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Adriatique Talks About What Made Movement So Special

The Zurich-based duo shares some of what made their trip to the 313 so unforgettable.

Adriatique, real names Adrian Naird and Adrian Alahs, have been making waves internationally for some time now, spreading that oh-so smooth European house that got them on Solomun's radar and made them an important part of the Diynamic family. We caught up with Adrian Alahs after they got settled back home in Zurich to hear about some first impressions and highlights from their experience at Movement this year.

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THUMP: How did you feel about coming to Movement? What were some of your expectations?
Adrian: I had a lot of expectations of the festival because of its history and because of the city itself, what it means for our music. I heard from a lot of people around the States that the vibe at this festival is a little bit different than a lot of others, that the focus is a bit more on our kind of scene, the underground music. You also hear that the city is not at its peak economically and what not, but the thing is you really feel that the music is a part of the city itself, not just the festival. I came in with a lot of expectations but I can say that they were all fulfilled, if not exceeded.

How did you plan your days? Did you have specific artists you wanted to check out?
I wasn't going around the festival with an agenda, but I definitely wanted to see some of the Detroit guys. On Monday when I had some time off, I spent a lot of time at the Made in Detroit stage where Kevin Saunderson was playing his 'Origins' set and then played back-to-back with Seth Troxler. Jeff Mills on Sunday at The Underground stage was amazing too, he's always so good. The sound I like most was found on the Beatport stage, so we were there most of the time, watching guys like Martin Buttrich—we're big fans of his—and Dixon, and the Martinez Brothers.

Which after parties did you go to? How did you like Old Miami?
We all went to the House of Efunk with Soul Clap where George Clinton did his live performance, which was so much fun. Then I went with friends to the Old Miami party, but we went there pretty late actually, like sometime in the early afternoon. Couldn't quite make it for the 7 or 9 AM start. I loved the venue, how you have this great outdoor area and this chilled space inside, with it's original bar and stuff. The music and vibe was great.

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How did you prepare for your set at Movement?
Unfortunately it was only me this time, Adrian couldn't come. Usually we don't prepare our sets that much when we play. But at a festival like this you have a shorter play time, then it makes sense to have some direction on where the set is moving because you don't have so much time to develop your concept. So for this we did actually have in mind where the set was headed, but usually it's not a big deal for us because we are more interested in the crowd, about the party, where are these things going and developing—we then develop the set to mirror that.

Not preparing your set ahead of time must mean you just know your tracks inside and out—is that the key to being able to adapt the set to the audience and the party?
Yeah, one thing is that of course, and then what's also important is to surprise yourself a little bit, to even try out new things and things that are a little more unexpected. Of course you know your tracks and you know what works well and you have your favorites, you have an idea of where you want to end up after two, three hours, but I think its always fun if you can do something else, if you can surprise yourself and I think that really only happens if you don't prepare yourself too much for a set.

What do you think makes a festival great?
It depends— like Seth Troxler said, dance festivals are the best of times and the worst all in one. I listened to this interview and I really shared his opinion, in that it depends on how it's done, how the quality is production wise, and how the audience is. It doesn't matter what type of music it is, it can be EDM or underground, it's just really how you present it and what the quality is like and ultimately the message behind the whole thing. Is it just a big money making machine? If so it's no good. But if the quality and the message are there, then it will be a great festival.

What was a personal highlight from your time at Movement?
I am very bad at choosing moments like this, but I have to say for me, because I had quite an interesting time slot at 3 PM when the festival is really just getting going, I think seeing the whole thing picking up and seeing people coming in from all sides, not waiting or going first to the bar or the merchandise area, just seeing them come straight to the dance floor, that was really special and something I saw over the whole weekend actually. I would say this moment, seeing the people come to dance and enjoy the music and filling the dance floor, that was a big highlight for me.

How is it being based in Zurich? Is there a strong scene for your music in the city, or in Switzerland in general?
We have everything based here in Zurich, but most of the time we are somewhere in Europe playing a show, or overseas. That said there is a good scene in Zurich, we have our own series here, our own parties, and some nights that we do every few months where we play all night long, and there are definitely some great spots in bars and clubs in Zurich for our music. I'd say that given how small Switzerland is and how small the population is, they are people who generally listen to and are quite exposed to electronic music, so you have this environment that is very supportive of the sound overall.