Review of @kleinenberg’s new album 5k

Sander Kleinenberg has been a headline DJ staple in clubs all over the world since the late ’90s resurgence in both house and progressive trance. It’s an era as famous (or infamous) for the term “Superstar DJ” as it is for the DJs that were its apparent superstars. And while Kleinenberg’s DJing status has always been at the slightly sub-superstar level, he remains a classic exponent of that heady era. Namely, he is better known as a DJ that occasionally produces than a producer that also DJs.

There’s irony in the fact that, over the years, major-league DJs have not really been responsible for that much memorable dance music. The biggest DJs have had their moments – Sasha being this country’s most successful DJ-come-producer – but the two camps have become virtually separate entities. One imagines that the usual retort to this kind of observation is this: When does a globe-trotting DJ have much time to produce? Or perhaps we should ask why a successful DJ should want to produce when the cake is already being served on silver turntables by hordes of fawning, scantily-clad girls with a taste for recreational abandonment?

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5K is Kleinenberg’s attempt to prove himself as more than just a glorified entertainer. He’s proven it in the past, before the Superstar DJ era whisked him away on the most stellar journey. The three Four Seasons EP’s are worthy house landmarks, each becoming less deep and less progressive as Kleinenberg’s style moved towards the sort of house made for people and parties and not exclusively pills and the plastered. After more than 10 years as DJ, 5K is the Dutchman’s first full album release and, well, it shows.

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