As the little sibling of big brother Dekmantel Festival, Lentekabinet is an intimate electronic music festival that’s going into it’s fourth edition this year. Situated between the trees of recreational park Het Twiske a little to the north of Amsterdam, this one day festival is a testament to the Dekmantel crew’s passion for electronic music, bringing the solid sound and bookings their events are known for but catering more to the locals than the eponymously named 3+ day event hosted at the end of July/beginning of August this year. The sun is out, the weather is sweet, and an eager crowd of festival goers is ready to soak up the rays and tunes that the day has to offer!
Dekmantel founders Thomas Martojo and Casper Tielrooij are the ones who kick of the day at the main stage. For most attendees this duo needs no introduction, their Dekmantel organisation having firmly cemented itself as one of the leading dance organisations in Amsterdam. Their mix of warm house, soul, and disco hints at what is to come, easing the crowd into the day. Three-quarters into their set, Barnt plays a more contemporary set before Life and Death’s DJ Tennis turns it up a notch with more melodic house and techno grooves.
At the main stage, it’s Detroit veteran Moodymann that steps behind the decks to show why he’s an Amsterdam favorite. Unfortunately, today is not the day for this heavy hitter. His techy mixes seem decidedly uninspired, his eclectic escapades into other genres fail to hit the mark. From disco to Nirvana? Sure, but not today. Too bad, but the black-veiled dj can bank on considerable goodwill with the crowd thanks to his splendid sets in the past and will undoubtedly be rocking the stage again next time around!
In between the stages the visitors can take a break in wooden crates that have been stacked into a wall as Floating Points – Nuit Sonores floats across from the main stage, or they can decide to do some very special kind of birdwatching in a giant birdwatchers cabin that has been erected in the middle of the festival grounds. Two ‘professional birdwatchers’ talk the visitors, who are handed headphones and a pair of binoculars, through what they see. The festivalgoer is a strange type of bird indeed!
The biggest hit of the day comes in the person of The Black Madonna. Even though this Chicago based dame is a relative newcomer on the international scene, she is a veteran dj and her set clearly reflects that. She treats the crowd to a delicious mix of house, disco, and the occasional techno. The confidence and energy with which she dishes out track after track is intoxicating, and she soon has the crowd eating from the palm of her hand. Was that Daft Punk? What Moodymann seemded to promise she manages to deliver perfectly. Let’s hope she’ll be visiting the Dutch capital again soon!
The honor of the closing set of the day on the main stage is granted to none other than Nicolas Jaar. Granting the Chilean born, New York city based wonderkid the honor of closing the festival seems like an obvious choice seeing his phenomenal trackrecord and immense popularity in the Netherlands, but the outragously downtempo beats he’s known for are decidedly out of sync with the tempo of the rest of the day, and quite a few in the crowd seem to be struggeling with the sudden considerable drop in bpm’s at the end of a long day of dancing. That’s Jaar for you though, hate it or love it, he doesn’t let the crowd rule him, he rules he crowd, and he does it in a style that is undeniably his own. So far Lentekabinet 2015, let’s hope Dekmantel manages delivers the same warm vibes and positve atmosphere later this year!
Text: Willem Bijloos
Pics: Ernest Roca
Gallery pics: Robin Alysha Clemens