In west Amsterdam, under a towering glass atrium, lies the dancefloor in the old 1920’s trade school building named Het Sieraad. The venue itself is far from the dingy underground crypt of Shelter, or the thick-smoke filled main room of De School, but by incorporating palm trees and open brick-work the space feels like it maintains a real party vibe – a celebration rather than a club night. And after 6 years of promoting ground-breaking, soulful dance music – that’s exactly the spirit that the Next Monday’s Hangover crew were aiming to encapsulate on the first day of spring.
The main floor, on two levels and raised at each side, gave the crowd an ‘arena’ sort of effect, framing the dance floor on two heights and condensing the impressively sized room into what felt like an intimate venue. Although Het Sieraad have struggled with sound quality in the past, with 2017 hosting events from not just NMH but NGHTDVSN as well – it was apparent the system has recently undergone a massive improvement, and both the subs and punchy snare sounds managed to rattle the framework of the old establishment.
First up was Kiasmos, with Janus (one half of the duo) taking to the decks. Although usually playing live sets, the DJ outing proved formidable, with the signature atmospheric techno sound resonating through the one-room event. Highlights included Kiasmos’ very own Thrown, with it’s pulsating beat building throughout and releasing into a fist-pumping reaction from the crowd, and detailed progression throughout.
Taking the mantle from the scandanvian were the Italian duo Marvin & Guy, who adorned their matching sequinned jackets and really kicked off the celebration inside of the venue. With the recent release of ‘Fire! Fire!’, the pair of Alessandro Parlatore and Marcello Giordani have come along way since their first EP on Japanese label Let’s Get Lost (a side venture of the expansive Mule Musiq). In 2015 Dance Abilities was released, which was quickly picked up by artists such as Roman Flügel, Pachanga Boys and John Talabot. With both swagger and impressive stage presence, the pair raced through raw, grooving beats with disco influence that contrasted the slower pace of Kiamos’ midnight set and ignited the dancefloor.
The ending set, an interesting B2B between local boys Tsepo and Nuno Dos Santos, once against switched up the vibe under the glass atrium. Rolling snares and pounding kick drums took the event to the next level, with excellent production value mirroring the beats through the lighting desk and systematically illuminating the dancefloor. Heavy strobes, accompanied with rotating beamers and LED strips above the booth gave both a polished effect to the night as well as enhancing the effect of the music – which at 5am had moved into deeper territory. To cement the party atmosphere, the final song as the lights were switched on resolved with ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’, at which point the concluding DJ’s cut the sound completely and left the audience to sing the final vocal lines of the closing track. During the finale the lights came back on in time for the venue to clean-up, transform the space, and revert the venue back for whatever subdued day-time event was set to happen the following morning – a world away from the celebration happening the previous evening.
After six years in the game, it’s apparent NMH still have a significant foothold in Amsterdam – for booking interesting line-ups, promoting more left-field and interesting music, and most importantly creating a great party atmosphere. Although there have notably been problems with the sound inside Sieraad in the past; with the venue turning towards hosting more music events, the improvement was definitely recognised. Despite De Marktkantine, De School and other standout clubs providing an excellent space for dance music events, Het Sieraad on the 1st April had some magic behind it – not just the music, not just the enthusiastic crowd, but the venue itself. Literally translating into English as ‘The Jewellery’ – it’s no surprise that Het Sieraad shone when presenting NMH’s sixth year of development.