Dekmantel | 2019 Recap: The year in Features
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2019 Feature recap
The Year in Features

Looking back at a year in which we could share a wide array of stories, backgrounds and insights with you, we have created an overview of all this to have this all in one place — a complete look back into 2019 through the year's features, interviews and documentaries.

Throughout past year, we published a variety of features, interviews and documentaries. From the interviews we did around the artists playing at Dekmantel Festival, amongst whom Tadd Mullinix, Paquita Gordon, Slikback, Solar & Cinnaman, Mulatu Astatke, John Talabot and Deena Abdelwahed, to features on the current state of rave culture and the electronic music scene in Istanbul.

This year also saw a string of videos and (mini-) documentaries come out. We visited Danny Krivit in New York for a new outing of the Selectors series, Miss Djax about the legacy of her Djax-Up label and we started a new series called Podiumdieren, focusing on local live talents, which we kicked off with Karel and YĪN YĪN.

FInd the full overview below.

April

Inside the Ride: the Making of Dekmantel Festival 2019

Every year when it comes time to announce the new edition of Dekmantel Festival, we aim to generate a mix of surprise and elation. Each back-to-back ends up dissected. Repeat appearances demand explanation. Why is that post-punk band there; and why the hell is my favourite DJ missing? Our co-founder and music programmer Thomas Martojo explained all of this.

Read the full feature here

Adam X: "I'm from Brooklyn, Motherfucker"

It was there in New York City that Adam X was born in 1971. It was there he grew up "besides the train tracks" and went on to become the police’s most wanted graffiti artist in 1989. But most importantly, it was there that he built New York’s first techno scene with older brother Frankie Bones.

Read the full feature here

May

Podiumdieren: Karel

Lente Kabinet and Kornuit teamed up and presented Podiumdieren​, a new series putting a spotlight on musicians by diving into their preparations, work processes, routines and live performance. First up was Amsterdam's own synth whirlwind Karel, whose debut EP on Job Jobse's label is a firm favourite of ours.

"There's always this kind of nervosity on stage, and I convert those nerves into being very active. That's why I always jump around so much."

Podiumdieren: YĪN YĪN

Second up in the Podiumdieren series was rising Maastricht-based funk explorers YĪN YĪN – fans of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, you’d do well to check this out.

June

Made in Mega-Cities: China's Underground Club Producers Break Through

If music has taught us anything in this century, it’s that the world gets smaller as the internet gets faster. But for a fifth of the world’s population, music portals like YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify are only been accessible to those who can crack the so-called “Great Firewall of China” and sidestep the country’s harsh censorship. In recent years, a new generation of Chinese DJs, producers and clubbers has begun to break down barriers and make their mark internationally.

Read the full feature here

Living Legends: Pharoah Sanders Quartet & Cybotron create the sounds of the future

While 75% of this year's Dekmantel Festival line-up is comprised of festival newcomers, the Wednesday Concerts is rooted in modern music history, celebrating two pioneers: Pharoah Sanders Quartet & Cybotron.

Read the full feature here

July

The Meticulous Mind of Jeff Mills

Speaking to Jeff Mills is not so much a conversation as it is a chance to tune into his passionate theories and philosophies about space, the future of the human race or the possibilities of techno as an art form. It is this sort of thinking outside the usual lines that resonates with Dekmantel and makes Mills such a cherished and regular guest at the annual Amsterdam festival.

Read the full interview here

Documentary: Djax Your Body

As a celebration of our first Djax Up Beats compilation earlier this year, we went to Eindhoven to speak to Miss Djax herself, Random XS, Wladimir M. and Stefan Robbers (Acid Junkies) to talk about the influence of the label in Holland and abroad.

Documentary: Selectors: Danny Krivit

Together with our partner Grolsch we continued our collaboration by presenting a new Selectors video on New York City’s seasoned DJ Danny Krivit. Krivit, who has been part of the music scene for five decades now, was at the forefront of the birth of house music back in the eighties and has a longtime history in disco and soul.

Interview with Herrensauna's CEM

Sometimes, the sense of not belonging inspires artists to create a space wherein people feel like they can be themselves no matter what. This is also the case for Cem Dukkha (28) – known as CEM – who was born into a Turkish household in the Austrian capital Vienna. He left his hometown almost a decade ago to fulfill his ambition as a musician in Berlin. You might already know CEM from Berlin’s underground scene; he is a co-founder of the legendary queer party Herrensauna and he has been at the heart of the label since the beginning.

Read the full interview here

Sound And Vision: Suzanne Ciani, Sarah Davachi and Nadia Struiwigh

Thursday’s programme of Dekmantel Festival brought together thrilling artists with totally different sound aesthetics. Playing different locations, their cosmic, meditative and tripped out tones are designed to bring joy to the Dekmantel Festival crowds, in very different ways. From altered states of consciousness, touching cells in the body and getting immersed in space and sound, Suzanne Ciani, Sarah Davachi and Nadia Struiwigh all describe what live music means to them.

Read the full feature here

Feature: Reburning The Flame

Dekmantel and Is Burning talk about joining forces and their mutual love to drive electronic music forward, while paying respect to the past.

Read the full feature here

August

Catching up with first hour Dekmantel friends Interstellar Funk & Deniro

We were proud to have Denuro and Interstellar Funk over at this year's Dekmantel Festival, two Dekmantel affiliates since day one. We caught up with Olf and Reynier for a trip down memory lane and discussed how paths have crossed over the years.

Read the full interview here

Paquita Gordon: Engaging with The Previous and Building What’s Next

We caught up with the ever diverse and talented Paquita Gordon in-between sets at this year's Dekmantel Festival to talk about passion projects, combining the old and the new and the preliminary ability to meditate on a vibe.

Read the full interview here

Mulatu Astatke, an Ethio-Jazz legend far from slowing-down

Right before Mulatu Astatke went on stage for his performance at the Greenhouse, we had a chat with the jazz pioneer about the science of ethio-jazz, his homeland’s musical heritage and the connection between African and European instruments.

Read the full interview here

September

In conversation with John Talabot

We caught up with the Hivern Discs head honcho right after his closing set at the Main Stage of Dekmantel Festival 2019 and talked about his label, collaborations, touring regime and more.

Read the full interview here

The Many Faces Of Tadd Mullinix


Dabrye, James T Cotton, JTC, 2AM/FM, X-Altera... The list goes on for multi-alias, mega-talented Michigan man Tadd Mullinix. We spoke with him at Dekmantel Festival after his Charles Manier set to get sense of his world.

Read the full interview here

Transatlantic Selectors: in Conversation with Solar and Cinnaman

Solar and Cinnaman, two tireless DJs with whom we have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship. Those fruits were on display at Dekmantel Festival this year, where they linked for a fiery b2b. We caught up with them to talk about their divergent experiences at the mercy of the American and European rave systems.

Read the full interview here

What Is Rave To You?

What is rave to you? It might be a catch-all term for a party. A bunch of gurning people in baggy clothing in some muddy English field back in the 90s. Or maybe it’s a signpost for euphoric breakbeats, tongue in cheek samples or the famous hoover sound. The answer likely depends on where you grew up, and how old you are, but one thing seems sure: a certain rave feeling is back in vogue on dance floors across the world, and illegal raves are also on the rise.

Read the full feature here

October

Istanbul: Dancing to Make a Difference

Istanbul is a city in flux. Political changes are afoot and society is changing. As the dance music community continues to come together to foster a sense of freedom and creativity, we speak to some of the key players.

Read the full feature here

November

Key tracks of this year's Tisno get-together

The memories of those warm days of Dekmantel Selectors are nestling snugly into the back of our minds. Reminiscing of the festival and the sets we heard, we caught up with some of the artists to go over the memorable moments of their sets.

Read the full feature here

Slikback's Kaleidoscopic Dance Floor Rhythms

Over the past two years, Kenyan-producer Slikback, aka Freddy Njau, has transcended from making tunes at Boutiq Studios in Kampala to sharing his gleefully genre-swerving sounds around the world.

Read the full interview here

How Deena Abdelwahed is Culturally Re-Appropriating Club Sounds with Khonnar Live

Perhaps more than any other at Dekmantel Festival 2019, Deena Abdelwahed’s performance at Shelter was remarkable in how collectively mesmerising it was. For the uninitiated, Abdelwahed weaves the kind of club rhythms that will shudder your teeth out (in a good way) with Arab instrumentals teleported from her Tunisia-via-Doha adolescence. The latter involves what Abdelwahed refers to as a ‘re-appropriation of so-called world music’ – one that points directly toward the mightiest speaker stacks on a deep, dark dance floor.

Read the full interview here