I admit, I was pretty damn excited when I heard that Sander van Doorn was releasing his first compilation, From Dusk Till Doorn. His Dusk Till Doorn parties are one of dance music’s most premiere events, and now he’s got his own studio mix to extended the brand.
Doorn’s signature tech trance style has become one of the leading forms of trance production today. “Tech-trance is darker, tougher, and more driving. It also incorporates elements from other dance genres like techno and tech-house that give the subtle touches that keep it interesting,” said the #10 ranked DJ in an interview with the LA Weekly. “I find it’s a great middle ground that bridges the gap between trance and house, techno and electro. [It] makes DJing a lot more varied as well, so that’s why you’ll hear me playing a real mixed bag of tunes in my sets.”
That’s exactly what Sander is offering in his two-disc studio set. With a combination of today’s most popular tracks, new releases, and exclusive content from Doorn Records, SvD’s new comp is pretty much a condensed version of his live performances. The compilation reflects Sander’s superb taste for house and trance, and I love how it maintains a strong tech beat backbone throughout the entire mix. After kicking CD1 off with Mason’s You Are Not Alone, Sander gets the dance groove going with a creative blend of progressive and tech house tracks. The development of SvD’s early set focuses on subtle shifts between different house styles, from Gareth Emery-like melodic progressions like Ganza by Jeremy Olander to vocal house classics like Teenage Crime remixed by Axwell. The mix’s uplifting start shifts quickly into a dark techy phase as Sander starts to settle in. This is possibly my favorite part of the album. Tracks like Afrojack and Bobby Burns’ BungeeCrash The Disco drive the middle of the first mix forward with thick slabs of tech beats and deep minimal grooves. This is followed by Dada Life’s impressive remix of Damascus by Francesco Diaz, where the duo make use of their signature choppy electro synths.
From there on, SvD enters trance mode. CD2 is especially reminiscent of Sander’s podcast show Identity. A basketful of tech tracks show up like Doorn’s new hit Daddyrock and popular tunes like the lighter more uplifting Black Is The New Yellow by Super8 & Tab. I must also highlight Jochen Miller’s amazing remix of Twisted by Svenson & Gielen provided here for your listening pleasure. This track incorporates hard-hitting tech beats with a really catchy sample of chopped synths.
The mix certainly displays Sander’s excellent tastes in a diverse mix of dance genres. At the same time, I kinda wish he could’ve focused a little more on his unique style, and a little less on the more generic commercial trance. But that’s being a bit nit-picky; the album as a whole was well selected, arranged, and mixed. If you’re fan of trance compilations like me, From Dusk Till Doorn is definitely for you.