Gifting the dance music community with a five-day program consisting of than 450 events, Amsterdam Dance Event once again exceeded expectations as being the largest clubbing festival on the planet, and once again, Awakenings proved to be one of the biggest talking points of the entire week.
Having already celebrated two decades in the game earlier this year, Awakenings has unquestionably established itself as one of the most grandiose and influential concepts in all of Techno music and with an ADE schedule that included presentations from such illustrious names as Paul Kalkbrenner, Joseph Capriati and Ben Klock, it’s not hard to see why.
This particular visit to the Gashouder, however, saw us greeted with a dose of a highly successful Awakenings formula and one that first electrified the underground scene more than 13 years ago. This, of course, came courtesy of the leading Techno imprint, Drumcode.
Situated in the north-west of Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek gasworks complex, Swedish label chief, Adam Beyer, and friends were on decks for the second night of ADE proceedings from the old industrial structure.
Attracting dance music enthusiasts from all four corners of the globe, an international feel was certainly present as we stepped foot into this simply extraordinary venue for the first time ever. Holding together a maximum capacity of 3,500 revellers, the Gashouder is a large, pillar-less chamber equipped with an iron roof and is without a shadow of a doubt one of the more exhilarating highlights of ADE week.
Continuing to ride a constantly rising wave of momentum, ELEVATE head-honchos, Pig & Dan, were both on hand behind the controls lighting up the Gashouder with their distinct sounds providing a true reference to their unique sonic diversity. Remaining relentless in pushing that musical envelope beyond all boundaries, the Spanish duo’s style was consistently enthralling creating something melodically rich, yet dark and otherworldly. Their inclusion of Aitor Ronda’s ‘Tweezer’ in particular triggered an uncontrollable tidal wave of heads down, fist-pumping venom from those stood before them.
With an on-going release of immersive ice-cannon blasts charging up the crowd, the British double-act comprising of Alex Jones and Chris Spero better known as Dense & Pika then commanded dance floor operations from 1:30am. Finely furnished with raw, heady, dark and swinging beats, they complimented the smoke-filled scenes of the Gashouder in remarkable fashion.
Diverse in selection and explosive throughout, Kneeded Pains chiefs Dense & Pika worked in the Emmanuel Remix of Shlomo’s ‘Burned Hand’ sending tingles down the spines of the Drumcode faithful, much to everyone’s delight. They then illustrated their own branch of Techno goodness with a release fresh off their own imprint from British-born Producer, Mark Henning, titled ‘Brilliance of the Sun’.
Heralded as one of Europe’s true Techno pioneers, the magnificent Monika Kruse followed Dense & Pika in exquisite style. Head of one of the most consistently outstanding labels in its class, the Terminal M mistress accelerated the atmosphere within the Gashouder to new heights in what proved to be a driving affair from the outset.
Belting out roaring Techno weapons constructed purely for the peak-time, Monika’s stunning warehouse stomp consisted of such cyclones as Jay Lumen’s ‘Consciousness’ and Oliver Huntemann’s Remix of her collaboration with Voodooamt called ‘Luvsucka’ – incredible scenes.
Next up to the notorious stage of the Gashouder was Drumcode mastermind, Adam Beyer. Continuing to pull on the heartstrings of modern day Techno, the Stockholm-based icon illustrated exactly why he has come to embody one of the most consistent and carefully constructed legacies to emerge out of Europe.
Complimented perfectly by the captivating fireworks that shot across suspended wires overhead, the scintillating Swede was in-demand and in-command. By working in such tracks as ‘The Other Side/Bitter Resolution’ by Paride Saraceni feat. Monce, and Mario Ochoa’s Remix of ‘The Solution’ by Rob Hes, Adam had the crowd fist-pumping from front to back all night long.
Both a husband and a father, Adam Beyer is the perfect example of someone who stands a brand that has taken this beloved genre to truly global heights. Our personal highlight of this performance came when he worked in Keith Carnal’s ‘Numerous’, truly mind-blowing indeed.
Last but certainly not least, closing duties fell to the hands of Cocoon regular, Ilario Alicante. Still considering himself a clubber at heart, it was visible the Italian had not lost that vital connection with the dance floor. Locked and loaded with love and passion flowing through his veins, the Deepmoves maestro blew up the Techno chamber with belter after belter sending many still present into complete oblivion.
Always a firm fixture of this annual industry meet up, this dynamite Drumcode edition from Dutch giants, Awakenings, emphasised why it remains the leading essential Techno gathering anywhere in the world.
Photo Credit By: Photo-Company.nl