A man that hardly needs an introduction, Dutch-born Joris Voorn is one of dance music's elite. Having just wrapped up another massive season in Ibiza where he and close friend and DJ partner Nic Fanciulli smashed Ushuaia with their La Familia shows, Joris himself reached new heights with his recent fabric 83 mix compilation, and of course when not hitting clubs and festivals around the globe, continues to stay busy in the studio, having just released the new Sonic Highway EP with Joran Van Pol on his own Rejected imprint. Now he sets his sights on ADE with his annual Joris Voorn and Friends bash with Awakenings on October 17th, which promises to once again be one of the week's biggest events.
In celebration of one of dance music's important dates, we invited one of the Netherlands' biggest underground stars to tell us who the best of the best are in underground house and techno in his home country, including labels, producers and DJs.
Benny Rodrigues / ROD
Benny is an iconic DJ from Rotterdam who masters playing anything between house and techno.
Under his own name he’s famous in the Netherlands for playing eclectic house sets, and can easily play 3 shows a night. His ROD moniker is more submerged and linked to dark minimal techno, and is funnily enough more well known internationally.
As ROD Benny also releases solid techno tracks and remixes.
Tom is from a DJ generation after me, and made his name producing quality Detroit inspired house and techno. His DJ sets are energetic with a focus on underground house and a deeper shade of techno.
Internationally, Tom is also doing great, playing from New York via Amsterdam to Tokyo. His label, Voyage Direct, shows Tom's progressive vision (not progressive house) on contemporary electronic dance music.
It would be impossible not to mention Edwin. He’s been an amazing DJ since 1993, and to a certain extent one of my mentors. We know each other from a DJ competition in 1996, and have been playing and working together ever since.
Edwin is at his best playing a groovy mix between house and techno with a classic and warm sound.
Clone Records was my 'to go to' record store when I still lived in Rotterdam, and one of the last ones still standing at the moment. They always had the best selection of underground dance music, and the vibe in the store was great.
Their record label has been around for almost 20 years, and has been releasing countless of EPs in almost any genre quality dance music, from disco to house to electro to techno or Italo disco.
The strength of the label is that they are purists, but not musically narrow minded.
Where Rotterdam has Clone, Amsterdam has Rush Hour, also both a label and record store. I think they haven’t been around as long as Clone, but there’s no doubt they made their mark on the Amsterdam dance music scene. I don’t buy vinyl anymore, so I can’t say I’m a regular at the store, but the label sure has my attention. I’d say they have a slightly warmer and more-house oriented sound that their Rotterdam counterpart, but their focus is equally on quality only.
Rush Hour spawned a wide range of artists and connected labels like San Proper, Tom Trago, Awantwothree, Hunee and Delsin Records.
We’re not as big as Rush Hour or Clone, but Edwin Oosterwal and me are running this nice small label with all our heart. We don’t restrict ourselves to just one sound, anything between house and techno can be found on Rejected.
Anton was a highly technical guitarist in a progressive metal band before becoming a techno producer. He now makes warm 909-based minimal techno with a touch of house.
We released a couple of EPs by him on our Rejected label, and we’re on the right track to get him to underground stardom!
Coming from the Eindhovem drum and bass scene and being a driving force during the dubstep days, Martyn now operates more on the techno side of things, but uses his earlier influences to create a unique sound.
He doesn’t live in the Netherlands anymore, but is still a name we can all be proud of!
Joran van Pol
Not only is Joran the nicest guys in the Dutch scene, he’s also a great talent; very different than any of the other names I mentioned, and instead of being connected with Rush Hour or Clone he made his name with releases on Hawtin’s M_nus label.
His sound is a steady mix between minimal techno and groovy drums, which he mixes flawlessly in a high-energy style when he’s on stage. Joran also released on our Rejected label, and has a fantastic new EP coming up. I made the most recent Rejected EP with him, called Sonic Highway.
A name I only heard about quite recently, but apparently already a star in the underground, Hunee, being from Germany actually, makes music that is hard to put in a box.
Overall I’d say he leans heavily on ‘90s Detroit house and techno. But it goes beyond that and draws samples and inspiration from jazz, soul, afrobeat and classical music too, combing those with quirky synth lines and vocals samples on a basis of low bit drums.
Joris Voorn's fabric 83 mix is out now. Buy it here.