Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sander Kleinenberg- 5K REVIEW

It would be quite the understatement to say that the reputation of Sander Kleinenberg precedes the music when evaluating 5K. One of the most highly regarded DJs in the business (his 2000 single “My Lexicon” has been the de facto house measuring stick for the past decade), Kleinenberg is also responsible for launching his own label, the successful Little Mountain Records as well as the This Is brand- which has played a huge role defining worldwide club music for the 21st century. The lone innovator behind the advent of DJVing (combining visuals with live house tunes), he has also had a hand in remixing countless artists ranging from Annie Lennox to Justin Timberlake. With years of exposure and influence, releasing his own album seemed like a logical, obvious, and exciting progression. That said- is 5K the Pandora’s Box of beats, sound, and uncontrollable chemically-enhanced movement we all expect?

Well, yes and no. Kleinenberg has definitely taken the “kitchen sink” approach to 5K. But that should come as no surprise. The track list is skillfully assembled with a remarkable flow between songs. The album is an electro-collection of various genres (soul, rap, trance, rock, etc) represented by strategically placed tracks that mix together in a way to facilitate an underlying uptempo beat. Essentially, this is a “real” album of “real” music disguised as a rave record. It’s a dicey move that works out brilliantly. After all, this wouldn’t be a Sander Kleinenberg production if the whole shebang were not fused with a steady, rampant pulse. Tracks such as “This Is Our Night”, “Closer”, “Remember When” (the album’s first single featuring Jamie Cullum), and “Follow Me” seamlessly blend together as a techno-fused cocktail of trip-hop and R&B. And this is all before he brings his influences full-circle with trance anthems “The Journey” and “M.A.N.I.A.C.”. Never on 5K does the listener doubt they are safely in the hands of an assured, experienced artist- and that is where the album may possibly disappoint. It only seems natural for the pioneering Kleinenberg to try his hand at something more experimental, especially since he has made a twenty-year career out of dodging the familiar. Yet, genre mashups aside, the album strictly adheres to the tried and true club formula. While some may consider this a letdown, it remains undeniable that 5K is an expertly crafted mood-setter. Perhaps it’s out of line to expect more from an artist so adept at doing what Kleinenberg accomplishes here. When all is said and done, it’s obvious that 5K will be an enduring club favorite- and possibly a classic.


Sander Kleinenberg - M.A.N.I.A.C. (5K Original) by THIS IS

Sander Kleinenberg - Follow Me by INgroovesmarketing

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