Master of the warm-up, with a talent for both short, intense sets and long building ones – its no surprise this DeSchool resident has become a favoured face among Amsterdam’s party faithful, and the twenty years she’s spent behind the decks is evident in her chronicled selections. The De School resident can usually be expected to play with a mixture of electro, minimal and bass both in her hometown and on Europe’s biggest dance-floors, including Fabric, Berghain and Concrete, as well as appearances at DGTL, Dekmantel, Awakenings and 909. Sandrien began mixing in 1999 with friend Carlos Valdes, establishing party ‘MAD2’ at the now closed Club 11. Later she went on to become both a resident, and ambassador for Trouw before it too closed in 2015. She’s been making her way across indeed the Netherlands and Europe since – featuring in Ben Sims Tribology compliation EP.
We caught up with Sandrien to talk about Amsterdam, her (very) early introduction to electronic and her first time at De School.
When did you first come to Amsterdam?
In 1996, When I was 18 I moved to Amsterdam to study
You’ve been a massive part of Amsterdam’s techno movement since the late 90’s – how would you compare the scene in the city now to then?
Music styles were more mixed back in the days, you had a lot of nights where everything between House and Techno was played. Nowadays you see a more clear line between the sub-genres. This is also inherent to the fact that the scenes and parties are much bigger.
Do you think crowds have become more interested in techno?
Nowadays a lot more people are interested in Electronic music in general. I am not sure if Techno is growing harder than other genres but it’s amazing to see that the scene keeps expanding and I discover new cool places all the time.
How do you think Amsterdam compares to what you’ve experience in Berlin and Tbilisi?
In Amsterdam we are happy that there is so much freedom. The electronic dance scene started here since end of the 80’s. We get a lot of support of the government. A good example is that Amsterdam was the first city with an official Night-major. We also have a 24 hour license for clubs. And a lot of festivals going on. In Tblisi the situation is totally different, clubs are one of the few places the dancers can be themselves, they’re dancing to fight for their freedom. It’s a powerful and beautiful scene, I love playing there
When did you first get into/discover electronic music? can you give us any examples of records that really struck you back in the day?
This was in 1998 at Chemistry at the Escape. This is the night where I met my best friend Carlos Valdes also. One of the tracks that I wlll never forget is Rhytm is Rhytm – The Beginning –
What is your relationship like with De School? do you remember the first time you partied/played there?
I’m a resident and favourite place to go to:-) the first time was 8 oct 2016 with Doka and Stefan Vincent. Since then I had so much special moments over there, playing at the Basement or upstairs at Het Muzieklokaal, or visiting to dance, go to a concert or eat at the restaurant.
What has been your favorite dance floor experience?
Trouw, Berghain, Bassiani and De School. 4 clubs I love a lot
Who were your greatest influences when you first began playing in clubs in Amsterdam?
Chemistry residents Dimitri, Isis, Marcello, Angelo. And at that time you had a lot of DJ DJ’s, people devoting themselves to just playing records, not producing.. Playing out different sounds and vibes and taking people on a journey. I still love listening to those kind of DJ’s
Is there anyone that really helped you find your feet?
I worked with so much amazing and sweet people over the years. So many people gave me the opportunities to play at amazing clubs, parties and countries, I’m really grateful for that.
You’ve said before that you had a turntable when you were five years old! were your parents heavily into electronic music?
There were no cd players back then 😉 I was playing singles and lp’s in my bedroom. My parents weren’t into electronic music but they supported me always for the 100%.
You are respected so much in your city, do you like the relationship you have with the people of Amsterdam?
I am very happy and proud with the huge support from Amsterdam. I had a lot of nice residencies, and still have this. It’s a privilege to be part of the scene of this city with so much history and future in Dance music.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Things are going well, I am feeling good and I have a lot of really nice gigs and tours planned.
Sandrien played at Loveland Festival (Aug 10-11) head to loveland.nl/festival for info.