Legendary London-based DJ and producer Erol Alkan is spearheading a holy trinity of DJ extraordinaires at Trouw in Amsterdam tonight, where he is joined by local Dutch hero Joost van Bellen and Manchester house music messiah Justin Robertson.
Trouw, which is rapidly cementing its status for holding some of the fieriest dance events in town, is the perfect setting for the night. As a former printing warehouse, its raw and industrial interior eschews the glimmering chrome of the super clubs, matching the essence of the DJs it plays host to.
Van Bellen, one of the longest-playing and most-revered DJs in the Netherlands, starts proceedings, showing exactly why he’s regarded as something of a saviour in the Dutch capital.
He astounds the crowd, starting with the zany psych-pop of new MGMT track ‘Alien Days’, before settling into a raucous excursion through techno and house that stirs the passions of everyone in the building.
By the end of his set the dancefloor has evolved into a bubbling sea of bodies. It's an assortment of personalities - from hipsters decked out in the latest trends, to seasoned technophiles, and local students. By 1:30am everyone is united by one desire: to see Erol Alkan get his groove on.
Alkan takes to the stage to roars of approval from the crowd, eager to hear his trademark mash-up of indie and electro. What follows is a spectacularly eclectic two-hour set. A maelstrom of frenzied beats and the dirtiest grooves, meshed together by his inexhaustible reserves of musical wizardry.
The dancefloor blurs into a mass of gleaming, nodding heads and raised arms, strangers dancing together all united by Alkan’s uncanny ability to intuitively gauge the wants and desires of the room.
His set-list varies from electro sounds so seismic that they induce queasiness if you caper too close to the speaker stack, through to the Nile Rodgers funk-fuelled licks of Daft Punk’s latest offering, ‘Get Lucky’.
In between there are snatches of truly uplifting house and disco; it's stunning to behold, and the few hours hurtle by in what seems like minutes.
The night isn't over though and, after a cheery send-off for the man of the hour, an impeccably dressed Justin Robertson - last of the musical messiahs to preach from Trouw’s electro pulpit - ascends to deliver his sermon in the form of hypnotic tech-house.
It's a rapturous evening during which Alkan demonstrates exactly why he is regarded by fans and peers alike as one of the greatest DJs of his generation. With his spontaneity, willingness to break established conventions, and seemingly prescient ability to interpret the dancefloor, Erol will keep the kids dancing for a long time to come.
Words: Benji Taylor
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