Discovering Amsterdam through ADE’s wide venue menu [2019 Review]

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Discovering Amsterdam through ADE’s wide venue menu [2019 Review]ADE Laura Siliquini

Words by: Josh Stewart & Bella Bagshaw

For a festival older than many of its attendees (including a co-author of this review), Amsterdam Dance Event hasn’t lost an ounce of prerogative in the electronic music space across its 24-year tenure. Much like its increasingly international soil, ADE is voraciously traveled to by electronic infatuates across the globe. This year the industry-oriented endeavor garnered attendees from 146 countries—the most internationally visited installment to date.

But what makes ADE so painfully cool, is not only its chromatic agenda—spanning panels, parties, makeshift productions, and larger-than-life arena stops—but its locational litany. From train stations, to museums, to the warehouse spots, all of Amsterdam is ADE’s playground.

And it feels like the whole city is participating, too. Right outside the Schipol Airport, your humble narrator is greeted by a proverbial ADE cube humming above an information/check-in hut, ready for business at 8 am sharp. Once I secure my media pass, a 40-something cab driver promptly rattles off his week’s after-dark itinerary, with the enthusiasm of a tourist and the precision of a seasoned attendee.

ADE is unique in that it implores you to acquaint yourself with Amsterdam. It’s an unfettered celebration among the city’s quotidian. And that’s undoubtedly why the very best of the dance music business (Garrix, Tiesto, Guetta, Knight, Hawtin, Brejcha, you name it) return year after year. Here are some spots that made ADE sing this year.

Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum, Dancing Astronaut‘s quintessential stop on the ADE agenda. The storied subterranean dwelling of the historic Dutch landmark make for a sublime dance music backdrop—invoking elegance and clandestine cadence all at once. Raw Rave sanctioned Boys Noize Thursday night for a long dance (the kinetic vernacular in Europe is actually swaying) in the dark, as Maceo Plex and Underworld had so notably done just a few years prior.

The hallowed columns cast great, oblong shadows through the crowd, while fog dances in time with Boys Noize‘s beguiling analog techno. It’s an altogether post-apocalyptic display; as if all the wide-eyed pedestrians who normally flood the area by day are gone for good and there’s nothing left to do but soak up the smoke and party (if you can maneuver to the bar, that is). The air buzzed with sweet and sweaty malice, beneath a collection of Rembrandts resting soundly upstairs, no less! The historic holdings are a smoldering embodiment of ADE’s ability to make Amsterdam’s cornerstone conventions come alive.

Paradiso

Of all the Amsterdam club locales, Paradiso is likely the most atmospherically adjacent to a US spot ADE has to offer. Though, its architectural grandeur is singularly European. The assuredly haunted ex-church, with its resplendent stained glass windows and intricately etched balcony arrangement, seems destined for a back-to-back DJ set from priest vestment-donning Tchami and his perpetually pernicious aural associate, Malaa. A far cry from the litany of icons Paradiso once welcomed—The Rolling Stones, Prince, Patti Smith, The Cure, Nirvana (just to name a few)—the duo’s Dutch rendition of No Redemption was, nonetheless, entertaining as hell.

The hard-house maestros topped giant LED cubes which lit up in sync with painstakingly on-brand visuals when the respective DJ took his turn. For Tchami, a storming jungle scene evocative of his recent melodic house sensation, “Rainforest.” For Malaa, the expected illicit and explicit imagery: lines of white powder, skin-clad, ski-masked women, and otherwise. PSA: Moshing to dance music is apparently not just an American phenomenon.

Above section by: Bella Bagshaw

Armada Office

Days before the release of his 7th studio albumArmin van Buuren opened the doors to Armada’s office, sitting on the city’s outskirts for a cranked-up ADE-themed recording of A State Of Trance. Attendees were welcome to wander the corridors of the iconic trance label’s home base, with over two dozen guest sets spinning between “The Club” and the infamous recording studio where Armin streams his weekly shows. The who’s who of trance ticket gave fans a chance to see tastemaker after tastemaker, mainstay after mainstay, bringing the likes of Richard DurandMarkus SchulzFerry CorstenSander van Doorn, and even BT, for eight hours of intimate trance bliss.   

NDSM Wharf

DGTL brought four nights of ADE-insanity to NDSM Wharf, a former shipyard with grounds big enough to house 10 soccer fields. As massive of a venue as it was, another few soccer fields probably could’ve housed the droves of ravers who kept the waterfront warehouse’s sprawling mainstage saturated. A headlining lineup of Richie HawtinRÜFÜS DU SOLBonoboOrbital, and Ben Klock back to back with Marcel Dettmann proved too tempting a ticket for thousands of ADEers. There’s no doubt that the music is the focal point of a week like ADE, but it’s hard not to see the event for the grand portrait of dance music that is when showing up to NDSM. Between the ferry from Central Station, that showcases much of the city’s forward-thinking architecture, to the street art that blankets the hip, developing wharf, and fresh fruit the warehouse served until wee hours of the morning, a trip to NDSM shines a light on many of the enchanting idiosyncrasies that make ADE so distinctly Amsterdam.

Discovering Amsterdam through ADE’s wide venue menu [2019 Review]TIMBUITING NDSM Ade
Photo: Tim Buiting/NDSM

Lil’ Central Station

ADE fever even spread to Amsterdam’s very own Central Station (think Grand Central), which was effectively party-fied by Audio Obscura for the whirlwind weekend. Tucked just a few stories below the rails that funnel people in and out of Amsterdam by the thousands was Lil’ Central, a cozy nightclub space with DJs that encouraged a bit of loco and a lot of motion. From Motor City Drum Ensemble‘s swerve-inducing Thursday night set to Tchami‘s afterparty the following evening, express tickets to a good time were wholesale at Lil’ Central. Every city has nightclubs, most even have particularly cool ones, but how many municipalities are willing to turn their central transport hub into an all-night rave?

I can only think of one.

Above section by: Josh Stewart

Photo Credit: Laura Siliquini

Mark Knight puts a 21st-century spin on Mr.Roy’s ‘Something About U’

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Mark Knight puts a 21st-century spin on Mr.Roy’s ‘Something About U’CGk87P8p E1567362965535

Throughout his decades-long career, Mark Knight has never remained stagnant. Whether it be through his own pursuits or his leadership of the trendsetting brand, Toolroom, the UK multi-talent always has his finger on the dance music pulse.

Knight knows when to stay the course, he knows when to push forward, and he even knows when to look back as represented by his latest offering on Toolroom, his new rendition of Mr.Roy’s dance classic, ‘Something About U.’

Originally taking residence on the airwaves back in the ’90s, ‘Something About U’ was a track that Knight himself was listening to in his early raving days. Now, he’s guided it on a trip through time and endowed it with the type of driving urgency that made Toolroom the highest-selling record label on Beatport in 2018.

Exclusive: Mark Knight breaks down his pre-Splash House playlist

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Exclusive: Mark Knight breaks down his pre-Splash House playlistRoadtosplash MarkKnight

Palm Springs’ premiere poolside festival is gearing up to welcome one of house music’s most hallowed patriarchs, Mark Knight, amid its second leg of 2019, August 9-11. Hailing from the UK, the Toolroom Records boss has remained one of the most in-demand international forces in four-on-the-floor for decades running. Alongside fellow masters of the dance floor dominion, like Claude VonStroke, Lane 8, and Hot Since 82, Knight is equipped to downright incinerate what is an already sure-to-be sizzling weekend in Southern California.

Ahead of his After Hours Splash House appearance at the Air Museum, Knight not only curated Dancing Astronaut an anticipatory soundtrack ahead of the festival, but offered listeners a bit of insight into why he deemed each cut worthy of inclusion. General Admission to Splash House August is sold out, but after hours tickets are available here.

1. Mark Knight  – The General – elrow
A really simple track that I made and my debut in elrow. Really happy it’s now number 1 on Beatport huge thanks for all the love on this.

2. Soul Reductions – Got 2 Be Loved  – Classic
Hands down my favourite record of the year, nuff said!

3. De La Swing – Club Del Sol
The elrow don doesn’t often put records out, but when he does they’re pretty much guaranteed to be absolute bangers.

4. NiCe7 – Don’t Take Your Love from Me – Glasgow Underground
I am a HUGE disco fan and the guys have unearthed a gem with this sample..

5. Mendo  – Get A Funk  – Toolroom
You can play this track at any time and venue and it rocks!

6 .Martin Ikin feat Hayley May – How I Feel 
Wicked vocal track from one of the most consistently brilliant and experienced producers in the game. 

7. Wheats –  Slip – Toolroom Trax 
This is an out and out dance floor destroyer.

8 .KCC, G Flame, Emile Chambers – Heaven (Riva Starr Remix)- This And That  – 
Can Riva Starr do no wrong?? Certainly not if he keeps on making bangers like this!

9. Maxinne –  Say What – Toolroom Trax – 
Maxinne is the real deal: a top drawer producer and DJ that oozes class. My one to watch for 2019.

10. Mason ft. Jem Cooke – Drowning In Your Love – Another rhythm – 
Vocal record of the year. Jem sounds like she is straight out of church on this bad boy!

11. Dido –  Give You Up (Mark Knight remix)
Really happy with the way this one turned out. I suppose you can’t go wrong working with Dido. Happy it was Billboard number 1!

12. Opolopo – Sickla Side Push Shuffle 
One of the exclusive tracks he made for out Poolside Ibiza album – pure, sun-drenched disco goodness! 

13. Siege – Thinking
In my opinion, the best tech-house producer on the planet right now.

14 The S.O.S Band – The Finest – UMOD
There is a version going around using this sample which in my opinion is like drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa. Check the original. It doesn’t  get any better that Jam & Lewis.

15.Mike City, DJ Booker T – Nobody  – Liquid Deep
Very much the sound of my roots… Look out for a new track from myself and Mike on vocals forthcoming on the legendary BBE.

NMF Roundup: Skrillex drops new EP, Knife Party return + more

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NMF Roundup: Skrillex drops new EP, Knife Party return + moreSkrille Press Shot

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

With just a day’s notice, Skrillex has surprised-dropped a two-track EP on OWSLA, consisting of “Fuji Opener” and “Mumbai Power.” Knife Party came out of the woodwork, too, to reveal their first releases in four years in the form of the Lost Souls EP. Perhaps today’s biggest mega-collaboration comes in the form of Dillon Francis, Boombox Cartel and Desiigner’s “Drip,” and one of the biggest remixes is sure to be Gryffin’s remix of Shawn Mendes’ “If I Can’t Have You.” Golf Clap have cooked up a spicy remix of Madi and Robokid’s “White Horse,” and Far Out takes Zeds Dead and Delta Heavy’s “Lift You Up” to new heights. Madeaux takes listeners deep into a late-night club with “I Want You,” and Goldroom continues his string of new releases with “Nothing Matters.” DESERT STAR returns to Monstercat with “Carissa,” and Alesso remixes his own tune with TINI, “Sad Song.” Andrew Rayel and HAILENE prove to be a match made in heaven on “Take All of Me,” and Hardwell and Quintino take things up a notch with “Reckless” on Spinnin’. Ray Volpe and Aviella join forces for “Our World,” and Mark Knight’s remixed David Guetta and Raye’s “Stay (Don’t Go Away).”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Mark Knight takes charge with newest single, ‘The General’

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Mark Knight takes charge with newest single, ‘The General’Mark Knight 1

“Show me you can write records that stand the test of 10 or 15 years. That’s what I’m looking for. I can see through everything else,” Mark Knight so sagely stated of his A&R vision for his label in a 2018 interview with Dancing Astronaut. But he’s also one to put his money where his mouth is, paving the way for the talent he so voraciously scouts.

The Toolroom Records figurehead and tech-house guru’s tracks may not always fit EDM’s flavor of the week, but they consistently withstand the temporal litmus test Knight holds so central to his production pedagogy. Releases like his “Conscindo,” his collaboration with Wolfgang Gartner, would fit just as well in sets today as when the tech-driven colossus was set forth nearly a decade ago. The UK-based producers newest single, “The General” follows suit, uniting the proven and true fundamentals of the club-slaying genre, like an orchestra of percussion, and infectiously room-filling risers with a commanding Latin vocal sample, resulting in a meaty house track with no expiration date.

The house-storic label also just began rolling out Toolroom Statside, wherein Knight and co. will be kicking off residencies in US house music meccas like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC. More information and tickets are available here.

Splash House announces stacked August lineup

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Splash House announces stacked August lineup2019 SplashHouse June 109934

On the heels of another successful June edition, Splash House just dropped a huge lineup for August. Across three days and three resorts, DJs from multiple facets of dance music will provide an exquisite summer soundtrack.

Topping the bill are Dirtybird boss Claude VonStroke, symphonic house maestro Lane 8, and a special DJ set from Toro y Moi, among others. Some standouts from the rest of the roster are the Eric Prydz prodigy Cristoph and Pat Lok who will surely deliver a set full of diverse vibes.

As always, the party continues into the night all three days at the Palm Springs Air Museum with Hot Since 82, Mark Knight, and Walker & Royce slated to headline throughout the weekend. Check the full August lineup for Splash House below.

Splash House announces stacked August lineupSplash House Poster Lineup Billboard 1240

NMF Roundup: Dog Blood make a triumphant return, Dillon Francis teams up with lovelytheband, Whethan looks to ‘Win You Over’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Dog Blood make a triumphant return, Dillon Francis teams up with lovelytheband, Whethan looks to ‘Win You Over’ + moreDillon Francis Change Your Mind Preferred Press Shot By Lindsey Byrnes E1553870003361

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

It’s been more than five years since the music world has seen new music from Skrillex and Boys Noize‘s supergroup, Dog Blood, but that wait is finally over with “Turn Off The Lights.” Dillon Francis joins forces with lovelytheband for a, well, lovely collaboration called “Change Your Mind.” Armin van Buuren, Lucas & Steve, and Josh Cumbee deliver a feel-good number by the name of “Don’t Give Up On Me,” and Nicky Romero, DallasK, and XYLØ create a contemplative, low-key collaboration, “Sometimes.” Whethan and Bearson have crafted an effortlessly groovy “Win You Over” with SOAK, and Seven Lions and Kill The Noise take things up a notch with the formidable “The Blood.” Bassnectar reveals his Reflective Part Four EP is on its way with “Illusion,” and Kove keeps his brand of drum & bass subtle and smooth with “Echoes.” Jai Wolf and Dresage come together in “Better Apart,” and NGHTMRE and A$AP Ferg make a powerful pair in “REDLIGHT.” Sam Feldt brings summer a few months early with “One Day” with ROZES and Yves V, and Zomboy brings “The Beast” with his new single. The Chainsmokers prep for their new album with “Kills You Slowly,” and Mielo releases his Anywhere But Here EP, featuring a closing song of the same title.

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Lunar Lunes: Lemaitre reveal new single, NWYR and Andrew Rayel join forces, Mark Knight releases new Toolroom original + more

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Lunar Lunes: Lemaitre reveal new single, NWYR and Andrew Rayel join forces, Mark Knight releases new Toolroom original + moreLemaitre Rocket Girl Rac Mi

Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.

Norwegian indie duo Lemaitre bring their breezy, easygoing style to “Fast Lovers,” and Andrew Rayel teams up with W&W under their NWYR alias for “The Melody.” The Disco Fries reveal a funky remix for “Blue” from Kaidro on Armada, and Rogue returns to Monstercat for the dreamy “Oceans.” Dirty Audio taps Shai Hicari for powerful “Run & Go,” and Maddix turns up the intensity on his noteworthy big room number, “Zero.” Toolroom head honcho Mark Knight delivers a new original, “The Mystery of Old Ma Clifton,” and Mako drops a remix of last summer’s “Murder” by Alex Ariete. MELVV takes on Katelyn Tarver‘s “Kool Aid” in his newest venture, and Steve Brian remixes Tritonal‘s “Gonna Be Alright.”

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).

Photo credit: BBC

Toolroom to return to Ibiza for 17-week residency at Eden

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Toolroom to return to Ibiza for 17-week residency at EdenToolroom At Eden

Toolroom Records is taking a summer-long family vacation, June 2 to September 22, to Ibiza for a season-wide residency at one of the island’s landmark locales, Eden.

Throughout the 17-week, Sunday-night commission, Toolroom will assemble its top-tier talent, as well as an abundance of fresh-on-the-scene label additions. For years, Eden has been nothing short of a wall-to-wall dance music destination in the White Isle, hosting prestigious residencies with Disclosure, Dubfire, Pete Tong, and even Lady Gaga. The multi-level club also just received top-to-bottom refurbishment as a product of its new ownership.

“Eden is a clubbers venue with an impeccable sound system,” says label head, Mark Knight. “It’s all about the music and people coming together in perfect harmony, which was the original essence of Ibiza, so to be back with them on the White Isle will really be something special.”

The Mark Knight-headed Toolroom celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2018. In that time they’ve released hundreds of records, conducted multiple world tours, and continued to readily adapt to the fiercely fluctuating industry climate. It’s only fitting that soon they will return to one of the most culturally impactful dance music havens on Earth.

Photo Credit: Ryan Dinham

David Guetta’s Jack Back alias connects with Mark Knight’s Toolroom for ‘Grenade’

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David Guetta’s Jack Back alias connects with Mark Knight’s Toolroom for ‘Grenade’David Guetta Jack Back

David Guetta returns to tech house via his new Jack Back moniker, teaming up with Mark Knight‘s Toolroom for a formulaic groover, “Grenade.” A classic house beat ride over a shy, filtered melody that echoes around the ears like wobbling metal. Vocals from Adam Freeland‘s “We Want Your Soul” come into play, setting up the arrangement for that swaying melody to come back with a vengeance, alongside an army of pounding kicks and percussion.

After disappearing for years, Guetta’s housier sounds made an appearance earlier in 2018 with the 12-track Jack Back Mixtape. A week later, he added onto his illustrious discography with the release of his highly-anticipated, double-sided album, adding to the the French producer’s illustrious 2018. While was a statement of pop-dominance overall, Guetta continues to remind listeners how he got there through house and techno releases.

Photo Credit: RUKES