Secret Mainstream /


Commerce drives a dominant number of our urban social interactions. It can feel inescapable. Can modern cities offer us more than simply an array of choices to fulfill our material imperatives? What does ‘place’ mean now? What dimensions can music, play, or the presence of conspirators add to our perception of a given place? Are there new ways of perceiving our (often) banal surroundings?

Most urgently: do you want to have some cheap, weird fun?

Drifting is a playful walk without destination, wherein participants take turns leading each other through the urban landscape. Players listen to a synchronized soundtrack.

Drifting has a few simple rules, but is not a game you can win in any traditional sense. We drift for the joy and pleasure of getting lost, following the impulses of our fellow players, taking part in a shared atmosphere through music, and experiencing the city in a novel way.

Upcoming Drifts & News

DRIFT 006 — Spaarndammerbuurt

DRIFT 006 has been scheduled for Sunday, October 29 at 2pm in Spaarndammerbuurt. Bring your earbuds, a camera, and your fully charged phone. We’ll meet at the western entrance of Westerpark.

We’ll explore the Amsterdam School buildings of Spaarndammerbuurt, snap some photos, and listen to a custom mix of synchronized walking tunes. We can end the DRIFT with beers at one of the bars on Spaarndammerstraat.



DRIFT 005 Complete

We had a really beautiful Fall afternoon for DRIFT 005 in the Westerpark allotment gardens. The weather was perfect, the gardens were a nice surprise, and the music, company, and picnic made a perfect Sunday.

The music mix features a few tracks by Rattledrums, Biosphere, Chris & Cosey, Wet Eyes, Gigi Masin, Biosphere, and others (including a few tracks by me):

Here’s a few photos (I’ll add more from the other Drifters as I collect them):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As you can see, our route was…circuitous:

Keep an eye out for DRIFT 006 in late October.


DRIFT 005 — Westerpark Allotment Gardens

DRIFT 005 — Westerpark Allotment Gardens — Sunday, September 24 at 2pm

DRIFT 005 has been scheduled for Sunday, September 24 at 2pm in the Westerpark allotment gardens.

Bring your earbuds, a camera, and your fully charged phone. Meet at Sloterdijkerweg 22, 1014 CB Amsterdam at 2pm on Sunday, August 20.

We’ll explore the grounds of Tuinpark Nut & Genoegen with its hundreds of distinct allotments on the last week it’s open to visitors before the end of the season. We’ll snap some photos and listen to a custom mix of botanical-inspired synchronized walking tunes. We can end the DRIFT with drinks somewhere in Westergasfabriek (or if it’s nice, perhaps we can have a beer picnic in Westerpark — TBD).



DRIFT 004 Complete

Last Sunday, August 20 we had a nice DRIFT in the Eastern Docklands area of Amsterdam on a warm, bright summer afternoon. We departed from The Lloyd Hotel, walked along the Veemkade, crossed over to Java-eiland, then walked back along the Javakade, crossing the Verbindingsdam back to The Lloyd Hotel where we concluded with beers on the terrace.

Instead of synching via AmpMe, this time most had downloaded the music mix ahead of time to their phones. The remaining drifters played via SoundCloud. We all hit play at the same time and we ran into far fewer synching problems.

It was a really nice, low key drift, where I got to see an unfamiliar part of the city. Crossing the Jan Schaeferbrug on foot was memorable — it doesn’t take much elevation in Amsterdam to get a birds eye view of the city. This time, two giant cruise ships were in dock towering over everything. There was a really cool moment where the music opened up into the AudioSyntax song “Liquid Space” (around minute 20) just as I was climbing to the high point of the bridge.

Another highlight for me was seeing the buildings of Java-eiland. They were built as architectural showpieces, but I suspect they’re not going to age well.

Here are some photos from DRIFT 004:

A post shared by Secret Mainstream (@secretmainstream) on

From Alexander Titov:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A few more from Beth Farris:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Two more from Jonathan Farris:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Keep an eye out soon for info on DRIFT 005.




DRIFT 004 has been scheduled for Sunday, August 20 at 3pm in the Eastern Docklands.

Bring your earbuds, a camera, and your fully charged phone. Meet in front of The Lloyd Hotel at Oostelijke Handelskade 34, 1019BN at 3pm on Sunday, August 20.

We’ll explore the bridges, boats, docks, and buildings of the Eastern Docklands, snap some photos, and listen to a custom mix of synchronized walking tunes. We can end the DRIFT with drinks back at The Lloyd Hotel terrace.



DRIFT 003 Complete

The weather turned out to be perfectly timed. After a downpour around 2:30pm, the clouds parted for a couple hours and let 11 of us to wander the back part of Schinkelbuurt.

We had some technical problems with AmpMe, so halfway through I was live mixing on the app, instead of just playing my pre-recorded mix. Unfortunate, but fun still. For DRIFT 004, I have a couple of new approaches to syncing the soundtrack we’ll try.

You can still check out the music mix (along with track list/buy links) in its entirety here:

Here are some snapshots by other drifters:

From Devon:

From Victoria:

From Liam:


DRIFT 002 Complete

Subtropical was the theme of DRIFT 002, which took place last night, on a fittingly warm summer solstice in the Indischebuurt area of Amsterdam Oost.

DRIFT 002 complete! Had a great time. Stay tuned for details on the upcoming DRIFT 003. #driftclub #weirdshit #ambientmusic

A post shared by Secret Mainstream (@secretmainstream) on

The music focused on Indonesian gamelan and other Asian-inspired minimalist, electronic, and ambient sounds. Also in the mix is a new tune by Elk Test, and an ambient track by me.

Plans are already underway for DRIFT 003 — date/time/location/theme coming soon.


DRIFT 002 start time moved to 8pm

Due to the hot weather, let’s meet at 20:00 tomorrow rather than 19:00. We’ll take advantage of the cooler temperatures and shade later in the evening. Still meeting in front of Badhuis Javaplein. See you there!