Report: Pitch Festival 2015
Last weekend saw the fifth edition of Amsterdam’s beloved Pitch Festival. Held at Westergasfabriek, the festival, known for the best and newest crossover acts and DJ’s, delivered what was promised.
As Saturday, 4 July was one of the hottest days we have had in Western Europe the past few years, we tried not to burn ourselves out too early, arriving around 4 pm. After a long warm up from Woody, an unsung hero of the Berlin underground, moving the crowd at the sunny Kaap stage, I though it was high time to check out the rest of the event. The whole design at Pitch is always outstanding and aesthetically appealing. It all starts with the artwork and web design and ends with the eclectic stages. In total, one had to choose amongst six expertly curated stages. The largest was the Westertent. The rest of the stages where situated in the buildings of the Westergasfabriek. This is also where I wanted explore next, to be more precise, the infamous Gashouder.
Here, local genius Binkbeats, who has made a name through live reinterpretations of such classics as Aphex Twins’ ‘Windowclicker’ or SBTRKT’s ‘Hold On,’ performed his live set. Even though I knew what to expect, I was still blown away by his pure talent. The set was the perfect combination of twisted loops, vocals and a mass of instruments.
Next up was the biggest name of the day: Jamie xx. You could feel that plenty of people picked up his newly released ‘Colour’ LP as the stage was packed in an instant and felt like the entire festival was there to see him. All hype aside, his performance was amazing with plenty of his own releases mixed along with a couple of surprises. Next on was something very special with Gaslamp Killer in the Gashouder (how fitting). The LA based artist is more than the usual DJ. He’s more of a music curator. At the beginning, he introduced every track he played with a bit of a story behind each, by the end, the whole Gashouder was going crazy.
After a short break, some food and a bit of relaxing at the Transformatorhuis, it was time to go back into the Gashouder for a show from Amsterdam locals Weval. The duo played one of their first live gigs at Pitch a few years ago and now were back with a bigger reputation and plenty of new fans. From the opening second, the whole building knew what was going to happen. They opened with a personal favourite ‘Gimme Some’ of their Easier EP, followed by one hour of pure energy. Since it was my first time seeing Weval live, I was quite impressed by the quality of their performance. Definitely one of my favourite performances, if not the favourite, of the day.
After this outstanding performance it was time for Barcelona’s John Talabot in the huge Gashouder. The Spanish artist delivered a set that could have gone on the whole night. As always, he was able to move the crowd with his celebratory and dreamy sound, perfect for his timeslot and the state of mind people were in.
On the main stage Modeselektor teamed-up with longtime label affiliate Siriusmo as Siriusmodeselektor, a collaboration which had been tested on Pitch two years ago, proving to be successful.
The night ended with someone the entire underground is talking about right now: Amsterdam’s very own Young Marco, who showed a splendid selection of music spanning virtually all genres. As he stands for the love of strange dance music and unclassics, which is to some extent what Pitch also does, Young Marco was the perfect artist to end our evening.