Talk about Dekmantel Festival in a non closer future it will be talking about one of the world reference in electronic music. To get an idea of the level achieved in the second edition which ended Sunday at the Amsterdamse Bos, indicate it managed to bring together headliners of the caliber of 3 Chair, Nicolas Jaar, Jeff Mills or Daphni, but the qualitative leap is in an average small letter that holds quality all four sides, under the protection of referents as Resident Advisor, Boiler Room or Red Bull Music Academy. If we also add an idyllic location, an almost obsessive attention to the attendance or the visible appreciation of the artists, we are undoubtedly face to the European festival who fastest growing has in prestige in recent years.
Friday 1st of August
Due to business reasons, we missed Mood Hut or MartynxInga Copeland team-up, as well as having to choose between Nederlands team ups by CinnamanxTom Trago or the one by John Talabot and Axel Bolman. The decision by the Swedish-Spanish duo was successful according to what we could enjoy, a fresh and danceable session where the dark Swedish landscapes mingled with reminiscences of the Chicago style of Catalan. Almost with no time for taking a breather came Jamie XX, known as the brain of The XX band, which featured nearly two-hour show that moved with astonishing ease from seventies disco rhythms to the heavier base of techno. In the middle of his session, and because of the repetitive and insistent way that was starting to take it, we left the stage towards Selectors stage where DJ Harvey vented his characteristic mix of fresh house with disco, including some rock sounds. Unfortunately, some moments of his session showed small disconnections with the public and rhythm was to hard to follow, which caused a general rout as the beginning of the show of Nicolas Jaar approached on the main stage. The American with Chilean origins had announced that it would present new songs live, and with his usual parsimony and tranquillity offered about 1 hour of music that highlighted some particularly rhythmic passages that offset some moments of slow and monotonous house. Three days later we still do not know if what he offered was a DJ set or Live, but it's true that their little dance pills represented a great finale to a remarkable first day which highlighted the massive presence of the public come from outside the Dutch capital (especially London and Berlin).
Saturday 2nd of August
Saturday was the big day of the festival, with Sold Out for days at the ticket office and 3 Chairs acting as main claim. Before they we had time to enjoy the Northern Irish duo Bicep, which showed on the main stage a session that included touches of disco, house and techno, daring even to mix "Can't do without you" by Caribou, that would be hours later on the same stage. They and Joy Orbison (which seems to deny the dubstep that led him to fame by offering a House and Garage session) were the main beneficiaries of the big storm that fell on the festival for a few minutes, and it made the smaller stages were closed during a couple of hours, thus the main stages were closer to full attendance. Once the problems were solved, finally wev were able to enjoy one of those moments that remain etched in the mind, the live show of 3 Chair project, or in other words Moodymann, Marcellus Pittman, Rick Wilhite and Theo Parrish, Not much.. Before a stage that became too small, guys called Wizards of the second wave of Detroit's techno began their session with a suggestive "Amsterdam! Welcome to the Three Chairs Experience", at the same time that started a non-ending back-to-back among all project members who would join later Kyle Hall and Jay Daniel, time when Moodymann and Theo Parrish stepped back for the showcasing of the other members. However, in what was a constant throughout the session, the amusement and continuous "healthy tiff" among all members of the experiment allowed us to enjoy pretty steep jumps from techno to disco, but they were resolved quickly because the expertise of these masters of the vynils.
Before a session of more than five hours by 3 Chairs, we had plenty time to enjoy other proposals like Hessle Audio Trio on the main stage, with an awesome Ben Ufo that was in care of launch difficult dancing basses at first (but with which seconds later you're moving your body almost involuntarily), or MR.Ties one somewhat scattered as far as style is concerned, but managed to attract a good number of audience on Selectors stage. Just after appeared on the same stage local Antal, with his Latin, Indian and African rhythms competed on the same level with a brilliant Óscar Mulero that was the delight of those present at the Boiler Room Stage, showing that when he is focused, despite the years, remains one of the Kings of Techno.After a few twists and turns to enjoy 3 Chair's show, we decided to close the evening with American Traxx, which presented a show dominated by voices and basses that failed to attract the public, and the proposal of the Canadian Daphni,best known by his alter-ego Caribou, who left astonished to all those who doubted about his presence at the main stage to these important hours when he masterfully remix Lana del Rey, Four Tet, carnival music or greatest Julia taht he has created with impulsive Owen Pallet as if it were a single song.
Sunday 3rd August
After the exhausting day on Saturday, our body needed a little break accompanied by a spread with which to face the last day of festival, so our first contact of the day was with Ben Ufo on the Selectors stage, where he gave a great dose of house and techno with hints of Bass and Grime thanked by an audience eager of dance beats.Slightly later started Nina Kraviz (who saw her time cropped to accommodate Karenn, who had to postpone their show Friday because of the loss of their material) on the main stage, showing that today is one of the visible stars of electronic music, not so much for a session that faltered at times with a techno more suitable for a Ibiza disco session late in the morning (there would be time for example to The Tunnel by Richie Hawtin) than a late-afternoon festival, but by her sweeping presence on a stage who adores her thanks to her poses, hair movements and continuous gestures to the public.
It was time to return to Selectors stage and observe the proposal of the local Benny Rodrigues, that is slowly catching name on the international scene thanks to his old school sessions where the disc is mixed with techno with amazing facility. Noteworthy that the Rotterdam guy offered one of the most danceable festival sessions, reaching overshadow the sounds coming as couplings and interference from Boiler and Red Bull stages, in what was a trend that happened throughout the festival and it was resolved by the managers of the stage setting up the master of each one.. However, the calm came with the Mount Kimbie show, which at first would be a live, but finished as a DJ set because one of its members had forgotten the documentation, which prevented him from flying to the Dutch city. Despite this drawback, half of the duo gave a great Drum'n Bass and Dubstep session in which there was even time for ska or Caribbean rhythms samples. The end of the festival was approaching and Jeff Mills was in charge of closing the big stage, and as expected, the Detroit techno legend did not fail with a hard and direct session based on plagued bass rhythms who rumble in the body to meddle directly inside the music. When closer to the end of his session, we decided to take the way out to the bike that took us home, we could still feeling the power of basses near the door of a festival that has been a success both for attendance and by the musical quality. Remain to enhance small sound problems caused by overlap in the smaller scenarios and the fact that against cancellations, delays or substitutions the information not easily reach to the public, but these small details can not tarnish a festival that takes care of the spectator limiting the audience to a number that allows you to enjoy every stage, with ideal temperatures and a good overall atmosphere difficult to match..Little more remains for us to say about this incredible edition of 2014..¡¡See you on Dekmantel 2015!!