Tour de Buiten Westen: Raw, underground house music by Vrijbuiters

Tour de Buiten Westen: Raw, underground house music by Vrijbuiters

Apr 12, 2012 |  by  |  Music
Who wrote this?
Rob is 28 (but needs his beard to actually look like it), loves music, adventures and spontaneous people. His scribblings are about these things too, so if you share his interests, stay tuned! doesn’t just report about art, music, fashion and food. We get involved too. Under the name Next Monday’s Hangover (named after our weekly night life guide) we host electronic music festivals. Here, we offer a platform for local music and art talents with whom we try to create a different world. Next up: Buiten Westen, NMH’s new summer festival. In the coming weeks we will interview all the creative parties that we will work with for the festival to give you a small preview what is to come.

Part 1: Vrijbuiters – stage host

A year or five ago, new dance concepts weren’t very original. People put up a banner with a logo, hired some DJs and started a new party. Vrijbuiters wanted to do something else, something different. They were already planning on throwing a party in the old bunker under the NDSM docklands (now closed), but they decided to pick a very special date: during the big VOLTT festival at NDSM. When the festival was in full swing they arrived with their van of gear to build up, and VOLTT had to open up their fences for them, and later again for the people coming to the party. They were not amused.

The next year, they tried to pull the same stunt again, but VOLTT was better prepared and banned all events in the bunker well before the festival. What did Vrijbuiters do next? Hijack the ferry carrying everyone home after VOLTT with a sound system and a guerilla party. Five years and over thirty parties later they are still sailing their pirate inspired flag and hosting raw, underground parties in and around Amsterdam. They don’t send press messages or make pretty flyers, interviews are a rarity and partying to DJs that play obscure, vintage house music is still what they stand for. I spoke with them about their vision and goals for the future.

Is there a goal you guys are trying to reach with Vrijbuiters? Something you are working towards?
“We want to keep following our heart: music is the consistent thread in our story. We will keep looking for artists that you don’t hear a lot. We’ve handed quite some people their debut in The Netherlands and that’s what we want to keep doing. A lot of them don’t sell tickets, but we don’t want to take the easy road and we don’t want every party to be the same. Playing it safe is too easy, and when the party still goes off it gives you a great kick.”

“We also want to keep bringing new locations like we did with MuzyQ and Studio/K (together with Berlin Underground). Next week we return to Studio/K together with Berlin Underground, guys who in our eyes have been bringing the more interesting artists to Amsterdam during the last ten years. These Studio/K editions are a more cultural event than the rawer editions we normally have, but they have become a big part of what Vrijbuiters is too. Twice a year we book a line-up of which we know it won’t sell much tickets but is still extremely good, and every year we end up sold-out and people love it.”

Vrijbuiters 2

What is the best behind-the-scenes stories you have after five years of Vrijbuiters?
“Our first Studio/K edition during ADE. We weren’t sure of the line-up, the location was new and the competition was immense. We were quite afraid of a flop, but the opposite happened. Way too many people came, and slipped in. Studio/K also decided to move the wardrobe to a cinema room on the 1st floor without consulting us which made the chaos even worse. More than a thousand people came, five to six hundred people were queueing on the stairs to hand over their jackets.. I still have nightmares, but eventually the party went off. Five years later, we have a perfect production there.”

What are your plans for the summer?
“We have some plans to do something on a boat again but I can’t say anything about that yet. Something is also coming in Augusts, and we have a special edition planned in Studio/K during the next ADE. And our Buiten Westen stage of course.”

Tell me more about your stage at our festival, Buiten Westen.
“We have two typical Vrijbuiters headliners, not very known, but very good: ARK and Terje Bakke. ARK has been on our wish-list for a long time. A completely flipped Frenchman, who is extremely energetic in the DJ booth. He goes way more crazy on his own in the booth than the crowd does, you should check out some videos! His sound is some sort of funky, micro, minimal house. A strange mix of beats, sounds, samples.. everything. A very unique, stripped sound, brought with a lot of passion. His set will be a real live set. He doesn’t play his tracks that he knows perfectly in Ableton in the same way over and over, he comes with a bag full of sounds and samples and just starts without a plan. In my eyes he is a jazz musician.”

Terje was a very impulsive choice. We think he’s made a lot of great records and his mixes bring underground music in a funky way. He is just out of a one year sabbatical and he will have a lot of great tracks waiting to be used. A really young guy who will definitly break through this year. I also want to give Makcim a honourable mention. A true wizard behind the turntables. He might not stand out as much as others in social media and such, but he is someone who owns more than 3000 records that we are really jealous of and he forges them together like no-one else can. Give this man a mixer and two turntables and he will make every crowd swing.”

Experience the world of Vrijbuiters this weekend at Studio/K or in the summer at Buiten Westen.

Buiten Westen

Sharing is caring!