Electronation calls it quits after 10 years of non-stop partying

Electronation calls it quits after 10 years of non-stop partying

Jul 26, 2012 |  by  |  Event, Music
About the author
Ridz, advertises, produces indie/electronic music, performs throughout the Netherlands but ultimately always ends up at an Amsterdam based ensemble... then he blogs about all these things.

Electronation was originated by Roy Avni back in 2002 and has been run by Hans-Jochem aka Terry Toner since 2010. This Saturday the legendary organization will be throwing its last event ever under the name Electronation. An event that cannot happen without us reminiscing about the last 10 years of partying in Amsterdam and beyond. We had a chat with captain Terry Toner about his memorabilia.

“In the nineties there used to be a pretty serious techno culture. Roy was the guy that wanted to bring back some amusement into the nightlife and make going out more accessible. At that moment, the electroclash movement started becoming a hype with artists like Miss Kitten, The Hacker, Felix The Housecat and DJ Hell. Electronation became the organization that represented that sound in the Netherlands.”

Electronation’s first party took place in Amsterdam’s Akhnaton, Terry Toner wasn’t in the organization at the time, but he was there as a visitor with his DJ friend Herr Arter. “Herr Arter ran into Roy Avni once at the Melkweg, that’s where he was informed about the Akhnaton party. Arter promised to give Roy a mixtape there, which I had to mix, because Arter wasn’t capable enough at the time. The party consisted of 60 people, 58 of which were goths and gays, 2 of them students: Herr Arter and Terry Toner”. A few parties later, after some bluffing, the two became residents for what would become a 10 year long Electronation legacy.

So what made a night out at an Electronation party more remarkable than at other parties?
“When it started, the electroclash sound was new, hip and exciting, but in the end the popularity of the events were a reflection of Roy’s personality, musical taste and appearance. He was a pretty good representative of a certain scene at that moment, being all avant garde and such. The sudden popularity of our events took us past all the venues and clubs in the Netherlands, starting from Melkweg, Sugar Factory, Effenaar, Tivoli to places like Cafe D’Anvers in Antwerp and The Egg in London. At a certain point Roy was almost obsessed with throwing parties every weekend, whenever, wherever. Sometimes you asked yourself if this was the right way to do it, but most of the times it worked.”

And when did your role change from resident DJ to (co)owner?
“As the years evolved, I became more involved in the organization as a good friend, in an advising role, but I never felt the need to have the ultimate responsibility. The producer/DJ thing was working out fine for me. At a certain point in 2008 Roy came up to me and told me was sick, he had cancer. For two years this information passed by pretty much unnoticed, but he needed someone close to him to understand his situation, make decisions for him and prepare for the future. That’s when I started discovering qualities I didn’t know I had.”

June 13 2012

On the 13th of june 2010, Roy passed away and Terry Toner started sailing the ship. It became serious business for him. Together with his new colleague Michiel Bierman and an intern he continued to throw Electronation events. The first of which was a month after the death of Roy, an 8 year anniversary party at Paradiso.

Could you say that was your most memorable Electronation moment?
“I definitely think it’s an event that many people won’t forget, especially myself. It was a huge ode to Roy and a good moment to say goodbye. His family flew over from Israel and we made lots of money for the cancer fund. At that party you could really visualize how many people actually supported him and how much goodwill the man had built up in the scene. I don’t think any other event will surpass that one in the near future. But I also have to mention the first time I had to play in the Melkweg as a warm-up for Legowelt amongst others when I was only 19. The club was absolutely packed and the cue outside went all the way to Leidseplein. This was the most nerve wrecking moment I’ve ever experienced. Finally, I have to mention the Amuse parties (Sugar Factory’s old name) with Dr. Lekroluv, Tiga and many others. Don’t remember much of them, but that’s the reason why they were always successful.”

New Beginnings

So after so many glorious moments, why stop?
“It’s difficult to start new initiatives with the old legacy that our organization carries. If you really want to renew, you have to start with a clean sheet. The industry we work in, is all based on momentum and works in a very dynamic way. When a hype is exploited to the max, you have to be able to move on to the next train. Plus, Electronation is a definition built around Roy Avni. It’s based on his friends and what he likes. It never had a mission statement or a hard business model, it’s just about having a good time with friends and seeking for more adventure. Roy was the heart and soul of the organization and it would be a shame to let it bleed to death. That’s why we’re celebrating the 10 year anniversary with a bang. It has been my plan for a while and his close friends and family support this.”

Then how does the future look like for you?
After this last party I will continue to setup and sail with my new baby called NGHTDVSN. We’re building up some new initiatives like De Nachtdivisie, which is an accesible party in the Chicago Social Club with contemporary house music. NGHTDVSN is its big brother which will take place in Paradiso three times a year, it focuses on slightly bigger artists and a more futuristic electronica/techno sound. Finally, my colleague Michiel is very involved with Junction, which represents the new techno sounds of the city. Actually, we’re already busy with our plans for 2013, but in the end, just like Roy, my best benchmark is to go with what I personally like, or not.

Feature image by ttvphotography.nl

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