October 23, 2014

ADE Update: Techno & Trance Titans, Plus Some Old Pals

Global: "Armin Only: Intense" tour detailed.
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Global: “Armin Only: Intense” tour detailed.
Amsterdam – Yesterday, we hit the conference portion of Amsterdam Dance Event at the Felix Meritis Centre. Then, last night we made the club rounds and hit two very different, but no less important events.

Early in the day, we did the ADE schmooze in the Felix Café and the courtyard of the nearby Dylan Hotel. As usual, we ran into several fellow NYC industry types—Marquee NYC DJ/promoters Sleepy and Boo, DJ/producer Tommie Sunshine, promoter Benny Soto and DJ legend Danny Tenaglia.

We took some meetings, most notably with the guys from Pulselocker, a unique new music distribution platform that offers a little bit more than the average set-up, and our Swiss friend Benjamin Boris from Electrophil Records. Thanks for the chocolate, Benjamin!

Doing the Schmooze: Tommie Sunshine at ADE.

Doing the Schmooze: Tommie Sunshine at ADE.

We also connected with our old pal Josh Gabriel (of Gabriel & Dresden fame), who showed us a very cool, new Mixman app that’s still in beta. Shhhh—news to come soon enough. And, of course, we caught up with our longtime friend Nick McGeachin, who was rocking a unique, foldable, mobile LiteConsole setup in the Felix. Cheers, Nick!

On Thursday’s “Future of DJing” panel, ace moderator/Baron of Techno Dave Clarke asked the panel, “How important is turnover for the product cycle? There are so many new products that only incrementally advance the technology. Whereas you have someone like [fellow panelist] Dave Smith here, who waits until he’s ready to release an absolute corker of a product, everyone else keeps cranking out new pieces, even if they’re only a tiny bit better than the last.”

Beatport’s Terry Weerasinghe, a former Native Instruments employee, offered: “You do have to look at the market. If a product sells a million units, you’d be crazy not to try to compete with that because the market is saying that it wants something. And if you think you can do it a little bit better, you have to try.”

Felix Booth: Nick McGeachin with his LiteConsole.

Felix Booth: Nick McGeachin with his LiteConsole.

Pioneer UK’s Rik Parkinson concurred: “Look, Pioneer was about last to the controller market, but we wanted to do it right. We saw that companies like Numark and some others were making controllers that DJs wanted, so—like Terry says—we’d be crazy not to pay attention.” The technology battles continue.

In clubland, we hit the Armada party at Club Escape, where we had a nice catch-up with Paul Oakenfold. (Shamless plug: His upcoming show at NYC’s Cielo on Nov. 24 expects to be hot.) Label acts W&W and Cosmic Gate rocked the packed house before Armin van Buuren raised the energy even further. Earlier in the day, Dutch star announced the details of his Armin Only: Intense tour, a Live Nation-promoted affair that promises to give fans mega-production, late-night action and a few surprises.

Then, we cabbed it over to the massive Gashouder venue for the ADE Awakenings party with headliner Carl Cox. After running into Danny Tenaglia and Benny Soto again, we caught the end of Jon Rundell’s set full of rolling grooves, trippy loops and forceful punch. Next up, Nicole Moudaber delivered a 90-minute set of mesmerizing techno—intoxicating percussion, whopping bass stabs, genuine moments. Then Carl Cox did what he does—play the most energetic and powerful techno you’ll ever hear. Roundly pummeled with techno beats, we got back to the hotel after 5 a.m.—whew.

Now we’re up and awake and off to interview Ms. Moudaber for a future issue of DJ Times. Ciao for now…

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