Rave Revolution: a weekend at De School

Where is club culture headed in 2019? We asked the artists.

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There’s few better ways to spend an Amsterdam weekend than fully immersing yourself in ‘Het Weekend’. This December, De School’s 30-some-hour marathon made its grand return. Curated by Joe Seaton, better known as Call Super, the event announcement read: “Repetition is impossible. You are not the same. I am not the same. This club is a river. It is not. The same.” Turbulent like water in all its fluid and solid states, but consistent in quality, the weekender crowd was baptized by heavyweights including Objekt, DJ Stingray, Josey Rebelle and Pariah, but also in fresh new sounds from rising stars such as Peach, upsammy and SHYBOI. In tune with our ongoing Rave Revolution series, Glamcult teamed up with De School and photographer George Neberiedze to capture a selection of artists backstage—in the meanwhile hearing their thoughts on the (future) state of club culture.

OBJEKT

What does your ideal club crowd embody?

A diverse, harmonious and intriguing mix of people. Respectful enough to treat each other well but irreverent enough to have fun doing stupid shit—as long as it doesn’t bother anyone else.

What’s the most impactful or transformative track you heard or played in the past year? Why?

SOPHIE, Immaterial. (If you need me to tell you why it’s impactful or transformative then I despair for you.)

In 2019, what do you truly hope to see change in club culture?

A more nuanced approach on the part of venues to clubbers’ safety and comfort (safe space training being a good start). Musical diversification. Risk-taking by promoters and artists alike.

PEACH

What does your ideal club crowd embody?

No expectations. A general feeling of being open to where I’m going to go and respect towards the space and the people around us.

What’s the most impactful or transformative track you heard or played in the past year? 

E-unity, Tallarita. The broken elements that carry through the track in a non-linear way are surprising, and it led to one of the more refreshing reactions you would get from a crowd.

In 2019, what do you truly hope to see change in club culture?

More understanding and respect. The crowds need to chill and have a space to do that. And generally, more seating and chill-out spaces in events that last longer, to let everyone know they don’t have to be going for it 100% of the time if they don’t want to.

GATTO FRITTO

CALL SUPER

What does your ideal club crowd embody?

It embodies heterogeneity in age, class and race. It embodies openness in ideas of what club music can be and a lack of expectations in what the crowd wants to hear. A total readiness to go with what’s happening will always lead to the most special kind of moments.

What’s the most impactful or transformative track you heard or played in the past year?

I can’t pick favourites. Impact is always contextual. Sorry!

In 2019, what do you truly hope to see change in club culture?

Less expectations! Less self-consciousness! More tears!

OCEANIC

SHYBOI

What does your ideal club crowd embody?

The more adventurous, the better. People entering the space with an open and respectful mind is always number 1.

What’s the most impactful or transformative track you heard or played in the past year?

One of my favourite tracks, which I’ve played out a couple of times this year, is Pain Till I Die by DJ Dione. Mostly because it uses the quote from DMX’s Prayer: “so if it takes for me to suffer for my brother to see the light / Give me pain till I die”—and then it crashes into a gabber tune.

In 2019, what do you truly hope to see change in club culture?

Basically the thing a lot of us have been yelling about for a while now; more diverse line-ups (in every sense of the word), safer club spaces, continued accountability and, of course, more ass shaking.

BASS CLEF

JASMÍN

What does your ideal club crowd embody?

I enjoy playing the most when I see people dance. I like to play quite some heavy percussions and broken beats, which I think are more fun to dance to. I took different kinds of dance classes for around twelve years, so I like to explore how to move my body to different kinds of rhythms and hope people feel the same way when I’m playing. A patient crowd that appreciates different genres is very nice as well. And to be fair, I always hope not to see only guys in the front when I look up from the decks.

What’s the most impactful or transformative track you heard or played in the past year? Why?

Another place by upsammy, I played it so much this year. It proves that a great club track can be a bit dreamy and doesn’t always need a heavy kick. On the dance floor, I screamed every time Burn The Witch by LSDXOXO came on, which luckily happened quite often this year. I always go crazy when I hear a Missy Elliott track or sample. I love her.

In 2019, what do you truly hope to see change in club culture?

I hope to see even more improvements in the diversity of line-ups and club crowds and staff, and not just ‘for the sake of it’. Both as a visitor and a DJ, I always experience an evening or place with a more diverse crowd and team as safer and more comfortable. It feels a lot more open and welcoming, and therefore also more fun for everyone. I’m glad people were talking about it a lot this year, and hope to see it translated in a structural way into all the different aspects of club culture; line-ups, staff, clubbers, fans, producers, sound and light people, and promoters.

PARIAH

What does your ideal club crowd embody?

Open-mindedness mixed with a healthy dose of youthful exuberance.

What’s the most impactful or transformative track you heard or played in the past year?

Incredibly hard to pick one but Neinzer’s Horus from the amazing Timedance comp stood out for me; it’s unassuming yet very direct, which I think is a tough balance to strike—one for the “quiet bangers” folder.

In 2019, what do you truly hope to see change in club culture?

Things have been moving in a really positive direction recently and I can only hope that continues—greater diversity, more conversations around issues like mental health, holding people to account for their behaviour etc. etc. Shouts to all the people doing amazing work making this little corner of music a better place.

PEARSON SOUND

CLAIRE CICHY

What does your ideal club crowd embody?

One where people are friendly, not afraid to dance, and hopefully willing to be in a good party mood. Also, everybody smelling great.

What’s the most impactful or transformative track you heard or played in the past year? 

In the past year… that’s so hard! Right now I’ve heard a million good songs from The Durutti Column. (Need to decide which is the perfect record of theirs to get.) Will also hit a sweet spot with his Sun Ra Spotify playlist the other day.

In 2019, what do you truly hope to see change in club culture?

For there to be female urinals in abundance all the time. And for there to be a good place for people to test their drugs.

Main image: BILL KOULIGAS

 

Photography by George Nebieridze

Words by Leendert Sonnevelt

 

Special thanks to De School and Keira Sinclair

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