Sander Van Doorn played a solid set that kept the crowd energized and moving all night, even if it didn’t stray far outside the ordinary. Early on, a few of his mixes were pretty choppy, although he never proceeded to a full-on train wreck. Later, once he’d settled in to his groove, he smoothed things out and didn’t suffer any more noticeable problems.
His track selection leaned toward the techy side of trance, with the occasional bouncy, bright synth melody or dramatic sweep of strings. His track selection was solid, mixing in a few remixes of familiar tracks with a lot of more underground material. Although some of it was a little on the sweet side for my tastes, there were enough gnarly bass lines, clanging percussion and buzzing grime present to keep things from getting too nice.
The pacing throughout the entire set was completely solid. He rarely let the intensity flag, mixing in just enough breakdowns to give the crowd a breather and get hands pumping in the air before launching back into another driving track to return the energy level to manic.
The crowd responded to his work behind the decks with gusto and he had people chanting his name within an hour of starting his set. The floor stayed packed and no one looked particularly bored. If anything, the crowd as a whole seemed to have more energy at the end of the night than at the beginning. He finished up with an insanely hook-filled, tech-trance banger of a track called “Disco Detector.” It set the crowd into a near-frenzy and ended the night on a high note, which is really all you can ask for.
Critic’s Notebook Personal Bias: There were a few track selections that made me grimace, but they were minimal and I enjoyed the set regardless. Random Detail: Some jackass revived the old-school rave tradition of whistling shrilly on the beat. This isn’t cool, it isn’t pleasant and it makes me want to poison your drink. By the Way: Sander could be an excellent waypoint for anyone wishing to transition from the slick, mainstream side of dance music to the dirtier, underground stuff. -- Cory Casciato