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07.12.2017 | Words by: Luc Mastenbroek

Most of these monthly write-ups start with the same mantra: it’s a family affair, a community, the same game. For the next month, the first of the new year, it will be a little different, maybe more unusual. After our annual De Nieuw get-together we’ll move up, and stay above ground level for a month.   

Though we haven’t yet been open for two years, it does sometimes feel like this basement has always been there. You walk down the stairs – basement. I’ve done it almost every Friday and Saturday, sometimes Sunday, I still enjoy the walk down along the light strip, but it can feel automatic. The idea of taking the basement away for a month felt nice: we could change a few bits to the space, organize a few nights we couldn’t do otherwise and make it all feel a little smaller.

It will be a moment to reflect on what’s been most discussed since we opened – darkness on the dancefloor. Is a dark basement only suitable for hard techno? (I hope not, when I wrote down my ten favourite sets at De School last year, techno surely wasn’t the common denominator.) Before we opened the club, avoiding flashy lights seemed like the right thing to do. People wanted to see what this new club floor would look like, and it seemed like fun to take that possibility away, so people would rather focus on something else (each other, the sound).

I always hoped this dancefloor would stimulate people to dance, and I think it does. To feel more comfortable to dance and let go. But there’s also other things we should take into consideration: a dark dancefloor is definitely not always safer, and a while ago a friend of mine rightfully noted that darkness doesn’t automatically create mutual respect, instead it can also lead to indifference, not caring who is there, rather than recognizing each other.

As said, only small bits will change to the rooms, but the freedom to use different spaces might be something we’ll use more often. Doing nights in Het Muzieklokaal creates the possibility to invite musicians with a large live set-up (too big to fit in the fixed booth in the basement), and thus we could invite saxophonist Etienne Jaumet to our club, who you might know from his latest LP on Versatile, his performance as animal spirit in James Holden’s newly formed band or his debut album in collaboration with Carl Craig (or this Interstellar Funk weapon!) This night will also see the return of Versatile label owner Gilb’R (sounding like a one man’s Dead Can Dance in this recent remix) and the debut of Pieter Jansen.

For a major part the nights return to our initial plan: giving the hours to two deejays, to play long sets. Resom returns on request with Erika from Detroit, who happened to be around. We’re happy to invite Lakuti for the first time, in joined force with Tama Sumo (this interview by Discwoman’s Frankie and Umfang is a nice read, including the forever key question: TECHNO OR HOUSE?). Vic Crezée invites Byron the Aquarius and JP Enfant invites Herrensauna resident and co-founder CEM a day later. For the final Saturday Joy Orbison is back after half a year, joined by NTS resident Cõvco, who supported Gaika in Amsterdam only a few days ago.

The still life this month was sent by Jennifer Cardini from Mexico (thanks!), she will be joined by Perel, responsible for this HIT on DFA, and Mattheis on opening duties on January 26. And on January 13, Josey Rebelle will return to play with Mumdance, joined by the invariable Tammo Hesselink. But, before January starts and 2017 ends, please feel invited to the Midwinter night, put together by the people of our café, including glühwein, hot veggie soup and gloomy Dutch pop.

Full program can be found here, tickets go on sale Friday December 8th at noon.
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