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This is Sander Kleinenberg

Catch Sander at the Pacha Festival in Amsterdam this Saturday!

Not content with merely providing the soundtrack to your night, Sander Kleinenberg has for years endeavoured to achieve what few do (at least successfully) and combine both audio and visual stimulation in the club environment by working in close partnership with Pioneer to develop the DVJ decks he uses for his sets. As he explains, it's a combination of pre-programmed video and audio to create a DVD to mix with, rather than a CD as most DJs use in today's digital world.

He is an artist that has flirted with the commercial line with releases back in the day such as his 'This is' (insert place name) track, and yet he is someone that has retained credibility for the methods he has used to present himself. With two studio albums under his belt, with a significant time period between them, constant touring under the 'This Is' name, working with artists on his 5K album last year, playing the amazing Pacha Festival in his hometown of Amsterdam and much inbetween, Sander is a busy man. Let's see what he has to say for himself.

You are synonymous with combining your sets with a video element, what brought this on?

The urge to be doing something cutting edge and fresh... simply playing other people's records isn't enough to truly entertain and inspire me.

Do you think it brings something different into the fray when performing? I mean, how important do you think combining the two is, for you at least?

Music is, and always will be, the biggest element of any DJ set. The visuals bring something unique... something fresh.

A lot of people are into an almost minimalist approach with regard to clubs - in that they like there to be minimal visuals and lighting with just a set of decks and a solid sound system. What would you say to those people to convince them otherwise?

There are many ways to entertain and perform, my choices to create a visual spectacle to enhance what I do is purely based on a personal taste. Of course there are DJ's who like to strip it down completely... not me! I like to bring a whole spectrum both in music and in a visual experience.

How's it feel to be involved with the Pacha brand this year? You're playing the Pacha Festival in Amsterdam right?

Pacha was an important part of my career for many years, for which I will be ever thankful. A friend of mine who I have known since I was a little bad boy back in school is organising it [Pacha Festival], we hooked up and decided to go for it! I can't wait!

And you'll be at the Amnesia Opening this year right? Have you been to their openings or closings before? Excited?

Very, very, very, excited! I like the idea of a new adventure and what it does to my inspiration.

You're a huge advocate of Pioneers DVJ equipment... Talk us through the equipment you use an how you use it.

Its a product line that helps me create and perform my audio/video sets. It's like playing a normal mixer/CD player, the only difference is you have a video playing along with the music which you pre-program and burn onto a DVD and then play out like a normal CD. There is also a video menu in the mixer with cool effects for the videos that are playing.

You had an album out last year, 5K, that was a little different to the sounds people would normally expect to hear you play out... how did the album evolve to what it became? Did you intend to start an album like that?

I never really have a very big plan before I go into the studio, this album was very intuitive and unplanned, just having a load of fun with the possibilities is what I do.. like a magical ride for which you only know the beginning and not the end. I have never been much of a planner, I just let my senses guide me to create something that people hopefully find interesting.

You worked with some really interesting artists didn't you? Any highlights?

Every single person i have worked with on this album is as important as the other...

You do a lot of collaborations with other artists actually... is that something you enjoy? Is it a challenge to find someone with the same mentality as you towards producing music? Or do you always find the process to be quite an organic progression?

I love being in the studio with friends and family, when travelling and on the road I'm confronted with being alone a lot of the time, I'm simply trying to have as much fun and enjoyment when I'm creating something in the studio... doing that with other people who inspire me is a great honour.

We gather you are back around the studio when you can at the moment, what can you tell us about any forthcoming artist releases? Is there new music on the horizon from yourself?

A lot of new stuff actually...

You've a 'This is Retro' compilation out on your own This Is Recordings - tell us about the album and how the label is going...

It's a combination of records that we released in the last months that reflect a sort of retro type sound. I'm actually very proud of the result. The label is always on the move and searching for a fresh and inspiring sound and artists... this is a good reflection of that journey from the last 2 years.

Thanks Sander, perhaps you will playing more dates this summer under the ‘This Is' tour name?

I'm working on it!

More Info on Pacha Festival Amsterdam:

Tickets available through Ibiza Spotlight!

Amnesia Opening Party listings - 2023

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