Interview with Trance & House Maestro Sander van Doorn

Sander van Doorn, aka Purple Haze, discusses musical styles and Eindhoven's electronic music scene

Sander van Doorn has electrified international festivals and nightclubs since 2004. The Dutch DJ began his career as a tech-trance producer and he soon headlined clubs throughout Europe. As his fame increased, Sander van Doorn later incorporated more elements of electro-house and modern EDM into his musical style. Over the past decade, he produced popular tracks such as “Riff“, “Close My Eyes” featuring Robbie Williams, and “Project T” featuring Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. In 2017, Sander van Doorn returned to his trance roots when he unveiled his alter-ego, Purple Haze, for the first time since 2009.

His first album as Purple Haze was SPECTRVM, released on October 9, 2017. For the past couple years, Sander van Doorn has released trance tracks as Purple Haze via Armada Music, Spinnin’ Records, Flashover Recordings, and his own record label, Doorn Records. Here is One EDM’s exclusive interview with the Dutch trance and house maestro, Sander van Doorn aka Purple Haze. Also shown below is his live-stream set, which was broadcasted via YouTube from his studio on March 25, 2020.

Sander van Doorn’s Purple Haze studio live-stream set on March 25, 2020

Kenny Ngo: What is the background behind your tech-trance alias, ‘Purple Haze’?

The sound of Purple Haze has always been there because that was the sound I started making at the beginning of my career, so it felt like a natural decision to give it its own name brand. It allows me to focus my production more and to play different types of sets, for example for Purple Haze I can take more time to really build the set and work towards a climax.

How different do you feel when you produce tech-trance tracks compared to progressive-house and electro-house tracks?

I don’t feel different actually haha, it just happens in the studio. I never know beforehand what I want to make.

How was the tech-trance scene like when you first started your career?

It was really huge, especially in the UK and the rest of Europe, with names like Marco V who definitely pioneered this genre. But I’m happy to see it’s getting bigger these days as well!

When you released your most recent album, SPECTRVM, under your Purple Haze alias, what are the significant differences in the production of that album compared to your past albums and EPs?

Yeah, it’s more darker and moody. More storytelling I think. And that’s also what I wanted to show with this album.

What song from SPECTRVM did you enjoy producing?

Haha well all of them of course, but the most important one to me is definitely Historia. We first had another track, with a sample in it, to end the album with, but unfortunately we couldn’t get the clearance in time to use it. I was quite upset about it because we didn’t had much time left til the deadline for the whole album, so with these emotions I produced Historia, and in the end I much prefer it, so yeah, thats why this is the most special one.

Since the release of the album, have you added anything new and different to your music production style?

I think so, yeah, to me Purple Haze is not one production style. It can be really dark or moody, but it can also be very melodic or euphoric. It just depends how I feel really. But you definitely hear the difference between Purple Haze and Sander van Doorn, even though every Purple Haze track is different from the one before.

Which rising trance, progressive-house, or electro-house DJs should the fans look out for?

We’re working with some very talented young producers for Doorn and I would say ASCO, Bottai and FaderX are definitely ones to look out for!

You’ve performed at Avalon in Los Angeles in the past and were scheduled to perform there again before the Covid-19 outbreak happened. What do you look forward to most when visiting Los Angeles?

I love LA, the vibe, the people, the weather of course haha. It’s always a big party in LA and especially in Avalon!

How is the electronic music scene like in Eindhoven?

Haha at this point I don’t really know. But when I grew up it was huge! Marco V was playing in a local club and that definitely got me into the music scene. We went out every weekend!

Speaking of Eindhoven, what do you think about PSV Eindhoven’s chances in the current Eredivisie season?

I’m not a huge soccer fan but I know we’re fourth. Who knows whether the season will be finished though, what with Covid-19, so nobody may win it in the end.

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Ken Ngo

Ken is a passionate sports and music fan with soccer being his #1 sport and European (particularly French and Dutch) house music being his #1 genre. His favorite producers are Martin Solveig, Sebastian Ingrosso, Madeon, Tiesto, Martin Garrix, and Armin Van Buuren.

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