Every year around this time, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world travel to Amsterdam to hear (and see!) the hottest artists in electronic music. over 2500 acts will be performing at over 200 locations in the city. Needless to say, it's easy to get lost. Luckily for you I have a list of things you absolutely can't miss if you're visiting. Enjoy!
1. Jon Hopkins
This British producer has a signature sound that has musicians from all over the world puzzling how the hell he does it. his grooves seem to have a paradoxical quality, being both relentless and emotionally satisfying at the same time. his latest release was in 2018 and showcases his unique mix of ambient and progressive techno in a manner which will haunt you for days after listening to it.
When thinking of ADE, many people will automatically picture massive areas with non stop EDM and hollow eyes. However, ADE is also the place to be if you are looking for the more emotionally challenging material. one such artist is Sohn. this singer, songwriter and producer has an absolutely stunning voice and knows how to use it. his songwriting skills are phenomenal. if you haven't heard him yet, this might be a great time to bring some change to that. He'll be performing the opening concert for ADE together with the renowned Metropole Orchestra, which is bound to be epic beyond measure (click the header for event details).
I'm a geek. I'll gladly admit it. I love nerdy stuff and the electronic music scene has quite an array of quirky things. So when I first heard of Colin Benders I was hooked in an instant. This electronic musician seems to have had quite a career as a conductor for orchestras before deciding enough is enough. he now spends his days jamming with modular synthesisers, an instrument best described as Lego for musicians. the great thing about Colin is his ability to take such a highly experimental instrument and lift it to actual musical results. It's rumoured his live shows are dark and gritty techno so if you're a fan of that, definitely go and check it out!
Speaking of dark and gritty techno, Awakenings is back in full force this year. just like previous editions, Awakenings has set up shop at the Gashouder, a massive silo close to the city centre. every day and night of the week they will be hosting some of the biggest and greatest names currently in the Techno scene. there's a lot to pick from so just click the header and see for yourself. bring earplugs!
this one isn't music per se. however, for all you musicians and artists out there, this could be a very interesting opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the greatest in electronic music. lots of seminars, talks, workshops and intimate Q&A's will be hosted here on a daily basis. you'll also get a chance to try out some new and upcoming instruments with demos and instructions from the creators themselves. so if your hangover isn't killing you and you have some time to kill until your next party, definitely go and check it out.
Secret option 6. roam around!!
ADE is packed to the brim with events and cool things to discover. so if you don't know what to do and where to go, just head out and explore! I've found some of my best events just by walking into random clubs and seeing what's going on. chances are you'll find something fantastic there.
Thats it! if you're going, let me know in the comments where you're headed and if you're visiting any of the items on this list, let me know how it was!