This year was my thirteenth trip to Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE). Now in its 23rd edition, ADE took place from October 17 to 21. This year it welcomed over 400,000 visitors from more than 100 countries for an extensive day and night program featuring over 1000 events and leading artists and speakers from around the world. There were more than 450 night and 600 daytime events spread over 200 locations, with over 2500 performing artists and around 600 speakers participating in keynotes, workshops and master classes on a variety of topics.
Over the week I caught some amazing panels at the conference. The first panel I attended was titled ‘How to get paid in full’ a discussion exploring the various types of royalties, including those paid by streaming services to artists and writers, as well as how other parties such as publishers and producers get paid. The panel also discussed other issues such as monetising rights and where the industry is headed.
‘Creative Keynote’ with Bas Thorsten explored scientific research behind enhancing and maximising creativity and productivity. Some interesting insights were doing 2 hours of cardio exercise a day greatly enhances cognitive performance and the best time to do anything creative is straight after. Yoga, meditation, brainstorming, diet and electrical stimulation on the brain at 10hz all enhance creativity. It was really interesting this one.
'History Repeating: Gotta Have House' Tommy Sunshine moderated a heavy weight panel featuring Todd Terry, Simon Dunmore (Defected Records), Austin Kramer (Spotify), Deron Delgado (Dirtybird Records) discussing the resurgence of House music in the US.
'Roland Masterclass with Paula Temple' saw revered Techno artist Paula Temple discussing her hybrid live show. Native Instruments hosted an area at the ADE Lab where they hosted Native Sessions with artists such as Fabio Florido, Paula Temple and Rebekah. Dave Clarke hosted an incredible interview with Grammy nominated composer and electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre which explored his creative process and his work across the fields of ambient, electronica and film-scoring.
'Octave One Unwrapped' featured Detroit Techno duo Octave One. Arguably one of the world's leading live acts, famed for their craft and dedication, their unrelenting passion for innovation and for their amazing live shows. This was a rare insight into their hi tech live rig, how they create synergies with each other on stage, how they choose which new technologies to adopt and how technology has played a role in enabling their career and in unwrapping their innate musical and creative abilities.
‘ADE Music Talks with Nile Rodgers’, I've seen Nile Rodgers speak a couple of times at ADE, always personable, charismatic, insightful and inspiring. Among music legends, Nile Rodgers is truly exceptional. He amplifies his legacy as a multiple grammy winning composer, producer, arranger and guitarist, co-founder of Chic and the newly elected Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. he has sold over 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide and has collaborated with a diverse range of acts including Daft Punk, Avicii, Sigala, Disclosure, and Sam Smith.
‘Futurism and Techno with Juan Atkins’, Detroit Techno originator Juan Atkins presented an interesting discussion exploring concepts in Futurism, an examination of the way Techno music relates to the universe itself and of the ways in which Techno’s cosmic nature has formed such a compelling call to motion across the globe. Juan explained how sound, vibrations and frequencies are central to the makeup of the universe and how his creative process correlates to those theories. Sound complex? It was, an example of the type of advanced creative thinking that kick started Techno in the first place.
The standout performance of the week was by Colin Benders and Metropole Orkest. One of the most musically spectacular performances I have ever seen. The hybrid electro-orchestra concept has been musically diluted and artistically compromised in recent years, this is the first time I’ve seen anything close to what Jeff Mills has done through his orchestral performances.