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Albert van Abbe (NL)

Artist & Speaker (Creative Director, Draaimolen Festival)

Since the early 00’s, techno's silent force Albert van Abbe has explored the intricate space that connects electronic music and art with the full spectrum of human sensations. From reconnecting with childhood memories through delicate audiovisual installations to performing live at the principal temples of club culture, van Abbe is a deep-sea diver always ready to take the plunge.

Amidst the pandemic, van Abbe joined forces with fellow Dutch legend Jochem Paap, aka Speedy J. Together, they ventured into the legendary Willem Twee studios in Den Bosch, musically exploring a large collection of test and measurement equipment from the 1950s. This collaboration involved not only the two musicians but also engaged them with the old machines—an alliance impossible to fully control or predict. It gave birth to General Audio, an album released on Avian in 2022. This highly analogue and experimental process in many ways represents a refreshing antithesis to the norm of linear efficiency that has the contemporary electronic music scene in a stranglehold. However, it was not a manifestation of nostalgia, but of genuine curiosity.

To contrast, the same curious mind has developed a new kind of AI sequencer that can help revitalize and revamp unfinished tracks—original pieces that had potential but never saw the light of day. So, on the one hand, van Abbe creates new technology to breathe life into old music. On the other hand, he breathes life into old technology to create new music. A dual journey that calls for a true explorer of sound.

Van Abbe's artistic journey is characterized by collaborations, embracing the process as a fundamental aspect of his creative endeavors. Sounds hold profound significance for van Abbe, with their own identities, textures, and narratives. When intertwined with other creative disciplines such as visual art, performance, and philosophy, they unveilentirely new dimensions.

Some recent and noteworthy examples include his 2022 collaborative album, DUAL, with Byetone, released on Raster, alongside the solo album NONDUAL. His audiovisual performances and collaborations include the live A/V project Contrarium with Lumus Instruments and the Spatial Déjà Vu collaboration with visual artist Chris Kore.

As the artistic director of Draaimolen festival, van Abbe expands collaborations with institutions like Museum de Pont and the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. His future ventures include several remix projects, a new hardware live set, and further probes into the intersection of music and technology.

Albert van Abbe's world is one of constant exploration, bridging the realms of sound, art, and technology.

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Previous editions –
    2022, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 & 2014