Animaux | UK

Second Line-Up Announcement from Dimensions Festival

Mar
09

Dimensions announced their 2016 line-up with the likes of Larry “Mr. Fingers” Heard, Octave One, Richie Hawtin, our past guests Zenker Brothers and many more! Check the video and the poster below for full listings!

[fbvideo link=”https://www.facebook.com/DimensionsFestival/videos/802651473174775/” width=”1000″ height=”500″ onlyvideo=”1″]

You can find Dimensions tickets here or more info here.

Pitch Festival Review (Side A)

Jul
24

After barely making the plane and after a few train rides we finally reached the gates of Pitch Festival. It was quite a surreal experience since there was literally no advertising anywhere to be seen in town and after a good walk, once you enter one of many parks in Amsterdam, you are suddenly greeted by booming bass and a sea of people.

Photo Credit: PITCH Festival

Pitch returned with its five stages – Westertent, home of bass, Gashouder, the second biggest stage in a massive hall reserved for the darkest performances, Transformator Huis, Westerunie, the most club like experience, Westerfielde, the smallest stage with more leftfield-y performances and the newest addition to the festival – the massive Park Stage, fitting thousands of people, reserved for the most crowd-drawing artists.

The two days seemed to be spread out to appeal to two different crowds – Friday consisting of mainly experimental and darker performances such as Moderat and Massive Attack and Saturday with Joy O and Richie Hawtin, seemed to be catered towards the raver population. Obviously there were exceptions, for example Phon.o’s hour caught me completely off guard. He played quite early – around 10, thus I walked in expecting a more slow, steady, experimental set. I was treated to a four to the floor, chest pounding hour of techno, crammed a long with a few hundred people that seemed to be hit by the same unrelenting 50 Weapons label train.

Photo Credit: Grace Wye

My favourite of Friday night, if not the festival, were Moderat. Every little detail seemed well thought out, from the four screens aligned in an X form to give a deeper, more enticing visual experience, to letting the sub-woofers introduce them after a long interlude. The performance was everything I was hoping for and more – Gernot Bronsert shouting at the crowd “Show me you want “Bad Kingdom”!” and everyone losing their minds will forever stay with me.

I was able to catch tiny bits of Mount Kimbie, who as always managed to dazzle the crowd with melancholy only interrupted by reverberated guitars, all done live, Lunice, who seemed to jump around more than the crowd (they tried, bless them) while ramming them with barely more than 808s and SBTRKT’s finishing touches on Wildfire which seemed even the bouncers sang along to. Majority of people seemed to be heading towards the Park stage, however, where Massive Attack were getting ready. Musically, all I can say is that, while not being a huge fan, I was impressed and whole-heartedly enjoyed their hour. So seemed to the thousands dancing, jumping, crying (!) and singing along. It seemed as if Pitch did their research and one of their main bookings hit the right buttons for everyone. The night ended for me with George Fitzgerald shaking “Gashouder” with a never-ending rhythm of house which let the happy festival goers use up the last remnants of their energy.

Photo Credit: PITCH Festival

I decided to sleep in on Saturday and head to the festival a bit later than everyone else – having seen Theo Parrish and Buraka Som Sistema recently I thought I’d save my ever so dwindling energy for the evening acts as I saw I was going to be moving quite a bit. I arrived just as Caribou was starting, with a full band mind you, which served as beautiful introduction and let me get back into the swing of things. I do feel though, that an 8pm start for Caribou was a weird time-tabling selection. Gaslamp Killer followed and yet again I was blown away by the energy his music and himself behind the decks exceed. The crowd were being treated to fresh and unreleased music straight from LA in his first European performance this year and they were not disappointed.

Photo Credit: PITCH Festival

As it so happens, that Saturday the Netherlands were playing Costa Rica in the World Cup. This was streamed on massive screens at the Park stage where.. Richie Hawtin was playing. I don’t know if it was the football, lack of intoxication, a massive crowd which did not really respond to much or a combination of all of those, but I was not overly impressed and started making my way to the Gashouder, to see one of the other highlights of my festival – Joy Orbison. An unrelenting two hour train of techno hit the massive building like no one else had managed so far. Playing with the crowd by teasing samples of well known tunes (Swerve comes to mind), he did not step out of the dark 130bpm range. Thoroughly engaging, not tiring and awe inspiring experience.

Photo Credit: PITCH Festival

Thus ended my two days at Pitch this year. Coming back to the festival was a bit daunting since I thought I might have sugar-coated a few things in my memory over the two years, however I was pleasantly surprised. The quality increased pretty much all across the board (along with the prices for food and booze, mind you) and the newest Park stage seemed to be a fantastic success. It seems to me that visiting Amsterdam in July might become a yearly tradition.