Amsterdam, Holland—Drawing its limit of 2,500 attendees, the 15th annual Amsterdam Dance Event—held this past Oct. 20-23 at the historic Felix Meritis Centre and the nearby Dylan Hotel—loaded its venues with delegates and left the streets along Keizersgracht teeming with activity.
The show, which draws the movers and shakers of the DJ/dance-music industry, has an amazing capability to put people together. Turn to your left, there’s Roger Sanchez; turn to your right, it’s Ferry Corsten; sit down to dinner and at the next table, it’s Lorrie Boula, Z-Trip’s manager. Everyone’s just there.
Some conference highlights: The unveiling of Burn-Studios.com with the always tech-savvy Richie Hawtin front and center. Along with developer Andre Michelle, Hawtin explained how this “cloud technology” would be a “universal enabler” for EDM producers worldwide. Open to the public in early 2011, Burn-Studios.com is a free online studio that gives anyone with internet access the tools to create music with a host of drums, synths and FX. Ultimately, it expects to become a full-on community of musical collaborators and it will host mentoring sessions from Hawtin himself.
On a keynote with Tom Tom Club’s Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, the ex-Talking Heads described how touring America’s vast expanses in a van informed David Byrne’s existential lyrics to “Once in a Lifetime,” the Heads’ most enduring tune. “Once you get away from the coasts, the radio is all filled with religious stations and you’d hear preachers say things that just didn’t always make sense. You’d think: ‘Where am I?’ Of course, David would be in the backseat taking notes.”
So how, then, did the Talking Heads, make their transition into more rhythm-based music, which came with tunes like “Once in a Lifetime,” “I Zimbra” and the entire Remain In Light album?