Awakenings, Amsterdam | Full Review


Awakenings you smashed it! That was an incredible festival played on your home turf. We have to say Amsterdam is slowly becoming our favourite city to party, as the people are all so welcoming and friendly while maintaining the dance till death attitude. Just the way we like it!

We arrived at the event very easily by shuttle bus from one of the main bus stations in the city, hats off to the organizers who pretty much perfected everything to ensure a very comfortable arrival from Sloterdijk.

Having already attended the Manchester branch of Awakenings in February we went in with high anticipation, especially as the weather was playing its part as well. The stages were so gigantic they reminded us of a medieval town hall in terms of size, with the respective DJ’s being the mayor addressing the obedient masses.

Every step matching the 4/4 techno beat to show their pure admiration and loyalty to the master behind the decks. Simply outstanding to see music bring so many different people and 80 different nationalities together. Music is our language, and speaks loudest when words fail.

One of our two favorites of day 1 has to go to Desolat head honcho Loco Dice. He played his thumping techno set on Area W, a stage with 6 speaker rows which seemed to reach up to the heavens and sure sounded like they were sent from above. Starting slowly to build up the anticipation, he let the first kick drum drop and the entire floor just erupted! Loco Dice had arrived at Awakenings!

Dice started off his career in music in the hip-hop scene before his breakthrough with ‘M-train to Brooklyn’, and to stay true to his roots and he added a few slower but deeper beats, which reminded of his origins. A truly outstanding set showing his full array of talents and why he is still seen as one of the hottest DJ’s in the world. Hats off to Loco Dice!

Our other favorite has to be the mind blowing closing set of Dutch techno’s best apprentice, Joris Voorn. He is well known from his party concept ‘La Familia’ launched on Ibiza together with Nic Fanciulli in 2014, leading to him slowly establishing himself as one of the scene’s big names.

We actually caught his set by coincidence, as we passed by the main stage we heard incredible beats that we couldn’t help but stop and dance for a second. Eventually Joris’ happy and extremely energising vibe made us stay and rave hard till the end! It was like a bomb exploding every time he was getting to the peak of his tracks.

He totally hypnotized and uplifted the crowd with ‘Pan-Pot P- Face to Face’. The track awoke the ever-tiring crowd in true Awakenings spirit! He was just bringing us higher and higher and then at the moment where everybody begged for a break Joris went into darkness by dropping the massive ‘Joran van Pol – Exist’.

Day bought us the countless award winning co- founder of Innervisions. Unfortunately Luciano had to cancel his set a week before the event, but lets give credit to the organizers, what a replacement with Dixon! Heres our highlight from day 2

Since setting his mark in the Berlin scene in the 90’s he has perfected the craft of DJ’ing, often by playing all night long sets. We had to settle for 2 hours, which was still enough to show why he quite frankly has the best track selection of any DJ in the scene.

Starting off his set with a deep house vibe in the lower BPM ranges, he soon hypnotized the crowd and not one of the thousands of ravers at Area W was left standing still. Often teasing us with several minute long build ups he really got the crowd obeying his every command of the decks, which was best apparent with the incredible ‘Baikal – Pelican’s flight’.

As he faded the track in over roughly 2 minutes you could already get a sense of anticipation through the subtle but deep kick drum accompanied by the hi-toned elements slowly added now building up, however nothing could prepare for the incredible drop. The high pitched drop left us all with goose bumps and in absolute awe of Dixon’s limitless talents.

Approaching the end of his set he played the best track we have heard this year, ‘Pantha du Prince – Dream yourself Awake’. As if we needed anymore proof of how incredible Dixon’s track selection is, this stunning track perfectly suited the vibe on the dance floor with its magical build up. The vocals perfectly suit the incredible beat, giving us a goose bumps moment, shutting our eyes and feeling the energy created by such a magical DJ.

We will certainly be attending again next year. The techno scene in Amsterdam is right up there with one of the best in the world, with world class line ups being offered up to several times a week.

You really get a sense that they appreciate the nightlife scene and the cultural advantages that come along with it. The ever thriving nightlife scene is certainly becoming a pull factor in bringing tourists to the city.

Written by Daniel Brenner & Paulina Listowska


July 8, 2016