With earplugs in I can truly listen to the music

Joran van Pol

Joran van Pol is well on his way to become one of the biggest names from the scene in the Netherlands. Among other things, Time Warp and Awakenings are coming up on the calendar of this talented techno DJ. And do not believe that Joran is up there without any hearing protection!

By: Daisy Heyer

It is going excellently with your career! You are listed on pretty much every large techno party of the Netherlands. How did your career go?

“I am super thrilled with how things are going. This year and last year things were going very fast. That momentum started when Richie Hawtin picked up my track ‘Untitled2’ for his New Horizons compilation. After that followed EPs on Minus and Dubfire’s SCI+TEC and names like Joris Voorn and Oliver Huntemann also started to support me fanatically. Awakenings selected me soon after that New Horizons compilation. That ensured a huge boost in my bookings!”

Time Warp, Welcome to the Future, Awakenings… Which party do you think is the most impressive to be listed on the line-up?

“Every party is unique and therefore I think it is hard to compare. The small parties have got something intimate, you can really create something along with the audience. For the larger events, the productions are very impressive and the audience is really into it. If I had to choose one then I would have to say Awakenings. Their events are organised amazingly well when it comes to the production and they always achieve a very cool show. I am also incredibly happy with their support towards me. Not just because they book me often, but for example also because they let me perform when Seth Troxler dropped out at Awakefest. That is a sign that they have confidence in what you can do.”

You are currently working together with Joris Voorn, what does he mean to you and the dance industry?

“Our tracks are already nearly done. Now it is just a question of fine tuning and finding the right label for the music. I think Joris is currently one of the largest techno artists from the Netherlands. What I like especially about what Joris does is that in a certain way he is very diverse when it comes to sound, but it still works. If I would play the same records in the same order it would probably turn into a chaotic set, while it feels like a naturally integrated flow with Joris. I have an enormous amount of respect for that. On a personal level, Joris is also very important for me. Even before we collaborated he regularly gave me very honest feedback on my music, something which is essential for my growth as an artist.”

He spinned a record of yours in his set at Awakenings. What happens to you when you hear that?

Joris uses my music very often, but it is still special every time. It still feels like a kind of recognition that you are on the right track with what you are doing. When Joris spins a record of mine and the place is going crazy, then that gives a feeling which cannot be described in words.”

How would you describe your own sound?

“It is techno with a dark minimalistic approach while still being groovy at the same time.”

Speaking of sound. The sound in nightclubs is sometimes incredibly loud. What do you do to protect your ears?

“I always wear my hearing protection when I am at a club or at a party. If I am somewhere with loud music and I do not have my earplugs with me, then I will just leave!”

You make music in a music genre in which many people claim that the beat does not feel right if the sound is not loud enough and the bass not at its loudest. What do you think of this?

“I agree with that. The bass is a very essential part of our music and if that is not done right, then the experience of the music is decreased as well. That is also because the bass does all kind of things with the body and not just with the ears. It allows you to enter a trance and to let you release chemicals like endorphins. Fortunately there is a grey area in which we can operate between too soft and too hard. In addition, sound quality plays a very large role in my opinion. Sometimes there is so much distortion in the sound that it becomes unpleasant to listen to. Then you also put it louder than it needs to be, because the sound is not experienced properly. I think it is important that more mutual understanding, respect and discussion occurs between artists and the sound people. In the end we together are responsible for making the sound as optimal as possible and to deliver a good evening for the people on the dance floor.”

If you would like to design your own hearing protection, how would the perfect hearing protection look like for you?

“The current earplugs are fine when it comes to size, since you can easily wear headphones on top of them. What is incredibly important for me, is that the frequency response should be flat. What that means is that all frequencies should be muted equally and you therefore hear the music as normal, but a few decibels less. It would be especially ideal if you could regulate the mute settings of the earplugs without having to take the filters out, but that is a bit too much sci-fi for now, I guess.”

You are also regularly on stage abroad. How do you feel they are handling sound and hearing protection there?

“I feel that on average we are very conscious of sound and hearing protection in the Netherlands. Although I of course haven’t done any study towards it, I have the impression that more people use hearing protection here compared to abroad. In the Netherlands there is also more monitoring of decibel limits and more attention to sound quality.”

Do you also use hearing protection when you are going out as a visitor?

“Absolutely. Now that I am used to wearing earplugs I would not want to go without anymore. If I am honest I think it is more pleasant to listen with earplugs to hard music, because then I am not continuously thinking about how hard the sound is. Then I can just listen to the music.”

What are your further plans in the upcoming period musically?

“My remix for Beazar's Asem was recently released on Moodfamily. In addition, before the end of 2014 a new EP of mine will be released. In addition to the collaboration with Joris Voorn, I am also working with Whyt Noyz and Carlo Ruetz and of course I am working on new solo material. So there is enough coming up for 2015!”

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