Joran van Pol Interview

Amsterdam's Fade boss on starting young, bidding wars and his new top-secret project

Joran van Pol is one of Amsterdam's biggest recent success stories in techno. Cutting his teeth in the city's Studio 80, a mainstay for visitors during ADE, he's gone on to play everywhere from homegrown festivals like Awakenings and Tomorrowland to the sadly departed Balearic mecca of Space Ibiza.  After early support for his productions from Rejected, Minus and SCI+TEC his own Fade imprint has become the go to platform for his percussive, atmospheric sound, with friends such as Luigi Madonna and Egbert adding their remix touch.

He joins Familia this Saturday 13th for a foray into all varieties of tech, alongside Julian Jeweil, Metodi Hristov and more. We chatted with him in the run up to the party about starting young, bidding wars and a new top-secret project. Get more info and tickets for the party here.

Hi Joran. Where are you right now and what are you doing?

Right now I’m having breakfast at home getting ready to head to the studio.

Tell us about your early inspirations in electronic music. When did you start DJing and producing?

I first started DJing when I was 12. Electronic music was already being played a lot on Dutch national radio and I wanted to hear more of that, so I started going to record shops. At first I was obviously only DJing at school parties and such. Later when I stumbled upon James Holden’s 'Balance 005' and a recording of a Ricardo Villalobos set at Tresor, I got interested in darker electronic music.

Apparently Richie Hawtin and Dubfire both wanted to sign your debut release. How did that happen and how did you resolve the situation?

Both of them were playing my tracks already, so I kept them up to date with my latest stuff. When I sent them ‘Faded’ they were both really interested in having that track. It was a tough decision who to give it to. In the end I gave that one to Richie Hawtin, because Dubfire was also heavily supporting ‘Implicit’ and ‘T-1’. Dubfire is a really relaxed guy, so he completely understood it.

How much did the Studio 80 backroom help you ply your trade as a DJ? How did you get a start there?

I took part in a student DJ competition in Amsterdam when I was 17 and one of the judges was the programmer of Rebellion, a night that was held in Studio 80. Not long after they contacted me, asking if I would like to open the back room at one of their parties. That room really shaped me, as did the main room, by the way. Since the room is so intimate, you have to seek interaction with the crowd. 

Tell us about your label Fade. How would you describe its sound and what releases do you have coming?

Its sound is dark techno with a minimalistic aesthetic. The label exists to put out my own music when I want. Looks like the next release will be out this summer!

Name three tracks that sum up what you're likely to play at Egg.

Victor Ruiz – ‘Nevermind’

Keith Carnal – ‘Swordplay’

Joran van Pol – ‘Edge’

What's next for you?

Aside from the releases on my own label, I will be returning to one of the big labels I have released on before as well. Next to that I am working on a super cool project that you’ll be hearing more about this fall.

Finish these sentences:

I know my life will be complete when... I am happy.

On the road I always make sure I take... my case full of gear.

If I wasn't doing this I'd be... working as an organisational consultant.

Straight after answering these questions I'll... jump in the shower to get ready for the studio.

Next Tuesday I will be... having meetings for that top-secret new project!