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Album Review: Joris Voorn - \\\\

Joris Voorn releases his first album in five years and it was worth the wait.
Joris Voorn

Joris Voorn has released his long awaited new album \\\\. The title comes from the fact this is his fourth studio album.

Over his over two decade-long career, Joris Voorn’s music has evolved quite dramatically. He got his start in Dutch clubs in the 1990s, where trance ruled alongside other faster forms of dance music like hardcore and hard techno. When he released his first album Future History back in 2004, the era impacted his music with relentless, heavy and fast techno. His music dramatically evolved away from the club-heavy soundtrack From A Deep Place to 2014’s Nobody Knows, which showed a distinct shift away from strictly DJ set material to songs that felt more at ease at home.

That trend towards more melodic styles of music has continued over the past few years towards records that felt a little like melodic deep house and remixes for the likes of Digitalism and Yotto – not your first idea for heavy techno.

Over the past year, Joris Voorn has been pretty prolific releasing singles and remixes. They started to give an idea of where his music is going, but with \\\\ we know exactly how it has landed five year on from Nobody Knows.

The key ingredients are house and trance. There is a touch of 90’s influenced electronica and breakbeat, but the bread and butter is derived from house and trance – often combined.

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The album starts with the soft intro “Never,” that then leads in “District Seven.” Often artists like to create threads between their albums that represent a connection in their music over time. “Ringo” was one of the biggest dance tracks of 2014 and that style of fluttering melodies is omnipresent on this record. We get right into that with one of the singles “Ryo.” “Life” then moves in a slightly different direction with a wide, grand and soaring synth melody. “Polydub” sounds like the 90’s electronica that have been a stated influence on this album. That is felt at its best on the Underworld collaboration “Too Little Too Late” that bridges the 90’s with modern electronic music.

“Mano” sounds like a slightly slower mid 2000s trance song that is gentle and somewhat upbeat before “This City” provides a nice change of pace with Lazarusman’s hazy vocals. “Dark” also has the sort of quivering melodies that were introduced on the last album, but he really leans into them with this record.

The album comes to a soothing close with the piano-driven collaboration with Dutch pianist and composer Michiel Borstlap and the minimalist “Shallow.”

Thankfully, Joris Voorn did not use this album as an option to just compile a bunch of singles into a compilation. The record smoothly glides from one song to the next and sounds natural together. The singles fit into the rest of the album like a puzzle. Joris Voorn blends together club-ready drums and well-written melodies for an album that feels best listened to as a whole. It plays on some element of nostalgia, but also looks ahead to what electronic music can be in the future.

Fans can listen to the LP below and get their copy here. In addition to the album sales, fans can dig into an archive of fan photos taken by Jos Kottman from shows over the past two years on a special website. You can choose the photo you want, Joris will sign it and mail it to your residence for free.

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