Amsterdam Dance Event
Updated: Nov 4
My first ADE experience! After producing music for almost 20 years and being a raver since 1994, I went to my first ADE last weekend. I think it is best described as an "orgy of electronic music". I covered an awful lot of ground while there and many old and new friends. In terms of what experiences really stand out, well, there are many, but I think it is fair to say that dancing with Anetha at H7 Warehouse for the Intercell party on Saturday is "the one". Why? Well, I have danced with Anetha a few times now, she is such a powerful energy! My first encounter with her was at FOLD about 3 years ago. I had seen her Amsterdam Boiler Room set, I immediately thought she was so brave and cool, starting her set with a sample, "please make love to me, please make love to me", and then boom! boom! boom! the kick drums start.
I remember saying to my yoga teacher at the time how much I loved that brave female energy. So when I saw she was playing an a FOLD extended party I knew I needed to go. And actually that was the most perfect experience. She was so relaxed on the decks, she danced just like me, hips, hips, shoulders, shoulders. I remember the sun coming up as she played this early morning set, the orange warmth of the sun pushing through the FOLD blinds. It was special, there was a special warmth about her. Then the pandemic came and so it was not until March this year at E1 club in London that I able to hear her play again. That was a difficulty day for me, I had just heard the news that a friend of mine had unexpectedly passed away. I decided it was still right to go and dance. Then on the way to the venue, while already sitting with these feelings of loss, I lost the case to my AirPods, I think I left it on the train, so at the venue, these feelings of loss were further compounded. So I sat with these feelings and danced with them while waiting for Anetha to come on and play.
Now here is the thing, as soon as she got behind the decks, it was like going from darkness to light. Just like that! It was like, a switch, it was like, yes, there maybe darkness and death, but while we are alive, we might as well dance. I was left with such a warm feeling, it was a great set. Now, her set at H7 Warehouse for Intercell at this year's ADE, surpassed all the previous experiences. It was like we both knew it would too. Here's the thing, there was a kind of cold energy leading up to her set, I mean, it wasn't that bad, but people were finding it hard to trust one another, you know when you can feel that in the air. Don't get me wrong, it was a good party, a typical modern warehouse rave, good soundsystem, expensive bar, good lights, lots of different people from different backgrounds.
Anyway, funny thing is, juts before Anetha's set started, I had trouble getting my bag out of my locker, it wouldn't open, there simply wasn't time to get help, so once again, I had feelings of loss, "had someone stolen my bag and then relocked my locker? did they see me put my PIN in? You know standard anxieties when things are quite perfect, then there was that slightly distrusting air in the arena too. So once again, Anetha gets behind the decks, and it's like all those negative feelings just don't seem to matter. It was such a good set, almost perfect, but more than just musically, as we danced, the entire arena just "unlocked", thousands of us just grooving, hips, hips, shoulders, shoulders, ha ha! And the positive energy was just contagious. Honestly afterwards, actually for days and still now, it is hard to put into words the energy release.
I think it is best summed up by an encounter I had with two girls as I retrieved my bag from the locker (yes, there was nothing to worry about, it was just a faulty locker and the staff helped me get my bag), one of the girls said to me how much they liked my outfit, and the other said how I had an incredible aura. I thanked them for their compliments and explained the sole reason I was there was to hear Anetha play, this is what they said back, something like, yes, we love Anetha too, it is like when she plays her music she is playing it just for you, it is like it is just you and her. So there we are. Other people feel it too.
Of course there are many, many more stories to tell from ADE, including my bar set at ClinkNOORD where once again the people wouldn't leave, just like at Dream Baby Dream in Berlin, so I had to wind the set down. Someone also tipped me 10 euros, he was so, so happy with the music I was playing he gave me 10 euros! That's a first for me. And how I finally got to hear Paula Tape play at a very cool underground club. Wow! That's a great story too. Also the amazing DJ Bone Homeless Homies party at this amazing Radion venue. Catching up with the incredible Nastia and Dave Clarke, talking about ways the electronic music community can help Ukraine. Getting to meet one of my heroes Tom Trago, not once, but twice! He is such a lovely guy and an absolutely amazing music producer. Dancing with Daniel Avery for his DJ Mag livestream, celebrating his new album, "Ultra Truth", meeting a lovely couple Sophie and Mike. Meeting a lovely family at Lady of the House party at W Hotel. Meeting a very cool soul Lorenzo at a DJ Jaguar gig who organises underground parties. Actually the list goes on and on and I will miss important people if I try and list them all, but I just want to bring it back to Anetha and that very important DJ and dancer connection, and what those two girls said. That is what it is all about.