Amsterdam’s ADE Insiders: Steve Rachmad
Often whirling around grooves of Detroit techno, Steve Rachmad is a producer, remixer and DJ, regarded by many as a genre champion within his home of Netherlands and around the world.
A man of many aliases, when his birth name is on the bill, the musical journey can be anything from planet Rachmad; a realm best explored by listening to one of his extended Panoramabar sets or in the former renowned Amsterdam club Studio 80. When his STERAC alias shows up, expect techno with dark, deep, edgy atmospheres.
For Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) 2016, Steve will be all over the place with two STERAC appearances (Tresor 25 Years & Radion) and two Steve Rachmad (HYTE x FFRR & Circoloco) appearances making him the perfect Amsterdam ADE Insider. Here, Steve starts off this list of recommendations with short 5 tips, but then became an extended story with several tips in one. I hope you will enjoy my Amsterdam.
1) Take a free boat to North of Amsterdam from the piers behind the Central Station and visit EYE film museum and cinema, with beautiful views over Amsterdam. It’s also nice to walk to the nearby Pllek or Noorderlicht voor a drink and taste of the Amsterdam atmosphere in the local, a bit more industrial setting.
2) I am a big foodie, and I love anything from a good simple place to the up class Michelin star restaurant. Amsterdam is quite a minefield when it comes to food. There are plenty quality options but you really need to know your way, otherwise you are running quite the risk of having a terrible meal. If you are into a good Japanese authentic ramen soup, I would recommend you the reasonably priced Ramenya at the outskirts of the Red Light District. For a good pasta in an easy going, local surrounding, I’d like to send you to Spaghetteria West. TIP: if they are not too busy, order two half portions of different pastas. If you are into a bit more upclass Italian meal, then Toscanini is the place to go – you do need to make sure to book in time. Probably my favourite Amsterdam restaurant would be Yamazato, a Michelin star Japanese restaurant at Okura hotel. Superb in food, sake and service.
3) I am not a big beer drinker, nor a bar person, but here and there I can appreciate a special beer. These days there are so many little breweries popping up, and one of them is IJbrouwerij in the East side of the city (Oost). It is located in an old wind mill, and it’s quite a cozy bar with a local urban atmosphere. If you wish to avoid the big crowds, then keep in mind the place gets busier from 17:00 on, as it’s a popular after-work destination for many.
4) Amsterdam is a beautiful place to discover on bike or foot. It’s also not so big, so you can see quite some stuff within only a few hours. Most of the tourists go to the Red Light District, the Dam and Leidseplein, but they actually miss the most charming parts of the city that are just a stonethrow away. In the city centre, there’s the beautiful Jordaan where the organic and cozy Noordermarkt takes place every Saturday morning. Discover the little streets around too, filled with small galleries, boutiques, bars and restaurants, as well as the neighbouring Haarlemmerdijk and Haarlemmerstraat that are full of cute little shops and restaurants as well. Also in the centre are the infamous, bubbly De 9 straatjes (The 9 streets), which are actually 3 streets split into 3 short parts by the bridges crossing the Amsterdam channels. Although this area can be busy, and touristy, it’s also local, very lively and diverse, loaded with small cute shops, coffee shops, restaurants and bars. I sometimes just like to walk around there and observe. If you have the time to leave the city centre, then I’d like to send you to Old West (Oud West) and Old South (Oud Zuid). Walk around and discover Vondelpark, as well as the surrounding beautiful old buildings once built for aristocracy (Oud Zuid). At the opposite side of the park, you enter the Old West side of town, which was in the past the workers area but these days became quite a hip, creative and still not too busy residential area with popping up restaurants, cafes, shops, markets… While at the West side of Amsterdam, check out De Hallen, an old tram park that was renovated into a very popular complex with a cinema, beautiful hotel, some restaurants, a few cute shops and a food court. I like to have the steak sandwich when I’m there, but they have also nice pulled pork, burgers, Vietnamese rolls, New Zealand pies and a delicious wine bar. Watch out, it can be quite busy in the evenings, so I usually try to go there during lunch time. Another nice complex on the West side is Westergasterrein, which many will know for the infamous Westergasfabriek and Westerunie, but that area is quite interesting during the day too: have some nice food in one of the several restaurants there, hang out in the neighbouring park, or check out their website for the dates and head there when there’s The Sunday Market – a food market full of small stalls and handmade goodies. It can be busy though, so beware!
5) If you are into a bike ride to remember, and you have some extra free time on a sunny day, then follow the river Amstel south-wards till you leave the city. The beautiful green route along the water will lead you to a small village called Oudekerk aan de Amstel. Most tourists only see Amsterdam centre, but I find it nice to feel the contrast between the city and the very nearby nature. If you decide to take on this tip, then you might combine it with a visit to the nearby Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Woods) too, where you can take beautiful walks and bike routes and come across the locals, deer, or just noone. Another little hidden treasure to reach by bike at the outskirts of the city is Durgerdam – a small village by the water at the North side of Amsterdam, which is basically a dike filled with charming wooden houses and views over the expanding Amsterdam at the other side of the IJ-meer. Do not get scared by the distances on the map – this actually still IS Amsterdam, and we all know that Amsterdam is not that big :)
Photo Credit: Noam Ofir