ADE recap: Clubbing Heritage x ADE, Enigma X Demian Records afterparty, Clone Pop-Up Store, Röyksopp, Sven Marquardt’s 11+1 and Ellen Allien’s Vinylism x ADE party

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Wrapping up its 28th edition, ADE 2023 played host to 2,900+ artists, engaged in over 1,000 events scattered across 200 locations in the city of Amsterdam. With a record-breaking attendance of over 500,000 visitors from all corners of the world, the energy and enthusiasm of this edition remained high.

Amsterdam Dance Event has earned its reputation as the world’s premier electronic music conference and festival, attracting artists, industry professionals, and avid fans from every corner of the globe. 

Besides its notorious nocturnal affairs, ADE’s daytime events served as a melting pot of ideas, insights, and innovation. Industry leaders, artists, and enthusiasts converge for panel discussions, workshops, and masterclasses, providing a unique opportunity to delve into the intricate world of electronic music.

On October 18, we partnered up with Clubbing Heritage x ADE with a conference at Pakhuis de Zwijger, where we explored fresh narratives in electronic music aesthetics.

During two panel discussions a unique gathering of industry professionals was brought together to advocate for and preserve club culture, moderated by BPitch booking agent and Enigma co-founder Laura Callegaro.

The first panel discussion, Narratives of Cooperation & Communication in New Electronic Music Aesthetics, explored the nuances of expressing artistic vision, effective industry management, and strategic promotional approaches in the evolving realm of electronic music.

The first panel team comprised of trailblazers DJ Bone (DJ, producer, label owner), Nastia (DJ, producer, label owner), Katty Lange (Triangle Agency), Melissa Taylor (Tailored Communication), Bas Jenster (Vault Sessions) and Tim Dreske (Outlined Am).

These established professionals provided valuable insights for both artists and industry professionals by shedding light on how artists can share creative ideas, how to manage the music industry well, and shared smart strategies for promoting artistic work in the dynamic landscape of the electronic music world.

The second discussion, Narratives of Cooperation: Identity and Expressivity in Club Culture, delved into how collaboration shapes identity and self-expression within the context of club culture and explored the dynamic interplay between individuals and collective narratives. Moderated by no one less than DJ and Lofi manager Nick Hoppezak, the session unraveled the diverse stories of collaboration by Steve Rachmad (DJ, producer and label owner), Jose Luis Posada ( / Freedom Festival), Manuela De Jong-Budimilic (Ad Sound), Johan Axander (KHIDI / Cubeart Festival), Ferdgie Imambaks (Orphic), and Elena Natale (HALL / unda Festival). This panel team discussed the collaboration influences of both personal and collective identities in the lively landscape of club culture.

After gaining refreshing new insights, we moved on towards the Enigma X Demian Records afterparty, hosted at 8sixa, home to artistic collective ArknA. This relatively new collective in Amsterdam wants to honor the importance of smaller artistic hubs in the city, offering a space in an artistic environment where the enjoyment of music shares the stage with nurturing the electronic community as a whole.

The night featured a diverse lineup, including vinyl-only Shaleen (BPitch) with ’90s influences, Micaxsan (HALL) infusing techno with dark, trancey elements, and the intentional and grounded Nick Moody (Lofi). Later, we reveled in dynamic B2Bs featuring Berlin Bunny and Eyes Dice, followed by Dahraxt and Znzl (Enigma/Demian Records), concluding with a powerful closing set by Öspiel (Demian Records), who is renowned for his impactful and sound-design-rich music.

After an energetic night that set the bar high, our next days was filled with venturing across the many canals of Amsterdam. One of our stops was the annual Clone Pop-Up Store hosted by Rotterdam-based record store Clone Records.

Guests had the opportunity to enjoy an intimate in-store session with renowned French DJ and producer Miss Kittin while browsing for their new vinyl essentials. With a distinctive style that blends techno, electro, and house, Miss Kittin has captivated audiences worldwide for decades already with her innovative soundscapes and compelling performances. Emerging from the underground music scene in the late ’90s, she quickly gained recognition for her collaborations with The Hacker and her solo releases. Miss Kittin’s music is characterized by its infectious beats, avant-garde approach, and her own captivating vocals. 

Our next stop led us to Fosbury & Sons, where renowned photographer Sven Marquardt teamed up with G-Star RAW to present their joint exhibition.

His 11+1 showcases 12 striking portraits capturing the essence of Berlin’s distinctive club culture. In a fusion of artistic mediums, G-Star RAW applied its denim craftsmanship to craft denim club couture, reimagining the outfits worn by the featured talents in the analog photographs.

In the Huxley Lounge of Felix Meritis, we witnessed an insightful talk with Norwegian visionary electronic duo Röyksopp, where they gave an in depth conversation about their new groundbreaking three-part project Profound Mysteries.

Led by the insightful moderation of Joe Muggs, the conversation unfolded everything to know about the auditory odyssey which  consists of 30 tracks. In Profound Mysteries, Röyksopp showcases prowess in melding sonic innovation with conceptual artistry. It’s safe to say that Röyksopp’s ambient DJ set at Brakke Grond later that night was the perfect encore of a stimulating day.

It is safe to say that Ellen Allien’s annual Vinylism x ADE party was the perfect encore to a stimulating day. Radio Radio Amsterdam seemed to be the perfect spot for the gig, as this music venue, located in the vibrant De Pijp district,  is known for its state-of-the-art sound system and a welcoming atmosphere, making it a hotspot for both local and international artists and music enthusiasts.

After gaining his insights during the panel talk on the previous day, we now witnessed a performance by Detroit-based DJ Bone who remains to be a true maestro of the decks. Hailing from the heart of European electronic music, DJ Europarking brought us a fusion of styles to the table. Then a collision of techno titans took place as Ellen Allien, the iconic Berlin-based DJ and founder of BPitch Control, joined forces during a b2b set with the prolific Freddy K. who is known for her avant-garde approach. Rising star Laure Croft couldn’t be missed either; her melodic techno and deep house collection is a result of her gift for intuitive track selection. We went full circle as we once more were granted a set from BPitch artist Shaleen, who paid homage to the roots of 90’s electronic music.

Our Friday morning started with a strong cup of Coffee with Kittin. Here, French electronic music producer, DJ, singer, and songwriter Miss Kittin reflected on her extraordinary journey alongside her longtime friend, Dave Clarke.

During their conversation, they delved into Kittin’s past, explored the motivations fuelling her artistic endeavours, while sharing her coming-of-age story. Here it became clear that Kittin charted her own course, driven not by financial incentives but by a deep-seated need to create, experience freedom, and find peace and healing through doing the things that she loves.

At the hands-on workshop hosted by SEEDJ and Héctor Oaks, “The Art of Improvisation”, attendees were encouraged to bring their own vinyl records.

Héctor Oaks is an electronic music producer, DJ, and label owner known for his contributions to the techno scene. With a distinctive style that blends raw and industrial elements, Oaks has garnered acclaim for his performances at prominent venues and festivals, and he is recognised for his role as the co-founder of the Berlin-based record label, OAKS.

The session delved into the nuances of improvising with vinyl records, exploring the intuitive blending of tracks, textures, and moods. Valuable insights into crate-digging, record selection, and the essential skill of reading the dancefloor were shared.

Grandmaster Flash, the pioneer of hip-hop and a true innovator in the world of DJing, took us through the fascinating journey of his life and the birth of a musical revolution during the ADE Beats conference.

As a teenager, armed with curiosity and a knack for dismantling household electronics, Flash unraveled the mysteries of audio technology. His obsession with extending drum breaks led him to formulate the groundbreaking “quick mix theory,” transforming the way DJs approached mixing records. Facing initial resistance due to his unorthodox techniques, he persisted in teaching his revolutionary methods, birthing the first official rapper of hip-hop, Cowboy.

Through struggles and triumphs, Flash inspired all of us while telling stories about his journey: a testament to the transformative power of music, making him not just a DJ but a cultural pillar, influencing genres like dance, funk, and disco.

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