You might know the Netherlands for a certain reason, or rather a great deal of them.
When you are reading this, one of them will probably be the way the Dutch like to throw their parties. To be fair, they made an industry out of it. Obviously, Amsterdam plays the head role in this play. But what happens outside the so-called “dance capital of the world”?
We decided to shine our light on one of the more underestimated, yet oldest cities in The Netherlands. We start this series of music-infused travels in Nijmegen.
Located in the eastern parts of this small but highly populated country lies Nijmegen. Although the name might not immediately ring a bell, this city has been a (hidden) gem for decades. Perhaps the most evident reason for this is a club called “Doornroosje”, which freely translates to “Sleeping Beauty”.
Hosting club nights since 1995, this place, known for its progressive and open-minded approach, is a legend rather than a fairytale. It took a while before house music got a foothold in Nijmegen, but when a night called “Planet Rose” finally drew attention, it would not take long before international icons like Jeff Mills and Derrick May regularly visited the city, be lovingly calling it “Detroit at the Waal” (Mary Go Wild, 2013). Mills even mentioned Doornroosje as one of his favourite clubs in the world.
As you can imagine, it did not take long before heavy-hitters like Sven Vath, Laurent Garnier and Ricardo Villalobos found their way to this fruitful city. As with every fairytale, some of the magic ended when it was time to change the script somewhat. About three years ago the old temple was forced to move away from its original location. Since then, the new podium has been able to host some fantastic productions, but a gap was left for the more progressive bookings that typically united the more persistent music lovers of these Eastern areas.
Planet Rose Documentary
At that time, the ESHU collective (founded by Roger Gerressen, Ivano Tetelepta, Jocelyn Abell and Daan Lekatompessy) was one of the definite rule makers in town. Disagreeing with the “shallow” way things were done in Amsterdam and its surroundings at that time, they propagated a more intelligent and unique deep dub-infused sound, strongly opposing everything that smelled like commercialism. With musical dedication, persistence and countless studio hours, they managed to get international recognition for their efforts. Timeless releases of their ESHU Recordlabel, Dilated Pupils series or their solo projects set the tone for the way Nijmegen once again drew, and still draws, the eyes of the world towards itself.
Another major piece on Nijmegen’s chessboard is “Drift”, which is well-known around Western Europe for their quality of bookings and organizing indoor- as well as outdoor events like Drift Festival. Founded by Brent Roozendaal and Diede van Overbeek, Drift has seen considerable growth over the last 15 years. They have always managed to stay true to their original values and cause, bringing local talent to the stage as well as introducing international pioneers at their events.
Another platform and record label that has not gone unnoticed recently definitely deserves a mention.We are talking about Minimal Movement by Jens Akkermans.
Known for his good relations with our beloved Romanians and (not surprisingly) born from the fertile musical grounds of Nijmegen, this movement has delivered some quality productions recently.
Considering all these influences, the time could not have been more right for five young enthusiasts going by the name of “The Tribe”. Musically inspired by the ESHU collective, and culturally shaped by Doornroosje, they united themselves in a unique ensemble. Considering the organization is “only” two years old, it has been able to cause quite a stir throughout the Netherlands. Stefan, David, Pim, Dorus and last but not least Duncan. They are known for doing their market research thoroughly, resulting in impressive bookings of leading names in the scene from all over Europe, as well keeping an eye out for their local community by organizing several semi-legal beach raves and afterparties.
Trommel visited The Tribe on an icy winter night, in a (normally) empty warehouse they be lovingly call “Brebl”. This extraordinary alias exactly describes how delighted we were when we entered and warmed ourselves in the steaming crowd. Their name was derived from the myth of Kokopelli, a shaman that travelled to spread the word of music and understanding through dancing.
Their ideology is to make people feel at home, and they certainly succeeded in doing so. Not only was the organization well-taken care off, one could actually drink a few without worrying about running out of cash. The crowd is a pleasant mix of young and old, melting into the hypnotizing sounds played by the Russian Andrey Pushkarev and Nijmegen front-man Roger Gerressen.
Let’s be honest, it’s not every day we see two leading characters in the scene play a set together, especially this (7hr) marathon set, which we have included below this article for you to enjoy…
Upon entering, it feels as if Gerressen and Pushkarev are playing in a huge living room. There is a definite connection to be felt between the two heavyweight DJ’s and the crowd. No nonsense, just an excellent sound system and a crowd having fun interacting with the two maestros’. Upon asking the Tribe members how they achieve this, we receive a smile as an answer, accompanied by a simple response: “We are not just hosting an artist, we are looking to bond with them!”
“However, it’s the community of musicians and music-lovers we built during time, who gave us the energy and inspiration which makes sure that our engine keeps rolling”
The rest of the night underlines this statement; music is only a part of the experience at Tribe events. Gerressen and Pushkarev take the crowd by the hand, teasing it playfully with long melodic breaks, whilst making sure the more inexperienced listener never loses his or her attention by smartly adding their kicks and high-hats.
Towards the end of a night that went way too quickly, every soul is around (or on) the small and intimate stage, cheering joyfully at every little climax…
See for yourself here
The myth of the Tribe travels on: driven by the basic values of love for music, a deep, sexy and hypnotic signature sound and a warm, open atmosphere. With impressive bookings like Anthea, Francesco Del Garda, Andrey Pushkarev and Ion Ludwig recently, we cannot deny the position that the Tribe has achieved in Nijmegen.
Please enjoy the set of Andrey Pushkarev and resident Tribe-ambassador Roger Gerressen in the promising city of Nijmegen, they have surely won our hearts. It seems the road is ahead is long and promising for the shamans behind The Tribe… With various events in Amsterdam as well as Nijmegen in the near future, their journey has already started.
Stefan Beek, Dorus van Ham, Pim van Genuchten, Duncan Gerritssen, David Vis.
For their hospitality, provided photo material and refreshing attitude.
Alex Jansen, Christoffer & Nicholas, Jaime Frias, Jocelyn, Mark Antoni, Roger Gerressen, Shadee, Tom Liem, Tommy Kornuijt, Yasin Engwer, Yme