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12.12.2019 | Words by: Elisa Luengo and Luc Mastenbroek

Luc: Heya! It seems like it's an awful time for people that don't like lists; we are at the end of the year plus the end of a decade. On Twitter an ambient DJ posted: "Double the lists, double the bullshit." Maybe he's right, surely music isn't a league game, but I can't help enjoying going through these lists. Though I have to say browsing The Quietus' one made me feel a bit restless, so much I've missed. But uhm what was the song you listened to most in 2019, according to your Spotify stats?

Elisa: Who doesn’t like lists? I do love them, but I get your point. At least The Quietus added links to Bandcamp. It’s the minimum they can do to support the music, although many media are still not doing it. Sharing Spotify data also feels a bit weird somehow but I will give in to platform capitalism this time to confess my #1. It’s Perdóname by La Factoría, an old school reggaeton classic with an amazing videoclip that I listened on loop for a full week. Spanish teenage nostalgia. Guilty-not-so-guilty real pleasure for your ears. What about you? Also curious to hear your thoughts on 2019 in general.

L: My most listened song of 2019 is 7 rings by Ariana Grande, so I'm with you on that one. But that's Spotify, that I only listen to in the office. I made a list of the Bandcamp songs / records I really loved too, a bit long to copy-paste here, but here's a few. Right now I'm obsessed with this Rabih Beaini remix that came out last week, verrrrry psychedelic. I loved D. Tiffany's label Planet Euphorique this year, BEA1991's album, AceMo's music, Kelsey Lu's album, this EP by Parris and Call Super, Erika de Casier, Blawan's Many Pings and Efdemin's record on Ostgut Ton. Young Thug's album was very cool too, and of course Herndon and Hval's album but we mentioned them before. When it just comes to dance music I think Josey Rebelle's Essential Mix is a great illustration of what was GOOD in 2019. Just read that it's nominated for Essential Mix of the year, would make a great winner. Do you have more to say about 2019 before we wave it goodbye?

E: Did you know that the D from D.Tiffany stands for Diva? She told me that Diva Tiffany was the name of a tiara sold at Claire’s. I thought it was the funniest. I agree with you on everything. It was a great year for pop music! Special mention to Meetsysteem since I used to think that Dutch was the least musical language in the world, but theird record made me doubt it. Special Request gave a lesson on productivity to all the touring DJ/producers in the world. K-Lone and DJ Plead made some of my favourite music in 2019. Two to keep an eye on and coming soon-ish to De School. Achieving similar percussive perfection, DJ Haram on Hyperdub was also great. On the techno side of things, Barker and Karenn kept me interested. Aurora Halal’s comeback was worth the wait. What else? Shanti Celeste’s Tangerine felt like sunbathing under warm synths. Whities’ 23 was incredibly haunting. And Dinamarca’s Fantasilandia makes it to my top as well. Overall, curious shift in the last five years from big anthems to more conceptual niche music, right? I honestly struggle to keep track. We’ve talked a few times about this, but it will be difficult to point out De School’s hits when we're still close. There’s hardly any track being played for a full year. The lifespan of releases has become way shorter. Plus the attention to sound design over musicality makes tracks perhaps more technically perfect but less... memorable? What do you think?

L: Yeah, things got uhm, clever in 2019. I'm not sure why it is, the general sound becoming harder and therefore less catchy? Or more retro? Or more fragmented? If you look at 2013; there was Floorplan's Never Grow Old, Joy's Big Room Techno-House Tool, Tessela's Hackney Parrot. In 2011: Blawan's Getting Me Down, Julio Bashmore's Battle For Middle You, Sicko Cell, Steffi & Virginia - Yours, Daphni - Ye Ye, Mosca - Bax, Osunlade - Envision. Tunes you could hear every weekend. I think in the whirlwind of opinions around Peggy Gou, the most outstanding fact is that she made a song so many people could connect to this year. Ocean, starlight, moment, now, us. To more hits in 2020! Already something you're looking forward to for next year? Can be in- or outside DS.

E: I still rather look forward than back, so: to more futuristic hits on 2020! Next year, I’m planning to spend more time in other clubs and less in festivals. I hope the festivalization of culture slows down. I hope I can keep myself in the moment so I don’t get too anxious by “the end” coming closer. I am looking forward to our plan of doing more weekenders and more two-room nights! And in January, to the return of my two absolute favourites DJ Sprinkles and Tzusing. Plus the debuts of Tutu, Afrodeutsche and Sherelle. You?

L: Saw Sherelle play in London last weekend, at the RA 24hr party at FOLD, she was really one of the highlights, next to Leif and DEBONAIR playing Happy Mondays in the basement cafe. It's funny how we find ourselves answering questions about the closing of DS more and more, on the verge of what should be our final year. The honest answer to all the questions is that we're still waiting for answers too and that the exact closing date is not yet clear. For 2020 I'd go for: more cooking, less flying, more writing, less tweeting, and less drinking and more tripping. I'm looking forward to Garage Noord's first weekender at the end of 2019, and for De School in January: Relaxer's and LANOCHE's live shows at the end of the month. Night, star, song, moment!

E: And busy weekend ahead! At De School: Kampire on Friday, Skee Mask on Saturday. Spielraum’s first weekender and Jane Fitz at Charlie & Joss’ party in Garage Noord.

L: See you Sunday!


All tickets for January are now for sale here
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