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There is no stopping the guys from Dekmantel. Right off their São Paulo installment, Dekmantel already sets all eyes on their fifth festival on Dutch soil by releasing the line-up last week. And boy, did they outdo themselves once again.
With last year’s ambition (and success, as the pictures prove) still fresh in mind, by, for example, giving Motor City Drum Ensemble the honor of closing last day’s main stage, the bar for this year’s fifth anniversary is way up there. But that doesn’t discourage Dekmantel one bit. All it does is raise their ambition even more. With a program that spans across five days (coincidence?), starting from Wednesday and ending characteristically on Sunday, it’s filled to the brim with amazing musicians, of both the legendary and young talented caliber.
Diversifying from just techno and house music, Dekmantel’s opening night will be a journey through contemporary classical music with Steve Reich at the Muziekgebouw Aan ‘t IJ. The minimalist composer is accompanied by the Dutch percussion ensemble Slagwerk Den Haag to provide the sonic experience, which doubtlessly be one of a kind.
All of the events on Thursday are at venues surrounding Central Station. The music can’t be put into categories, but one thing’s for certain; things really get experimental. Fatima Yamaha, Lorenzo Senni, Forest Swords and Floating Points are just a few names who’ll be emulating the art of sonic painting. Check out the full timetable of the opening events here.
A bit more soulfulness to the evening will be added by Marcos Valle. Truly one of the masters of the Samba and Bossa Nova, the Brasilian knows how to sprinkle his home country’s music style to other genres. If you close your eyes listening to Valle’s music, you’ll instantly feel yourself being taken to a white beach somewhere in Bahia. Alternatively, Afrofuturist jazz ensemble Sun Ra Arkestra and jazz-soul band Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids bring sounds inspired by the motherland to Dekmantel.
The line up of the festival itself is star studded, with way to many artist to name within the scope of this article, though there are some notable mentions. You can find the full time table on the Dekmantel website. There’ll be four stages tailored to specific musical styles: Selectors, UFO, Greenhouse and the Mainstage.
The Selectors stage gives DJs the opportunity to go a bit more in depth through extensive sets, challenging the likes of Marcel Dettmann, Motor City Drum Ensemble and GE-OLOGY to take you on a musical ride (read: rollercoaster) through their own musical taste. Expect tracks you’d never thought to hear on a festival, as the DJs are being taken out of their comfort zone. The UFO is oriented towards raw and pumping techno with top shelf artists like DJ Nobu, Karenn and Rødhåd. The Greenhouse experiments with the new and the old, ranging from genres with artists like Robert Glasper, Helena Hauff and Joy Orbison. Lastly, the Mainstage needs no additional introduction, as the current best of the best will spin the tunes you wanna hear on a sun-drenched summer day.
Make sure you check out the Sunday program. There’s a legendary line-up coming through on the main stage. All-star DJs/producers Masters At Work will bring the classic house sounds to the ears of many, taking you back to the ’90s. It’s good to see that house music is alive and in full effect. Additionally, Larry Heard (aka Mister Fingers) will perform shortly after. The success of last year’s final set of Motor City Drum Ensemble results in a more soulful ending of the festival. This year, Rush Hour’s Antal and Hunee are up for the task, which certainly will make you leave the festival with one big ass joyous smile.
Dekmantel Festival 2017
Feature image by Bart Heemskerk.
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