We sat down with Timo from Contrarium and our creative director Paul to talk about the upcoming audio-visual event, what it means and about what visitors can expect.
How did Contrarium actually come about?
Timo: “Originally, it was born from the observation that there are a lot of shows that have become bigger than the artists themselves. As a result, many acts have to be fitted into a timeline so that the event organizers can determine in advance how a show is structured. With Contrarium we (founders Timothy, Julius and Timo) are trying to invent a way where playing live actually adds value without sacrificing the show. This was the primary motivation for creating this concept. We hope our concept for live show lighting will become the norm within 10 years with people saying “Okay, if you can run a live set on stage, we’ll get you get a super sick synchronized light show alongside it” and that people will become motivated to play more live music.”
Sounds awesome. How far along are you guys in developing this?
Timo: “We’ve run into several challenges as we go through development. What kind of data do you need exactly? What is interesting data, how do you then convert that to light and sound and how do you make it usable for other people? With the kind of audio-visual shows we do, we’re currently trying to see for ourselves what the most interesting end result could be through the use of different audio signals. Only when we’re satisfied with the result in the long run, we look at how we can convert the process so that others can use it as well. Therefore, we are now focusing on music that is more experimental, which causes us to think and act out-of-the-box ourselves. We hope it ends up being widely applicable.”
That’s why we find it so interesting. There is a pure focus on the A/V experience, not necessarily the dance floor or partying itself. It does have common ground with that, but it’s also a completely singular experience. After all, people are sitting during the show. So what can they expect?
Timo: “A whole range of sounds. Often it can be described as ambient or music but it’s not really that. The artists will be creating all kind of sounds. Also very raw and noisy sounds. You’ll see that the light result triggers the artists to create totally different kinds of sounds and tempos, making the whole thing a cinematic event. You could actually think of it as improvised and abstract cinema.It’s a complete experience in expression and storytelling during the show. Think of a long intro that puts you in a meditative viewing atmosphere. You’ll be able to look into the soul of the performer standing there. The expression of improvisation is the primary element which is very interesting to me.”
It is also an interaction between the light operator and the live artist where you are constantly interacting with each other, right?
Timo: “Absolutely. This edition will be extra special because we’re going to do something we’ve never done before. Megan Leber and Albert van Abbe are going to make sounds, whilst we’ll be reacting on what they do.Interaction with Boris Acket actually happens simultaneously where the light creates sound and vice versa. With Max Frimout I make light and send the data back to Max where he creates sound accordingly.”
Can you elaborate further on the programming and how it came about?
Timo: “Of course, we’ve been working with Albert (van Abbe) for a long time. Albert is always up for experimentation and with a very entrepreneurial spirit when it comes to modulating sounds and creating them! He often reaches out with a helping hand, also for Contrarium. Max (Frimout) is more into performance art, so he is very used to picking up input from artists and converting that to sound through modular setups. We play into that. We’ve been working with Boris (Acket) at for a long time. Last year Boris perfected a kind of echo system that he’s been designing for years. It’s a system where he processes short audio signals into hundreds of echoes. That sound esthetic you get is linked to different parts of his installation that we are now turning into a live show with fixed time-line elements. Megan (Leber) is a true master in improvising with her gear en synthesizers. We are truly looking forward to her performance.”
Nice. We’re also going to put all the benches and chairs around the booth so people can chill out if they want too. Can they dance too?
Timo: “Basically everyone should do whatever they want. The most important thing is that you give yourself over completely. For me it works best if I can sit or lie down, so if people want to lie on the floor I just want to encourage them! Standing and dancing can be done but it’s really about surrendering to it and not feeling like you have to start doing something because others are doing it.”
Can you also describe it as a kind of “natural trip” once people dive into that? As a kind of otherworldly experience?
Timo: “That’s actually what I aim to create. For example, you can basically get a psychedelic experience during meditation and we’re trying to achieve that feeling with this show as well. After all, you see things happening that you wouldn’t think possible. That light and sound are connected in such a specific way. At the same time, it has a very meditative vibe because of the slow-burn storytelling woven into it.
Paul: “Almost a kind of trance!”
How did your path actually cross with Paradigm’s?
Paul: “That was even before Contrarium. We started talking to you guys then to see what was possible and we simply decided to put it all into motion! During the Corona-pandemic we wanted to organize it already because we could host seated events. Unfortunately at the time, the first period of eased corona restrictions ended, so this plan could not go through and it ended up on our wish list. We were able to host audio-visual experiences for the first time in the Romney Loods during Planet Paradigm 2022 and at the main stage during the night of Paradigm Festival 2022. We then immediately started talks with AddLive to host a similar thing for NYE and Paradigm Festival 2023. Linking Contrarium to this initiative felt natural and December 30 is reserved for that is its culmination.”
Timo: “We really love working together because Paradigm has such an open mind.I’m not afraid to pitch ideas to you. You are honest about what you want and open to new things and experimentation. There aren’t many organizations in the Netherlands that take this approach. We’re happy we can finally do this in collaboration with Paradigm as this is a progressive step for the scene and industry.”
Paul: “We also wanted it to be an accessible event beforehand. We wanted to have low ticket prices so that everyone can come on over and experience this. After all, the whole light installation is already being put to use during NYE. Now we can start using it a day earlier in a different context. Our aim is to attract everyone who’s curious about a slightly different experience than they are used to from Paradigm. Utilizing art in different ways has always been important to us. In practice, this means it’s often used in a supporting role on and around the dance floor. Now we are turning it into a separate event and that is super cool to do in a city like Groningen.”
Thanks you so much for your candor and we can’t wait to see it all in action on the 30th!
Ben jij artistiek, creatief en ruimdenkend? Sta je voor een duurzame toekomst en zijn inclusie en diversiteit voor jou belangrijke kernwaardes? Heb je een hands-on mentaliteit en kan je goed leidinggeven? Lever dan je bijdrage aan de doorontwikkeling van Paradigm op het creatieve vlak want wij zijn op zoek naar een Creative Manager!
Over Paradigm Paradigm laat zich het best omschrijven als een gevoel. Een gevoel dat je ervaart wanneer allerlei verschillende mensen samenkomen voor muziek, kunst en creativiteit. Wij staan voor inclusiviteit en saamhorigheid. Daarbij hebben we een omgeving gecreëerd waar je vrij kan zijn in denken, doen en laten. Op het Suikerterrein in Groningen hebben we een unieke locatie gebouwd waar al het bovenstaande samenkomt. Wij organiseren festivals, evenementen en andere (zakelijke) bijeenkomsten. Dit doen we al jaren met veel betrokkenen en hier zijn we goed in. Paradigm groeit. Door zaken organisatorisch nog efficiënter en professioneler aanpakken creëren we nieuwe ruimte om dichter bij onze kernwaarden komen. Vandaar dat er een nieuwe behoefte is ontstaan aan ondersteuning op het creatieve vlak.
Wat is jouw rol?
Wij zoeken een creative manager die samen met ons verder wil groeien. Qua werk maar ook als mens. We denken niet in functie-hokjes maar meer in rollen. In jouw rol als Creative Manager ga je je bezighouden met de creatieve kant van onze evenementen onder begeleiding van, en in samenwerking met, onze Creatief Directeur. Je kunt hierbij denken aan het voorbereiden en vormgeven van onze evenementen op het gebied van licht & geluid, decoratie, kunst en performances. Ook zal je je bezighouden met de verduurzaming van de creatieve processen en ga je een grote bijdrage leveren aan talentontwikkeling. Bij Paradigm (en binnen de evenementenindustrie) is geen dag hetzelfde, de rol die jij krijgt is dan ook veelomvattend. In hoofdlijnen zullen de werkzaamheden het volgende omvatten;
Ten tijde van de evenementen: • Ben je zichtbaar aansturend en leidinggevend op de vloer en werk je ook fysiek mee in de op-/afbouw om het evenement te realiseren.
• Ben je eindverantwoordelijk voor de planning en werk je hierin nauw samen met externe partijen en collega’s. Je houdt hierbij scherp in de gaten of alle creatieve processen tot hun recht komen.
• Ben je de contactpersoon voor deze externe partijen en host om ze te ontvangen en voor ze te zorgen tijdens hun werk.
• Evalueer je na afloop met externen en collega’s.
Werkzaamheden op het gebied van talentontwikkeling Paradigm is altijd op zoek naar (lokaal) talent, soms melden deze zich vanzelf maar ze zullen ook door jou gevonden moeten gaan worden. Met betrekking tot deze werkzaamheden kun je denken aan het volgende; • Het opzetten van talentwerving programma’s; • Het coachen en begeleiden van de talenten.
Het realiseren van verduurzaming van de creatieve processen Duurzaamheid staat bij ons hoog in het vaandel. De weg naar een duurzame onderneming is ingewikkeld. Van jou vragen we hierin dat je zelfstandig op onderzoek uit gaat naar de mogelijkheden voor verduurzaming binnen jouw werkgebied en de directie ondersteund in het verduurzamingsproces van het bedrijf waar nodig.
Vormgeven van creatieve, educatieve programma’s binnen Paradigm We bieden op dit moment educatieve werkplekken aan en willen dit graag uitbreiden. Onze onderneming en de locatie waar wij ons bevinden zijn uniek. Dat willen dit graag delen en mensen de kans geven om bij ons te groeien, van jong tot oud. Van jou vragen we hierin dat je actief op zoek gaat naar partijen die een plek als onze zoeken dan wel nodig hebben, en hier vervolg aan geeft door middel van educatieve programma’s opzetten en contact onderhouden. Vanuit jouw functie zet jij verschillende zaken over educatie in werking zoals; • Inhoud geven aan de lesprogramma’s • Netwerk onderhouden; • Offertes opstellen/ administratieve & backoffice werkzaamheden verzorgen; • Planning maken en deze monitoren;
Wie ben je en wat kan je?
We zoeken een creatieve geest, die zich herkent in de (creatieve) visie van Paradigm en daarnaast goed is in het organiseren van zaken. Verder is het belangrijk dat je: • Van nature sociaal bent aangelegd en toegankelijk bent voor anderen; • Je een groot hart hebt voor de evenementenbranche, kunst, duurzaamheid, performances, stagedesigns etc.; • Handig bent en zelf ook aardig kan klussen; • Om kan gaan met sterke persoonlijkheden en daarbij jezelf blijft; • Ook onder hoge werkdruk oog hebt voor details, juistheid, volledigheid en compleetheid van administratieve werkzaamheden; • Houdt van het aanbrengen van structuur; • Een strakke planning kan maken en deze kan naleven en kleurt binnen de lijnen van de begroting voor je werkzaamheden; • Kansen ziet voor verbetering en dat je deze ook aanbrengt; • Flexibel bent ingesteld en bereid om op onregelmatige tijden te werken (s ’avonds, s ’weekends, vakantieperiodes); • Bij voorkeur woonachtig bent in Groningen of omgeving
Wat bieden wij? • Een uitdagende, creatieve functie waarbinnen jij veel inspraak en keuzevrijheid hebt en professioneel kunt groeien;
• Waardering en vertrouwen in jouw kennis, kunde en ervaring;
• Een inspirerende en afwisselende werkplek waar iedere dag anders kan zijn;
• Een supertof team en enthousiaste collega’s;
• Een marktconform salaris;
• Een functie voor ongeveer 20 uur per week***.
***Onze branche kent grote pieken qua werkdruk. Voornamelijk in de zomerperiode wanneer onze evenementen elkaar in hoog tempo opvolgen zal je regelmatig meer dan 20 uur per week werken. Je zal deze weken veel op kantoor zijn om de administratieve & backoffice werkzaamheden uit te voeren en je zal ten tijde van het evenement zelf ook aanwezig moeten zijn. Gedurende bepaalde periodes is het enigszins rustiger qua kantoor- en organisatorische werkzaamheden en hoef je wellicht niet persé bij elk evenement in persoon aanwezig te zijn. Al met al zorgen we er in onderling overleg voor dat je gemiddeld gezien rond de 20 uur per week uitkomt, hier worden de arbeidsvoorwaarden ook op ingestoken.
We willen iedereen uitnodigen die zich herkent in bovenbeschreven profiel en gemotiveerd is geraakt door de rol die je wellicht kan gaan invullen. Echter, we zijn ook kritisch, want de lat ligt hoog bij Paradigm. Je kan een mail sturen naar [email protected] met daarin een motivatie (waarom wil je graag deze rol vervullen en waarom moeten wij kiezen voor jou) en je CV (een overzicht van wat je allemaal gedaan hebt en een korte persoonsbeschrijving). Reageer uiterlijk voor 1 december 2022. De functie is vanaf begin 2023 beschikbaar
Are you artistic, creative and open-minded? Do you believe in sustainable future and are inclusion and diversity important core values to you? Do you have a hands-on mentality and are you natural leader? Then come on over and contribute to the creative development of Paradigm because we are looking for a Creative Manager!
Paradigm is best described as a feeling. A feeling you experience when all kinds of different people come together for music, art and creativity. We stand for inclusiveness and togetherness. In doing so, we have created an environment for creative freedom. At the Suikerterrein in Groningen, we’ve built a unique location where all of the above comes together. We organize festivals, events and other (business) gatherings. There’s a lot of in-house experience with many people involved and we’ve become an accomplished collective over the years.
Paradigm is growing. By tackling things even more efficiently and professionally, we are creating new space to get closer to our core values. That’s why a need has arisen for support in the creative field.
What is your role?
We are looking for a creative manager who wants to grow with us in their career and as a person. We don’t think in terms of jobs, but more in terms of roles. In your role as Creative Manager you will be involved in the creative side of our events under the guidance of, and in collaboration with, our Creative Director. You can expect tasks such as preparing, designing and guiding our events in terms of light & sound, decoration, art and performances.
You’re also going to be involved in co-developing the sustainability of our creative processes as well as playing an important role in contributing to talent development. At Paradigm (and within the event industry) no single day is the same, so the role you’re given is going to be comprehensive. Broadly speaking, tasks will include the following;
– You will be visibly directing and leading on the floor and also physically participate in the set-up/dismantling to make the event happen.
– You are ultimately responsible for the planning and you work closely with external parties and colleagues, keeping a sharp eye on all creative processes.
– You are the spokesperson for external parties and you take care of them throughout the process.
– Afterwards, you evaluate with external parties and colleagues.
Talent development work:
Paradigm is always looking for (local) talent. Some get the spotlight by themselves but it’s important others also get a chance. That is where you come in, finding those diamonds in the rough. Some of the tasks associated with this vision;
– Setting up talent acquisition programs;
– Coaching and guiding the talents.
Achieving sustainability in creative processes:
Sustainability is a key priority for us. The road to a sustainable business is complicated. We ask of you that you independently investigate the opportunities for sustainability within your field and support the other roles in the sustainability process of the company where needed.
Shape creative, educational programs within Paradigm:
We currently offer educational workplaces and would like to expand this. Our company and the location where we are located are unique. We would like to share this and give people the opportunity to develop themselves here. What we ask of you is that you actively seek out parties that are looking for or need a place like ours, and follow through on this by setting up educational programs and maintaining relationships. Your position enables you to put various educational prospects into motion;
– Giving rise to and affect the educational programs
– Maintaining accounts;
– Administrative and back office work;
– Planning and monitoring;
Who are you and what can you do?
We are looking for a creative mind, who recognizes themselves in the (creative) vision of Paradigm and is also good at organizing and keeping track of things. Furthermore, it is important that you:
– Are naturally sociable and accessible to others;
– You have a big heart for the event industry, art, sustainability, performance, stage design etc.;
– You are practical and can do odd jobs yourself;
– You can deal with strong personalities and stay true to yourself;
– Have an eye for detail, correctness, completeness and integrity of administrative work whilst working under pressure;
– Are structural;
– Can make a tight schedule, stick to it and remain within the limits of your budget;
– Sees opportunities for improvement and follows through on it;
– Are flexible and willing to work irregular hours (evenings, weekends, vacations);
– Preferably living in or near Groningen
What do we offer?
– A challenging, creative position where your voice absolutely matters, the freedom to make independent choices and opportunities to grow & develop yourself professionally;
– Appreciation and confidence in your knowledge, skills and experience;
– An inspiring and varied workplace where no two days are the same;
– A great team and enthusiastic colleagues;
– A competitive salary;
– A position for approximately 20 hours per week***.
*** Our industry experiences major peaks in terms of workload. Especially during the summer period when our events follow each other up in rapid succession, you will regularly work more than 20 hours per week. You will be at the office a lot during these periods to do administrative & back office work and you will have to be present during the event itself. At other times, it is a little more tranquil in terms of office and organizational work and you may not necessarily need to be present in person at every event. All in all, by mutual agreement we will make sure that on average you will be working around 20 hours per week.
We would like to invite everyone who recognizes themselves in the above profile and is motivated by the role you might be able to fill. However, we are also thorough and critical, as we set the bar high at Paradigm. You can send an email to [email protected] with a motivation (why would you like to fill this role and why should we choose you) and your resume (an overview of what you have done and a short personal description). Please respond no later than December 1, 2022. The position will be available from the beginning of 2023.
We move forward together. We want to keep connecting people and have a positive outlook on relevant issues, especially with the brands we use and like-minded third parties. Paradigm founder Paul opens up about the new cooperative venture with Organics and what this exactly means.
“Paradigm has been working to make its operations more sustainable since moving from the Helsinkistraat to the Suikerunie terrain. These are far-reaching step-by-step processes. The goals are to to be completely circular by 2030 when it comes to sustainability and to have a climate positive impact. Choices are being made on a micro and macro level to achieve these goals. For example, Paradigm has exclusively vegetarian and vegan catering, use second-hand materials for our constructions and work with deposit cups, which are macro level. At the micro level, we’re planting new trees on the grounds every year and make sure to use biological products wherever we go. Organics by Red Bull is one such choice. Paradigm believes that big corporations like Red Bull are taking steps in the right direction when they shift to more biological and products. Paradigm wants to support such efforts. If all big companies would act similarly, the world would become a better place for it. Hence the choice to adopt Organics.”
“Organics is committed to supporting talent as well. The slogan “Talent Comes Naturally” fits seamlessly with Paradigm’s vision. Paradigm strives to provide a stage for local talent and has found cooperation with Organics. These up-and-coming artists often do not get the chance to create and/or show their art in places where many people come whilst being paid little or nothing to boot. For the three-year collaboration between Paradigm and Organics, Paradigm selects two local artists each year to complete a large project on the festival grounds. This way these people get a space and budget to show themselves to a large audience and get a boost in their development.”
“This year Michel Velt and Willemijn Overmars created two large murals on the festival terrain. Both very recognizable in their own style and also perfectly matching the free and naturally creative atmosphere of the terrain.”
For a period of six months Richard Bolhuis was artist in residence at Paradigm. During his project Wildgroei he made ink drawings under the Paradigm dome. Asphalt made way for earth and several trees and wild flowers were planted in circles around the Dome.
We were able to share the SUN stage with you for the first time during Planet Paradigm, which resulted in all kinds of beautiful scenes.
Sunlight is a primal source of energy, life and love. Even when our planet is obscured by clouds, her radiance still finds its way to us.
The sun is colourless by itself but we’re able to see different shades of yellow, orange or red depending on specific variables. This is our philosophy behind the SUN stage, which changes colour, image and perception whenever you look at it from a different angle.
The openness of the design creates a certain interwoven tapestry of DJs, audience and environment. Everything is intertwined and perfectly balanced.
“The bright light and colorful streams of rainbow light will lift your spirits.”
In response to our upcoming ten year anniversary, we sat down with Paradigm’s three owners to talk about their ongoing journey. They opened up about some of the highlights, the low points, struggles and ambitions they’ve experienced throughout the past ten years. We take a look at Paradigm’s history and their vision for its future. Read all about it as a prelude to coming Saturday.
Ten years of Paradigm. How does that feel? Paul: It doesn’t really feel like ten years as we’ve been at a standstill for two of them. That’s certainly how I feel. There weren’t really ten Paradigm years to speak of because of the Corona pandemic, more like 8,5. But we still started out ten years ago and that definitely feels like a lifetime ago!
About that starting point, the first club night at the Helsinkistraat. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Tom: Sweatiness and stickiness! Piter: It was also cold, especially the Glazen Loods. Paul: “Raw” is the first thing that comes to mind. What a raw club that was! Piter: I remember that it was actually freezing during our first club event with Kollektiv Turmstrasse… Paul: … Oh yeah! We placed a couple of petroleum heaters in the club to counter the cold. The night started out with everyone gathered around them. This problem didn’t persist when the dance floor filled up with a sizeable crowd and the cold made way for a comfortable warmth.
How did you guys prepare for the event? Paul: We were awake for about three days straight to finish all of the preparations in time, with literal minutes to spare. It was such a make-do event. We honestly just made it up as we went along. We didn’t have any experience building a club in an old factory, you know?! Tom: For me as a visitor, it was obvious that something special was happening there. There wasn’t anything like this in Groningen or in the whole northern Netherlands, really. It might’ve been a bit improvised but it was absolutely perfect from start to finish. Piter: We immediately sold out and we received so many positive reactions. Bizarre. Paul: It was the event we decided that it had to become an actual club. We signed a lease for the building and we started to invest in this space. How we were going to organize the program technically was still ways away, we just wanted to get started. The first party was a separate event, since we didn’t have a night time permit yet. We were forced to organize it during the day. Then Berlin came to mind with its Sunday events that were happening all over the city. We thought, why shouldn’t we follow suit? Which we did and that’s the origin story of our beloved Sunday Afternoon Collective. Piter: At some point we conferred and agreed that we should get an official club permit because of all the awesome reactions and our own desire to organize events at night as well. That’s when we requested a meeting at the municipality. They permitted us to keep at it whilst we had to make some mandatory changes and adjustments to the building to meet the standard they set. This all came together when we finally got fully licensed by the end of 2012.
Your feelings the day after? Paul: We felt so euphoric! I simply couldn’t stop thinking about it. We were all standing on top of the DJ booth when the closing track was playing. Paraformers included, even though they didn’t officially exist as of that moment. It all just came together organically. What do you remember about that first period at the Helsinkistraat? Paul: Mainly the afters. They took place after every event, upstairs in our offices. Piter: The togetherness. But also the whole process of learning on the job, if you will. Not necessarily knowing what we were doing. For example, we had to write a report, assessing the strength of the tower connected to the building. We had to weld stuff left and right. We also had to install sinks for people to wash their hands, as stated in the permit. We had to work through several nights whilst supported by friends and volunteers to finish everything in time for the event. That was really special. We did it all ourselves… … the events had such a raw and underground feeling. I remember having a couple friends over. They were searching for a way inside, being drawn by the heavy bass sounds coming from the premises. They simply couldn’t find the entrance. It took someone to go outside for them to finally find their way inside. Just really vague stuff, you know. Paul: We did that on purpose! It was almost impossible to find the entrance. You had to make an effort to get inside. Piter: Exactly! I loved things like that. Paul: When you did find the entrance, you would enter something resembling a sluice. It was a corridor that was pitch black filled with pounding beats. Whenever you went past the doorman, it was like you just travelled ten floors down and ended up in a disheveled and grimy basement. It was such a particular effect, it didn’t really get more underground than that. An illusory experience. Together with one of our artists, we’re going to recreate this experience for our Future Club. Entering the club will be transformative. That’s going to be dope! Tom: I still have a picture up in my bathroom originating from NYE 2011. I was playing as 380Volt and I was also puzzled about where to enter. The volume level went through the roof as well. I will never forget that. Paul: Initially, when we arranged the sound system for that particular event, we noticed we underestimated the sound levels needed to match the space. So I panic-bought three times as much gear. Massive speaker towers were erected and the sound made the building shake to its foundations, which was insane! Then these guys from Ellendeling started to play pitched-down hardcore tracks at 115 BPM. They completely floored the whole crowd…. …it all was such a playful gathering. No direction at all. Everyone just fell into place and it still is one of my favourite memories. Tom: Look, this is the picture I’m talking about. You can read it off people’s faces that it was incredibly loud in there.
Piter: One of the things I remember most about that event in 2011 was that it was our first NYE foray. This concluded in us getting a permit to host that particular event at the very last moment on the 31st of December at 5PM in the afternoon. Paul: Pfoh, that was stressful. Piter: The municipality didn’t know what to do with it. We already sold a lot of tickets at that point, close to 1500. Then they got wind of it and a permit process was quickly set up because we said: “We simply can’t go back now.” The event itself turned out to be an absolute banger. Paul: Financially, however, it turned out to be a big loss. It was a very expensive production whilst people showed up late and hardly drank anything.
The finance side wasn’t all that easy then, was it? Paul: No, it wasn’t, especially the first years Piter: We turned a small profit in 2011 but it only cost us money from 2012 until 2017. Paul: We had to invest a lot of financial resources. We obviously had artists for every event and we also couldn’t open our doors as much as we wanted, even though we settled at the Helsinkistraat as our semi-permanent home. Piter: We were also very inexperienced. It cost us a lot of money just to learn the basics of running a club! Paul: We’ve given so much away as well. At the time, we would open up the bar at the end of an event for everyone that stuck around. For all of our friends, which would normally consist of half the crowd, really. That’s how those afters started. Piter: We didn’t have any other options. Well, you always have options but that was just the nature of the work we did, which was incredibly fun. That’s how I used to think and that’s still the case. It led to numerous sleepless nights. But I always had faith that it would all come together in the end. Tom: Yeah, an intrinsic drive was always there. It was tangible. Paul: We really felt like we struck gold with this concept but we also lost a lot of money chasing this dream. This sometimes resulted in conflict with our suppliers, which wasn’t ideal to say the least. But they understood our vision, which was an ongoing process whilst striving for success. We just needed time to set it all up. That’s how we basically pulled through year after year. Our goal was to keep everyone happy, but that was a tough challenge with hardly any finances. It was a matter of dividing our financial resources left and right to keep going, sometimes going week by week. As this went on, some years were harder than others but in the end we all knew we had a recipe for success. We thought that if we kept going, we could include more people, streamline our processes and create a healthy growth for Paradigm. It really took a turn for the best after two years of settling ourselves at the Suikerunie terrain… … those 5 years of investing plus moving our home towards the Suikerunie terrain almost did a number on us. However, this move enabled us to truly do things our way, which was sorely needed!
The move from the Helsinkistraat to the Suikerunie terrain has saved Paradigm’s existence, then? Paul: Oh for sure. The tension surrounding the whole thing was tangible. Everyone missed the Helsinkistraat, including ourselves. Nobody really wanted to leave but we knew we had to. The costs were becoming almost insurmountable through our landlord constantly increasing our rent. Combine this with the limited capacity the building had and we were basically forced to move out. However, this also signaled the fresh start we were aiming for. Tom: I already caught some wind of the fact that Paradigm had to move out of the Helsinkistraat when I started supporting Hessel with the programming back in 2014. Piter: Yeah, we were quite early with regards to brainstorming new ideas for a new location. We were talking about new concepts, how we would arrange everything in Het Zeefgebouw, the frequency of our events as well as down-scaling our organization. We wanted to create a little breathing room for ourselves to increase our ability to face future challenges. That’s why it was so great to experience our first intimate get-together in Het Zeefgebouw, spearheaded by Steve O’Sullivan and Awanto3, which sold out pretty much right away. That gave us a lot of confidence. So much so that we felt ready for bigger productions… and because I knew in advance that we would have to make this move one day. It gave me a chance to properly prepare myself mentally. Tom: Yeah, you handled the whole thing the best out of everyone, I believe. Piter: I think so too. It felt like the right call to make, so the desire to do so gripped me very quick. Paul: That’s right, we were in need of a refresh as an organization: re-evaluate our organizational structure, increasing our control regarding our situation and a heavier focus on sustainable themes. These are the things that we believed would come to fruition whenever we’d find our own place. Both Piter and I also became dads right around that time, which caused a perspective shift in some ways. It was a bit touch-and-go with our first festival as we still were getting to know our terrain and what we could accomplish here. Same goes for Het Zeefgebouw. We had to build and complete different stages from scratch. Our funds were also depleting since we just moved, including the debts we built up over the years. So yeah, that first period after we moved was particularly challenging. Piter: Agreed, especially the end of 2016 and the first few months of 2017 were tough to work with. We came really close to bankruptcy but we were able to pull through because of the undying support we received from everyone. That’s how we were able to keep going! Paul: Exactly. Numerous rumours circulated about the health of our organization and people were wondering if we would make it. Despite this, we knew that if we were able to keep going for a little while longer, we would switch from trying to survive to slowly thrive under the circumstances. Our terrain took more and better shape with time, which laid the foundation for great productions and the ability to start cleaning up our debts. Tom: It was an arduous time, indeed. But everyone knew this: Paradigm has the sickest Festival Terrain in the Netherlands. Our agency regarding our own situation started to increase more and more. Paul: When we announced that Richie Hawtin would attend Paradigm Festival 2017, our ticket sales skyrocketed. This allowed us to settle with a lot of creditors and shift most of our focus towards our future.
What are some of your proudest moments of the past 10 years? For me it’s how similar our current terrain and the overall vibe is compared to the situation at the Helsinkistraat. I really feared we wouldn’t reach that level ever again. It’s the way the areas in Het Zeefgebouw are structured. The sweaty Basement area, for instance, feels like a colossal bunker whilst retaining a sense of organic intimacy at the same time. Paul: The family feeling of our organization and everyone that’s closely connected. It’s a really tight knit and creative community. We create the most incredible shit. We book awesome artists. We host some of the most amazing events. This all comes straight from our hearts with lots of passion, love for everything, for our visitors, for the art and for the scene. The vibe we establish together with our team, our volunteers, suppliers and our visitors; that’s something I’m incredibly proud of. Tom: So many great things spawn from this foundation. There are so many of us here that feel at home, who experience personal development and growth. It also means a great deal that we found our own home turf. That we’re able to do what we love, harmoniously and on our own terms. Piter: I’m so, so proud that we’ve been able to keep going for ten years straight, which is a great accomplishment with regards to the challenges we faced doing this.
Paradigm is an established name. From small and intimate parties to mega productions. Which events are the most memorable? Paul: You’re only as good as the last event you hosted. I feel this all the time. The first time Guy J on NYD: legendary. The first all nighter by Speedy J: legendary. Speedy J all night long in the Basement of Het Zeefgebouw three years ago: legendary. The first Paradigm Festival on a Sunday: legendary. Our first NYE: legendary. The most recent NYE with it’s deco, which was incredibly well organized down to the last detail: legendary. The most recent Paradigm Festival, which felt really complete: legendary. Planet Paradigm in our Forest with Zip among others: legendary. Our collab with ZeeZout and that enormous LED ring at the main stage: legendary. It’s always a challenge and a joy to keep raising the bar. Every event you host should be your best. We strive to reach that goal each time. One that really sticks out is the handwritten letter that Piter sent to Richie Hawtin which convinced him to come and play at Paradigm Festival. Or the time Speedy J said to Tom that Paradigm is the only place where he feels safe to postponing the first drop as much as he does sometimes. Those are the moments that stay with you. Tom: Don’t forget the fact that we hardly compromised on who we are. I’m filled with pride thinking about that, too!
Tom, you became co-owner in 2018. What has been your experience since then? Tom: I realized earlier in this conversation that I played my music for the first time at Paradigm in 2011. If you would’ve asked me then: would you like to take charge together with Paul and Piter? I would’ve simply said: tell me where to sign! Because, by then, I was already completely sold. I’m especially thankful to Hessel, who unequivocally put his faith in me in assisting him as a booker. Not to mention Paul and Piter who gave me this chance. I’m unable to do anything else anymore. This is my life. My trade and my business. It’s also personal. All of it is such a thrill! I still remember that Paul and Piter gave me 24 hours to make a decision and me calling them back within the hour to accept! The Paradigm feeling has settled within me and that’s never going to go away.
That Paradigm feeling, what does that mean? Piter: It’s hard to put into words what it means exactly, you’d really have to come here to experience it. Visit the dance floor, talk to the people. Paradigm stands for freedom and respect towards one another. Tom: I would say commitment, purity. Paul: Love for everything and everyone around us. Piter: When people come over for the first time, they’re usually a little overwhelmed with all the facets Paradigm has to offer. The extraordinary location, the deco, the vibe. But, in the end, they usually feel right at home real quick. They can be themselves and that puts most people at ease immediately. It’s a great feeling. You can find this energy all over the terrain. Tom: This feeling also extends towards the numerous artists who played here over the years. They feel at home and like to stick around. Most often you can find them talking to various people whenever they come over. Paul: I would like to reiterate that I’m so incredibly happy with our terrain and the way it looks right now! The way we collectively shape it. We’ve all got our own expertise with our own perspectives, which contribute to the development of all our stages and different areas. It’s the way this collab is going with regards to the terrain and everyone’s influence in its development. It makes us think about what it would look like after eight years?! Whenever I show anyone around I always say: nothing you see is final. Everything is in a constant state of development. It just keeps getting better!
Does Paradigm have a final shape or form? Tom: I don’t think so. I always like what Piter says about it: “Paradigm is much bigger than we are. If Paradigm stays true to form, it will have a life way after we’re done with it.” We have a responsibility to keep Paradigm on track this way and that people stay involved. Piter: We are representatives of the brand that Paradigm is. We’ve conjured it up and created it. But it’s something that belongs to everyone and it will stay alive because of everyone’s contribution to it. Especially those of us who put so much time and effort in Paradigm. This is our lifeline. Tom: I was talking to a group of people last weekend (Intimate Forest Session #1). I asked them if they’ve been here before. They mentioned: “We were here for the first time last year, but we weren’t allowed to enter before.” That’s when I realized that these boys and girls were 9 years of age when Paradigm was founded. The involvement of the younger generation has always been seamless and is truly one of the main reasons we can keep going.
What else would you guys like to accomplish on this terrain? Piter: We want to completely cover and close up some of our festival stages and make all of it ready to go for our events. Paul: And, when our lease agreement comes to an end here, we want to set it all up in such a way that it can still be used in another shape or form by the next generation who’ll make this terrain their own. Maybe we can keep growing with our festival, who knows. Paradigm has become such a large brand that it’s impossible to make all of these decisions ourselves. We only try to guide it all in the way we think is best. Our successors will also be able to influence the direction of Paradigm. Tom: We’re keeping an open mind and attitude with regards to changes and innovations. This is something that’s going to remain this way. We’re here right now, showing leadership and sharing a vision but that doesn’t mean great ideas and innovations may cross our path and we want to embrace this too. To respond adequately. For example, the realization that it’s important to take our environment into account when hosting our events is such a large part of Paradigm today. We’ve shown this more recently but it wasn’t that important to us when we first started.
Anything you’d like to add? Paul: The world has “hardened” somewhat during the Corona-crisis. There’s more polarization than ever. That’s why I would like to give this message to anyone who reads this: stay true to yourself, don’t stray from your path in life and try not to get riled up by whatever forces that are at play. Let’s try and stay together as much as we can.
We all held our collective breath when we saw fires spreading all around camp Moria on Lesbos (Greece) this week. Thousands of people on the run for war and violence, only to become homeless again in the middle no nowhere without access to any basic necessities.
Almost 50% of the affected people are children who sleep unprotected under the night sky. The nights are cooling down rapidly as winter approaches. We have to act swift and quick as the chaos grows.
We’re going to collect sleeping bags for Because we Carry. You can use a sleeping bag to simply sit on during the day, wrap it around yourself when it gets cold, it’s soft and clean to change your baby’s diaper and mostly to keep warm at night. At this very moment, 13.000 people sleep in the streets of Lesbos.
SO! Hereby an appeal to all you lovely people. So much is necessary and we’re looking to do our part. Paradigm is going to be the collection hub for Groningen! We’re looking for quality sleeping bags, preferably thermo bags with an integrated hood if possible. Rolled up and secured with a sturdy rope or something similar, that’s it. No slip-cover or plastic bags around it.The need is high but we’re confident that we’re going to meet it!
HOW? You can reach the terrain by car, bicycle or by walking there on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to give your sleeping bag(s). Check out the ground plan below.
Opening hours for collection: 10AM – 8PM.
Address Paradigm: Suikerlaan 2, Groningen (take the second exit on the right at the roundabout). Address Middelberterweg: Middelberterweg 22, 9723 EV Groningen
FOR MORE QUESTIONS Please call: 0651588349
Park your car directly on the right of the main stage and deposit your sleeping bag(s) at the Romney Loods. All deposits will be transported to Amsterdam on Thursday. Because we Carry will collect all of it on a plane that’s due to Lesbos on Monday September 21.
IMPORTANT Don’t have a sleeping bag but still want to make a difference?
Click here to donate and we’ll purchase a sleeping bag in your name! If the link doesn’t work, you can deposit a donation on the account number below:
Paradigm NL46INGB0006676284, indicating: Paradigm for Moria
Inland provides you with some boredom-breakers in these quarantine times, including an otherworldly mix recorded at Paradigm in February and a new Davenport-household recipe: Pumpkin and Tofu Curry with Peanut-Coconut Sauce!
Hi Ed, we hope you and yours are safe and doing well. I’m good, hope you’re good as well!
What are your days like in these quarantine times? It’s been a strange mixture of worrying and relaxing, frustrating and productive moments! But to be honest we have been trying to enjoy the bonus family time – me, my fiancee and our daughter are a very tight unit at this point and we super grateful for that!
I share a studio space with my long time buddy and techno wizard Patrik Skoog here in Berlin and, so long as the rules regarding leaving the house and going to work remain the same in Berlin (we are allowed too – I ride my bike) we have been lucky enough to continue using the studio. So we take it in turns each day to go in and work. I’ve been making a lot of new high-energy techno tracks, and also working on a bunch of new releases on Counterchange that will get released this year.
Your set has been in the forefront of our minds for months. How did you experience the night? Ah, it was such a great night! The downstairs floor at Paradigm is such a perfect setting for a rave, with the DJ-booth surrounded by the crowd from all sides, and everything was primed for a great experience, from the insane sound to the top-notch staff and the open-minded, up-for-it ravers. I had played in London the night before at FOLD as part of the ’Stream State’ tour, celebrating the release of a 4 x 12’’ compilation and DJ mix on Counterchange, so I was pumped and excited to get out there and really show off all the contrasting styles of Techno that I like to play. Nuno Dos Santos banged it after my set too – legendary night!
Can you take us through your set? I opened my set with a few tracks from ‘Stream State’, which I edited out from the beginning of the recording as you should really go and listen the whole thing! Then I went into a rolling section of new and old releases, just stuff I felt like would work in the room,from the likes of P.Lopez, Headroom, Hector Oaks (an early deeper track of his), and then reached an early peak with Magna Pia’s stunning ‘Narcissist’ – that got the crowd ready for some heavier cuts as I pushed up the tempo and reached into my ‘vinyl rips’ folder to drop a couple of classic 90s Techno slammers. The 2 hrs flew by and I had a big smile on my face for most the set. Mixing in the booth was a breeze, which as most DJ’s will tell you is not at all common in a room as big as that, so I was super happy with the outcome!
Besides your set, is there something else you would like to share with us? Indeed. We love cooking over here, so here’s a new Davenport household favourite meal we invented over the last few weeks, give it a try: Pumpkin and Tofu Curry with Peanut-Coconut Sauce.
For the Pumpkin and Tofu:
1 Hokaido Pumpkin
1 pack of firm Tofu
A generous handful of Sesame seeds
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed Oil)
1 tablespoon Curry Powder
Pinch of Salt:
Peel and slice the Pumpkin into 1inch cubes, cut the tofu into small cubes and toss in a large bowl with the Oils, soy sauce, curry powder and sesame seeds till they are all coated. Pre-heat your oven to 200 C and when its ready bake the Pumpkin and Tofu on a baking tray (with grease-proof paper) for 20 minutes, or until golden and the pumpkin is cooked through. Meanwhile make the sauce.
For the Sauce:
1 White Onion
3 tablespoons of pure Peanut Butter (100% peanut, no added sugar!)
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 can of Coconut Milk
1 tablespoon Curry Powder
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Soy Sauce
Dash of Maple Sirup
Salt and Pepper to taste
Finely dice the onion, garlic and ginger and fry in the coconut oil in a pot until golden brown and soft throughout. Add the Curry Powder and stir it through to release the flavours. Add the coconut milk, stir in the peanut butter, and add the other sauces to taste. Stir it till it’s smooth and allow the sauce to reduce slightly till it thickens a bit. If you need to you can add water at any time in case it gets too thick.
Cook some nice jasmine rice and serve everything in a big bowl topped with lots of chopped coriander, smashed peanuts, lime juice and a big spoonful of Sambal Oelek. Lekker! 🙂
Visionary duo Ghost in the Machine is coming our way next week! We asked them a couple of questions recently and they laid themselves bare. Read all about it below!
Hey Nils and Frank! You first came to Paradigm at the festival back in 2017. What do you remember about that time?
Nils: What I mostly remember was the overall vibe and atmosphere and a very enthusiastic crowd!
Frank: Very different from other festivals, that’s for sure!
The crowd thought so too, seeing as we received numerous compliments about your set! How would you classify your sound? Frank: We started out playing old school and acid sets. Acid was always a large part of the philosophy behind our work, at least for our first 10+ years as Ghost in the Machine. Nils insisted that we should start producing at some point. The subsequent sound we ended up creating turned out to be part acid (a solid sound with a lot of energy), but also very much techno (deep, hard and not too cheerful).
Nils: Indeed, our sound definitely evolved in the direction of techno over time.
And what do you find important to convey during your performances?
Frank: You can find that constant flow in our sets that is natural for techno, but there’s a lot more going on with us because we’ve often got four decks active all at once.
Nils: Agreed. I also feel like all of our sets contain some type of storytelling.
Frank: Yes. It seems to me that some artists click on the first track they see on the screen. Or just grab the first record they spot in their record case.
Nils: That’s one of the things we’re watch out for. Making sure our story stays coherent and consistent.
How do you make it work? Do you each have a specific role and what do you appreciate in each other when it comes to input during your sets?
Frank: I’ve basically got a clock in my brain and I closely guard our process.
Nils: We check each other’s cues and anticipate accordingly or quickly consult with each other. I do indeed really appreciate Franks feel for timing and the ability to keep track of everything. I also really appreciate our communication and flow during a set, which is practically effortless in my opinion. We’re hardly ever out of sync, which is great when standing behind the decks or working in the studio.
Frank: I actually own a watch, one of those with atomic clock synchronization and precision. So, whenever a stage manager tells me we only have five minutes left, I can retort by showing we have six and a half. You can do a lot in 90 seconds!
What does this look like in the studio?
Frank: Fortunately, Nils likes writing out track arrangements. I can do it, but Nils is way more proficient in that department.
Nils: Frank is very efficient. He’s able to completely focus on something, for instance a single part or element in one of our tracks. While he’s busy working on a short loop, I can already envision how I will create transitions or introduce additional sounds when arranging the loop into a track. And yes, I love doing the arrangement and creating a story. We feel it’s important to physically work together in the studio. This greatly benefits our creativity and speeds up the entire process. I can’t think of a single session where we had to call it quits because ‘it didn’t quite work out that day’. We always managed to create at least something useful we could and would want to continue working on, no matter how short or small. We do get stuck from time to time when we’re working on projects without each other.
Can you tell us something about the studio projects you’re currently working on?
Nils: We’re always working on new material for Perc Trax and our own label. We’ve also done two remixes for two amazing artists recently.
Frank: One of them is for Paula Temple, and should be out next month. The other one we can’t really talk about yet, but we’re very excited about it. We try to release around three records per year. After all, we want to play a lot of our own tracks during our sets!
How do you implement your tracks in your sets and how do you keep a balance between your own and other music? Which other artists do you like?
Frank: The idea is to use tracks from other artists to strengthen and complement our own music. This balance usually ends up being three or four tracks by others for every one of our own.
Nils: Off the top of my head: Perc, Ansome, Randomer, Scalameriya, KRTM, I Hate Models and stranger are artists we play a lot and draw inspiration from.
Frank: We also play a lot of stuff by JoeFarr, Dahryl and Ike Dusk. These are all producers we love.
Nils: We also don’t shy away from older tracks that inspired us back in the day. This results in a balance in our sets where we play a bunch of stuff we love right now and those inspirational tracks from way back when.
Frank: We stated in a past interview that we would play “Snake Eyes” by Ansome in every set. We do.
Why do you create music? Where are you going with your productions?
Frank: There isn’t much of a philosophy besides the storytelling and having fun in the studio. Essentially, I just like working together with Nils. I’d rather work on something together than going it alone.
Nils: Same here. Also, it’s hard to predict anything resulting from us working together. I think it’s an interesting quality that keeps things fresh. I mean, we thought we were going to make 150 BPM acid for a while, and we were wrong.
Frank: And I also really love making things sound enormous. That really gives me a head rush!
What does your cooperation with Perc mean to you? Frank: Working together with Perc means so, so much for us. We lost interest in techno when it made a shift from energetic, tough and dark sounds towards minimal. However, many years later, we accidentally encountered several great techno tracks, one after the other. Positively speaking, we started to wonder who had approved pressing this insane noise on vinyl. This almost always turned out to be Perc. Take his track “Hyperlink” for example. It’s not really techno, but if someone like Perc releases it on a renowned techno label and plays it in techno sets, it ends up becoming techno! We’ve created a similarly odd track for Perc Trax recently. He’s really the only one who could actually release a track like this.
Thank you for your time! Anything you want to add?
Frank: Well, we’re very much looking forward to play at an indoor Paradigm event! We’ve experienced it from the sidelines a couple of times, which left us hungry.
Nils: The Paradigm Festival was a great first time and we can’t wait to get together again!
It’s 6.30pm. Niels is calling us. “I think I’m going to stop using my Malbetrieb alias. No, I’m actually sure of it.” Our Niels, one of the original residents, has made a clear choice for himself. His sets have captivated many souls over the years and this isn’t the end of his music career; it’s actually a fresh start!
Tell us, Niels! How did you come to this decision?
I completely collapsed during ADE three years ago because I had the feeling that I wasn’t in control of myself anymore. I was no longer doing what I set out to do when I first started DJ-ing and worked so hard for over the years. Musically I had received a label to my name, something that I found very difficult to deal with.
How did that label come about?
I received it because I used to do a lot of opening sets, usually because no one else wanted to do these. I played a lot of melodic music and tracks with lots of vocals, which I still think is an ideal entry point for any club night (including our own!). As this style of music began to become more popular, my career grew with it. I even closed an evening like that during an event (even though I already opened, but Paul and Piter insisted) with Kollektiv Turmstrasse. That moment still feels like the starting point of my career – Malbetrieb became a household name after this. However, this “career” only magnified a small part of my musical taste. After all, I’ve always played and listened to ambient, techno and everything in between.
I’ve started working with different aliases during the past three years, so I could feel free again in my studio. With Joannes on one side of the spectrum and Sad Girl at the other, I could express my musical vision once more and really bring everything to light between Ambient and Techno. It’s because of these aliases that I completely lost interest in my original Malbetrieb alias, going as far as having no more interest whatsoever in melodic techno of any shape or size. I felt reborn with my new aliases, so playing and creating music became exciting again!
Can you share some of your highlights as Malbetrieb with us?
The best moments have got to be those in Paradigm, especially those solo nights and closing sets. I still experience goose bumps when I think about those times I played ‘Turn Around’ (Âme) and everyone fell into each other’s arms, started kissing each other and was even shedding a tear or two… But that’s all in the past, as I never want to play like again. I’ve re-discovered myself with Joannes and Sad Girl. I can finally play and create what I want without compromise or a limited framework to work with, which feels amazing. Moreover, Sad Girl originated as a joke during a time of my life when I felt really depressed. Now that I’m my happy-go-lucky self again, my Sad Girl alias doesn’t really fit anymore either.
So you want to continue on as Joannes?
I’m able to focus on my entire music spectrum with Joannes, ranging from ambient to techno. I’ve got releases coming up at Sluwe Vos’s label Patron, Munich-based RFR (label with releases by Skee Mask, DJ Hell, Zenker Brothers and others) and Nuno dos Santos’s SoHaSo. I’m choosing quality over quantity with playing in front of a crowd. I want those moments to become special again, both for my audience and myself, and I plan on taking a lot more time preparing for a dj set. So, when you see my name on the line up, you can expect me to completely demolish the place. ‘Joannes de Sloper’, like Nuno says from time to time.