This was one of my best sets and I’m so glad I played it at Vortex. Vortex is a favourite on my calendar. After moving to a new venue this year, with tons of drama from people trying to stop the party, the Vortex crew has surpassed themselves! The new venue is even better than the old, in a beautiful Blue Gum Tree forest.
So much fun was had by all. I managed to lose my wallet on Saturday, always a stupid thing to do. Someone handed it in and I managed to get it back on Sunday, with all my card and drivers license in! The community and friendly vines there are phenomenal, make a plan to get there next year.
My Techno set from Earthdance Johannesburg. Set in a beautiful forest near Haartbeeshoek Satellite Station, the venue is on the edge of the Magalies mountain rage, near Hartebeespoort dam. It was early on Saturday at 1am. I took over from a young DJ, named Rikay, who played a fantastic set. He got the crowd jumping!
My Techno sets at Earthdance always seem to go down really well. It winds between harder underground Techno and driving Acid Techno. The KV2 sound system was fantastic, driving hard and with a solid kick. Gavo took over after me and continued slamming it till the close at 4am. Tanks to Terence and Jade and Earthdance for the great opportunity.
Amelie Lens will release a new EP later this month.
‘Little Robot’ marks label boss Lens’ second release on Lenske, following ‘Basiel’ in 2018, and is the seventh release on the imprint.
The four-track EP, incoming on the 13th September, is a collection of typically hypnotising productions from Lens. Acting as a showcase for her prowess as a diverse and experimental producer, Lens opens the EP in thunderous fashion with the intensity of track ‘Helium’, before providing her own vocals on standouts like ‘Man Over Machine’.
Closing the B-sides, ‘Storm’ simmers on a driving bassline, with Lens pairing tenacious kicks and all consuming acid lines for another anthemic production.
Amelie Lens is a self-confessed control freak. Every step of her journey as a DJ so far has been the result of her own obsessive attention to detail and laser-focussed determination which permeates everything she does. Nothing is left to chance. The often-referred to ‘explosion’ with which the Antwerp native made her way into the global techno scene has been the result of a long-standing love affair with dance music, ignited by her first outing to Belgium’s Dour Festival at just 15 years old. Techno had Amelie at ‘hello’, and she spent the rest of her teenage years crossing Belgium by train to attend gigs, hypnotised by the new world that was opening up to her.
Fast forward a few years and Amelie had started her own club nights in Antwerp, DJing under numerous aliases and learning to produce at the same time. “I started making edits for myself, like old-school tracks with a different kick.” That fusion of classic techno with a fast, futuristic edge helps define Lens’ sound today. “A mix of old and new strong techno records, tough but not hard, fast and throbbing, hypnotic and energised” is how Richie Hawtin described it after being blown away when hearing her for the first time at an ADE showcase.
Her debut release came on Italian imprint Lyase, and soon after a trio of releases on Pan-Pot’s Second State gave her recognition on a global level. Despite her measured and considered approach, the gigs came thick and fast. “Timing is everything to me – and a lot of times I’ve felt like it was too soon for me to play somewhere.” But it wasn’t long before Lens was sharing stages with the most respected artists in techno. From headline club shows to peak-time slots at the likes of Sonar, Time Warp, Awakenings and Movement Detroit, as well as the legendary Circoloco at DC-10, whilst featuring on the coveted Mixmag cover and recording her first Resident Advisor podcast in 2018. At the start of 2019 Drumcode marked it’s 200th release by asking Lens to remix the label head’s 2014 release “Teach Me” – a milestone in her career that speaks volumes about Adam Beyer’s admiration for his younger counterpart, who describes Lens as having “a unique pure form of timeless techno. You can feel the passion when watching her – there are only a few DJs with that energy, that ‘it’ factor.”
As a resident at Hasselt’s Labyrinth Club, Lens started curating her own nights under the name EXHALE and soon was inviting the likes of Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Ellen Allien, Rødhåd and Kobosil to play alongside her, often delivering her own all-night-long sets that have become the stuff of legend for Belgium’s adoring fan base. Lens has steered the EXHALE parties further afield, with regular showcases at the likes of London’s fabric club and colossal stage hostings at Creamfields, OFFSonar, Dour and Extrema Festivals and many more on the international summer circuit. Her aim is to showcase a new generation of hand-picked, up-and-coming talent alongside international heavyweights.
Lens has moulded her own imprint, LENSKE, in her image – driven, energetic and authentic. A handful of carefully curated releases from fellow Belgian’s Farrago, Milo Spykers and Paris-based AIROD fuse a high- velocity mix of uptempo 909 uppercuts, hyper-futuristic acid accents and evil-minded drops. The label’s tight- knit family of artists help solidify Lens’ reputation as a curator and taste-maker as much as a master in the booth.
In just a few years Lens has achieved what many artists would dream of achieving in a lifetime, and her rapid ascent is something many find hard to grasp. “It just happened so fast – too fast. So I understand. It’s going to take me ten more years to prove myself, but I’m going to do it.” Rest assured that the Amelie Lens story is just beginning.