This Is Progressive was a proud media partner of 3Gram’s festivities on Kingsnight and Kingsday in Alkmaar, Holland. With a fantastic lineup, great production and awesome crowd, things could not have been better. We sent out two reporters that share their experiences with us.
Photography: Woudt Photography
The opening artist Tim Schilder, one of Alkmaar’s rising stars, started his set in the low 100 bpm range. This proved to be the perfect formula for warming up the crowd in the slowly filling square. It resulted in a swinging mix of jazz and deep house backed by an infectious groove.
After Tim the first headliner of the evening was the Spanish DJ/producer AFFKT. He played a top class set with some real deep beats and including some superb build ups and breakdowns. This was all strengthened by the stylish looks of the DJ-booth and the stunning visual effects of Alu & Diaan Visuals on the big Led Screen. When 3Gram host Robert-Jan Wille asked (more like shouted) “ALKMAAAAAAR to put those hands up for AFFKT”, the crowd showed their love. Yes, Alkmaar & AFFKT were indeed an excellent match!
Next up was Olivier Weiter. He showed immediately why he was the chosen one, to close the night. Great melodic, hypnotising sounds filled the area. Hardly any vocals, but when a rare vocal was dropped it was spot on (for instance, a bootleg of Jose Gonzales’ “Crosses”). Personal highlight of the set was Hot Since 82s “The End”. A real festival track with epic break. During Weiter’s set some enthusiastic attendees couldn’t resist climbing the tent pole. Host Robert-Jan Wille from 3Gram, acted immediately by talking them down (“Some people do everything to get High, but as long as you don’t come down we need to turn the music down” ). During Weiter’s set there was a major downpour. In a way this made Weiters’s set even more magical because it led to a totally packed tent with collective moving crowd. Fortunately the rain came to a stop after 30 minute downpour which made the audience scatter for some room for their dance moves.
All in all, a very good night out in Alkmaar!
Compliments to the 3Gram-crew!
Photography: Woudt Photography
‘Today it is all going to happen’ was my first thought when I woke up with a slightly sore head from the night before. Kingsday (as it is now called officially after last year’s Queens Day) is the biggest day out nationwide and I had to get back early to the Paardenmarkt square/ 3Gram event in Alkmaar and experience their musical journey in full.
With much to look forward to I can still feel that amazing energy that Oliver Weiter had left with me when the stage closed on day one. The Iconic stage 3Gram had build with their 35 square meter LED screen, nicely finished wooden DJ Booth, and backdrop were still also very much alive for me as much as how the square looked. 3Gram really seem to have a good eye for these things.
When heading over to the stage I ran into multiple small parties near buildings and on the street, and as you might know by now many Dutch people in orange clothing. The streets were of course filled with them, even before the Kings Day stages in Alkmaar started with their music at noon.
With no less than Josh Wink from Philadelphia USA and Matthias Tanzmann from Germany, I was delighted to also see rising star Rene Engel on the program as well. Rene is getting the reputation of choosing the right records for the moment, ranging from deep house to techno in underground warehouse parties, to the bigger events. His love for the music and setting the right atmosphere really shows. Unfortunately some of Rene’s shows were cancelled last year, as well as on Queens day last year here, but luckily he’s back again and well on track.
When Bas Dobbelaar aka “The Golden Boy” started of at the Gramdioos stage with his nice sounding beats, he was accompanied with sunshine on the square, which is always is a nice treat and did make many people smile and get in the mood for a great day all together. People seemed to be more than cheerful. His melodic and warm sound perfectly fit the atmosphere in the square.
After Bas opened the day it was time for Matthias Tanzmann to step up on stage for a two hour set. As the square began to fill up, and having more than a few thousand people in it, the spirit was rising with Matthias. People were akin for deep basses and rhythms and were really on it like a car bonnet.
Rene started his set in a slightly more chilled manner in order to reset his listeners, but soon started to grab the audience for his own journey. As Rene was warming up for Josh Wink, the last half hour of his set really picked up pace and left people akin for more when he ended. Rene really put the ball on the spot, the only thing Josh now had was to tap it in.
When I grew up and started to buy vinyl in ‘95, one of the first records I bought was ‘Higher state of Consciousness’ from house legend Josh Wink (now 43). Back then this record was ground breaking as it slices thru your thoughts with classical 303 acid sounds when you are dancing and listening to it. It’s Raw, rhythmic and really brings (and still does) the crowd to a higher level.
Although Josh has far more records that he is well known for, his reputation as a DJ is also rock solid and he tail headlines major events like Time Warp Germany and the new edition of Mysteryland USA in Bethel Woods (The original location of the Woodstock festival). Besides that Josh was recently listed in the Pete Tong Hall of Fame on BBC Radio 1 and that is of-course not without reason. 3Gram can proud to have him as he’s one of the building blocks, pillars and foundation of the electronic music scene as we know it. His label Ovum has also been running for 20 yeas now.
Going back to his performance in Alkmaar, after picking up from Rene Engel, Josh Wink started his set by giving gorgeous deep techno sounds to his audience. As the crowd got more and more into his sound, he surprised many of the Dutch people, as he shortly mixed some drum and bass records into his set. After hearing ‘Higher State of Conscious’ in that context as well, he started going back to techno and pleasing the crowd with old school techno and acid tracks that really got the crowd going. It even gave me some Goosebumps at a certain time, and that doesn’t happen that often I must say. And as goosebumps never lie and 3Gram with their ‘Gramdioos’ concept deserve credits for their Kingsday party. I hope they continue at this pace, direction and sprit in the future, so I can be there next year again.