7th / January / 2017
Perhaps Amsterdam’s answer to the Berghain, the derelict school has achieved much publicity over the year since it opened it’s doors for the first time last January. And understandably, with bookings ranging from local heroes such as Job Jobse and Cinnaman, to those across the water such as Joy Orbison, Four Tet and Optimo demonstrating the booking power the venue has in-house. And this also comes as no surprise, with the owners Post CS BV previously owning the late Trouw and formerly Club 11.
After entering through the huge double doors, passing the quick frisk search, and receiving the stern reminder that under no circumstances are photos allowed to be taken on the dance-floor (strangely a chilling reminder back to the high school days) a huge staircase takes you down into the smoke-filled, former cycle storage facility.
With the bar situated at the far back of the venue, facing away from the DJ booth, the layout means that once you enter the venue it’s solely the individual and the music – no interruptions and certainly no flashing phone screens to detract from the experience. Two stacks of Function Ones line either side of the stage, and although I’d personally been sceptical about the sound quality I’d previously been promised from the venue – on a cold night in January it did live up to expectation.
First up was Peggy Gou (a.k.a Peggy Gould), whose set resonated with London, Berlin and Detroit sounds, space age synthesizers – combined with 120bpm breakbeats and 808 drum samples. The whole thing was well executed, moving through the best in pulsating techno that filled the darkened room of the old technical school and got the crowd moving. Dropping in a couple of her own productions, namely Gou Talk and Day Without Yesterday, the support-act did exactly what any support-act should – got the crowd warmed up and demonstrated a masterclass in smooth transitions and selection variety.
When the time came, up stepped Jackmaster – sporting a celtic shirt, probably still relishing in the 2-1 over local rivals Rangers the previous week, and in true style showed how to work the crowd and get the dutch crowd dancing. Moving effortlessly through percussive house, into deeper techno, through old disco edits paired with moments of acid breaks – the set was packed with anthems and kept everyone below the ground locked in, anticipating the next move. Highlight had to be the Greg Wilson edit of Psycho Killer that was played before close however. Getting a crowd watching a set to dance is an ability, dropping out the track and getting them to sing an acapella is another skill all together. A victorious end of the year for Celtic, but also a winner for the Jackmaster in the early days of 2017.