Sander van Doorn proudly presents his debut album as Purple Haze, the darkly-tinged side project that he has brought back to the fore this year to great acclaim. SPECTRVM is the third album for Sander as an artist.
The genesis of Purple Haze actually stretches back some nine years, when Sander created a new moniker for “darker, more euphoric tracks”—such as Adrenaline and Eden. The project was resurrected by chance when Sander created a track last year that just naturally felt like a Purple Haze production. With encouragement from his wife—who clearly has excellent A&R sensibilities—he set about creating more tracks in that vein, and it soon became clear that there was a bigger picture to be brought to life. The phenomenal audio-visual live show came next and was soon massively in-demand, providing a springboard for what would become this album.
SPECTRVM is a stirring collection of emotive dancefloor moments, with a dramatic, cinematic sense pulsing through it that blends his loves of trance, techno, electro and progressive house is mesmerising fashion. Plum teases us with its tense, understated mood and crunchy, shuffling beats, delicate piano motifs twinkling over haunting chords before a pulsing synth line gives an indication of what’s to come. Fall In sets the album alight with its breezy indie dance vibe, and previous single Neiloj unleashes its fiery energy and razor-sharp lead. Light Me Up is another soaring torch song, more on the big room sound tip with huge riffs and epic breakdowns surrounding the glorious vocals.
The title track and Out Here lay on the dark trance energy in thick waves, Phaedra switches up the rhythm to a chugging, heavily swung triplet pattern to keep things fresh and Kill Kitten returns to that moody, riff-fuelled sound. Prism (Eyes Wide Open) is one of the album’s most epic compositions, a dense collage of fizzing arpeggios and soaring pads. The Purple Haze remix of Sam Sharp’s Roundabout features as a climactic penultimate track, with manic 8-bit riffs unleashed over a throbbing offbeat bassline. Historia makes for a triumphant closer, with slo-mo beats underpinning a dizzying crescendo of melody and heady atmospheric layers before a huge build launches the track skywards for a euphoric finale.