It’s time to talk Music.  I’ve always been a great music lover; I danced to Chopin in my ballet classes, and at home my Dad played anything from Tori Amos to System of a Down, and my favorite 80’s new wave (Enjoy the Silence, Blue Monday, and Need You Tonight, are still great loves of mine).   Mom played the piano, and my lovely auntie is an opera singer and vocal teacher.  I guess it’s in my genes.

HOWEVER, I am probably the first of my family to really enjoy electronic music.  And this is where Amsterdam comes into play.  European music lesson #1:  there is Berlin, and then there is Amsterdam.  Berlin is the king of new, exciting, experimental electronic and house music.  Amsterdam is the queen.  We have some of the finest venues and sound systems in the business, and the city attracts major, major DJ talent for the October festival: Amsterdam Dance Event.  Anyone ever heard of Tiesto or Fedde le Grand?  Maybe Armin van Buren??  Yeah, they’re all Dutch.  The hardest part about Amsterdam being a rad music capital, is that it becomes really expensive to go out on the town.  At a “good party” in Amsterdam, you will pay anywhere between 10 and 50 euros.  Most people pre-book their tickets for festivals and special club nights, and popular events sell out fast.

The most fascinating discovery I have made about nightlife in Amsterdam, is that it really IS all about the music.  All the things that used to matter in the NYC club scene: fancy shoes, cocktails, taxi cabs, promoters, lip gloss, being polite: no pushing, no spilling drinks on other people.. virtually do not exist here.  I wear my converse sneakers (or boots in the winter) to listen to music in, and I drink beer or cheap wine [with the realization that I will get spilled on, and that it’s just a matter of time until someone will push me into a wall].  Here in Europe, glass bottles are in abundance, and inevitably the glass will end up all over the floor (and for that matter, in your shoes).  But these are all minor details, as the experience of being with hundreds of other human beings who are completely entranced by the DJ, and enjoying the experience with their hands in the air, is pretty spectacular.

If you’re wondering what the hip Europeans (and this American) are listening to these days, check out the below list of artists and songs:

Deadmau5: I Remember, Faxing Berlin, Ghosts n Stuff

Fritz Kalkbrenner: Kings in Exile, Facing the Sun, Right in the Dark

Joris Delacroix: Symbiose, Maeva, Oui mais Non, Feelings, Missing M

Julien Jabre: Swimming Places, War

Gui Boratto: Azzura, Besides, Colors

Goldfish: Hold Tight, Times May Change You, This is How it Goes, Fort Knox (saw them live- simply amazing!)

Swedish House Mafia:  One, Miami to Ibiza, Save the World (this is mainstream electronical music)

009 Soundsystem: Dreamscape, With a Spirit

This one is particularly awesome.  Edu Imbernon: The XX – Crystalised (Edu Imbernon Remix)

*Some good festival DJ’s: James Holden, Joris Voorn, Luciano, Paco Osuna, Sandwell District

Lastly, a special thanks to Hugo Heuts, for keeping me “in the know!”

Peace, Love & Beats.


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