The second day of the Oct. 20-23 Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) started with the Composers’ Workshop featuring artists Tom Novy, Sjam and Georg Bissen having submitted their versions of the soundtrack to a TV advert made by Grey Worldwide for Ketel One Vodka.
The panelists discussed the realities of synching music to adverts, including the fact that political skills are as important as an in-depth knowledge of music.
“You will find yourself having to listen to people at agencies and at the client company who think they know what is best in terms of the choice of music, but then you need to decide whether this is a battle worth fighting or not,” said Josh Rabinowitz, senior VP Music, Grey Worldwide. “If it’s an advert for tissues it’s probably best to let it go, but on important campaigns, part of this job is about standing up for what you believe in.”
The Right On Track panel featuring DJ Dennis Buyer of Radio 538, alongside DJs Hardwell, Laidback Luke and Sneak, looked at several aspects of the reality of being a successful DJ – including hearing loss.
“I used to be really crazy for pure volume when I was younger,” admitted Laidback Luke. “One time I was playing a show and a government inspector who was monitoring the sound told me that I needed to reduce the volume on my monitors, but I paid no attention, then I was finding that I couldn’t listen to music at home for two days after a show due to the ringing in my ears, so of course now I’m much more aware of the dangers and act accordingly.”
The Focus On India panel revealed a fascinating emerging world of dance music and club culture on the Indian sub-continent, which is as much about local know-how as it is about aping what is happening in the West.
“It would be very complex to import a big, branded event from Europe because things happen in a different way in India,” MTV India presenter and Sunburn Festival organizer Nikhil Chinapa admitted. “For example, when it comes to putting up a large tent at Sunburn, we do not have heavy-lifting cranes, but we get the tent erected using ropes, pulleys and long sticks. And we know that this would be unacceptable in Europe, but this is India, and we specialize in getting the job done by whatever means possible.”
He added that he would advise delegates interested in working with Indian partners to take small but positive steps, but also to “believe in what we can do, because we are sincere and if we say we are committed, we really are, and we will make it work.”
The Disintegrating Genres panel, featuring DJ/musicians Sander Kleinenberg, Dubfire and Pedro Winter a.k.a. Busy P of Ed Banger Records, was unanimous in its utter rejection of genres as anything more than a convenient way for journalists to describe music to readers.
“It has been said before but really there are only two kinds of music, good and bad,” Kleinenberg said. “It’s all about creating interesting, forward-looking and relevant music. Genres are a non-issue for me.”