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Interview: Step Forward Joris Voorn

Part 2 of 5. The Flying Dutchman caused huge waves in Ibiza last year and returns this year with a 6 date residency at We Love.

Can you believe it is nearly 4 months since we announced that Joris would feature as We Love ressie for the coming 2010 Ibiza season?

Well, following on from Nick Curly last week, this second artist in the Step Forward series is the closest thing we're going to get to a banker in our recommendations of the future heroes of Ibiza.

I caught up with him earlier in the week to see discuss Ibiza 2010, genres and Balance 014.

Spotlight: Morning sir, you've been fairly well known for a while now, especially tracks like Missing and Incident in 2004 made everyone sit up and take notice, but it only seemed like last year that Ibiza really found out who Joris Voorn is.

Joris: Well yeah, I played in Ibiza 2007 and 2008 was the first really good gig, but 2009 was when it got really big. Now this year, We love made the offer and the good thing about that is they've given me a proper residency, so I'm really pleased about this.

What did you know of Ibiza before the last year or two?

It was more I thought it was going to about a different vibe than what I was doing myself. I thought my sound wouldn't really work in Ibiza and that the sound itself was really just very more commercial and commercial parties and just the big DJs only.

What do you think now?

What I do really does matter, there really is a very good atmosphere and it really can be about the music. Also my sound has evolved and changed a bit and appeals to a bigger audience now and that makes a difference too. But it's really important that the parties I've done so far are all about the music and the people understand anything that you are trying to do.

How does We Love fit with Joris Voorn?

I think it's the perfect match, if you look at the line-up its very broad but it's all about quality music, they don't want to just get a big name for commercial reasons and so every single name on the flyer really makes sense and is there for the music. Also, it's all sort of techno, tech-house and house orientated, so it just really perfectly fits with my kind of sound.

Will you just play the Discoteca?

I think I'll be mainly Discoteca but hopefully two terrace gigs as well.

I found it a ironic last year at one of your gigs, you were playing Sweep The Floor and then Carl Craig turned up next to you, so obviously I immediately thought of Throw (under his Paperclip People moniker), which I know you've been playing too. Throw was the inspiration for Sweep The Floor right?

(laughs) Ha! No, It wasn't no, it wasn't at all and you're not the first person to ask that. I never thought about it until someone actually told me, but I never thought about the track when I made it. Obviously, that music has always been an inspiration, but it's just real coincidence, it's just very stripped down house music on both tracks.

Sweep the Floor vs Throw. Coincidence? You decide......

Sweep the Floor


What are you doing in the studio, you're planning an artist album aren't you?

Actually yes, but at the moment I've got so many remixes coming up and I've started doing one for Goldfrapp, so they're too many nice offers coming in........the work for the actual album is being pushed back all the time.

I want to talk about Balance 014, which basically totally redefined what is possible or what we understand by a compilation CD…….you described it as “painting with music”.....

Yeah kind of, the way I worked on this mix is taking bits and pieces and samples of tracks rather than the whole track. So taking colours here and there, mixing them together and there'd be 7 or 8 things at the same time, it really becomes a new piece of music.

So absolutely it was trying new things, it was one big experiment, trying to see what matched with what and also trying to make unconventional mixes, so don't mix a techno track with a techno track, mix house with disco or disco with techno….anything could work, that was the idea.

Example of Balance 014 mix madness, track 11 of CD1

1-11.1 Sascha Funke - Mango (Berlin Calling Edit)
1-11.2 Paul Kalkbrenner - Moob
1-11.3 Sascha Funke - The Fortune Cookie Symphony
1-11.4 Goldie - Timeless

Did it end up as you planned?

No, not at all. I didn't have much of an dea when I started, although I did want to mix a regular mix CD but I got bored with the track list I got, so I really went deep with the edits and this is how the whole work flow came to life.

Was licencing it a nightmare?

Well the record label was just really amazing at doing all this work, they never complained a single time, even when I gave handed them 150 to licence, you know another record label would be like “what the hell are you doing?”. They didn't say anything and just did it!

How would you describe what you do when you play live to someone who knows nothing about technology?

When I play live, I play all my own music that's the main thing, in my studio in preparation I strip down all the tracks I've made, so I split them into bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat, bass line, every single element I take out and I put that in a program and when I'm live on stage, I mix them all back together again. So it's very versatile and doing things with the tracks that I could never do in a DJ set. So it's kind of like taking the tracks apart and building them up again.

But it's always your own music?

Yes, always. There are a lot of extra loops and samples but really it's just building it altogether.

So how do split your time between playing live and DJing?

I DJ most of the time, live gigs I do rarely at the moment. But my DJ sets are a bit like a live act these days because I always play with a laptop and I don't do any beat matching anymore cos the computer does it all for me, so I can do so much more than just a regular DJ with two turntables and two cd players, so it's already a kind of a next level of DJing.

I get overwhelmed by the quantity of mediocre music that I get sent or is released. Do you think there is too much average music being released, which in turn makes it harder for the good stuff to be heard?

I think it's absolutely true, the problem is that everyone and their grandma wants to be a DJ and they think that you have to produce music to become a DJ or to get noticed, which is true in a way but if you release all this mediocre music, it's going to be a really long road or won't even happen. So that's probably the reason why there's so much stuff out because it's made by people who don't know how to make music!

What can we do about this?

I don't know If I really know the answer, but I think there should be some kind of better moderating and selection by the big digital online shops, so pushing the good music rather than whatever sells easily or is last month's sound, instead look at next year's sound.

What is your opinion on the way we talk so much about genres and sub-genres in electronic music, do you do this?

I'm a bit more from the 90s and this wasn't an issue yet, especially in the early 90s there were all these different sounds but people would just play everything and it would create a very interesting journey, a musical journey. So there wasn't a genre issue, people just played good music. Later on it all got split up into trance, house, techno, progressive, tech-house, you name it. You know I still like to play something from everything, maybe not so much trance or progressive but at least house, tech-house and even a bit of minimal still, so I don't really want to care about it but for other people, maybe it's easier to tell what they're playing and also you need a bit more courage to play different…different sounds and different tracks in a DJ set and it's also not the easiest thing to mix these things up and make it work.

Thanks Joris, see you at We Love.

Thanks man, see you all in the summer.



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