Interview: Joris Voorn
One name that has for some time shone brightly as an ever-progressing talent amongst the pantheon of techno’s leading lights is the Dutch master Joris Voorn, a national treasure in his native Holland for some two two decades.
Joris Voorn’s lifetime membership with the masters is still under growing application, the consistent calibre of his finely detailed production certainly places him in a position of undoubted consideration. He has an ever-increasing discography reaching from atmospheric interludes to broken beats, much of which appears on his own labels Rejected and Green – the latter releasing his critically acclaimed artist album ‘Nobody Knows’ in 2014, which was named by Billboard as their ‘Electronic Album Of The Year’.
With an always intensive tour schedule, and consistent musical outputs, Joris Voorn, not only, unveiled the 83rd edition of the famed fabric mix series, but also celebrated his 39th birthday in his hometown of Amsterdam, going all night B2B with good friend Kölsch. Now, with the summer rapidly approaching (which, for Joris, means Awakenings, amongst many others), we spoke with the man himself about his birthday celebrations, approach to stage curation, balancing work and home, and much more.
“It is very important to me that I am part of the musical scene here because I am very proud to be from Amsterdam”
With your birthday coming up, you celebrated at Paradiso, going all night with Kolsch. Why did you choose Paradiso as the venue to celebrate? On the same token, why Kölsch?
I have been celebrating my birthday publicly for about ten years now. It was my agents idea as it probably wouldn’t be something I would do on my own. It’s always been fun, though. It’s always a night to look forward to and to get my friends out. As I got a bit more well known, the venues we were playing in got too small so we decided to hook up with Awakenings, who are producing the show, and do it at Paradiso. Paradiso is an amazing venue. I used to go there as a teenager to see pop concerts and I could never have imagined to be hosting my own birthday there. It’s crazy!
Regarding Kölsch, it will be his third year joining me at Paradiso, which is also how many years we have been celebrating there. The first time I booked him we all did shorter sets. Then, the next year we decided to go B2B and do 4 hours. That was so much fun, this time we decided to go all night. No one else. Just us. It was very spontaneous.
Do you notice a difference in atmosphere or crowd response at you birthday events as opposed to a “regular” gig?
Paradiso is an old church with a balcony so it is a very intimate room. People are all around you, so it always feels like a celebration since you can really connect with the crowd. To be honest, it is like any other night out but it is more special since we are celebrating. The music we play is the same, though. We don’t play extra silly or extra serious, so i don’t think the people respond much differently. For us, it is an nice night, though.
As the event is produced by Awakenings, for whom you also curate an annual stage, how do you approach curation and building stages?
Curation is a great thing for artists since they can show what they have in store. Instead of playing a set at a festival, you can design the the flow of the event. It shows how diverse your tastes are, as well as your preferences. It also shows your ability to set up high musical standards, which is something I really enjoy. of course, you have to find the right people to work with, and Awakenings has everything to make an event a success so, together with me, we will make it very special. When someone hosts a stage, it will always feel a bit different then when everyone just comes and plays. It feels more connected.
You will be curating a stage in London on 2 April at SIDEXSIDE. There, Kölsch will also be attending, but you will also be inviting Steve Rachmad. I’m sure you guys, both being Dutch, go back some time, but why did you decide to bring him along?
I think Steve is someone we can be very proud of in Holland. He was one of the first generation here to make dance music, then developed into an amazing Detroit style dance music DJ and Producer. Musically, he is very far ahead of many other guys and has adapted a sound from the US, making it into his own thing. It is warm and driving and atmospheric. He is also an artist who has many different faces. He can make electro well, as well as house, techno, or minimal. He is a very colourful artist and a great guy.
How do you look to balancing a presence here in Amsterdam, essentially your home city, with an International touring schedule? Is that something you think about actively?
That is a very good question and the answer is yes! at the beginning of this year I have sat down with my manager and booking agents to make sure I am very present in Holland, but not too present. I want to make sure I play the key gigs with the right people, so people don’t get too bored of me. It is very important to me that I am part of the musical scene here because I am very proud to be from Amsterdam, but you shouldn’t overdo it. Quality always over quantity.