We are looking back on a week that exceeded our wildest dreams. Dekmantel Selectors 2021 was a much needed musical reunion.
Photos: Tim Buiting
After the preceding period of stillness, the catharsis and pure joy of finally being together again has been overwhelming. Words cannot describe how heartening it was to see everyone back in their element, crew and artists alike. And above all: the most invested and exhilarating crowd danced through all kinds of weather, giving us a new sense of purpose and inspiration for the years ahead.
We will never forget all the magical moments and tingling sensations this edition has left us with. And while you simply had to have been there for all of it, we believe that we can offer you a snapshot into Dekmantel Selectors 2021 by reliving its sounds and memories. Next year's edition can't come soon enough, and we hope to see all of you there, make sure to pre-register here!
Reliving a few special moments: Recordings from Dekmantel Selectors 2021
"I hope this recording can give you an idea of the vibe of the Beach stage at Selectors. And for those who were there, a snapshot of how it was actually like.
For me it felt like a lot of the music I like to play was made for moments like that night right there."
"Filling in last minute for Valentino Mora was my biggest surprise at Selectors this year. I spent Saturday midday in my apartment in Tisno prepping for the set, I had to create a story picking up from Rabih Beaini's extraordinary and deep set – to 'Mr. Party' Identified Patient. I'm happy and proud with the story that I created, slowly pumping up the crowd more and more, getting deeper into the night. It all came together in the end, 3 hours long."
"Tú y yo a la fiesta, Tú y yo-oh-oh, toda la noche <3"
"Felt very unreal – after almost 2 years of not playing – to be back behind the decks in an abstract, tropical scenery like Selectors. The first 30 minutes were just realising what was actually happening. After that, it was time to finally play and enjoy the tunes that were burning in my mind for the entire year and a half."
"It was magic to see all the people dancing and living that week in Tisno. It's difficult to describe the feeling that was to play in a festival again, felt like a dream come true!"
Max Abysmal & Woody92
"A bit surreal to play again and for such an insanely dope crowd…. We couldn’t have wished for something better than this. Higher powers from above got everybody who was there, and us as well. Such a good memory."
"After a break of almost a year and a half, it seemed almost unreal, I haven't felt that energy for a while, the crowd was so lovely - what a great feeling it was."
"Thanks to everyone who joined in, it was wild."
"It felt very special to be playing to people again, after so long, in a location like Tisno and with so many other great artists playing across the weekend. A lot of us had been waiting a long time for something like this. I played around sunset at the Nest on Friday. The set was a lot of fun and I felt like I had the freedom to go wherever I wanted to go with it. There is a moment in the Philipp Otterbach track that I played where it goes silent and there is just a female vocal talking, and at that moment it felt like the whole of the Nest was locked into what she was saying. From there, we knew everyone was on the same wavelength and the energy for the rest of the set was amazing."
"I want to thank all the lovers who stayed with me till sunrise for my first solo set after 2 years. Pure love."
Tala Drum Corps
"My set at Dekmantel Selectors was an experience I will never forget. To be able to play my favourite music out loud with a dancing crowd after 1,5 year of nothingness, stress and mental exhaustion was something special. Very, very grateful to the Dekmantel Crew and The Garden to have been part of this amazing festival. Thanks!"
Danilo Plessow (MCDE)
"Thank you for the memories, it truly was a great night."
"It's 7pm, and I have 5 missed calls on my phone: 'We're expecting massive rain tonight and we will have to close your stage earlier, is it okay for you to play earlier?' No time to stress and to think about it. I left my place and started my set straight away. From a few people to a packed dancefloor, I built up slowly from 90bpm to 160bpm (you know the drill). Pretty happy about the progression of the set and the rise in intensity. In the end, the crowd turned into a mosh pit on XXXtentacion and I had the best time behind the decks. It's good when things sometimes happen spontaneously like that. And it didn't rain after all."
"It was one of the rare sets I completely lost track of time (in the most positive sense) when at some point I glanced over my right shoulder towards 'The Tent' next to the Nest, the stage I was playing on. The tent was packed and people were dancing, it still took me a while to realize that it had started raining for a bit. Shortly after the rain was over even more people gathered on the floor and the last half an hour the energy felt unreal."
Sassy J & Volcov
The joint effort by our beloved Sassy J & Volco – two selectors at heart – made all pieces fall into place.
"I feel that this set is a good representation of the tunes I like to rep, with a contrast of moods and dynamic style of mixing. The first 10-15 min section is quite memorable for me, as I was really enjoying the energy the tunes were bringing out of each other. The third tune, which is from Florentino, is quite an upfront percussive banger, but when it comes in from the DJ Boss tune it’s just got a straight-up sexy quality, haha. Then the Youngsta tune after it just amplifies the hype. Plus: I got to give a shout to re:ni as I got very, very hyped playing one of her new bits! The Sputnik One bit sounding bloody epic too, and I played 3 tunes from Amor Satyr/Siu Mata – so I got to give him a special mention too!"
"This is how it went down on the Beach stage at The Garden in Tisno on Monday for my debut Dekmantel Selectors set. It is one of my favourite sets of my entire DJ life and that’s the truth. Loved. It."
"I decided to take the opportunity of filling in for Jon Talabot a step further and tell people I actually was Jon Talabot, which was confusing for some people and funny for others. I think this comes out quite well in the mix."
"After a year break, returning to Tisno's famed Voodoo Stage for the annual 3 hours craze was emotional. The late afternoon vibe building up into the darkness is a unique moment where the music shifts naturally, you could sense the tension in the air growing into a trance shared both by myself and the crowd. In the craziness of a wild selection, there were moments of joy, and trust."
Fafi Abdel Nour
"At first, I was quite anxious about everything, but having lots of familiar faces around made me feel at ease. It has been a long time since I felt comfortable enough to dance during my own set and it's a feeling that I don't want to let go anymore! Still buzzing from it"
"On the first evening of the festival, I wanted to harness everyone's energy and excitement as best I could. This is 3 hours of minimal, rolling house and trance with an emphasis on playfulness."
"I will forever cherish this set and moment in time. After all, togetherness was everything I wished for and I got it loud and clear, so much joy and smiling faces in the crowd... I even had a little tear. Big LOVE to all that came dancing and vibing with me at the Beach Main."
Tammo Hesselink & Mattikk
"Playing a b2b set together is very different to the DJ sets we play solo. We've been clubbing together for over 10+ years and when we play together, it's really a melting pot of all these dancefloor moments we enjoyed together. Especially after such a long time of not hearing music on loud sound systems, it was big, big fun to play out a peak-time set like this in front of people you haven't seen for such a long time."
"Playing at a festival in front of such an enthusiast crowd again after so long felt absolutely fantastic. Best moment of this year. By far."
Din Daa Daa
"It was a privilege to be invited to play one of the opening sets at Selectors. Being able to share music in a beautiful setting with an open-minded eager crowd felt truly liberating after these months of lockdowns and curfews. My stage was the newly formed Magnolia chill-out area. With four hours to explore, I began my set blending in with the sound of the cicadas, before eventually kicking the cushions out of the way as an invitation to dance. The highlight was seeing so many friendly faces, old and new. Shout out to Daniel, Devon, Yunis, Fee, Femke, William, Momoyo, Mika, Mina, Richii, Takako, Richard the Fig Man, and the lovely folk from Dekmantel: Vinnie, Joost, and Bob."
"With this mix, I tried to conciliate the contemporary Caribbean and Latinx music with more leftfield productions and dubplates. In this journey, you will navigate through different eras and genres, while sticking to a quite precise (and vague at the same time) storyline: soundsystem-oriented music. Get ready for a special reggaeton/dancehall/dembow/dub-infused set, that took place live at the 2021 edition of Dekmantel Selectors."
Jay Glass Dubs
"Playing at Selectors after all this time of looking at my screen was a blessing that came in the form of a drizzle in the opening notes of Laurie Spiegel's Patchwork and intensified as I was jamming tunes by Birmingham's finest UB40 to Tricky, heavy steppers and Sherwood dubs. Can't forget the smiling faces there, entangled in a blissful embrace of an afternoon summer rain."
"I had a super nice time. Playing for people out again was almost overwhelming but the surroundings and the crowd helped a lot. The whole atmosphere got darker and denser as the sun went down and made me finish in a really energized spirit!"