- Joris Voorn is the latest in the line of DJ/producers to be invited to record a mix for Belgian based club/label Fuse. Previous artists have included Dave Clarke, DJ Hell and Technasia indicating that Fuse are very particular about who they want to involve in this series.
Probably best known to the masses for his track 'Incident', Dutchman Joris Voorn has been DJing and producing since 1997 with releases on Keynote ("Muted Trax") before dropping his debut artist long-player, "Future History" on Technasia's Sino label.
Voorn's Fuse mix opens up with the sparse, rippled pads and hi's of Reload's "Amenity" with beautiful chords and synths giving us a light and uplifting beginning to set things in motion. As this fizzles out things pick up with James Holdens' mix of "Safari" followed by a funky tech house offering from Alex Under, something you might expect from Lee Burridge or Craig Richards for its off-kilter nature.
The funky rhythms continue with "Business" by Mark Houle, it's morphing basslines underneath and very minimal usage of drums guiding the tracks at times. Hawtin's 'Shufflephunk(beats)' shuffles along with the basslines moving around and intensifying before Jay Haze & Robag Wruhme's "Don't Stop" is fed into the mix. Instantly recognisable to anyone who is familiar with the latter's work its mechanical twitchy, jerky noises and snare rolls almost trip over each other in a comical fashion.
The basslines subside momentarily as the mix flattens out to reveal more minimal drum patterns in a sound that indeed draws comparisons to Plastikman's work at times. Looped sections of tracks are used as the snare drums roll at times alongside tonal, almost muted bleeps that become a part of the rhythm itself. Even at this early point it becomes clear that diversity is the order of the day as different elements are drawn on by the Dutchman.
The building rhythms spiral higher in the mix but land with a gentle impact fizzling away and almost breaking into tiny fragments as the delicate, warm synths of Carl Craig's ''Sandstorms" become apparent. The bassline tends to throb up and down between low and mid range frequencies giving an intricate touch to things while an old-skool keyboard pops up creating a sound like a cross between a Casio and something a Rhodes would make. Taking the lead, at this point the mix seems to give a bit of a throwback to the mid-eighties. The layering of different sounds continues with Daniel Bell's "Squirrel Bait" and Visitor's "Stop the Music" as we continue on our kaleidoscopic travels.
The reminiscing of past glories or 'history' is quickly kicked to one side as Voorn looks again to the 'future' in a heads-down, no-nonsense fashion. An elasticated synth seems to contract and expand around the rhythm, stretching and pulling us in an entirely new direction while the tempo is kept to a comfortable trot with Voorn refusing to ham things up. As in his previous productions he expertly crosses boundaries by showing he can point to the future while keeping one eye on the past.
Giving the mix almost cinematic excitement, Guido Schneider's mix of Steve Bug's "Loverboy" uses a trembling piano-riff like something from an old Hammer horror movie bringing this sequence of the mix to a close. The electronic business continues after a tiny interval giving just enough time for the patrons to find their seats with Voorn cut and pasting elements from tracks from Hong Kong's Static Drum label, BPitch Control's Paul Kalkbrenner and Matthew Dear.
The plot thickens as we proceed with no apparent indication as to what will happen next. Using the Andreas Kauffelt "Second Sight", minimal German electronica fuses with moody driving basslines while "Local Area Control" by Wake On Lan with its robotic vocal and Mr.Oizo sounding rhythm signature lifts the pace from a nonchalant stroll to a jog. The clicky, tribal-tapping of Cevin Fisher's take on Arthur Baker's "The Break" with its classic vocal instruction "Why don't you break?" leads into the edit of Lil Louis' 'French Kiss', which sneaks into the mix in an almost under-the-door fashion before out-boxing the Baker track for prime position.
The Stereotype remix of Megablast's "Jubita" fattens up the mix with its ravey synths, interspersed female vocal strains and a booming bass giving an eerie, darkcore feel and apocalyptic warning to the listener before we are treated to some fine latinesque techno with Jeff Mills. "Kat Race" is cut up with James Bryant's 'Ha Ha' before "Dumped" by G-Flame and Mr.G helps to funk things up: that classic-house piano really putting a nice sheen on things - now we're talking!
Decadent synth lines wash over the listener and really elevate proceedings as Voorn ever so gently applies more throttle and we leave the runway for a short glide into tech-heaven with fresh tracks like his own 'Many Reasons' and 'Don't Believe The Snake Hips', which prove beyond all doubt that electronic music can in fact have an abundance of soul. Finger-clicking, funky movers from Los Hermanos' 'Tres EP' and Danilo Vigorito kick booty as we are dragged off again at the whim of Voorn who shows total disregard to anyone who expects an easy ride on his machine.
"Cc Feedback" from Secret Cinema gets us all gritty and mechanical with its burst of strings giving minor respite at times before Kenny Larkin's "Ancient Beats" enters the fray. Structured not unlike Daft Punks "Indo Silver Club" with its tendency to induce body popping Joris again welds G-Flame and Henks 'Stand-up' onto it before firing in his own unreleased rework of Pascal Feos' "Flashed Back". This chord and synth laden epic piece of music and electronic emotion is once again further evidence that Joris is very good at what he does and comes at a significant point in the mix as the finishing line comes into view.
Two razor-sharp Robert Hood tracks slash their way through our eardrums as bleep, blobby, almost sci-fi sounds commit aural G.B.H on our senses giving a nod of respect to another Detroit innovator. Rino Cerrone makes an appearance with his "Intense Flood" track using very funky, jacking rhythms with more Detroit-sounding synths with notes that scale up and down before Aardvareke makes it minimal again and calms things down, allowing us to slip into a brief lull.
Voorn again gives props to two more legendary figures with Claude Young's remix of "Retrovert" and Chez Damier's "Rainfall" ebbing in and out giving us that feeling of being lost in oceanic surroundings as we drift unsuspectingly......away.The journey through electronic soundscapes is brought to an end with tracks by Convextion and Ben Sims leaving us a little disjointed, slightly confused but definitely enlightened as the mix ends with utterances of "Fuse", exactly the way it began.
This mix seems to hold on to elements, utilizing them to their fullest extent before letting them fade away mysteriously at times. Subtle changes help manoeuvre the whole piece along because at times it does sound like one long track. This has obviously been enabled through the use of the Ableton Live program but electronic music thrives on the use of new technology which is the reason why it evolved in the first place. This CD will definitely not appeal to those who are expecting hi-energy, hands-in-the-air, floor-fillers but if you like quality, diverse, electronic music it'll be worth every cent when it's released.
Joris Voorn has created a real work of art here that takes many influences on board: both old and new and European and American. The name 'Fuse' is apt as that's exactly what he has done by fusing elements of tracks with his own touches to give his own production feel to a mix of outstanding electronica. Forty tracks are amazingly utilised inside seventy four minutes of sonic wizardry showing that progressive house DJs like Sasha aren't the only ones benefitting from the use of Ableton.
Although Joris Voorn may have only begun to spread his wings outside of Holland appearance-wise, his time dedicated to serious music production has been well spent and this well-crafted "Fuse" mix should ensure he makes further impact......take a bow Mr.Voorn !