Amsterdam Dance Event Part II

NETHERLANDS: Between throwing morally reprehensible shapes to Nosaj Thing in Melkweg, discovering that Dutch diets consist solely of toasties, loping through the Red Light District stealing eye contact from prostitutes, and winning the ADE Demolition Panel – I decided to settle down in the Felix Meritis hotel to do some actual work.

The first righteous dude I met was Scott Richmond of EDMX. After working with trailblazing online record stores, numerous labels, and as a Consultant and A&R Manager, the entrepreneur co-founded EDMX, a holistic festival app that allows its users to do – well – a whole bunch of cool things.

In addition to bios and tour dates for over 4,000 artists, the app comprises information on a multitude of major festivals, social media integration, news feeds, and the ability to create customised line-ups and SoundCloud playlists for every festival. Festivals themselves can use the app to promote themselves and their sponsors too. Apps for individual festivals are becoming increasingly widespread (in fact EDMX’s progenitor was an app for Dallas’ Lights All Night) but Richmond hopes EDMX will render these obsolete with its all-encompassing feature set.

After speaking with Richmond I traversed the Felix’s impossible amount of stairs – ostensibly designed by M.C. Escher – to speak with Tania Lee from Pioneer Europe.

Actual photo I took of the Felix Meritis' staircase
Actual photo I took of the Felix Meritis’ staircase

Traditionally, Pioneer’s involvement with ADE has been limited to hardware demonstrations in ADE’s Playground events, a trend that continued this year. However, it was ‘Kuvo’ – its new, free solution to both rights distribution and music discovery – that Lee seemed most excited about. She was kind enough to elucidate what Kuvo means for clubs, clubbers, and DJs.

“We’ve been coming to these conferences and panel discussions for years now, and the same issues keep being raised,” said Lee. “There hadn’t been a clear-cut solution to the issue of rights distribution before now. There’s an estimated US $160 million in incorrectly diverted royalties per year, simply because there hasn’t been a technologically viable way to accurately keep track of the music DJs have been playing.

“Thankfully, Pioneer’s Tokyo R&D and Engineering departments came up with Kuvo, a little black box that plugs into a DJ booth’s LAN Port. It uses ID3 tags instead of fingerprinting and instantly transmits the currently played track to our app. We’re giving it away to clubs for free, so that clubbers can instantly find out which track is being played, and purchase it if they wish. That music discovery element is the consumer side of things. Beyond that though, the implications for DJs and producers are huge.

All of the data fed through our system is going to be provided for free to rights organisations so that we can alleviate the problem. Therefore DJs will be allocated the right amount of royalties, and make a load of new fans in the process.”

Currently Pioneer is only providing Kuvo to fixed installations due to the necessity of the LAN port, which many festivals lack. “If festivals can provide this in the future then we’ll definitely move into that area,” continued Lee. “Festivals like ADE, which utilise a lot of different year-round venues, are technically involved though.”

Whilst searching for a coffee shop to consume a copious amount of high-potency coffee, I passed by Lee’s clothing store. Drawn in by the ADE branding – whose ostentatiousness was only outmatched by its ubiquity across the city – led me to discover something really neat.

Blueprint Media handled Lee’s brand activation at ADE Playground, conceptualising a stop-motion workshop to thematically tie into Lee’s ‘Move Your Lee’ campaign. Lee held the creative workspace in its store, inviting passers-by inside to produce their own stop-motion animations using materials taken from Lee clothing. Participants could then download the Stop Motion Studio app, attach their phones to the in-store rig, and take photos of their arrangements to create nifty animations.

Handling the technical side of things was animator Sven Jansen, who controlled the lighting and parameters of his Canon Mark II 5D through Dragonframe stop-motion software. The DSLR was required to shoot a music video for Amsterdam-based beat-makers Know V.A.

Lee x ADE

“People have been coming in all day, just from passing by,” said Elke Versteeg of Blueprint Media. “The whole process is very accessible. There are a lot of possibilities with the app but we’re only showing people the basics. Anyone can do it, which is what makes it so fun. Some kids came by on the first day and it was great to see them getting involved. The ADE crowd has been really responsive to it. The ADE crowd has been really responsive to it. Two girls sat in here for three and a half hours yesterday. The atmosphere is really open and friendly; we’ve got music and drinks, it’s a good way to make new friends and relax.”