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15.11.2018 | Words by: Luc Mastenbroek

Today it's not easy to focus on work. I want to focus on my screen, but right above it I can look through the windows into the hallway where people are testing a new colorful light installation that keeps flashing, moving and curving. It's this light tunnel I've been hearing about for months, and now it's suddenly here and everything feels different. Last months there have been daily discussions about the production of the work: would it fit, can we still pass, are we really gonna take this wall out, something about electricity I didn't understand. The whole project gave me a knot in my stomach, but that's often a sign it might turn into something special.

When working on the new release of Oceanic's live LP I felt the same knot. Releasing a record for the first time means that many things can go wrong and I've dreamt about every single one of them. Dreams about upside down artwork, mixed colors, distorted low frequencies, reversed sounds, a 1.3 review on RA. While I was making my way through these bad dreams, my roommate was working on the first release of his new label De Vlieger, having the same worries. Both Job and me got help from Interstellar Funk with these records, and when it wasn't me calling him about something I was worrying about, it was Job calling him with questions about the inside of the cover, test pressing or release date.

But now it looks like our first release is going to be here soon, though we shouldn't spoil it. In the best case it's in time for the December edition of Het Weekend, handcrafted by Call Super. Oceanic will play twice during the weekend, just like upsammy, Stingray, Call Super, Jasmín, Objekt, Bill Kouligas, and maybe some more. A few parts are still under construction, but eventually there will be a full and fixed timetable that you can find on t-shirts that will be given out randomly during the night.

Last year the December weekend was magical: from Call Super's high-energy set on Saturday night to his flipside set Sunday afternoon in tribute to Anita Sarko (last week I found out there's a Spotify playlist with her hits!), and from Shanti Celeste's double party set to Ben UFO playing ambient in De Aula while the heavy snowfall kept everyone inside. In that sense there was no need to do a sequel; the only thing is that we already started exchanging ideas for a second edition before the first one actually took place. We made a list of people we wish we had asked for the weekender too, and after the first one happened that list became the spine for the second collaboration.

Like in our first two years, December is a month of traditions. DVS1 plays again with Jasper & Maarten; Antal & Hunee return for their annual back-to-back and The Black Madonna plays the final Friday night of the year again, this time with HAAi and Gideön (a great article about his involvement in the The Walled Off Hotel can be found here). During the radiant nights between Christmas and the end of the year more familiar stars come back: Sandrien, Roi Perez & Dr. Rubinstein, Palms Trax, Shanti Celeste, Max Abysmal and Tom Trago played many times before, while François X and Roman Flugel come over for the second time.

But traditions are there to be broken too, ending up an incrowd club would be the worst outcome, and so there are many new faces too. After Aurora Halal & Relaxer couldn't stop talking about them, we had to ask J-Zbel to come and please live. Especially when we found out also mad miran is a fan. So mad miran will close, while Tasker - who's Whities label was again on a roll this year - will play the opening hours. Joey Anderson will play for a first time, with a long opening set for our final Saturday of the year. And after trying for a long time, Mathew Jonson said yes and will be joined by Lux and Makam. For Het Weekend Call Super has asked Bass Clef, Peach and Bill Kouligas to bring in fresh energy and for the third Saturday of the month, Interstellar Funk has invited Traxx for his debut in the basement. His collaborative 6-LP as Mutant Beat Dance just came out, for those looking for 200 minutes of heavy machinery. Thinking about Traxx, I drift back to two sets I won't forget: his closing set during Rush Hour's weekender in winter 2013 and his all-night set for a Knekelhuis night in DOKA at the start of 2014. I remember The Lost Transmission by Hieroglyphic Being, and a live version of Tora! Tora! Tora! by Depeche Mode. And long speeches afterwards. If it wasn't for him, venues like Salon Des Amateurs (goodbye < 3), Garage Noord, BAR, Saule and also De School wouldn't have sounded the way they do, I feel.          

The night Traxx and Interstellar Funk play our basement, we organize a record fair with Rush Hour during the day. It's open for everyone to come, look and buy, and entrance is free of charge. My favorite Amsterdam theater collective will perform at the end of December, more info soon, and until the start of the new year you can see and feel the lights flash, move and curve through the tunnel in the hallway. It's made by Children of the Light and Space Encounters, the work is called Transito and the opening is tonight. There's lights, there's sound, there's stories, and it's free too.

Tickets for December go on sale tomorrow at noon. Tickets for the final nights of the year and Het Weekend are already on sale.
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