Amsterdam based organization DGTL definitely made waves with its earlier celebrations in Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Sao Paulo, and Santiago. This year for the famed Amsterdam Dance Event, they moved back to their classic venue – Scheepsbouwloods to host three very diverse showcases. We had the chance to attend them this year, and it was an experience we will definitely hold on for years to come until another DGTL showcase comes up in the near future that manages to outshine these.
The first show was dedicated to the biggest Techno artists in the music sphere. Acing the main stage were Bicep (Live), Techno queen Nina Kraviz and the legendary Jeff Mills, supported by Carlos Valdes and Floorplan, while Tracey, Mall Grab and De Sluwe Vos took over the side stage. Setting off the night with Carlos Valdes, who is well known for his classy and considered taste nailed it with his set and got the crowd warmed up. Floorplan, i.e Robert and Lyric Hood who churned out a superlative set.
Taking over to the three main acts of the night, BICEP (Live), Nina Kraviz and Jeff Mills, we can’t say enough about how brilliant all three were. Watching BICEP play live is a treat in itself. Though only limited to an hour, the set was compact, tasteful and covered some of the tracks they are best known for. Supported with stellar production and their iconic BICEP logo floating in the background, along with perfectly coordinated lights and lasers, the set, on the whole, was one that beautifully executed. Closing with “Glue” was a highlight in their set. Taking over to fire up the venue, Nina Kraviz took the center stage. After the cancellation of her label showcase at the “Bijlmer Bajes” this year, DGTL was the only event she was playing at, at ADE this year. Hence a lot of expectations were lined up on this one and we saw crowds swarming in from the other stages to see her play live.
A lady of substance who is known for thriving on challenging her audience, she absolutely did so with a high powered, tech-acid driven set. Her sets stand above most others slickly synchronised, clinically pristine beats as she played fast and loose with ghetto house, old-school hardcore, footwork, trance, drum N bass and her favorite genre, acid. Her style is unkempt, never dull and so was her set. Taking the audience by storm and kicking off on a powerful note, Nina proved why she is sought after by festivals around the world.
Moving ahead, just when one thought that things couldn’t get better, the legendary Jeff Mills stepped in to take over the decks. It’s 5 am in the morning and the second day of ADE. It’s rare to expect people to stay back at the wee hours of the morning to catch a set especially with the innumerable meetings lined up. But this man made people stay back. Reminiscing about his set makes three words come to mind, Raw, Rugged and Hard. Exactly the way Techno music should be done. After watching Jeff Mills play, it is really difficult to go back to listening to regular techno music. Dishing out techno in it’s purest form, we saw it had the audience pumped up to the next level. We’ve been to multiple festivals and parties before, but none were done this way. It’s rare to catch a packed audience raging to the music at those hours of the morning. After all, it’s Jeff Mills. Leading on the audience down the rabbit hole for a good two hours with his cutting edge, twisted sounds, Jeff was in full power and had a proper hold on the crowd. The crowd too lapped up every minute of the set being doled out to them.
All in all, DGTL was a brilliant experience. It was our first time attending the festival and we came out enamoured by all that we got to witness, regretted all the years we missed before and vowed to attend more editions of the festival in the near future. A line-up perfected to the T, great production and sound, beautifully managed and also supported by super friendly staff, the overall vibe of the festival is beyond wonderful. If you are a techno buff, just like us right here, this is one you must have on your bucket list. Even if you are not one, it’s even better, because there can’t be a better way to introduce yourself to the technosphere, because there is literally no going back after this one. In fact, this one was done so well, we literally came back here after a day to catch another showcase (Bonobo pres Outlier), despite the plethora of showcases taking place in the city. Our final take on this one? You’ve got to go DGTL. Go and witness it for yourselves and come and thank us later. Trust us, we know you will 😉
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