Back in 2006, it was pretty much impossible to escape the filthy bassline and dark husky vocal refrain of Dutch DJ-producer Sander Kleinenberg's "This Is Miami."
For obvious reasons, the electro-house scorcher became an absolute anthem in MIA -- the theme song for our city's status as a dance music capital and incomparable destination for jetsetting partygoers.
"'This Is Miami' came together purely by chance, as with a lot of records that tend to be successful," Kleinenberg tells Crossfade. "It was put together as an afterthought of a different session with the vocalist Jon Fugler. I wanted to have a record to play during the 2006 Winter Music Conference that represented the city and the vibe during that week, for me to play as an exclusive during my sets that week."
"Then all hell broke loose," he laughs.
The record's commercial success certainly catapulted Kleinenberg to massive heights. But unlike many of his superstar DJ peers, you won't soon find him pandering to Top 40 tastes. While his sound might have once been described as big-room progressive, these days Kleinenberg's taking his cues from the underground and putting out funk-laced indie dance.
In other words, he's more at home at the Electric Pickle these days than Mansion.
"As a DJ, I always try to be as relevant as musically possible, without alienating my audience," he says. "Big-room progressive house is now part of mainstream pop land and I, for one, am not interested in milking a sound till it's distilled to pop diarrhea. I'm not dissing anyone that went out there and made it happen commercially, it's just not my thing. At the moment, groovy, sexy, adventurous house is my thing."
But as underground as his style may be now, Kleinenberg doesn't dismiss the potential of continued mainstream success and even earning the highest accolades the industry has to offer.
"Maybe this time, I will ride this wave all the way to the Grammys," he muses. "Just as long as it stays sexy and cool till it gets there, I'm hopeful it will."
Sander Kleinenberg. With Will Renuart. Friday, January 11. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $20 plus fees via residentadvisor.net. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.
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