CONVERSATIONS | AN INTRODUCTION TO SECOND WAVE
Second Wave plays an important role in the southern region of The Netherlands’ techno scene. Striving to bring something new and unheard to the scene, Marcel, Marlon and Lewie booking artists who have not played (often) in The Netherlands yet. This Friday May 11th, Second Wave makes its debut in RADION, inviting Adam X & An-i. We caught up with the fellas, asking about Second Wave's vision, origin, club culture & music (of course).
Hi Marlon & Marcel, as you’re both founders and DJs of Second Wave, what's the sound you’re trying to emulate through your events?
[Marlon]: Well I think I can speak for us both (or three if you count our resident Lewie in) when I say that we’re not trying to pin ourselves down to a certain sound or movement in electronic music, this counts as much for our DJ sets as our Second Wave events.
[Marcel]: Indeed, we try to surpass the confinements of genres. Techno has always been our backbone, but we’ve never been strangers to other dark electronics like electro, wave, industrial and whatnot. It sounds like a lot for a concept to resonate around so many different genres, and it is in a way, but for every event we try to focus on a different sound that fits in our Second Wave pallet. I think that is also one of the things that keeps it exciting for us and the people that have visited over the years.
[Marlon]: Another thing that has also been important to us from the beginning is inviting promising DJ’s & live-acts for their Dutch debut. It’s something we enjoy a lot and it’s nice to see the real heads coming down to witness this.
Seeing that you approach your events in that manner, how would you translate that to your upcoming event?
[Marcel]: Like an extension to our first meeting with RADION last summer. We invited the German duo Schwefelgelb for their Dutch debut. They killed it with a mesmerizing live-set, which sounded like a powerful blend of techno with EBM influences.
… Although this time we’re broadening the spectrum of the night with more industrial amongst other influences.
[Marlon]: served by industrial grandmaster Adam.
Speaking of which, Adam X & An-i are on duty for your upcoming event this Friday. Aside from their similar artist names, what do they have in common and why do they fit the sound of Second Wave?
[Marcel]: Well they’re both from the USA and are now residing in Berlin, but that’s not really important. Sound-wise you can hear the love for heavy machinery in both of their outputs, there’s a resemblance when you look at their productions from an overall perspective like that. Both are drenched with hard hitting sounds, moving from techno to noise, industrial and EBM, with one or more of these elements progressively intensifying over the course of a track. Danceable, keeps the attention there and utterly dark: a perfect fit for Second Wave.
[Marlon]: Besides that they’re also different in a lot of ways when you dissect and compare their outputs. Same goes for their DJ’ing: it’s different from each other, but we like to see it as an exciting combination that works for musically educated heads as well as dancers who approach music in a less serious way than we do.
Are they like any other artists you’ve booked before this night?
[Marlon]: Well yes, as we stated earlier it’s a sort of extension to that first RADION invite with Schwefelgelb. Besides that we’ve also had Northern Structures in our first few years down in Limburg at Poppodium Nieuwe Nor, which has released a few records on Adam’s Sonic Groove imprint.
[Marcel]: Next to that they’re probably closest to I/Y and Cassegrain when you look at our bookings, but still totally different.
You mentioned Nieuwe Nor, is this the place where Second Wave has its roots?
[Marcel]: Yes indeed, the first Second Wave party was at Poppodium Nieuwe Nor years back. We were the ones lucky enough to fill the gap when Konstrukt moved from there to their first events in Amsterdam. It was great to have such a professional intimate venue as home to our first events. I kind of got used to it, but as I played in more different venues, my appreciation for this venue kept growing. A lot of lessons were learned there, both joyful and sometimes frustrating. That last part is something that I figure will sound very recognizable for promoters who don’t reside in a capital city, while pushing sounds that are a bit more “out of the ordinary”.
[Marlon]: De Nieuwe Nor will always be a very special place for me. Of course; our Second Wave adventure started here. But besides that; this was also the place where I had my first actual gig years ago. They paved the way for a lot of local guys who eventually managed to get a long way. I’m still very thankful for the chances we got there and having the freedom to experiment with our sound and being able to book artists that were still very unknown in the Dutch scene. I always enjoy being back at the place, we both have a lot of great memories there.
What are you looking for in a night of clubbing?
[Marcel]: An immersive experience that is interesting from start to finish. The mood and pace for the night have to be slowly introduced in the first few hours. A setting that feels ready for take off, so the headliners everyone came to see have a wishful start. Combine this with DJ’s that connect, pay attention to the crowd, some minimal lights & visual candy, a nice crowd & a proper soundsystem; that's about everything I look for in a club night.
[Marlon]: Most important to me is having fun when clubbing, 95% of the people at your event are guests and for me nothing is more satisfying than seeing them smile and having a good time. Not everyone is as serious or as deep into music as the promoters or DJ’s are, the majority comes to party to see their friends or to escape the daily grind. It’s important to me that the dancefloor is a safe space where all kinds of people can come together and where they can enjoy themselves. If thats the case, you can sense a great vibe and energy all-through the night which keeps everyone going.
How are you planning to implement that in your club night?
[Marcel]: Well I’m sure we’ve got the music part covered, because both Adam and An-i are insanely good DJ’s in my opinion. But besides that we’re having a visual artist over who knows how to play with the concept and the sound of the night. Which all together will channel a certain mood onto the dancefloor. We’re planning on creating an unique experience during the night: memorable with a significant amount of recognizable elements for our future events.
[Marlon]: Besides that Amsterdam is an incredible diverse city with a lot of openminded people, I believe we couldn’t have had a better new homebase for the ideas we have in store regarding our concept.
Ride the Second Wave this Friday May 11th.