Dekmantel 2015, the third edition of the illustrious festival that can only be described as the hub and heart for all techno heads and house lovers alike. There really are no words that do it justice to begin to describe this year’s Dekmantel. Three days and four nights encapsulated with outstanding music, endless sunshine and thousands of people with impeccable taste.
Main stage view :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
This year’s edition saw the event continue its upward flight with a yet another all-star line-up and a lush, sun-drenched venue in a magical forest location on the southern edge of Amsterdam. With hundreds of festivals happening throughout Europe, what sets Dekmantel apart is that these guys are all about the music and always have been, managing to succeed in keeping the focus unremittingly on the artists at all times. The festival is comprised with all the elements needed to maximise the people’s experience and make it all about the music, closely linked stages with set times planned perfectly providing a fluid transition of mind-blowing sets complimenting one another so beautifully. You only have to look at the quality of the sound with Funktion One rigs placed ever so carefully in the best places possible to realise that this festival is organised by people who really give a damn about the music.
Sound jungle at Selectors stage :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
There are five main areas that make up Dekmantel’s daytime fun times, the Main stage, the UFO tent, Selectors, The Lab and the Boiler Room. Each stage and space sporting its own vibe. Artists were logically matched to the stage that would best present their overall delivery and feels.
Main stage view :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
The Lab stage :: picture credits © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
The UFO tent :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
The first day saw the monstrous main stage taking us on a journey of large proportions where the likes of old school outer space techno lords Model 500 and Berghain fav’s Ben Klock btb with Mr Marcel Dettmann graced us with their presence, not forgetting Legowelt, smashing out a killer set earlier on in the day.
Model 500 :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
The UFO stage was absolutely booming with a stella lineup set for the Friday. London-based, Blawan dropped a roaring set alongside techno legends Mr Robert Hood, Shed and personal favourite TJ Hertz aka Objekt with his multilayered, technically flawless performance, taking his audience on a powerful techno charged adventure.
Objekt :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
Wandering over to the open air greenhouse arena, better known as The Lab I was lucky enough to catch the much loved and highly acclaimed, Mr Roy Ayers. Though the highlight for the Friday was having the opportunity to catch two absolute legends, Detroit veteran, Mike Servito and master selector Carlos Souffront. These guys absolutely rocked the Selectors stage with Souffront’s standout acid infused set.
Carlos Souffront :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
As the second day arrived the festival continued to go from strength to strength, the sun was shining brighter than the first and people were out to groove. It was the Lab, Selectors and Boiler Room that hosted the greatest vibes on the Saturday with set after set of pure wow.
The Boiler Room stage :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
Berlin based beauty Palms Trax took to the stage over at the Boiler Room, Jay Donaldson is one artist that has this raw talent allowing him to construct sets that dabble into all styles of music, whether that be glittery wavy house to dusty stomping techno this guy can do it all, and that he did. Hovering over to the Selectors you could catch a killer five-hour, three man showdown from three massive dons in the game, Floating Points btb with Antal and Hunee, think freaky disco, jacked out house and a whole lotta soul, so much love was spread and shared during this time. Finishing up the evening over at the Lab two of Holland’s biggest front men dominated the stage, Mr Tom Trago and Cinnaman, both equally as awesome.
Selectors stage :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
Other huge highlights of day two were UK’s techno man Ø [PHASE] with his unsullied style of spine tingling super charged techno. Over at the main stage saw much-loved and honoured, Jeff Mills take out a cracker closing set.
After two full days of wow, thinking ‘can it get any better’ oh boy it did. Day three continued to amaze starting it off with Fatima Yamaha’s magical set down at the Boiler Room, followed by Young Marco, Midland, Matrixxman and Pangaea, all delivering close to flawless performances. But seeing Robert Hood & his daughter Lyric smash out an exhilarating set of back to back bangers was something truly magical.
Pangaea + Matrixxman :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
Toddling off to the Selectors stage amongst the vast amount of sheltered woodland and green willow trees painting the most picturesque mood for what was to come next, known best for his leading contemporary techno sets, Mr Donato Dozzy.
Donato Dozzy :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
Over at the The Lab stage, proving to be one of the stand out sets of the festival was one of Germany’s fierce contenders in the techno scene, Helena Hauff, took the listeners on a powerful ride into deep dark territory. There were two distinct acts that finished Dekmantel on the highest of highs. The boys of Hessel Audio Trio absolutely rocked The Lab stage while Tamo Sumo closed the Boiler Room and this was something special, as always Tama’s delivery was absolutely on point and perfect for the closing set of daytime Dekmantel.
Helena Hauff :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
Hessel Audio Trio :: © Techno Travel Hikimas Mobile Photography
While Dekmantel by Day is perfectly curated, easy-going and overflowing with good vibes Dekmantel by Night is the slightly smaller scaled funpark hosted in the dark vastness that is Melkweg multi-purpose events center located in Amsterdam city central. The standout performances coming from the likes of DJ Harvey, Dopplereffekt, Andy Stott, Derrick May, Traxx, Answer Code Request, Prosumer + Tama and Omar S.
Dekmantel ticks all the boxes when it comes to a quality festival, it should be on your top of the to do list if you weren’t lucky enough to witness it for yourself this year. Do yourself a fucking favour and get your ass to Dekmantel 2016.