Sunday, August 23, 2009
Around the World 6
This week we find out about one of the oldest performing venues in Amsterdam, Holland. Amsterdam is home to a lot of the worlds best Djs and producers, from Laidback Luke to Fedde le Grand. Today we are not here to talk about Dutch producers or Djs we are going to be Paradisco.
Clubbing in Amsterdam is relatively low-key, although lately it has changed a bit. Located in a former church, and known as the ‘pop-temple’ of Amsterdam, this notorious stage has hosted many famous bands already, and has a clubbier program on Friday & Saturday. Converted from a church to a club and concert venue in 1968, everyone from the Rolling Stones, Nirvana and Amy Winehouse has performed here. 1970s saw the whole punk scene usurp in Amsterdam, which saw the Paradisco become the Dutch Centre for Punk nights, before giving rave culture a big sweaty hug when 'peace and love' and happier drugs came back into fashion in the 1990s..
Whilst sounds and styles have changed over the years, the interior of the club never really has. The main room still retains the same choir stalls and stained glass windows it had a century ago, and the colored light streaming in as dawn breaks is quite a sight to behold, although the gurn on some party goers faces which are visible by the streaming light can be a daunting sight.
Paradisco is a major port of call for huge international acts. But for clubbers the real party begins after midnight when it opens for club nights, Armin Van Buuren is one of many who hold nights here.
As stunning as the main room is, one of the best things about the Paradisco is the other places to explore. With a rabbit warren of corridors, the smaller upstairs room plays host to up and coming bands, as well as locals Djs from local promotion.
In 2008 Paradisco saw a sound system revamp.The complete Digidesign package, which also includes system racks, expansion cards, cabling, and a Pro Tools|HD system — a package worth €150,000 — was supplied by Digidesign’s Benelux VENUE distributor, Ampco Belgium. With a full 12 month consultation from the sound providers, “I organised demos and invited sound engineers to work with the desk over a period. Flexibility and accessibility were important factors, since the Paradiso’s programme varies widely from DJs to spoken word to heavy metal. It was important that they had the opportunity to operate the system under all circumstances to see how easy it is to learn”, de Pooter says. With this in mind a fit-out in a church with high ceilings and arch ways can be a challenge. However Paradisco now has one of the most advanced systems in Amsterdam, keeping the old building going on the inside.
So thats the Paradisco for this week. It is a massive space with an old history and many more years left.