The team of Future Intel peeks in front of the curtain, says hi, has a hard time making choices.
Girish, in his own words
Hi all, I'm Girish van Hall and I've been affiliated with Future Intel for just over a year. Looking back, the way this came to pass was spontaneous: Zamba invited me to come play a show, and I immediately felt a ‘click’ with the crew. We kept in contact. Three months later they asked me if I'd like to join their adventure, and I jumped in head-first. I’m still feeling grateful for the opportunity – it’s come about and grown so naturally.
At this point, I should mention that I have a curious connection to our headquarters. For anyone who hasn’t visited, the building we stream out of is an old office building, leased through antikraak. There are walls of glass and concrete, vestiges of
former opulent modernity, but the building also has its own somewhat disheveled personality: it leaks, malfunctions, whistles in the wind. All in all, an interesting place.
My father used to work on the 9th floor, right in our streaming hall, when the building was still an office for KPN. The first time I visited, I FaceTimed him, and he was still able to share with our team what the original use of all the spaces had been. That cemented my initial love for the space: a weird, coincidental connection.
As for my main activities at Future Intel: I'm partially in charge of our social media. I write captions and descriptions on our socials and videos, and next to that, try to support wherever it is needed, whether that's in the musical programming, art programming, hosting the stream or anything else – I'm up for all of it.
The sets that stayed with him the most throughout 2021 were:
Sophie Du Palais ╚═ Future Intel ═╗ 05 06 2021
I'd like to highlight the debut live set of Sophie du Palais first, but not without mentioning the amazing live performances of Mila V, Yao Bobby & Simon Grab, Yopo & Timaeus and UMBRA as well. As live-shows go, they demand vastly different things than DJ-sets, technically as well as visually, with all the challenges that accompany this.
Looking back at this year, I think we have progressed with capturing and recording these shows as optimally as we can. To be able to facilitate Sophie's debut performance was a very special moment. That night, we had DJ-sets scheduled prior, so we had to adjust the whole camera set-up in between. Sophie killed it, interacting with the makeshift audience of crew and other visitors, and I ended up operating a strobe light that we threw into the mix last minute – unexpectedly creating an atmosphere that completely matched her set. These are the kinds of impulsive, natural coincidences that make Future Intel feel like such a warm space to me.
Victor Crezee ╚═ Future Intel ═╗ 04 29 2021
I'm the kind of guy that doesn't often listen to music casually, except for when I'm on a bike or on public transport. I also don't repeatedly listen to music – I rarely play the same stuff. Looking back at my SoundCloud history however, this ferocious industrial workout by Victor Crezée has been the exception to my rule. Whenever I needed to get somewhere by bike fast, or needed an energy boost of some sorts, this has been my go-to, never failing to get me hyped up. I remember head-banging, shouting and jumping around for the full hour at the streaming night itself, and it left a lasting impression.
Zohar ╚═ Future Intel x Rhythmic Culture ═╗ 25 11 2021
I’m struggling with the last one – I feel like I’m wronging so many people by not mentioning them! All those amazing take-overs from Dekmantel on our birthday, to PIP and The Crave during ADE, Kleingeld's listening session with medieval choir, Know V.A.'s hardcore experimentalism – I'm sure I'm still forgetting so much.
Perhaps it’s safe to go for something recent, while it's still fresh in my memory. To celebrate their 5th anniversary, Rhythmic Culture curated an impeccable 6 hours of music. It was honestly one of the best-flowing nights we’ve experienced – musically and (perhaps just as important) socially. There was such a nice vibe, so many kind and cheerful people. All sets that night were highlights. I could have easily picked all of them, but Zohar's stood out to me for its mind-bending moments – one’s she is known to deliver. Nights like these further strengthen my belief that if artists feel welcome and at ease, and if the atmosphere is right, they can bring out just that extra magic that transforms our space into something so much larger!
Jan Wojda & Emir Karyo made such an immersive animation around the end of August. I still recall that one so vividly – all the bright colours and shapes worked beautifully with the music.
Girish confesses that his favorite soup at Future Intel is Lewie’s white bean-kale soup with lemon zest, though any white bean soup will do.
Yasmine, art curator
Yasmine, tell us about yourself. How did you come to join Future Intel? What attracted you to the platform?
I first met the boys when they were playing at Keilecafe in Rotterdam. I liked what they were playing; we quickly struck up a conversation about music. I'm a calligrapher myself, with a background in art direction, and proposed an idea to show my art during their stream. I ended up visiting one night and covering the windows with calligraphy.
I immediately knew I wanted to do more – I saw space for Future Intel to allow more forms of art to be displayed, shared, and communicated; accompanying the music, but also adding new elements, expanding what Future Intel could be.
I’d long harbored a love for production work – experiences I’d picked up working at festivals. This love started to creep back in that night, along with an eye to further develop their spatial concepts. I had a goal for the platform: a space in which any form of art could be welcomed.
Are there artists that stood out to you this year in context of Future Intel? Moments that touched you personally?
UMBRA by Nikos ten Hoedt, Zalán Szakács and Mark Ridder was incredible; everything I had imagined when I pictured what Future Intel could be. It was as if you were standing in a museum and a nightclub all at once. I felt the urge to dance, but also to just sit down and allow myself to drift off within their hypnotic visuals.
Leonardo Scarin made an incredibly detailed live show of visuals during ADE. It had a similar sense as UMBRA – one in which the music completely merges with the visuals, to the extent that one starts to wonder why these two are not always merged into one. It worked so well – so much of it was live; Leonardo playing with visuals and photos of the space, and footage of the people in it, all as it was happening. At the same time, he also played with the idea of the physicality of the digital realm; teasing what is real, what is live – sometimes tricking the viewer into thinking everything was live when it was not.
Similarly, I liked Jeroen Meyer’s artwork for the fact that it tricked people into thinking his work was set up at a different time, in a different space, when it was live streamed as well. The unpolished documentation of something being created is something I like to encourage the artists to capture. The process itself – the behind-the-scenes – is so often left on a shelf for no one to see, when it is precisely the process that has so much potential to be the perfectly imperfect end-result itself.
Lastly, Sonya Mantere showed her art during our first year but deserves a shoutout as well. Her work captured her mother dancing. It combined aesthetic beauty with humor, creating something both subjectively and universally relatable. It was simple and beautiful all at once. This is what I love: art that does not ask to be taken so seriously; allows space for personal interpretation.
Is there story you would like to share about your process of curating the artwork?
I was unexperienced when I first started. Being part of Future Intel has been such a valuable experience – growing together with the platform, as it experiments, learns, and expands. As for my process, I like to grab a coffee and talk about the artists' interests and ways of working. These conversations give me ideas on how their work can be translated onto the medium of the radio station. It is what I like to do: provide a fresh pair of eyes that can allow documentation of the work-in-progress – shed light on the creative process that does not normally find a platform to be represented on – or work that has been forgotten, such as the work that has collected layers of dust on a hard-drive or studio-shelf, to be brushed off and re-interpreted through the context of the platform.
This, in my eyes, is what Future Intel can give back to the artists who share their work with us. Everything at FI works on non-profit and volunteer basis. It’s important keep a good balance between us and the artists – to not mindlessly incorporate art, but to pour time and energy into talking with the artists, to try to work with them, to give them the trust and space to experiment.
Lastly, I want to note the importance of showcasing a variety of mediums from a variety of artistic backgrounds. We try to be conscious about who we invite to showcase their art, but, of course, it’s difficult to step outside of our personal bubble. Still, we strive to have a variety of creatives – not just those who are already enrolled at art academies or have followed the traditional path of an art education. We think it’s important to represent artists from every kind of creative subculture.
Yasmine, as art curator, is more involved with the visual aspects of Future Intel: communicating with artists, creating a schedule, keeping an overview over the art direction of the platform. However, she would like to note that her favorite set at Future Intel in 2021 was the one Laksa gave on our boat at Dekmantel Selectors. Not despite the CDJ mess-ups, but because of them.
She also chose wisely and answered, ‘What is your favorite soup at Future Intel?’ with ‘All of them.’ Ever the diplomat.
Cara, writer, sunshine and all round helping hand
Cara, in her own words…
My name is Cara, I've been involved with the team at Future Intel since the beginning of August 2021. I am a writer for Future Intel and can usually be found at HQ once a week. I also volunteer at Operator and Pinkman Records and run a radio-project about Rotterdam with Sylvie van Wijk called ‘Dear Navigator’. Last spring, I began volunteering at a lot of different venues in the music, art and cinema world. I had just finished an internship in which I’d spent 6 months in front of a zoom camera without ever getting to know my colleagues. I was so eager to get offline, to meet people; hungry to become actively involved and contribute to the projects I had admired from afar.
Like Yasmine and Girish, my involvement with the team came about both naturally as well as accidentally: a series of coincidences that began at The Grey Space In The Middle, an art-gallery in the Hague. I spent a very slow afternoon there volunteering to count visitors, pretending not to be more interested in the music that was playing next door, where Doktoro Espresso was hosting a pop-up record-store.
Of course, I eventually gave up on my job and spent an afternoon digging through his records instead. He was kind and knowledgeable, and we quickly fell into a conversation about music. I was curious to talk to him about the contemporary music-scene in the Hague.
Future Intel had been on my radar for a while. My friends at Galerie de Jaloezie had made a film that was featured as part of the in-stream artwork and someone else I knew, Zalán Szakács had played at FI as part of Umbra.
I was gushing to Elrik about how much I liked their station, and how FI combined so many of my interests – music, art, cinema – when he stopped me and told me one of their founders was sitting outside. He asked if I would like him to introduce me. I was shy, and very, very eager (of course), and so he led me outside and introduced me to Zamba. I sat down with him, Lisanne and a friend of theirs for an hour, chatting about music. Zamba gave me Olivier's email address and the rest is history.
The sets that stayed with her the most throughout 2021 were:
McBain ╚═ Future Intel ═╗ 09 09 2021
This is the set that has influenced me the most at Future Intel. It is by far the one I've come back to the most. I've shazamed every song, played this set to many of my friends, talked about it to anyone who would listen – a lot. It was the first time I saw someone DJ in a way that I wanted to share music myself – meaning: little-to-no transitions, but a sensitive, narrative, intuitive selection of music.
It almost seems silly to choose this as my absolute favorite set because McBain was so relaxed and casual about it, stepping away from the camera to smoke a cigarette and chat for minutes at a time. He really didn't seem to care very much about the superficial elements – letting the music speak for itself.
It is hard to describe why I feel so moved by it. It was not just the music, but also the timing of when I heard him play. Many things came together for me through this set. Seeing someone occupy a space in the Dutch radio world with what was so clearly not a traditional 'club set' was galvanizing – made me feel that the path not only existed but could open for others too. Seeing him combine Patrik Fitzgerald, Eberhard Schoener, the Betty Blue soundtrack, and a Portishead track nobody there had ever heard – something about that was incredibly touching. It was a clear example of the kind of music selector I am inspired by and want to become.
Intergalactic Gary ╚═ ADE x Future Intel ═╗ 10 15 2021
One of the most gorgeous Future Intel moments I've ever witnessed happened towards the end of Intergalactic Gary's set during ADE. The room we currently stream out of is long, half-oval, with a very tall ceiling and walls of glass. If the sound is played just loud enough, the entire room reverberates with sound – the glass walls, the ceiling, everything.
The sun was incredibly bright, filling the space. At minute 40, Intergalactic Gary mixed 'Lost Signal' by Forest Drive West into 'Die Reisen' by Dopplereffekt and Visonia, and everything just shook. It gives me shivers just thinking about it. It was incredible, it really put together everything I love about Future Intel – the space, the sound, the art, the light; it all worked together so perfectly.
A real call-up-your-mom, tell-your-best-friend moment to witness. I wrote this quote about it in an article I wrote about Operator and Future Intel in October, and the feeling I describe is still something I stand by. It all came together for me because of this moment in Intergalactic Gary’s set.
"At times, when the wind blows so strongly that the panels of the roof whine and whistle, when lightning strikes far off in the distance, when music is played so loudly that the entire room, floor, ceiling, and the length of the glass walls reverberate with sound, the sudden immensity of the mutual respect and purity of the shared love for music can be trance-like; the space starts to feel like a glass cathedral or a lone spaceship: an island of sound in the sky."
Zandvoort & Uilenbal ╚═ Future Intel X o, o, Radio ═╗ 08 06 2021
Hurdy gurdy in the DJ booth! Danny Wolfers (Legowelt, among many other aliases), Jimi Hellinga (Elektrovolt, also a medieval music expert) and Sara Vollmond (Dim Garden) carry magic. For me, this set balances respect for child-like, intuitive experimentation with truly nerdy knowledge and dedication to sound. It’s hard to pin what I feel about this set into language, but it means very much to me, as does the Zandvoort & Uilenbal project It is the exact sort of thing that leaves one speechless; that just is. Sinister sonic poetry. Medieval ambient drone accompanied by poetry read out by Sara, written by Danny. Just something very pure.
So much has already been said about UMBRA, Yopo & Timaeus Explore…, and Leonardo Scarin, but of course, these projects moved me deeply. I would therefore like to mention Bas Harpe. His art was being streamed when I first joined, and it has always stuck with me. I find it haunting, nostalgic, and beautiful.
Cara’s favorite soup at Future Intel is Mounir's cauliflower soup with lemon zest. Lemon zest means Mounir wants to impress the guest. She also wants people to know that Mounir places Palo Santo beneath the DJ booth sometimes, to bring good luck and warmth to the space.
Finally, Mounir, fortune teller
Mounir, in his own words…
Heey! I’m Mounir I live on good soup and I’m one of the founders. Future Intel came to me in a dream and I’m still not sure if I’m awake? I guess I’ll just keep on rowing.
The sets that moved with him the most throughout 2021 were:
San Proper ╚═ Future Intel ═╗ 12 03 2021
We spent a lot of time debating how to handle the curfew last Spring. We could stream legally, but should we? As much as we wanted to be considerate, we felt there was value in what we could do for artists and people at home – to provide a space for community, and a platform to share what we love: music and art. We spent a long time deciding what was best, but in the end, this first set I chose called it for us.
Who better to close a night that was scheduled to end just before curfew? The doctor himself! The vibes were super nice this evening, and after that, we were cured because San organically made the decision for us to stream past curfew because he went on for an extra hour. We started streaming again at night and artists were happy to be able to play during these sad COVID times. Always funny how things can play out like that.
Sophie Du Palais (Live) ╚═ Future Intel ═╗ 05 06 2021
Everything about this night was great! Sophie was a bit nervous about it but incredibly hyped. After the show, we were just as hyped as she was. We watched it back about 6 times that same night – we just all genuinely liked what we had created together. The strobe blended like crazy with Sophie's performance, and apart from that, Sophie was one of my favorite dance floor companions on Dekmantel Selectors, where we were dancing our buts off!
UMBRA (LIVE A/V) ╚═ Future Intel ═╗ 20 05 2021
Setting up this kind of artwork is just pure fun – it really adds a lot to the station Nikos, Zalán Szakács and Mark were back for their second time, and this time they had upgraded even more with some features that made it seem as though Nikos was jumping around on the canvas itself, teleporting to the other side.
I had this realization a few weeks ago, that streaming and filming an artist may be a bit weird, because we are filming something that started out as something to listen to. I’m shocked and proud of what has grown out of it – the works of art that are now permanent fixtures in our stream, and how so many more forms of art are able to participate in this project. Sets like this really remind me of what is possible.
Guy Tavares & Theo Wesselo - het bitterbal ╚═ Future Intel x MONO ═╗ 31 12 2021
Two legends at work! This combination was just too good to be true. At first we asked Guy to do a New Year’s Eve conference, after thinking it through he came with the idea to do it together with Theo Wesselo. Theo is known for the classic Rembo&Rembo, something I watched as a kid and later in life during after’s this was always the to go to stuff. Enjoy! (Dutch only)
Leonardo, the artist who made live 3D renderings of DJ’s during ADE 2021 was just the Bomb. We crowned him Weirdcore Jr!
I’d also like to mention Roos https://www.instagram.com/roosjanssen__/, who was super nice and added so much to our streams during the Rhythmic Culture takeover. Lastly, I want to mention Melissa Fuentes https://www.instagram.com/melissazrttt/, who found us through our open call and mailed us all the way from Mexico City. She has worked with lots of my favorite artists, and it’s mind-blowing to me that someone who is that talented found us and wants to contribute to what we are doing.
Like I said earlier, I’m still living the dream, and I’m grateful to all people that join us in blending all our dreams of a future together. Thank you!