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Sander Van Doorn - Temple Of Doorn

Author: Ben James
Monday, September 1, 2008

Dutch superstar DJ Sander Van Doorn has experienced somewhat of a meteoric rise to fame in just a few very short years, featuring in DJ Mag’s top 100 list, producing an essential mix for BBC Radio 1 and picking up a trance award. Ahead of his appearence at Godskitchen, he chats to 3D’s Ben James.

Sander van Doorn is a dance music phenomenon, shooting from virtually nowhere to become one of the most in-demand DJs in the world. Though young in appearance, the 29-year-old’s big room, massive club tracks have garnered a lot of attention, inevitable drawing comparisons to a certain other trance Dutchman. After watching seeing him play shows and with his lofty ranking of number 15 in DJ mag’s Top 100 poll, van Doorn is more than ready to wear Tiësto’s crown.

Sounding remarkably chipper for someone who has only just woken up, van Doorn’s cheerful, easy-going demeanour is soon apparent as he chats about Australia and his forthcoming appearance at Godskitchen.

“I did my first Australian tour about one and a half years ago,” he enthuses. “I did New Zealand for one gig too. I had a lot of fun, to be honest. It’s been a crazy couple of years since then.”

2008 has been particularly productive for van Doorn; he released his very first album Supernaturalistic in March and it’s been nothing but chaos for the DJ since.

“It’s been a great year with the album and all,” he revels. “It’s definitely a step forward from last year and it’s definitely getting more and more crazier. I hope to be focussing on the album while I am down in Australia as it’s getting a whole bunch of great responses so far. For me the album had to be a little bit of an experiment into going different directions as well as showcasing myself as an artist of being more than of just one category. The whole mission for the album, for me, was to produce tracks that are a combination with each other, tell a story on the album but also could showcase myself on a more minimal record or techno or more towards punk and to be as diverse as possible. I put on my producer’s hat and part of the process; I kind of learnt a lot of new stuff about perhaps producing at a lower BPM or with a more techy sound to it or a combination of house beats and melodic stuff and making like a cocktail of different styles of music. That’s what made it for me, very interesting.”

Considering van Doorn’s eclectic nature, an album wouldn’t feel too cohesive considering the diversity that is crammed onto one shiny disc. This is a fact van Doorn is well aware of and already on top of.

“The very first track I produced wasn’t really set up to be for an album,” he says. “I produced a lot of solo single tracks under a lot of styles for single releases. At one point I realised I had a lot of tracks and I arranged the tracks in my head and thought of the album idea. So I used those tracks as a basis and then it went from there. I had a little bit of style going on with this track and then something different in style for the next track. What was missing then from my point of view to make an actual album was to introduce resting points between certain tracks and soon interludes even ended up as actual tracks. I listened to a lot of albums and took particular notice of the interludes, the intros and the outros and made notes of what I liked and didn’t like on those albums.”

Speaking of interludes, the album’s first single The Bass originated as a measly 30-second interlude but, upon realising its potential, was soon turned into a real track and bumped up to the seven minute mark.

“It’s crazy!” he exclaims. “Producing is often about where your mind is set at a certain time. Sometimes you might be thinking one thing and another something simple like ‘The Bass has a lot more potential’. It’s a really simple track and it all revolves around the bass and the bass line. To have an interlude that was just a bass line, for me, was like, ‘Well let’s see what happens when you add a kick to it’. So I added the kick and it was ‘Oh that’s all going quite nice’ so I added a bit more rhythm to it with this and that and then realised I can do something else to the bass and give it this feel and before I knew it I was like ‘Jesus, I’m already at two minutes.’ So I produced the whole track.”

The Bass isn’t the first track to be given the extended treatment by van Doorn’s hand at production.

“The process was the same for the first track on the album Look Inside Your Head,” he explains. “It first started out as a 20-second melody and I thought, ‘Well I have this melody so why not expand it-’ So I expanded it with different notes as well and from there I added effects as well and then before I knew it, it had kick, rhythm and became a whole track as well. It was fun playing around from a different perspective. Sometimes the outcome is going to be completely different.

“The dancefloor was a really important feature for the album,” van Doorn continues. “I listened to other people’s albums and thought, ‘well you’ve got three really good songs that could be single releases and that’s it!’ I felt a lot of tracks from other albums you could listen to and that’s it. Mine is better.”

WHO: Sander van Doorn
WHAT: Plays Godskitchen at The Dome, Sydney Showground
WHEN: Saturday 11 October