Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2010

Photo courtesy of Planet Gong

Surely a night out in the Netherlands’ capital of hedonism begins with a visit to one of the city’s legendary cafes?

“Not anymore for me, but it’s a good option,” says Dutch DJ/producer Anton Pieete by email. “There are a lot of clubs and good parties in Amsterdam at the moment, so you never have to be bored. The only problem is that clubs are only open till 5am. But you can always find something to do after then.”

Pieete first became interested in electronic music after receiving a vintage synthesizer from his grandfather, and began producing tracks in the late ’90s. It took a while for his career to gather steam and break beyond his home city, but the DJ is currently one of the most referenced names in techno—thanks partly to the worldwide influence of dance-music download site Beatport.

Pieete’s first worldwide hit came in the form of “Players” on Intacto, which reached number one on Beatport and became one of the defining tracks of 2008. He followed that up last year with another Beatport chart-topper, “Siberian,” and put the icing on the cake when industry bible Mixmag tapped him as a “DJ to keep your eye on.”

The secret to Pieete’s success is that there is no secret. After years of ever more reductionist house and techno, he delivers straightforward dancefloor tracks rooted in fat, pulsing basslines and fusillades of percussion.

“My biggest inspiration for dance music was in the late ’90s,” he explains. “I was a big fan of the Swedish and the Birmingham sound, because the music was heavy but still very funky—something I always try to achieve with my music. At the moment in Amsterdam, the scene is also very good: many of my friends make good music, so of course they give me a lot of inspiration.”

Currently working on an EP for respected imprint Drumcode, Pieete is upbeat about the dance-music scene. But he does have a criticism—one shared by many now that producers have all started using software to create tracks.

“The one thing I think is a bit wrong is that a lot of producers go in the same direction,” he says. “I like it when people do their own thing.”

Still, the set that Pieete is bringing to techno veteran Takkyu Ishino’s long-running Sterne event will be software-based.

“I started playing digital two years ago, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made,” he enthuses. “It gives me so much freedom in the way I want to DJ. Now I can finally do the things I always wanted to do when I play. For example, you can play as many tracks as you like at the same time, or use certain elements from tracks—it was an eye-opener for me.”

Womb
Sterne. Techno: DJs Anton Pieete, Takkyu Ishino, Ten, etc. June 4, from 11pm, ¥4,000. Shibuya. Tel: 03-5459-0039. www.womb.co.jp