|I am a: DJ/Artist
Profile Views: 290,988
But it is, perhaps, his revelatory reworking of Justin Timberlake's 'Rock Your Body' that gets to the nub of Sander's current mandate for dance perfection. Building on a Neptunes production is no mean feat, but Sander manages it; stripping away all superfluous trimmings and working the original song structure into nine minutes of spellbinding house music wonderment. He drops the track's original bassline, making it sound like a lost Mantronix classic or something that would have provided the peak moment of a Junior Vasquez set in mid-nineties New York; darkly soulful, sexy, illicit and thoroughly irresistible. "I've got this idea," he says. "I'm feeling house music and club music are maybe slowly going back to where it was pre-'90s, where a song is a song and you don't bitch around with it." It's a damn good idea - and it works.
As a kid growing up in the provincial eastern Netherlands during the '80s, Sander would tune-in religiously to late night radio shows playing imported r&b, electro and club mixes direct from New York City. Names like Shep Pettibone and John 'Jellybean' Benitez rang out with the romanticism of a distant dancefloor. He developed a fascination for hip hop, spraying graffiti, human beatboxing (badly) and, of course, rapaciously eating up vinyl. At school he was known as 'the kid with the headphones'. One day a teacher asked him if he'd play some records at the school disco, so he did. Little did he know that those fantasies would come true, that he'd be emulating those heroes whose names he'd only heard across the crackle of the airwaves and seemed as tangible as a character in a comic book.
These days Sander commands respect as a DJ worldwide, with residencies in Montreal, Ibiza's Pin-Up and New York's Arc that allow him to indulge his stylistic experiments over eight hours and more. Vaunted in the '90s as one of the 'Nu Breed' of the world-conquering progressive house scene - aided by his addition to the enormously successful Global Underground compilation series - he is now numbered quite rightly among dance music's elite upon his own merit alone. Clocking up hundreds of thousands of air miles per year hasn't yet dulled his passion for playing records he loves to clubbers in every conceivable part of the world. "I'm completely in love with the lifestyle and what it represents," he enthuses. "People find it a cliché but I do think it brings people together. I love the fact that when I play in Kuala Lumpur for 5,000 Muslims it goes as right off as it does in Northern Ireland or in Tel Aviv. That is truly the fire that ignites my engine."