“… the kind of pleasure I would consider the real pleasure would be so deep, so intense, so overwhelming that I couldn’t survive it.”
A fitting quote used by the promoters – a fragment of the established dutch company Reaktor – who take residence in an old slaughterhouse in the western area of Amsterdam three times a year. With the aim of providing a hard-line techno concept, now moving into it’s fourth addition, the event is un-rivalled on the local scene. Bringing together the best selectors in industrial techno, electro and hardstyle – both the production and system used to power the warehouse are nothing short of world class. And neither are the line-ups – forming a big impression on the week long ADE festival, featuring Helena Hauff, Karenn, Tsuzing and Umwelt. It’s clear that the crew behind the conglomerate know exactly how to entice their target audience and programme both up-and-coming, as well as seasoned heavyweights through their bookings.
Tonight, Berghain resident DVS1 led the audience through a four hour, immersive selection of rolling techno, ambient soundscapes, and hard-hitting percussion. Accompanied by the trance styled lasers and LED visuals backing the stage, it would have been very easy for the set to have seemed nothing short of a big-room novelty. However, the Mistress Recordings and Klockworks aficionado kept the crowd locked in and almost made the vast warehouse space seem like an intimate venue – constantly creating both atmosphere and working through complex progression – along with crowd favourites such as the illustrious ‘Black Russian’.
The second room supporting on Friday night leant more towards half-time techno soundscapes and white noise rather than danceable floor-fillers, and although the contrast to the main space was appreciated – it was hard to stay transfixed in the same way that was possible out of the room one system. Notably Eomac, demonstrating his work from label Bedouin under alias Bedouin Trax, created hypnotising melodies and half-time ambience which during the early hours of the morning sounded fantastic through the room two set-up. However, during the evening, the slower progression from the live sets and the prominent use of white noise gave the overall crowd response of a more stagnant, head nodding vibe than the danceable tones eminating from the main room.
To close the night off, Tommy Four Seven stepped up to take the mantle and end the shelling of the main arena. With skills honed from the early days of London’s Fire Club; his use of broken techno, interesting layering and varying texture – which feature heavily in his own production – led for an interesting listen. By this stage the visuals were on point as well – with full length strobing from the extensive lighting rig complimenting the low-end frequencies that shook the room. Tune selection featuring work from himself and Alain Paul under the These Hidden Hands moniker, remixes from Perc and Regis, as well as work from his own collection ‘Primate’ – the Berlin based selector wrapped up proceedings and ended the night with rapturous applause from the punters who’d stuck it out till the bitter end.
With an NDSM special and the ADE ‘Wall Of Sound’ event fast approaching – it’s fair to say the Reaktor crew have both a niche and a chokehold on the city of Amsterdam. What was witnessed on the Friday of the two day weekender event wasn’t for the faint hearted – and with a name meaning a ‘purification and purging of emotions’ – it’s true that Katharsis achieved what they were setting out to accomplish throughout the early hours of Saturday morning. With a venue that matches the darkness of the selectors booked, and with many more events scheduled through the three varying concepts, it’s true that the 4th of August was nothing short of a truly cathartic experience.
Reaktor’s ADE ‘Wall Of Sound’ event: https://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?987410