Sander van Doorn: Crazy busy

With summer comes Stereosonic, and strutting in with this year’s trance-heavy lineup is Sander van Doorn. But before he touches down this weekend to kick off the festival tour, the Dutch gun caught up with inthemix to talk up what he’s got in store for us and why he’s particularly partial to Australian audiences.

“The great thing about Australian crowds is their musical education. You guys have a real musical maturity, and it’s all topped off by really knowing how to party. It’s a combination which allows me to mix it up musically even more than usual and really make this dynamic.”

And Sander always has kept his sets innovative. While the sun has set on his Dusk til Doorn shows, which we saw in 2011, he’s got a new as yet unnamed show concept bubbling away, ready to be unveiled in 2013. For this trip, though, he’s coming armed with a trove of new music. “I’m now working on a new, and of course bigger, concept show to replace Dusk till Doorn, and it’s all planned for next year,” he told inthemix. “But right now I’ve been crazy busy in the studio producing many singles for release on Doorn records, and I want a bag full of these tracks ready for my first Stereosonic visit this November.”

Renowned for his particularly big sound – like those booming Dusk Til Doorn compilations and recent collaboration with Julian Jordan on the writhing Kangaroo – Sander’s taken a turn for the demure on Eleve11. The contrast is obvious, and the natural question follows: is he deliberately avoiding the four-to-the-floor sound? “There isn’t a real check box and I don’t always go after the big sound with every track, it often just happens,” Sander explains. ” Eleve11 allowed me a platform to really experiment. In it, I went for a deeper listening sound, all while thinking of keeping it flexible. The result is a tracklist that works great intimately but also allows for the club or festival.”

As experimentation goes, the album certainly shows Sander’s versatility. Eleve11 is light years more rock styled than anything he’s previously and without going into full album review territory (you can read that here), Eleve11 demonstrates Sander’s chameleon-like changeability, much like his early era alter-egos. Before permanently settling in with the straight up Sander Van Doorn, he’s released music using various aliases: as Purple Haze on Hymn 2.0, Bilksem and Eden; as Sam Sharp on Roundabout, ERROR and Twister; and as Sandler on Season, Theme Song and his Chemistry EP. “From early on I’ve always wanted to produce differently styled music and I didn’t want to confuse people by releasing it all under the one name,” he explains. “But over the last couple of years I realised there was no longer a point, everyone had connected me to these other names, so everything is now under my name no matter the sound.”

That diversity in sound has also led Sander to tackle remixes for the likes of Lady Gaga. That mainstream crossover status might polarise fans, but van Doorn’s unrepentant. “I got the request from her management and found it a big challenge, particularly because she is a vastly different sound,” he reasons. “In being so different I saw it as a challenge, and let’s not forget I am a producer too, I want to mix both worlds. And yes, it’s a different sort of track for me. I’m sure there are fans of hers who don’t like it just like there are mine”. He’s open to collaborations, too. “I’m open to anything and it is all part of developing me as an artist. By doing such things you learn a lot, and while I seek to remain true to my roots branching out is a good thing to do.”

But for now, replanting his DJ roots is Sander’s next move and it’s all in sync for Australia. “I’ve a new compilation album in the works and it is really exciting as I’m right back to my DJ core,” he explains. “I find working on a mix a great process, as it’s quite different to producing a single. These next few months, when including the northern summer touring schedule, are really busy for me”. He’ll sure be busy with the Stereosonic tour, which has him tackle five shows in two weekends – catch him there when it kicks off this Saturday.