When Dutch techno-trance DJ/producer Sander van Doorn played Code in Newport Beach last October, the usually civil Thursday house night was so rammed (as van Doorn would say), promoters Giant had to turn people away.
Throw in a little taxes-done giddiness this Thursday night, and expect Sutra Lounge to be even more busy for SvD's return to Newport Beach.
The 30-year-old Eindhoven native is on a white-hot US tour after playing
last month's Winter Music Conference in Miami Beach, leaving a Facebook fan page of
gushing comments and mad-for-it/hands-in-the-air photo albums in his
wake. Listening to his Identity podcast series on iTunes, it's easy to
hear why. SvD's sometimes noisy, infinitely likable take on
Trance-with-a-capital T (as he refers to it) is full of
stick-to-your-ears squelches, creamy melodies and towel-snapping beats
that indulge the genre's cheesiness without sinking into its buttery
Though SvD has remixed Arctic Monkeys, Killers and Depeche Mode–as he has trance heavyweights Tiesto and Armin Van Buuren–his
tracks make their way into sets by jocks ranging from techno purist
Carl Cox to housier Dutchman Laidback Luke to more breaks-inclined Yanks like Dave Dresden. His eclecticism should keep Sutra
rammed Thursday night.
OC Weekly: Whose torch would you consider it a compliment to say you're
Sander Van Doorn: Obviously people like Tiesto have been a major influence in the
scene, and he's someone I look up to. I wouldn't say I've modeled my
career on anyone though. I love bands like U2 and Coldplay and like to
take influences from outside the dance scene. I think that's what
keeps music fresh. If everyone in Trance copied each other it would
How would you describe your sets?
I'd say my style is fairly smooth. I like to make each track blend
really nicely and take the listener on a journey. The builds and
breakdowns really depend on what song is being played. And as for EQ
manipulation… I mean, when it's required, I do it.
Trance sometimes gets a bad rep as being, well, what was once
referred to as “mindless techno bollocks.” Why is what the world needs
most right now–or at least Orange County on a Thursday?
Because I don't just play Trance. I don't mind being classified as
a “Trance DJ” but I play a variety of styles from deeper tech-y house
or techno tunes up to uplifting trance so hopefully I can help
re-classify what Trance is in 2010. As dance music in general develops,
it's s getting much less repetitive and more creative–to the point
where a lot of mainstream music is using the modern dance scene and its
producers to influence and create decent popular music.
Speaking of bad rap, a lot of pop music, rap included, is
employing the fluttery synths, the chugging 4:4 and soaring high-lines
of trance a decade ago. Does this make your job easier?
I think it's great. It can only be good for dance music.
You do a lot of really amazing really high-profile remixes of
artists that, with the exception of the Killers, are generally not all
that beat-driven. Do you want to show the common thread between these
artists and what you do? The overlap?
It's a pleasure to work with exceptional artists with great
songwriting and vocals. When you have a quality basis for a song you
can create a vibe–and then for me, the rest just writes itself.
What's changed the most for you in the past few years?
It feels like I've really established myself on the scene as a
major player, but I don't know if or how I've changed. I think if I have
changed, it's probably made me more grateful about what I do for a
living. I love my job.
Speaking of which, how is it this time around touring the U.S. during a crazy recession?
I've done a few gigs already this year in the U.S. around the Miami
festivities and the feedback has been amazing. And last time I played
Code, the place was rammed, and I had a brilliant time. So it doesn't
really seem like the recession is affecting people's need to get out
and party. Perhaps forgetting about all the recession hype is what is
getting everyone through it.
Sander Van Doorn
Sutra Lounge, Costa Mesa
Thursday, April 15, 9 p.m.-2: a.m.
presented by Giant Thursdays