Sander Kleinenberg Talks Club Killing, Video Mixing, and Impersonating Elvis

Packing massive tracks and trippy visuals, Dutch DJ and producer Sander Kleinenberg will be invading Arkadia this Thursday night as part of the weekly party hosted by Erick Morillo's Subliminal Records + Friends.

So Crossfade called Mr. Kleinenberg in Las Vegas to discuss the midweek gig, some of his favorite emerging artists, and the boom of the EDM scene. But he didn't pick up right away. Instead, we were greeted by his answering machine. And we were a little surprised by what we heard.

Did we misdial and reach rock star heaven?

Crossfade: Does your answering machine really say "Elvis Presley"?

Sander Kleinenberg: Yes, it does.

Why is that?

First of all, we're talking about it. So that's really good. I think my mission is accomplished.

OK, what can we expect from the show at Arkadia this Thursday?

I'll give 150 percent of what I do best. In Miami, there's always a little bit of pressure. You've got to bring your A-game, and try to make a difference.

Can you give us a heads up on some tracks you might play?

For the last year or so, I've been a real big supporter of Pleasurekraft. They're just amazing, and they have really fresh mixes at the moment. There are usually two or three of their tracks that I feature 'cause I'm completely in love with them.

I'm completely in love with them too!

Yeah, they're incredible. They're up for really big things. I think the whole world is slowly catching up on their amazingness.

You know, I think the most important thing for me is to make my set current, and not so much something that you would hear everywhere or all the time. I don't just come in and play the big hits. I want to give it a little bit of a personal touch.

That's awesome! And it's also really cool that you're a VJ too. How does the video component add to your sets?

About five years ago, Pioneer sent out a press release saying they had developed a DVD player that was essentially a turntable. Literally, I read it and I was like, 'Wow, this is obviously what I want to be about.'

Incorporating visuals into your sets just makes them unique. I then helped [Pioneer] develop a DJ mixer that was able to mix the audio and video in one motion.

Do you produce the videos yourself?

I work with a video producer and we come up with ideas on how to represent a certain track, or a certain emotion. We've had this working relationship for the last five years.

Where do you think the state of dance music is in the United States right now?

I think it's bigger than ever. And with that, there are some goodbyes, like the intimacy of the scene that was there ten years ago. The positive side of it is that there are more ways to do what you want to do, and that's a beautiful thing. I'm excited about it.

Do you have house music tunnel vision sometimes? Or are there artists outside of electronic music that you listen to?

I've just discovered a band called For 12, and they make incredible music. I love the Fleet Foxes' first album. To be really honest, I'm usually quite inspired by that first wave of a new sound coming through.

But what inspires me most is music that is made with only the intention to make great music -- and nothing else. Not I want to be rich or I want to make a hit. I'm definitely looking for some honesty. Some realness.

-- Gaby Izarra

Sander Kleinenberg as part of Erick Morillo's Subliminal Records + Friends. Thursday, June 9. Arkadia, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The party starts at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $30 via Ages 21 and up. Visit

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Miami New Times staff