Amsterdam Dance Event: Tales from a First Timer (ADE 2019)


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There’s a first time for everything… and in the case of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), it’s to prepare you for your encore. After years of bad timing to hit up the Dam, I finally hopped on a Eurostar with just a backpack and a plan: to make the most of my short visit with a jam-packed itinerary traversing cycle lanes, canals, and countless dance genres.

Armada had a wide range of events, including a silent disco listening party for Sultan and Shepard’s lastest album. Hosting us by Rokin, hearing their latest tracks with skyline views was a great start to Thursday in the city. I’d planned on then strolling down to Melkweg for ADE Live to catch performances by the entrancing Apparat, Matias Aguayo, Catching Flies and more. Instead, I caught up with some North American expats over pizza at Buurman en Buurman in Sloterdijk, a tiny intermission before getting the night underway.

Credit Tiffany Konings

LIL’ Amsterdam: An absolute highlight! In the afternoon, the Amsterdam Passage inside Centraal Station had an ADE pop-up, along with shops including Spinnin’ and Black Bananas, catering to the crowds coming through. By night, the space was blocked off and transformed into a laser-bathed dance floor, prime time for a boogie. This Audio Obscura night happened to have two of my favourite selectors, Young Marco and Motor City Drum Ensemble.

Could’ve stayed at Centraal Station until sunrise but instead, hit up another Audio Obscura event: Spectrum at Muziekgebouw. This gorgeous venue right on the water was an incredible space for Joris Voorn B2B Kölsch. Production took advantage of the venue, with horizontal lights strobing across all four walls pulsating to the lush transitions by the duo at the helm. Briefly exploring other areas in the venue, it was too compelling not to return to this epic B2B.

ADE Soundlab – MOOG: Synthesizer Symbioses w/ Malcolm Cecil & Floating Points.

Friday, it was great to pop into the MOOG space at Compagnietheater and check out the equipment’s evolution through the ages after a panel chat with Floating Points, Malcolm Cecil and Cyril Lance. We then headed to De Brakke Grond for Pioneer’s showcase with CASSY and Alan Fitzpatrick putting the high-tech decks to good use. Admittedly, we intended to dine at The Pantry but were instead lured into De Blauwe Hollander, enjoying a very leisurely dinner including the mandatory bitterballen before a massive pot of moules frites. By the time we took the quick (free!) ferry across to A’DAM for Glitterbox’ ADE debut, they were already at capacity. Mental note, 2020!

Zipping back across the water, it was time for a Bucket List venue: Gashouder. There were a myriad of other possible parties but it felt compulsory to experience Afterlife in that space. Mind Against played to otherworldly visuals maximising on the arena-like angles, or lack thereof, paving the way for Stephan Bodzin’s pounding bass. We ducked out to make our way to MediaHaven for 909. Throbbing beats and a packed dance floor, say no more. Well worth the chilly walk to the Uber pickup spot to return to home base.

Afterlife @ Gashouder (Amsterdam Dance Event 2019)

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Plenty of takeaways but perhaps most crucial: ensure you’re off the grid from any obligations to make the most of the five-day schedule… especially squeezing in a sunrise set from the Loft. Next year!

Featured by Photo Mark Richter
MOOG & Afterlife Photos by Narikonyc