Every year around the first days of August, the city of Amsterdam transforms. The seemingly identical tourist families that usually dominate the streets are replaced by ravers uniformed in Patta x Dekmantel caps and Rush Hour tote bags. Locals and visitors alike can almost taste the excitement in the sunny skies, as people with a variety of tastes and backgrounds come together to celebrate their mutual love for music at Dekmantel, which is taking place from July 31 to August 4 this year.
The assorted crowd is a reflection of the musically diverse programming the festival presents year after year. From Italodisco to ambient and from mainstays to exciting newcomers, visitors can choose their own adventure. Techno lovers can get sweaty to the sounds of Jeff Mills, Afrodeutsche or Héctor Oaks or discover genre-defying acts such as Galaxian’s anti-capitalist electro or Upsammy’s journey from ambient to techno. Those craving a lighter sound can get their dance on with familiar faces such as Motor City Drum Ensemble, Palms Trax or Alexander Robotnick. However, there are also more uncharted sounds to explore, the divergent musical journey’s of Yu Su for example, or the synth minimalism of Caterina Barbieri. The downside of a lineup of this variety: how will you ever choose? We have compiled our favourite acts to help you on your way. 


A serene start of the festival can be found in Het Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ on Thursday evening, where Rotterdam label Nous’Klaer is set to showcase its emotional brand of club music. The acts of Oceanic and Mattheis, who are set to play live, are characterised by a soft mood that slightly hardens as ambient is replaced by analogue techno. Oberman will provide a DJ set that is expected to be his usual, unusual mix of hypnotic ambient, techno and the occasional hint of synth wave to which dancers can only drift.


Having established his name after playing not one, but two stages at last year’s edition, Dutch native Identified Patient is back. His success is unsurprising to those who are familiar with his unique energy that combines techno, acid, war beats and a variety of melodic yet unnamable sounds. His sets create a brooding atmosphere that perfectly suits the act of dancing on a hot day in a Dutch forest.
Staying in line with genre-defying club music, Dr. Rubinstein is our second recommendation for Friday. With her ravers' spirit, she knows how to play the crowd like no other and effortlessly mixes groovy baselines with boiling acid and breakbeats. Her offhand adaptability and technical accuracy ensure for an enticed and ecstatically dancing crowd performance after performance, and this one will be no different.


Anyone who enjoys disco has danced to a song by Ahmed Fakroun. This multi-instrumentalist and Raï singer is often referred to as the pioneer of modern Arabic world music. Combining traditional Arabic tunes with electronic influences such as disco and Europop, he managed to create his own highly melodic and catchy style illustrating the beauty of cross-cultural art.
It’s hard to imagine a greater team than Octo Octa and Eris Drew. Both DJs have managed to revive the euphoria of old-school dance music in their individual way and both have undergone a similar life change in front of the eyes of the music industry. Therefore it didn’t come as a surprise that their joined EP, devotion became a big success. Set to play back to back at Dekmantel, this is a performance that can’t be missed.


Tzusing’s unique sound springs from his international background. Strange harmonies, seemingly human-made synths, drums and the occasional Asian pop song all collide in his techno sets. He manages to captivate and surprise his listeners with music that tells stories of diaspora, power and obsession. His performance at Dekmantel promises to captivate and entice dancers regardless of their musical taste.
Carista is one of those DJs that compels everyone to dance, even that friend of yours who claims to hate electronic music. From upbeat hip hop to rhythmic techno and everything in-between, Carista can serve it all and she does so with an unparalleled feeling for the crowd and her infectious joy. Having well established herself as a DJ after blowing off the roof at last year’s Dekmantel and as a curator and advocate for diversity at her own United Identities parties, we can’t wait to see this year’s act. 
Dekmantel 2019 will take place in Amsterdam between July 31 and August 4.
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