Dekmantel Selectors 2017
Dekmantel has been pushing the boundaries of electronic music in its efforts to envision a creator's utopia with its Dekmantel events. In this article from Dekmantel, Shawn Reynaldo talks with some of the top underground talent about what makes for a good "selector".This article originally appeared on Dekmantel
When we first came up with the Selectors concept, we had a general idea of what the festival would entail: five days and nights on the Croatian coast, soundtracked by dozens of DJs with a keen ear for obscure and underappreciated musical gems.
With a strictly limited capacity, many of our favorite artists on the bill and plenty of sunshine in the forecast, we headed to Tisno with high hopes, but the truth is that we simply were not prepared for just how memorable the experience would be. We have been throwing parties for a long time, but the artists playing Selectors dug extra deep into their crates and totally embraced the concept; never have we seen so many elated dancers excitedly asking for track IDs or simply losing themselves to some absolutely off-the-wall sounds.
Given that, we simply had to do it all again. The Selectors festival will be back in 2017. After years of looking toward the past and (rightfully) lionizing the DJ heroes of days gone by—Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy, Larry Levan, etc.—it’s time for dance music to celebrate the new generation of selectors that has blossomed in their wake. And while these artists do often dig for vinyl, play marathon sets and prefer intimate dancefloors to massive crowds, they shouldn’t be mistaken for mere revivalists. Their methods may be traditional, for lack of a better word, but their willingness to venture into unexplored corners of the musical spectrum and push the dancefloor beyond its usual limits has absolutely re-energized the DJ sphere.
Part of what makes these artists so intriguing is that even though they can all loosely be tagged as “selectors,” no two are exactly alike. In purely musical terms, some of them are in fact diametrically opposed. So once again, we’re left with the question of what, exactly, is a selector? If anyone might know, we figured it would be the artists themselves, so we’ve asked some of folks playing the 2017 Selectors festival to share their thoughts about the art of DJing and how they approach their craft.
Photos courtesy of Desiré van den Berg