Myself and six others departed for Amsterdam last week for a Stag Party. The usual ingredients were present; plenty o' booze, a giant house-boat, the Stag-tranny, the frankly scary red light district, full-fat junk food, group indecision, someone getting "lost", dubious fashion, minor injuries, a bar with 95% women (what transpired to be a lesbian bar) etc. But in a break from the norm, we managed to centre the whole debacle around a one-day festival, celebrating the 7th Anniversary of the Dutch festival, Dekmantel. A 3-til-3 dance music extravaganza featuring the likes of Carl Craig, Henrik Schwarz, Joy Orbison, Bicep, Tom Trago and a room devoted to a live Boiler Room feed. The venue was way out of town in an old industrial pump-house and surrounding buildings. Well organised and full of young beautiful Dutch kids to make us feel decrepit and past-it.
Not everyone in our group was really that bothered, but some of us were particularly keen on seeing two acts in particular; Moodymann and DJ Koze. The last time I saw Moodymann was at TDK Cross Central many moons ago and he made my night by playing Gil Scott Heron's 'The Bottle' at 2am. DJ Koze made one of my favourite albums of last year and I was particularly excited to see him.
Moodymann played a phenomenal mix of styles and speeds. Starting with hip-hop, running through industrial techno and finishing with pretty deep stuff. Koze was as hoped; daft, deranged, fast and fun. The Best Man had seen him play last year at the Robert Johnson in Frankfurt and he'd veered away from playing any of his own material. Thankfully, this time round he played samples from his album and rounded it off with one of the tunes of 2013, his mix of Matthew Herbert's 'It's Only,' listen to this gem HERE..
If this is anywhere near your bag, I heartily recommend seeing either of these two play-out.
Dekmantel are holding their annual festival later in the year and this is held in a forrest outside of Amsterdam and will no doubt feature many great things. If you want a Dutch adventure, this might be for you.