A deviant idealist to international dance floors and the boundaries of the soundtrack alike, Sander Kleinenberg has proven one of more organic superstar DJs to emerge from the Netherlands. With more than 15-years on the scene and a steady legacy of landmark achievements behind him, the Dutch DVJ and producer still treats mixing as an art form sacred enough to be praised at every corner of the earth. A true DJ’s DJ and renowned skeptic to the integrity of a generation often more concerned with flash marketing than creative progress, Sander’s resounding passion for club culture and the developing craft of musical journeys has kept him from becoming an arrogant cynic to an age he could never have anticipated for electronic music.
With a youth that favored pinning up pictures of his favorite records over chasing girls across the playground, music called to Sander like no force he had ever experienced. Born to creative parents in the safe yet humble surroundings of the East Netherlands, his early days behind the decks were a true labor of love. But cycling to and from his early residencies and scrubbing the dance floor after shows were a small price to pay for this admirable record junkie who still revels in the glory that such seemingly small sacrifices have bought him. It may not have looked like a global career at first, but the transition from a wolf in sheep’s clothing to an experienced musical journeyman tells of commitment to the craft often lost among the modern industry. In uniting records at the right moment in time, DJing may have been his personal revolution, but Sander’s development in the studio has not gone ignored along the way.
Using his productions as a passport into the wider world of electronic music. Brandishing headline singles including ‘My Lexicon’, ‘The Fruit’ & ‘This Is Miami’, 2011’s 5K album would prove by far the most diverse of his offerings to touch the digital market and club sphere alike. Despite admitting that production remains his least favorite musical journey, the steps between an original inspiration point and that moment of clarity on the dance floor remains an integral part of what has made Sander’s approach so firm from the outset.
As the times have changed, Sander has not shied from embracing new technology. Now renowned for his DVJ concepts in spite of earlier skepticism from the wider industry, this union of visual and musical moments has headed Sander towards an absolution in club experiences that few of his generation have embraced with such persistence. With the addition of his This Is Recordings – a home grown imprint of likeminded talents set to fly high on their own wings in the not so distant future – we see yet further proof of Sander’s ability to take control in the name of honest and organic steps towards musical absolution.
But diversity doesn’t have to equate to incoherence. Just ask Justin Timberlake, Mylo, Daft Punk, Janet Jackson, Annie Lennox or N*E*R*D, whose seal of approval has seen his studio scope reach the unsuspecting world of popular music with seamless clarity. With original productions alongside Dillon Francis, Kraak & Smaak and return collaborator Jamie Cullum, Sander remains persistent in his attempts to break down the barriers of Electronic music alongside artists from across the musical spectrum. Where 5K offered a disjointed insight into his firmly developed studio mind, 2013 looks to provide one of the most homogenous chapter in the modest superstar DJs career to date.
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