08-01-2013 | 13.35
Club night Rauw (= Raw) is celebrating its 10th anniversary. DJ Joost van Bellen, leader of the pack, is looking back on 10 years of mindblowing music and performances. He’s not too keen on compiling lists with personal highlights, but for once he’s willing to share them.
You could call Rauw a unique and energetic mix of disco-inferno, punk, house and techno. Always provocative and cutting edge, never self-indulgent or lazy, embracing new talent whenever it’s there. A gentle, many-headed monster, according to its ‘master’. It all started in 2003, during a kind of ‘raw’ dinner party, when Joost van Bellen invented a whole new clubbing concept. Electronic music, live performances, art: it all came together in one single club night called Rauw. The rest is history. Amsterdam-based venues like Amuse, Club 11, De Melkweg, Trouw and Utrecht-based venue Tivoli have been hosting the event for the past decade. Even Berlin and Barcelona got their share of Rauw. On Friday the 11th of January Trouw will pay its respect to one of the most outrageous club nights Holland has ever witnessed. Time to get hold of the man behind the concept: Joost van Bellen.
10 years of Rauw: name your 3 personal highlights
“I’m not good at this, but I’ll give it a go. #1 The tacky performances in the early days. The fat naked women, singing about dirty oven mitts. The worn-out models singing about a heavy metal parking lot. The first club performances by Bas Kosters and by art bands from Berlin and New York. They were good because they were not afraid to break the rules. It all was totally out of the box.
#2 The Rauweekenders at Tivoli: 3 nights in a row, including an after-party. A line-up of well known and totally unknown names. The crowd went bazerk!
#3 Rauw at the festival Solar. We’ve been there three times now and every time it was fabulous.”
10 years of Rauw: 3 names we will never forget
“Well, eventually they would have become famous anyway, but we introduced them: Erol Alkan, Justice and Boys Noize.”
Club 11 is dead, long live Trouw. A thousand people dancing, favourite venue of many, DJs and crowd alike. The end of 2010 marks the beginning of Rauw at Trouw. There is instant success. A benefit or a curse?
“At first we thought the only way to draw a crowd was by presenting line-ups with well-known names. It’s a shame that the crowd is ‘hooked’ on those big names. There’s hardly any room for experiment. But you know, Trouw is a great place and I think we showed that Rauw deserves to be part of it. In the past year we proved that we are here to stay. People now come to Rauw for the sake of Rauw, not for its line-up.”
Rauw went to Berlin and Barcelona several times. Was it all worth while?
“Berlin was cool. There was this great local promotor who took care of us. But unfortunately he lost his interest in smaller events. Frankly speaking: our sound is too loud for Berlin. But if we are ever given another chance to pop up in one of the smaller venues, we will go back immediately. Barcelona was more difficult, due to the economic situation. Razzmatazz was too big, its crowd too small. All of a sudden we realized that Rauw couldn’t make it abroad with an unknown 100% Dutch line-up. Holland is the home of our success. We’re not Sensation.”
Any unfulfilled wishes?
“Gosh, that’s a difficult one. If I had a choice: Motorhead’s Lemmy performing with Kraftwerk, while Boys Noize and Erol Alkan are mixing the sound. Live!”
10 years of Rauw’s Track Record
2003 Peaches – Fuck The Pain Away
2004 Alter Ego - Rocker
2005 LCD Soundsystem – Daftpunk Is Playing At My House
2006 Justice vs Simian Mobile Disco – We Are Your Friends
2007 Boys Noize - & Down
2008 Proxy – Raven
2009 Major Lazer – Pon De Floor
2010 Chilly Gonzales – Knight Moves
2011 Connan Mockasin - Forever Dolphin Love (Erol Alkan Extended Rework) (Phantasy)
2012 Gesaffelstein – Depravity
Text: Bonita van Lier