Dekmantel is the festival that always gets it so right - - Mixmag

Dekmantel is the festival that always gets it so right

Another magical weekend in the forest

  • Funster & Patrick Hinton
  • 11 August 2016
« Read this article from the beginning

5 Synchrojack 'Cash Machines'

Deniro - Dekmantel By-Night, Melkweg

To think of Dekmantel as just a day festival would be a disservice. Although the music stops, rather upsettingly, at 11pm, the By-Night segment of the festival starts the moment the last tune is played at Amsterdamse Bos. The first person in charge of hitting play at Melkweg, a concert hall and multimedia centre located in the centre of town, was Deniro and the Dutchman is someone we've been following with great intent over the last 12 months. After first dazzling us with 'Organezized', a track he made for Nina Kraviz's трип label, we got in touch with him to see what else he had in his locker, turns out he has a lot. His Guide mix comprising of all of his own productions is a high-octane, feverish-paced set that aptly displays his unique strand of house and techno. As soon as the rolling bassline came thundering in on 'Cash Machines', we knew he was as skilled live as he was behind a mixing desk. For the first set of the night, it set the bar high and DJ Bone closely followed with his own 130bpm+ bangers, but by then, Deniro had stole the show.

However, this was the highlight of our time at Melkweg and it took place within the first two hours of the marathon night. The problem with Melkweg is that it's a large, cavernous and twisting venue that has very little in the way of direction or excitement. It's functional and after you've just spent an entire day at one of the most enthralling festival sites in Europe, you're left with a slightly bitter taste in your mouth. Sure the line-ups are outstanding, tonight DJ Bone, Tama Sumo and Joy Orbison b2b Solar all play, and the systems are good enough, but there's nothing special, other than the fact you have to get a lift to one of the floors unless you want to brave the five flights of stairs when you've been dancing for around 20 hours. Someone even described it as a 'Cineworld on K' – we couldn't help but agree.

This is where De School comes into play. The successor to Trouw is the spot that everyone we encountered was really excited about. It's the club that felt magical, it felt new and it felt overwhelming in all the right ways. Two years ago when Trouw was still open (and the official Dekmantel afterparty venue), it managed to match the high levels that the festival had set earlier in the day. It was like you were going somewhere that was as equally stimulating and hair raising. While it wasn't the official By-Night spot, De School was certainly the place that people left their inhibitions at the door and celebrated Dekmantel the way it should be. Of a weekend filled with an incredible amount of positives, Melkweg became the negative.

6 Yotam Avni 'This Is How' (Sterac Remix)

DJ Nobu - UFO Stage, Saturday

The UFO stage is techno. That's the best way to describe the place. Whether it's morning, afternoon, or night, it's techno and it would be a safe bet to put money on it being busy, even for the first sets. Rrose on the Friday delicately eased people into techno-mode with ambient, distorted, and tranquil soundscapes with their sleek long hair, purple lipstick and completely stationary stance standing out in front of the deep blue and red washes behind. If Rrose was your darkness-flecked opening and Helena b2b Stingray provided your all-out electro throbbers then DJ Nobu at the midway point on Saturday would act as your happy techno medium. The Japanese selector was a popular choice despite the sun still blazing outside and his rolling, melodic techno was backed by an enthusiastic, consistent bob. It may not seem like much but his movement behind the deck was a pleasant addition to an afternoon set in the UFO. His techno was hard, but never overbearing, it was rough, but extremely fluid at the same time. The introduction of trickling hi-hats and subaqueous melodies were regular, which of course resulted in cheers throughout the tent, a sound you can only really imagine if you've heard it. Compare Nobu's set to that of Hood's or Nina's and it was a lot tamer but it had a certain bite that made it completely his own. A unique set and one of our favourites in the UFO all weekend.

Next Page »
Newsletter 2

Mixmag will use the information you provide to send you the Mixmag newsletter using Mailchimp as our marketing platform. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us. By clicking sign me up you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.