, a fantastic Meetup group that actually managed to come together all at once and stay together for quite a while – that rarely happens. Thanks, fun people!
And my new LED shoes, oh my! I think I would have become independently wealthy that night had I had a booth with them for sale. They were a HUGE hit! I didn’t expect they’d be so unusual, but I got a zillion compliments on them, and they were comfy, too. You can buy them here: CIOR Mens Womens Boys Girls 11 Colors Led Sneakers Light Up Flashing Shoes.
So that about sums it up! It took me a couple of days to recover, but I am now full of happy memories of another year’s ADE…and am already planning my November and New Year’s events, so stay tuned!