From hard-hitting house and techno to the more obscure and left-field corners of (mostly) electronic music, there’s not a lot of festivals that get us wound up like Dekmantel. By now an Amsterdam music institution as much as a globally known phenomenon—in case you missed it: Dekmantel also does festivals in Brazil and Croatia—Dekmantel returns to its Dutch roots in the first week of August for five days of audio(visual) bliss. Here’s five acts you shouldn’t miss.
Put together Aurora Halal and Daniel Martin-McCormick (better known under his Ital moniker) for a live set, and there’s a guaranteed recipe for success. Having recently experienced these two in Berghain as well as our homebase De School, Halal & Relaxer presented a set that was as dark and hazy as it was throbbing and full of energy. Describing their joint work as an “exorcism through techno” and “a spiritual descent”, it’s easy to imagine a live vibe that’s, well… relaxing. But don’t be fooled; this duo will have your eardrums reverberating for a long time.
There’s few artist who tick all our boxes like Yves Tumor does. Whether it’s through his music, fashion or visuals, the enigmatic artist—who happens to be a Shayne Oliver favourite, performing for Hood By Air and recently making an appearance in the designer’s take on Helmut Lang—creates an experimental, often eerie realm of his own. His live performances are an impressive continuation of that radical realm, and a definite must-see if you’re attending the festival.
“You want to make something real, you have to experience something, not just something you’ve read or you’ve listened to… something that is you.” The realness of Pan Daijing is captivating, from the first seconds of drone to those intense depths of darkness that follow. A conduit for the music, Daijing teeters on the boundary between performance art and music—creating something raw in her search for intimacy with the audience and her exploration of pain itself. That might not sound like festival fun, but we highly suggest giving this talent a try.
DJ Stingray is a force of nature—and with every time we get to see him perform, the force from Detroit (currently operating from Berlin) gets an even tighter grip. Behind the iconic ski mask is an electro-meets-techno mastermind whose dark and dystopian sets have the ground trembling. Sherard Ingram is a dance music veteran, but his underground acclaim has soared higher than ever in the past few years. And rightly so, because all we want is more and more Stingray.
Does the name Moko Shibata ring a bell? Powder, perhaps? If not, please let this edition of Dekmantel be your introduction to the Tokyo-based producer. Powder’s music is hard to pin down in terms of genre, but ‘ethereal house’ comes somewhat close to what it really is. There’s a sense of escapism underpinning each of Powder’s meticulously produced and/or selected tracks, creating the type of world peace that only exists on the dancefloor. See you there!