Highlights of Saturday's publicly-attended sessions on the final day of the 14th annual Amsterdam Dance Event included a session on production by U.K. dance trio Dirty Vegas and a presentation of Activision's new game "DJ Hero."
The 3-day live music showcase and industry conference (Oct. 21-24) attracted a record 2,100 delegates, according to organisers, who claim that 90,000 music fans also descended on the Dutch capital to attend elements of the event. David Guetta, Darren Emerson, Deadmau5, Faithless, Fatboy Slim and Groove Armada were among the 700-plus music acts that played in the city.
During their session, Dirty Vegas revealed their modus operandi: "These days we compose using iChat because [singer] Steve [Smith] is based in the U.S.," said band member Paul Farris. "But we also get together when we can because no matter how powerful the technology, it's still important to have the three of us in the same room occasionally."
The enthusiastically-received "DJ Hero" presentation was conducted by Sergio Pimentel, international music & licensing manager, Guitar Hero, U.K. and Daniel Neil head of music, Freestyle Games.
Friday (Oct. 23), the last industry-only day of this year's event, had started with The Composers' Workshop, a panel which featured DJ/producers, composers and music supervisors offering their ideas of which music should accompany a classic advert from a leading agency.
The advert in this case was the "Take What You Want" spot made by Amsterdam-based agency 180 for Adidas, which ran during the Superbowl 10 years back.
The advert originally featured "Right Here, Right Now" by Fat Boy Slim. A judging panel made up of SVP director of Music at Grey Worldwide Josh Rabinowitz (also a Billboard columnist), 180's chief creative Andy Fackrell and music supervisor Chayenne de Witte alongside DJ/producer Dave Clarke, listened to new soundtracks by Duane Harden, The Orb's Dom Beken, and Crystal Method.
Crystal Method's music was the panel and audience favorite, a decision which sparked a discussion about just how many synch opportunities the duo had missed out on.
"Crystal Method's music is often used to illustrate what a music supervisor wants but then when budgets are reviewed they end up getting 'versioned' [copied]," said Rabinowitz. "It's a practice which happens all too often."
Elsewhere the Problems! What Problems? debate featured Jessica Sandin (an associate partner at Thinktank), Ilario Drago, CEO of Italian label EGO, attorney Kurosh Nasseri and Beatport's chief programming officer, Ronnie Krieger. The panel aimed to tackle head-on the problems that labels and publishers face on a daily basis including how best to judge which digital distribution platforms to sign up with.
"Ultimately it's better to be one of the more important labels on a small to medium-size operation than it is to be one of many thousands on a larger platform," Krieger said.
The panel also touched on the value of vinyl as a branding tool and new ways to get your music heard in an increasingly crowded and media-saturated world.
"We've just signed a deal with a leading in-store radio programming operation," Drago said. "People who are shopping tend to be significantly more receptive to background music because it's not perceived as interruptive.