Although his latest compilation featuring Lee Burridge was just released, Sander Kleineneberg hasn’t missed a beat. He continues to tour the world like a mad man pleasing clubbers from NYC to St. Petersburg, while simultaneously feeding his addiction for entertaining massive crowds with his lengthy sets.
RA caught up with Sander to get a glimpse into how this native Dutch juggles his residencies and numerous gigs, what’s in store for the future of Everybody, his use of the new Pioneer DVD mixers and if the UK is hot or not at the moment!
First of all Sander, thanks for your time. We know how busy you are but it's always a treat to catch up with you. You’re currently back in the Big Apple. You often play here so I guess you must have a good feel for the crowds and the city itself. What are your likes and dislikes about New York?
Obviously, as you can see (due to the amount of time I spend in New York), I love the city. It has a special place in my heart, especially since my mom brought me here for the first time in the 70s.
I also know it holds the key to a lot of success. Absorbing the energy New York has is crucial to any DJ's career. It may sound like a cliché, but if you rock it out in New York you can rock it out anywhere!
Crobar NY has also given me a platform for the “Everybody” brand, and as a result, part of my dedication is with the NY scene and its music.
Thus far, the “Everybody” series has been your personal project. What made you bring Lee Burridge into the mix and how does this release differ from the first two Everybody compilations?
Everybody is slowly growing and expanding, but it began as a solo project for me to “do my thing” so to speak. Initially, I wanted to be in control of the entire experience my guests had. Their entire night was mine. Therefore, the clubs I worked in needed to be perfect. My video component required clubs to have the latest technology perfectly installed. But at the same time, the “Everybody” nights had to have an inclusive and carefree attitude, no snobbery or pretentiousness. It is my belief that DJs are simply selectors. We pick other people’s music and we play it to the enjoyment of our guests.
That being said, I thought I should bring in a DJ who is on the same page as I, and Lee completely fits the bill. He seems to want to create not only his own sound, but also his own atmosphere at his gigs. Also, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s talented and is ahead of the curve playing the best techy house out there. Another major plus is the fact that his sound is completely different than mine and I like the contrast between the 2 CDs within the same compilation.
We have some great people lined up for the 2006. The “Everybody” series is my little baby, I care for it and want to use it as a vehicle to bring in new talent to the world.
I care for it and want to use it as a vehicle
to bring in new talent to the world.”
Since we’re on the topic, with the series going on tour, do you foresee another “Everybody” release alongside another DJ?
I'm in the middle of talks with several up and coming DJs and producers that have shined through and are worthy of the recognition. People I’ve brought on the tour to play alongside me and people who have begun to be regular faces. It’s premature and in negotiations BUT if you consider who I’ve been bringing to Everybody, you’ll see the future is full, and you might have an idea of who the candidates are.
Tell us about your Everybody parties at Pacha, Ibiza. Were they a success? Who were your favorite guest DJs and why?
Pacha is an amazing club with a legacy. There are pictures from the early 70s on the wall of Mick Jagger partying there. It’s a clubbing institution with fabulous staff, unique and talented. The experience is inspirational - it encourages me to create and become part of that legacy in whichever way shape or form that may be.
The parties went really well. It was a successful year and we were very thankful. The Pacha folks want even more from next year so we’ll expand to more weeks. This year we had Sunday nights and went up against a great party, namely We Love Sundays @ Space. The new calendar will change and we’ll grow further, including more dates and different weekdays too.
Desyn Masiello was my favorite guest in Ibiza. I want him to continue to be a part of Everybody in the future – no question about that.
Speaking of Desyn and that generation of DJs, recently your gigs at Crobar New York have featured young up-and-coming talents. What young DJs do you see taking the dance music scene by storm in the next few years and why?
Again Desyn will grow and is amazing to work with. Nic is fabulous, and we’re negotiating some “things” with him as part of the Everybody brand. Nic loves what he does, the best thing to come out of great Brittan in quite some time. To be honest, I had lost faith in the British sound (it was either too trancey or that ridiculous hard house). He has showed us that England still has a lot of offer to the industry.
Demi is another fine example. I’m 100% behind him and where his sound is going. He has brought us back to a fresh and new face. He’s also on my top list. Funny how I had lost my faith in Britain and my top three are from there!
Controlling the crowd visually with your DVJ sets has become a staple of the “Everybody” experience. How have your DVJ equipment and technology evolved since you first began to use it? Technologically speaking, what is the next step for you?
VDJing is a part of any DJs future. It allows you to personalize what you do better then ever before and also control more elements of the set.
Back in the day Sasha & Digweed would play a white label at Twilo and no one would know it. For months there would be this buzz and searching wasn’t digital so you had to physically dig for the record.
Nowadays, you play a record in Shanghai someone else plays it in New York City the next weekend, if not the next night. Technology has made the industry more democratic because anybody can find tracks they heard somewhere etc. But with a DVJ another element that drives the experience is shared and that allows for more diversity between DJs.
Technology makes me work harder because there are more skills to master, and even now I still feel I need to embrace the technological aspect of DJing. I guess I am not exactly sure where my technological future lies, but I know I need to evolve and only time will tell how that materializes.
As for now, I am sticking to the video component. It’s hard to explain, so if you’ve never seen it, you need to come to one of my gigs and see it for yourself.
I am very aware of the fact that the video is only 10-12 % of the experience but I’d to anything to entertain. Ultimately, this is party!
Considering that your job is a celebration in itself, what does a guy like you do when in the mood to be festive? Do you also go out clubbing with your friends or do you spend your time doing something entirely different?
I seem to be working more than I remember. At this point, my priority is pushing myself and all those around me. But that’s what makes me happy. It is necessary because I’m working toward a bigger goal and it’s going to take work not play.
Production wise, what current projects are you working on? Any collaborations? Future releases on Little Mountain?
We will continue to put out Everybody compilations and hope to see it grow. We’re also going to bring in more people outside of Sander’s world. Part of being a DJ is having an ear for what’s fresh. I want to pick projects that shine through. I think the world is thirsty for new talent. I am excited to create a talent and a platform that oozes new talent, the fresh constantly evolving vibe.
The WMC dates were recently announced. What do you think were the biggest drawbacks of last year's conference and what would you like to see changed this year? Do you have any gigs lined up yet?
We are definitely going to do an Everybody session on the Space terrace. In my opinion, the Space Terrance in Miami is where it’s all happening. It’s where I want to be - fun in the sun - nothing is better!
Many people forget that WMC is more than a party. We are all working hard to represent our business at the conference, in my case it’s about selling my “Everybody” parties and my label.
In my case, it’s unfortunate that less work is getting done. I’m going to give both sides the best I can, working for Little Mountain and giving the kids the best show possible.
Mr. Roboto has been a pretty huge track for you this season. It sounds like you were influenced by Styx and Kraftwerk. Who are your other favorite artists and record labels that help you create your sound?
My excitement right now is about what is coming out of Germany. I love this new simple approach. The good producers are going back to the basics. It’s about quality, not bells and whistles - the rhythm takes over and that’s what makes you move.
Honestly, less can be more effective. Not only in music but in life too.
Other than Crobar NY, where are your residencies and where do you like to call 'home' around the world?
Ibiza and Amsterdam feel like home, but I am always looking for a new place to entertain. I feel like I don't get to spend enough time in any one place anymore, so I'd like to play anywhere, where "Everybody" can have a good time.
This is Everybody! On Tour mixed by Sander Kleinenberg & Lee Burridge is out now on the LMR label (and Ultra Records in the US). Read the RA review below.