Joris Feiertag is a Dutch producer and live-act from the historic and culturally rich city of Utrecht. Having signed to Sonar Kollektiv in 2018, and released his debut long-playing record Time To Recover, and its subsequent remixes, two years later, he now brings us another side to his sound in the shape of the Dive LP.
This new project sees the producer return to something like his musical roots, delving deeper into the use of synths and embracing more offbeat melodies. Countering the more uplifting and vocal led nature of Time To Recover, Feiertag found himself searching for more sonorous and somber themes. Dive is in many ways a more personal album, without any topline song-writing and a simpler approach that allows Joris’ musicality to shine through. The lead track, Living In Slow, is a quirky and intimate introduction to the album, featuring sped up vocals, snapping snares, twitchy fx and those haunting synths. It’s a leisurely preface to what is a truly solo project that embraces Joris’ breakbeat roots and is an honest reflection of the producer’s raw energy.
Things pick up pace with Cala, complete with its steel drums, guitars and dramatic, swooping synths that gives it something of a Jamie XX feel. Intense drums combine with sagacious refrains and well chosen vocal snippets, to produce a tenacious tune that will once again unite dance floors at a time we need them the most. Vivid And Hazy continues the foot friendly assault, but with warm keys and soothing vocals shining through those expectant drums. As a drummer himself, Feiertag always indulges himself in making the beats, and here he uses repetitive, saturated vocals (sampling UK vocalist and friend Oli Hannaford) as part of the drum track itself, mixed with those dreamy Machinedrum style synths. The result is very much akin to the darlings of the UK electronic scene, Bicep, of whom Feiertag is a big fan.
And staying with that influence, I Need U has a UK garage feel about it – a feeling that has stayed with the producer since his early years experimenting in making electronic music. Pitched vocal samples combine with those typically hypnotic synths and dirty beats to make a funky and euphoric club cut that is reminiscent of the works of British legends like Zed Bias and Wookie at their best.
Likewise, How U Do It, takes some of its cues from the same part of the world, albeit with a heavy dose of Detroit flavour, especially in the use of the moody and challenging spoken word that features on the track. It has its roots firmly planted in Detroit of course, but as well as its motor city connections there’s also a flavour of the UK scene in its DNA – something that Feiertag returns to time and again. British label’s like Bradley Zero’s Rhythm Section and rising stars such as WheelUP are important touchstones for Joris’ sound, and here their broken beat (or “bruk”) legacy is felt alongside the US house feel. On Nocturnality the journey continues as we dive into late night, hypnotic dance music. Again, Feiertag engineers the repetitive vocal line as part of the beat, a process that takes several hours to ensure it feels good! Some serious bottom end confirms the track’s dance floor credentials, and uplifting melodies give the track something of a 4tet feel. Once again the UK influence is evident and runs through this gorgeous piece of music until it fades away into the night.
Having past peak time, Descend draws us into slower territories. Inspired by German production outfit Session Victim and made on the same day they delivered a remix of one of Feiertag’s tracks from his last album, the track is a more mid-tempo, loungy affair, but still retains plenty of energy and a little techno feel with its dark foreboding synths.
Finally, the Dive is complete with the track of the same name rounding off the album. This closing piece is a meditative and atmospheric charmer that starts with a sweet organ sound and transforms into more sophisticated jazz drums as the album comes to its finale. It’s the only track to have an overriding organic feel to it and very much the perfect way to bookend this evocative LP. A blissful climax in the style of a classic Amon Tobin outro.