Jonas Kopp and Psyk played on but the sound was just way too quiet. It caused what was a decent set to sound like background music. Techno wallpaper if you will. Nothing set this set apart from any other average techno set. There was a nice friendly atmosphere in the air, with a largely younger crowd, but not many people really dancing unless they were right down at the front. There was just a lot of half arsed shuffling about going on although I enjoyed the acid sounds and the industrial tracks that were somehow still a little bit sexy. I was quite happily having a dance about with a grin on my face but I wasn’t wowed by the set and by the end of it, the club was starting to empty a bit. I was 2 metres away from the speakers at the front and I could still hear conversations a foot away from me. The sound levels were by now actually pretty infuriating. I didn’t come here to talk, I came here to enjoy techno. I suppose it was a Thursday. Most of these locals would have work or uni tomorrow and maybe it’s a good thing the night was not the most debauched night out ever – after all there were 3 days of events left to go!
Next up was Jeroen Search and Dimi Angelis playing a live set and instantly a more interesting sound emitted itself from the speakers. I had a hard time with this set, mainly because it was bloody brilliant and sounded quite beautiful in places but I was plagued by two Dutch guys shouting at each other to my left, then some girls chatting away to my right and every time I inched closer to the front in order to hear and fully immerse myself in this delicious musical treat I just got “blah blah blah blah blah” in my ear. The set was in places quite stark but always driving, graceful and engaging. The crowd were gradually responding and within a 2m radius of the front there was an excellent party going on. I could tell that if it was louder and I could take myself off to an inner techno place I’d be on cloud nine. But alas, conditions were not conducive to the advertised “perfect night of techno”. I really wanted to be able to listen to this in my headphones. Unfortunately the set was not recorded.
Before they went on, I had a chat with Jeroen Search – my first ever official interview and I was a little panicked. It was loud backstage and not the easiest place to have a chat but here is what I found out in 5 minutes of shouting with the man himself:
Who on the planet could make you star struck?
Jeff Mills without a doubt. I wouldn’t know what to say, so much to ask I would be speechless. Just a mess!
How does your family cope with the hours you keep in this career?
“It’s hard. I have children. It’s tricky but you just have to focus on them when you are there. There are ups and downs and it can be hard, but this is my job. However, for me family always comes first, without question.
What was your first paid DJ gig?
Oh my goodness, it was so long ago. It was in some club playing commercial stuff, nothing amazing.
What is your favourite food?
Do you have a favourite festival to play at?
Yes for sure I have a favourite festival. Free Rotation without a doubt. It was just the best festival – so much fun.
Do you feel that Dutch Techno producers are undervalued compared to German, UK and US artists?
That is a hard question. I don’t really know. I don’t think they are undervalued. If they are, more so in Holland that in the rest of the world.
When was the last time you were on a dance floor yourself?
In Berlin after a gig I went to Arena club and saw RØDHÅD. It was a great set and we danced like crazy!
Only when I was listening to the set did I suddenly think about all the other things I should have asked him. I knew nothing about his work with Angelis – how they met, or how they work together. I had managed to find out that the man’s favourite food is Italian. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
To end the night with the final set – The UK’s own Shifted with Sigha played B2B. Instant gear change. Sigha started and set a more banging, energetic tone to the proceedings and then Shifted really cemented it. Driving pulsing passionate beats with plenty of mid-range. It was the first time all night the music physically moved me, compelling me to hunker down and get my shoulders involved in some menacing dance floor action. The place was however by now struggling for crowd numbers. I was thinking that maybe less people being there talking helped me get into the music but no… in a club a quarter full, with seated areas and outside space a plenty, so many people were still choosing to have their deep and meaningfuls within spitting distance of the speakers. So hoping that Shifted and Sigha had fun despite a 26hr flight from Australia to get here, we left them to continue delivering a storming set whilst we trundled back to our apartment.
Before I left I bumped into Jeroen Search again and found out that he and Dimi Angelis met at a party in 2001 at a party through a mutual musical friend. Score one for investigative journalism.