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On January 15, 2024, De School closed its doors for the very last time. From a first Friday night in 2016 until the 66-hour grand finale, Amsterdam’s former technical school functioned as an ever-evolving space, with at its core the steadfast pulse of a club. Infused with new life, the labyrinthian building—lest we forget: derelict classrooms, pitch-black basement, blossom-kissed garden, checkered cubicles, highway-like hallways—became a temporary home for the interlocked wonder of music, art, and culture. A blueprint for countless special people to forge countless special days, nights, and the blur beyond time.

Het Archief, which you have just entered, translates eight years of club history into an expansive sound archive. Eight years of recordings are indexed, escape the walls, and finally see the light of day. Het Archief is a time capsule for the present and future, and an open-ended zone to remember through sound. The performances that are stored here recall moments that will never be repeated, yet resound collective moments in time. They not only tell a comprehensive narrative consisting of myriad sonic stories, but also mirror much bigger things. To name just a few: local developments, global influences, subcultural evolution, intercultural links, curatorial shifts, artistic growth, and, of course, the state of (electronic) music and Amsterdam club culture between 2016 and 2024.

In close collaboration with the City Archives Amsterdam (Stadsarchief Amsterdam), Podiumkunst.net and Mixcloud, Het Archief underscores the time-transcending significance of club culture. As such, it’s also a call to collect and preserve—and thereby, to fully recognise the value of—nightlife’s most meaningful artefacts. In order to make this easier, we invite all like-minded organisations to look into our manual on archiving club culture through sound, which can be found here.

Of course, Het Archief wouldn’t exist without every single artist who soundtracked De School’s existence—your existence. The locals who first cut their teeth in the basement and made those decks their launch pad. The DJs who, single-handedly and every single time, fogged up the windows of Het Muzieklokaal. The global heavyweights whose next gig beckoned, yet couldn’t help but stretch (and stretch! and stretch!) that closing track. We say thanks to all those artists for all of those moments, and for allowing us to (re)collect them here. Besides the artists, we wholeheartedly thank the programmers for their musical vision over the years, as well as all staff members, collaborators, dancers and dreamers who made De School what it was. Last, but definitely not least, we thank the persistent and personally dedicated team that initiated this project and made Het Archief a reality.

This site, these sounds, they’re now yours to treasure. Press play, and pass it on!

For the full experience, we reccommend using your web browser. All performances collected in Het Archief were manually excerpted from pre-existing sound files. While we have made every effort to minimise the potential for human error, please note that minor glitches (such as incorrect set beginnings or endings) may occasionally occur. Sets that were performed at De School but are not included in Het Archief were either not recorded or the respective artist(s) requested that they remain unpublished. We have contacted all artists for whom we had contact details. If you have any questions about the recording of your performance, please contact: [email protected]