Amsterdam feels strange this week.
Although Amsterdam Dance Event has gone digital with music, art, film, studio tours, and masterclasses online [running alongside the ADE Pro digital conference], there is an undercurrent of stress and sadness affecting those in the electronic music industry. There is a hush over Amsterdam which is not normal ever, let alone during the yearly October event which some of us live for. We miss our clubs, we miss our friends, jobs, & nightlife, we miss dancing and making music to dance to. We refuse to go gently into the night we used to rule.
Since clubs closed in March during the first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns in Amsterdam, BNKR Radio x BNKR Collective, a group of like-minded electronic musicians experimenting with semi-modular synthesis have been jamming on machines instead of guitars. Inspired to keep the scene alive in spite of a global pandemic, BNKR Radio produces a bi-monthly live stream featuring a collective jam session, live and hybrid underground techno sets, and a guest artist.
…with a purpose.
As technobot favorite, De School closes its doors after 5 years of sweaty basement techno, Red Light Radio says sayonara from their spot behind Oudekerk, and the rest of our city’s electronic events are canceled for the foreseeable future, the people at BNKR Radio are navigating the biggest threat to a genre’s existence since dubstep. In the hopes of spotlighting experimental and avant-garde techno and in need of community during dystopia, they stream from undisclosed locations in Amsterdam on Facebook Live and have recorded all shows to be released on Soundcloud and other sites as archives. Though the public is not allowed at these live stream events, you can and should find them on BNKR Radio’s Facebook page or get updates on their Instagram @bnkrradio.