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08.02.2018 | Words by: Luc Mastenbroek
Photo by: Tammo Hesselink

January proved to be a nice month for trying out new things and meeting new people we came to really like (CEM! Cõvco! Perel!), but floating around the basement again was also a relief. Especially the expressive, dark & wavy twelve hours from Job Sifre and Identified Patient (two room mates producing music as dusty as their living room) to Helena Hauff and Interstellar Funk felt like a more than appropriate opening ceremony. I hope we never promised too many changes for the basement, cause it will still be, well, a basement. But the sound got better, the bar more cozy and strobes shine brighter. Every step is moving you up. That’s how you walk on the moon, right?

Now that most of our weekenders have become collaborative affairs – it won’t be a surprise that the lovely Leipzig crew will again join in in June, while in April we’ll share a dance with Rush Hour ­– it did feel nice to keep one where we could just invite all the people from our top secret great people we’d really like to invite in 2018 text file. We heard Solaris play an incredible set at School für Zukunft (our get-together with Institut für Zukunft in Leipzig). Seeing our complete staff dance to her set, we had to invite her. I remember Hang from ://about blank (where we’ll team up with this summer!) showing us the small room in their lovely club, where Nene H. was playing live, which was so impressive that I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would sound like in our basement too. Only a few months later our sound guy and creative spirit Karl got us even more excited after hearing her new liveshow Fountain of Fire as Nene Hatun at Atonal, so we’re happy that she’ll join for Het Weekend in March too.

It was Bruce who told us about Batu, and after hearing Tammo talk about Batu’s set at Freerotation for days and days (which went so far that Elias at one point had to forbid Tammo to talk about Freeroration for a few days), we had to ask him too. And it was Partok, in a hotel lobby after ://about blank and before going to Berghain to hear Dr. Rubinstein, who told me about K.atou. And after getting obsessed with her melliflowish sets we had to ask her too. And of course, we wanted to ask Stanley Schmidt, after playing the most powerful sunny Sunday afternoon set last year, to take over Het Muzieklokaal right after his PH17 consort finishes in the basement.

This week I thought about a quote from this great interview with Terre Thaemlitz aka DJ Sprinkles more than once: “In the arts, everybody wants to suck countless hours of time socializing, “having coffee,” never getting down to specifics… If you want to license a work for exhibition, just fucking say so. Don’t require me to be enthusiastic about your exhibition. Just get to the point. I’ve learned to avoid having coffee as much as possible.” It made me smile, but it also made me think of all these semi-mysterious messages of people wanting to drink coffee (why always coffee?), but even more of my own expectations, always asking (demanding?) people to be excited about what’s happening. Maybe she’s right, that it’s sometimes fine to just come and play and dance and don’t agree on a level of excitement afterwards. Anyway, DJ Sprinkles will be back in Amsterdam after two years, the last time was two years ago at De School with Pender Street Steppers – on the exact same date again this year she’ll play the final Sunday of the month on March 25.

There’s one live performance at De School I often think back to, I think it was a year ago, when OAKE played the basement. I remember the stress beforehand – how would a live show with live drums and live vocals work in this small fixed dj booth? – and then excitement during the concert, pounding drums and haunting vocals late at night. This month we’ll have not one but two live vocal punk techno bands in the basement. First the return of Volition Immanent (Parrish Smith’s and Mark Knekelhuis’ band, releasing their debut album this month) and at the final date of the year The Empire Line, consisting of Varg, Posh Isolation's Christian Stadgaard and vocalist Isak Hansen. Also they’re releasing their debut this month, and the first single already sounds like schooly trance-rave-techno-wave to me (also, the press picture!), which perfectly connects to Parrish Smith and Identified Patient.

What else is there? Lucy brings his curated night to De School again, after inviting Shackleton last summer, this time he asked dub deejay Tapes and Errorsmith (after hearing this 3 times on one night in December it now officially counts as a De School anthem I’d say) to play live for what might be Lucy’s wildest night yet. A week before schoolboy from the start JP Enfant will play his second all night set, which is a more than good reason to revisit this Cruquiusgilde recording (including power outs!) again. On that Friday, Acting Press' very own PLO Man will return to Het Muzieklokaal, joined by the likes of Makam and Carista. We also asked Lena Willikens & Vladimir Ivkovic to play the basement all night as part of their tour, and a week later John Talabot for a long set, who kindly requested Orpheu the Wizard to open the night.

Like in every office, there’s sometimes discussion in De School office, but we also have a few undisputed favourites (last week we agreed on Nosedrip and Charlie Bones) – and Powder surely also is a shared love from the start. On the first Friday she’ll play again, with Pearson Sound and Tammo (thanks for the still life mister Melatolin Man!) by her side. A week later Maurice Fulton returns in company of Mairo Nawaz and Cinnaman, followed by a Saturday brought together by Interstellar Funk, involving JASSS and Volition Immanent.

And, after inviting our favourite local star LYZZA for her live debut in February, we have asked long time favourite Laurel Halo to play our collaborative night with Het Muziekgebouw in March, preceded by Fenna Fiction’s records. The whole month starts with the return of Tijdgenoten, our arty night on Thursday March 1. The night will evolve around Ad de Jong, whose colourful sculptures will takeover the building for a month. There will be drinks, live music, a lottery – the entrance is free and you’re all invited. Come and feel the new reach!  

Tickets for March go on sale Friday February 9th. Peep our website for the full program.
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