Navigating Amsterdam Dance Event: Where to get the week’s best house, techno, bass, and electronica
Words by Bella Bagshaw & Josh Stewart
The tick of the clock grows tantalizing as mid-October (16-20) draws nearer, and in turn, unearthing another chapter of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).
While ADE’s prodigious masthead may suggest something altogether singular, it is, in fact, massively multi-pronged. Since 1995, the music industry-geared celebration has been boasting conferences, workshops, and high-profile panels in tandem with its sprawling sonic agenda. In short, ADE tackles all things electronic music, from virtually every vantage point.
It’s easy to feel disoriented from the dizzying litany of dance music decadence on deck for ADE 2019, between the manifold menagerie of branded parties across the city—day and night—and the festival’s native events alike. No worries. Dancing Astronaut has it covered. We’re breaking it down nice and neat this year to help attendees find the best parties of the week.
Boris Brejcha x FCKNG SERIOUS [High Tech Minimal]
Wednesday at Warehouse Elementenstraat
Things get pretty fcking serious pretty fcking quick at ADE this year, as Boris Brejcha and company plan to smash through Warehouse Elementenstraat with their distinct brands of minimal and techno on Wednesday night. Theydream, Ann Clue, and Deniz Bul bring supporting sets for head honcho Brejcha, whose pristine and textured productions are currently sweeping dance music worldwide.
Tickets are sold out.
For a taste of Boris Brejcha’s nuanced techno sound, checkout “Gravity,” the lead single from his upcoming album.
Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927) w/ live electric score
[Experimental / Audio-visual]
Wednesday at Studio K
If you’re looking to lose the rave gear and check out something on the artsy side, check out Studio K on Wednesday night, where Tomer Baruch and Alex Brajković will be performing a live electronic score to Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis. Regarded by many as the very first sci-fi film, Metropolis explores the blurred lines between man and machine. Now, almost 100 years later, Baruch and Brajković reexamine those very themes as they employ the machines themselves to conduct the film’s score (or is it the machines who are employing them?).
Richie Hawtin CLOSE & Modeselektor (live) [Techno / Live Electronica]
Wednesday at NDSM Warehouse
Richie Hawtin, Modeselektor, and SOPHIE are about as eclectic as a three-act lineup gets, but there’s an admitted artistic synergy amongst the triad. Universally accepted techno overlord Richie Hawtin will bring his idiosyncratic audiovisual CLOSE show to ADE, where he is set to explore the technological meeting point between man and machine all while throwing down one of the festival’s most furiously raging minimal techno sets at the festival. Modeselektor also returns to their roots as live performers in their latest Who Else album tour, with an opening set from SOPHIE, who’s expected to bring her cunning performance art along for the ride.
Listen to Richie Hawtin’s latest release, CLOSE COMBINED, an amalgamation of sounds from live shows in London, Tokyo, and Glasgow.
The Rest is Noise X ADE: Tim Hecker + Caterina Barbieri
[Ambient / Experimental / Live]
Wednesday at Muziekgebouw aan t’ IJ
The Rest is Noise X ADE is an evening that explores live electronic music as an art form, recruiting the eminent talents of Tim Hecker and Caterina Barbieri for a standout sonic experience on Wednesday night. Hecker performs a live rendition of is recent work, Konoyo, which delves into the spiritual nature of traditional Japanese instruments and song structure, making for the perfect ambient adventure to open up ADE with. Barbieri should turn things up just a few notches, though, as her sequencing board and modular instrument prowess are both known to forge sets as hypnotic as they are energizing.
Spinnin’ Sessions [Big Room]
Wednesday at Q-Factory
Spinnin’ has been a resounding force in the ADE domain—and electronic continuum at large— for years now. Organizers of the native Netherlands production powerhouse have lined up a multitude of their upper-echelon talent from across the house music spectrum. From big room-ready Bassjackers to Amsterdam’s syrupy club-floor connoisseur, Sam Feldt, Spinnin’ will be boasting a packed rotation on Wednesday at the Q-Factory.
G-Star RAW RAVE [Electro / Instrumental]
Thursday at Rijksmuseum
Beneath the Rijksmuseum’s immaculate bicycle passage on Thursday, G-Star RAW hosts RAW RAVE, the 30th-anniversary celebration of the denim company. With an all-embracing lineup—which includes German house hero and one half of the infamous, Skrillex-assisted Dog Blood duo, Boys Noize, Dutch alt-rock ensemble De Staat, and Amsterdam-housed DJ assassin, TITIA—this one checks all the boxes: a one-of-a-kind backdrop alongside an equally nuanced artist agenda.
Netsky & Friends [Bass]
Thursday at temp.
The multitalented Belgian bass purveyor, Netsky, will be accompanied by fellow heavy-handers, Fox Stevenson, NGHTMRE, Feed Me, and more this year at multifarious event housing, temp. in Amsterdam-Zuid. Bringing some of the very best international drum ‘n’ bass, pop, trap, dubstep, and hard house music, the Thursday evening affront plans for close-knit quarters accompanied by a high-voltage aural atmosphere.
Filth On Acid Pres. Reinier Zonneveld [Techno]
Friday at De Marktkantine
If you’re coming from out of town, you owe it to yourself to check out the pulsating and vivacious techno of one of the Netherlands’ very finest, Reinier Zonneveld. Known for productions that are as tantalizing as his live sets, Zonneveld plans to turn De Marktkantine into his personal studio on Friday night, allowing him to find synergy between his own tracks and improvisations over a marathon 12-hour performance.
Tickets are sold out.
STRAF_WERK X Kölsch Presents IPSO [Techno / House]
Friday at De Kromhouthal
Denmark’s Kölsch teams up with STRAF_WERK to bring his lucid and ethereal wave of melodic house to the warehouse styled De Kromhouthal. The IPSO label boss tops off an impressive 2019, one that includes showcase sets at Tomorrowland and Creamfields, with an extended four-hour set at this year’s ADE, supported by label mates Henrik Schwarz [live], Patrice Bäumel, and Nicky Elisabeth.
For a sampling of Kölsch’s charming sound, checkout fabric presents Kölsch from earlier this year.
Friday at World Fashion Centre
London’s Defected imprint will likely prove all but adeptly titled for its 2019 tenure at World Fashion Center. Gearing up for an ultra-potent 12-hour blowout—with the likes of Low Steppa, Gorgon City, Robosonic, and more in tow—Defected is bringing its heaviest hitters and some scintillating special guests to appease ADE-ers from Friday night until the break of Saturday’s dawn. Easily accessible via public transport, with an industrial aesthetic to boot, Defected is primed to set South Amsterdam ablaze at the festival’s midway point.
Tickets are sold out.
Paradise x Loveland [House/Techno]
Friday at Warehouse Houthavens
Among a number of Loveland’s scheduled stops en-route to ADE victory, the Paradise party at Warehouse Houthavens rests among the most enticing. Jamie Jones and a number of accomplished cohorts, Alan Fitzpatrick, wAFF, and more, are ready to bring the underground sounds of The White Isle (Ibiza) to Amsterdam on October 18. While landing at a new locale, Paradise plans to make good on its propensity for an intimate, up-close experience with some of the most in-demand names in the subtler house/tech realm.
Tickets are sold out.
Garrix Solo [Big Room]
Friday & Saturday at RAI Convention Center
Martin Garrix brings his globally renowned skills home to ADE, the Dutch superstar is set to play an all-nighter to end the week’s Friday showcases at the RAI convention center. Last year’s ADE performance saw the world’s No. 1 DJ debut his ANIMA live show. Expect Garrix to drop the hammer as he hopes to, “Make these shows the best ones yet.”
Friday’s show is 18+, but Garrix runs it back on Saturday for a five-hour all-ages set starting at 5 pm.
Ritter Butzke x Multiversum [Live Electronic]
Saturday at The Church of Ruigoord
What better place to worship the sultry sounds of minimal and experimental acts like Christian Löffler, Dominik Eulberg, and Janus Rasmussen (of Kiasmos) than at a literal church? On Saturday night The Church of Ruigoord turns into the holy epicenter of dance music, with six live sets, including a rare performance from the iconic Booka Shade, Ritter Butzke x Multiversum is positioned to be one of ADE’s most intimate and spiritual events.
For a sampling of that evening’s sounds, checkout Christian Löffler’s Cercle set at a castle ruin in the south of France.
Tickets are sold out.
Kompakt Party [Deep House/Left-Field]
Saturday at De Marktkantine
Label co-owner Michael Mayer brings his Kompakt crew to ADE for a total showstopper of an event this year. Brazilian mastermind Gui Boratto’s live set alone puts this party near the top of the overwhelming pile of must-see shows at ADE, but back-to-back sets between Mayer and German electronic pioneer Roman Flügel as well as Pachanga Boys and Axel Boman truly make De Marktkantine the place to be on Saturday night.
DGTL x Bonobo present Outlier [Electronica]
Saturday at NDSM Warehouse
Bonobo’s Outlier concept relies on finding distinctly different venues so that the performers can craft unique atmospheres that break the mold. This year at ADE the English-born musician has done just that, teaming up with DGTL to take over the shipbuilding warehouse-turned-neighborhood-art-haven in the NDSM Warehouse. Grab the free ferry from Central Station to NDSM on Saturday evening to experience not just Bonobo but an absolute all-star cast behind him, including Jon Hopkins, Catching Flies and The Black Madonna.
Listen to the latest in Bonobo’s ever-evolving nonchalant house sound.
AMF [Trance / Big Room / Future House]
Saturday at Johan Cruijff Arena
To put the scope of ADE as a festival into perspective, some of the events held within it are festivals themselves. AMF is a big example; it’s a one-night indoor extravaganza at the Johan Cruijff Arena (capacity of 55,000) with a lineup that, on its own, justifies looking up flights to Amsterdam. The billing features crossover gods Armin van Buuren and Tiësto, as well as Don Diablo, David Guetta, and the icing on the cake, a back-to-back set between Timmy Trumpet and W&W, two of the hardest-hitting acts on the global EDM roster today. Thankfully AMF is on Saturday night, as it’s hard to imagine having any gas left in the tank the morning after.
Dockyard Festival [House/Techno]
Saturday at Havenpark
A festival within a festival, Dockyard stands as a longtime fixture in Amsterdam’s all-things-electronic week. With six sprawling stages showcasing both veterans and new names in the house/techno terrain, Dockyard promises a memorable jaunt amid the ADE-goer’s 2019 journey. Havenpark’s waterfront will this year house Dubfire, Nastia, Eats Everything, Ellen Alien, and more on Saturday, October 19.
Tickets are sold out.
ADE Hangover [Food trucks / Hammocks / Market]
Sunday at NDSM WERF
Visit NDSM Werf on Sunday afternoon to soothe your ADE Hangover with a waterside hammock and several servings of vlaamse frites. Cruise the pop-up market, grab a craft beer, or simply sweat out your ADE weekend woes in one of the event’s saunas or hot tubs as you come down from the tumultuous. Entrance is free, so feel free to drag your rave-worn, lifeless self (and friends!) to NDSM whenever you’re feeling capable. Show up anytime from noon to 11 for a bit of post-ADE revitalization.
Entrance is free.